Buying a car in Argentina

Buy a car in Argentina is complicated

Buying a car in Argentina?

Can you just buy a car in Argentina for a few months and then sell it again?

Why is it so difficult to buy a car in Argentina? Driving around with it and selling it again at the end of the trip? Better to buy an old car than to rent an expensive rental car for months at a car rental company …

Buying and selling a car: difficult in Argentina

In other countries such as Australia or the USA, it is very easy for foreigners to buy a car. It is also cheap and worth buying a cheap, used car for a few months. You can use it to drive through the country and just sell it again at the end of your stay. There are e.g. in Australia even car dealers who end up buying the same car back without any problems.

Not so in Argentina. And not in other, surrounding countries in South America either. Cars, and especially used cars, are very expensive in Argentina! You can only get a reasonable used car from around 5,000 Euros / US$.

Car registration complicated in Argentina

But this is not the real problem. Rather, it is very time-consuming and bureaucratic to have the car registered. After all, a tourist wants to quickly buy a car and then drive it. And doesn’t wait for weeks for the “tarjeta verde” (vehicle registration), the insurance policy (póliza de seguro) etc. As long as you don’t have the final vehicle registration in your pocket, you can drive around. But it is better not to leave your own province. A border crossing with the vehicle, e.g. to Chile is impossible.

The act of vehicle registration is not only time-consuming, but also very expensive. In addition, documents must be provided to the “registro de automotores” that a tourist cannot normally provide (e.g. tax certificates, CETA). A tourist also has no permanent residence in Argentina. Where should the entire correspondence, e.g. from the insurance, the motor vehicle tax of the Municipalidad (patentes) and the Province (rentas) are sent? Especially since some payments have to be made monthly, e.g. the Municipalidad and the insurance company. For an automatic payment you need to have an Argentine bank account with automatic debit installed (débito automático). Or a national credit card such as the Tarjeta Naranja.

Garage / indoor parking space for car necessary

And where does the tourist leave his car? At night on the street ??? So you have to rent a garage / an indoor parking space … The risk of theft is otherwise quite high. And to deal with the insurance, the registration office and the police for months in the event of theft … an endless hassle for a tourist.

Car sales are also time consuming

Selling the car at the end of the trip is also not easy. Even if you have found a buyer, transferring the vehicle to the new owner is again a bureaucratic act like when you bought it. Here, too, the seller must be there personally and help. And if at the end you get a bunch of pesos in the hand of the buyer, what do you want to do with the pesos ??? Maybe then there will be currency restrictions again and you can’t just exchange the pesos for Euros or US $… ..

Conclusion: Due to the huge amount of time and the associated costs for a tourist, it is not worth buying your own car in Argentina for a few months. It’s much, much easier and, in the end, even cheaper to simply rent a car from a car rental company for your duration in Argentina!


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