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Buying a car - Used or New, tips and buyer bewares

  • Our inherited 1998 Megane is showing signs that its long deserved retirement is soon due.

    We have never bought a car before in Argentina and we are literally in the dark. I have always heard that used cars have a great resale value, but I have no idea whether it also means that it is better to buy used. My husband's family says that prices shown on the internet are not reliable (like for houses and about anything else here...)


    Is there any advantage we may have if we pay cash (no installments)? Should we look at new or used cars?

    Any pitfalls to avoid?


    We just need a car to move around in the city and take an occasional trip to Cordoba or Mar del Plata. We do not have a parking space and we don't want a large car that would be difficult to park in the city. We have no issue in driving a stick but we can also drive an automatic car (nice!).

    Any suggestion is welcome!

  • There are reports that nearly new cars are almost the same price as brand new ones, so when the time comes I would buy new. But it depends on the car and prices are simply ridiculous at the moment.

    A small Fiat would probably do you, like a Mobi for example. A new one of those is AR$2 million/US$10,000 at the blue rate, which is way overpriced anyway.

  • Can't really advise as I haven't a clue how anything works here....I leave all that to the missus. We had an as new Ford Eco Sport for years and sold it privately rather than trade it in when we got our current car which was bought new from Renault.
    Not long after getting it the missus drove it through floodwater and knackered the engine. As it was still under warranty they repaired it free otherwise i would have cost a fortune. I'd recommend buying new as the warranty and free services give you peace of mind.

  • We found a good deal at the Renault reseller around the corner. A Sandero Life 1.6. The guy who ordered it withdrew from the deal, so the dealer bought his share and is eager to sell it. We had a 1.000.000 ARS discount and we will even pay half the price in installments (which we wouldn't have had otherwise, but the other guy qualified and apparently we can simply swap places). We can also pay cash, something that not all resellers offered. The only thing we could choose is the color. The rest was already locked. We ended our car shopping tour in 24 hours which is better than I ever imagined, and we will have a brand new car (so no paranoia on used cars - will it work, what damage has it had etc.).


    We were actually going for a Toyota Yaris, but it is imported from Brazil, the wait time was 2-3 months, the price subject to a likely 5% increase etc etc.

    The VW was even worse: they had no idea when new cars would arrive from Brazil, you basically express a preference on the color and accessories, but be ready to wait for months. The dealer will tell you what it is coming in next month and you can eventually buy a slightly different model.

    This is so different from how it is done in Europe.


    We decided to put it in both our names, on the advice of the dealer. Although I can't really grasp the difference since we are in a marital community. Any advice from the accountant in the house, Splinter?



    Renault Nuevo Sandero Ph2 Life 1.6 Autos Ciara, Grupo Randazzorenault-sandero-e-logan-08.jpg

  • I'll ask Adri, but as far as I know, many people's reasons for registered name is to do with money laundering laws and such like.

  • Nice little car, I believe it is a Dacia with Renault badges, no? I think many Renault cars in Argentina are the same, like the Duster for example.

    I wouldn't be surprised the least. In Argentina, the part supply is painful, the import regulations are draconian, the economy is in shambles, and inflation is rampant. Combine this to the paranoia of dealers / sellers, and the potential hardship to buy a new car can be unsurmountable.

    We wanted a quick and carefree solution (= new vs used), and we found it. There are probably better cars out there, but the effort we were willing to put was minimal.


    I really liked the Toyota Yaris, and had we been able to customize the accessories on the Sandero, we'd probably have gotten an even better car. But the waiting times, the payment methods offered, the financing option etc. were big factors to us.



    I was also surprised to hear that even expressing my preferences didn't mean I would get what I wanted. The whole car purchase business is quite confusing: you make a wish and hope for the best. This impression I got was consistent across the various brands.


    I asked to our dealer if we could pick the accessories, he said it was too late. Which is a shame because for the discount we got, I was willing to splurge a little bit on accessories (like being able to adjust the height of the driver's seat, or have automatic A/C vs. manual or the assisted parking rear camera).


    About the rear camera, the dealer said, literally: "sometimes you request it and it comes without. Sometimes you don't request it and it comes equipped with it". Which sounded like the Caterpillar's in Alice in Wonderland.

    Let's hope ours will have it, but who knows!


    I am anyway very happy about the deal, as I wanted to spend less than 10k USD and I thought we would buy a used Polo. I was unimpressed with the VW I saw at the Dietrich dealership. It seemed more of Eastern Germany car. Perhaps the models sold here are worse than those sold in Europe under the same name.

  • Hello,

    Aah the Dacia sandero and duster...

    The Sandero, built in Roumania is France's cheapest new car. The Duster, especially in 4x4 format is the best selling little 4x4 in the French countryside.

    In Misiones we bought a Kango camionetta, with extra seats, because it has the heavy duty suspension.


    I am wary of low cost cars with lots of technology.. just another thing to go wrong.


    Cordialement,