We are three Belgians who are leaving to South America in January 2006 for a four month road trip. The idea was to fly into Rio, rent a car there and do a loop through Uruguay,Argentina,Chile,Bolivia,Peru and back to Rio. Unfortunately we only found out yesterday that it will be impossible to cross so many borders with a rental car.

We are still landing in Rio and are considering buying a car/van there. Does anyone know if this is possible and how much we can expect to pay? More importantly, does anyone know if the cars for sale are reliable?
If it is less risky to buy them in Uruguay or Argentina, we can always reach those countries by bus.

Thanks for helping us out here. All advice is welcome!