Bringing a car into Argentina (and selling it too!)?

Ryan del Mundo

Feb 13, 2009
Hey everyone,

First time poster! Thanks for having such a great resource - my aunt just moved to BA and loves it.

I am thinking about buying a car in California where I live, and driving it all the way down to Argentina. Call it "the ultimate bi-trans-continental road trip."

Once in Argentina, I was planning to sell it and continuing onward.

Anyone have any experience bringing a car in and selling it? I suspect there'd be import taxes to pay - has anyone been thru this fiasco? Would I be able to recoup the taxes when I sell the car (ie, are car values higher). I'm thinking about driving down a 1993 4Runner which is worth ~$4000 here.

Anyone interested in having me drive a car down for them, do let me know, although I'm planning on taking my sweet time to get there! :)

Anyway, I'm sure this isn't an easy thing - but it is something I want to do! Any tips/advice is well appreciated!

I spoke with someone recently who drove down here from the US. Apparently selling your car here in Argentina is a nightmare, but is easier in Uruguay, just acorss the river. That's where he sold his car.

Good luck.
We were planning on bringing my car in but then thought better of it. The whole process seemed like an endless headache. And I think the process changes with each variable, ie. are you a resident, returning Argentine, etc, etc. and with each person you ask.

We dropped the idea, but other people are braver than I!
Ryan del Mundo said:
I am thinking about buying a car in California where I live, and driving it all the way down to Argentina.

Don't forget to factor in the cost of shipping your vehicle across the gap at Darién. Unless you are lucky enough in Panama to meet a yacht-owning Columbian who has just unloaded a couple of tons of Charlie and is looking for some ballast for the homeward run.
I remember reading a blog of a person who did similar thing. Actually he drove all the way down to Ushuaia and planned to sell his car there. He said it was impossible, because local people didn't even have a concept of car that was brought from ouside. He ended up driving back across Argentina to Paraguay and selling the car there for parts.
Well, I'm glad to hear no one has said "no you can't do it!"

Uruguay sounds like a better bet - and another reason to keep on driving!

Someone mentioned crossing the Darien Gap in Panama - yeah, it's unfortunate you can't drive all the way - but it sounds like that'll run me ~$500 or so. Includes a good excuse to get out of the car and take a yacht over to Colombia too! :)

Any idea what types of SUV's would be easiest to sell down in South America?