Buying used cars

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jool
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Buying used cars

Postby jool » Mon May 24, 2010 5:04 pm

Hi everyone,

I'm looking for information and advice on buying a reliable used car in Lima. Where is the best place to look? What are the prices like? What should I look out for, etc, etc.

All advice welcome!

Juliet


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stuart
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Re: Buying used cars

Postby stuart » Mon May 24, 2010 7:10 pm

This is a tough one. I'll add as much fact mixed with a dose of opinion as I can.

1) Unfortunately, most people are out to cheat you. It's a cultural thing where dishonesty and cheating others is not really seen as morally wrong but as a healthy way to beat the system or to get one up on "them". Though your average Peruvian is incredibly polite and friendly, and when he wishes you all the best he really means it, but if he can sell you a S/.3 bottle of Inca Kola for $1000 he will.

When buying a used car this means you'll have to be careful. Unlike other countries where of those selling a used car 50% are doing so merely to trade up to the latest model and there's nothing wrong with the care, and the other 50% are doing so because they know they have a junker... in Peru is more like 80% are selling because something is wrong with the car and they don't want to fix it, the other 20% are selling their car because they need the money to pay off something else. It may or may not be in a "good state", and a "good state" means it works ok but had never undergone the maintenance it should have. This is true even if buying an expensive car from a millionaire who bathes in virgin olive oil.

When asking why they are selling a car, they will always say they are leaving the country, or moving city because of work (the same is true with traspasos of businesses). In truth, the car is old, has never been maintain and you're going to pay 20-50% the value of the car in repairs to pass the next revision tecnica.

2) To your favour, if a seller was a rare one who did do maintenance, who recently replace the "this" "that and the "other", no-one is going to offer him a fair price, or cover the value of the work he did. This is Peru and everyone wants something for nothing and has nothing to pay with anyway!

3) Before buying any car, find a mechanic (if not multi-marca, better), introduce yourself, and tell him you will bring a car or two for you to look at before you buy one. If he tries to offer you a car, refuse it, if he insists, find another mechanic who instead has your interests in mind.
When choosing a car, explain you want your mechanic to check it over. If this is met with a "but the car is fine", find another car.

4) It's unlikely that you'll be able to pay with a bank transfer, unless the guy happens to be with the times. Many people are not with the times and want cash.

5) The process is as such:
a) Find a car, check it with mechanic, agree a price based on findings
b) Check the car is in the guys name, and not in the name of his dead cousin's friend.
c) Go with them to the notaria. If you are given the keys, hand over the cash. If not, pay on delivery of car rather than before or in notaria.
d) You need to pay for the transfer of the tarjeta de propiedad, AND for the notaria to look into the multas the car might have attached to it. If you buy it with $100 of fines, you will be liable to pay them.
c) Peru recently changed the licence plates on cars. The notaria will tell you about this. It involves a little extra work in that you have to go to caminos de inca (i think) to pick them up and screw them on. You then have to go back once more to get the RFID sticker for your windscreen.
d) You can drive your car around when you don't have your plates because you'll have a special document, BUT you DO have to wait until you have your tarjeta de propiedad (3ish days).

6) With the revisiones tecnicas still in the early stages, it is still possible to tell for 99% of cars when they need the revision by looking at the last number of the licence plate, but you can get the checks any other time and get out of sync. so far this year, 1,2 and 3 have been revised. Next month is 4.
If the car is due a revision and they are selling it now... bad sign, they know there's something expensive to fix. Try to buy a car that passed recently.

7) Money saving tip. There are tonnes of used car places, especially on Aviacion, Benavides, and Angamos. Believe it or not, but each of these is marked up by as much as 20% what they owner, who leaves the cars there for the guys to sell, really wants for it.
You will find a car in El Comercio for say $5000. The showroom sells it for $6500. Nuts if you ask me. But in Peru there are lots of people who simply have too much money and are very lazy. Buy directly from the owner.

8) Some makes and models are more likely to be stolen than others. There are lists published by the police. The car doesn't have to be new or even look in good condition for it to be stolen or stripped down. This is evidenced by one of the top three stolen cars in Lima being old Volkswagen Escarabajos (Bugs).
Some cars bring out a more violent streak in people... drive a Toyota HiLux and you get viciously carjacked. Drive a Toyota Rav4 and you won't, but it will be stolen when you're not looking. Odd.
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Re: Buying used cars

Postby jool » Mon May 24, 2010 7:40 pm

Stuart,

thanks so much for this comprehensive reply. Extremely useful and I will take all of it on board! Any suggestion as to the best brand/model to buy in terms of availablility of part and knowledge about repairing it?

Thanks again,
Juliet
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Re: Buying used cars

Postby stuart » Mon May 24, 2010 7:55 pm

jool wrote:Stuart,

thanks so much for this comprehensive reply. Extremely useful and I will take all of it on board! Any suggestion as to the best brand/model to buy in terms of availablility of part and knowledge about repairing it?

Thanks again,
Juliet


US parts are available but expensive, mechanics easy to find.
Japanese parts are cheaper but 1995 and before are difficult to find, mechanics again very easy.

European cars were expensive to maintain... until about a week ago! :D

In the previous post I forgot to mention the dreaded "timón cambiado". This is where non-experts change the position of the steering wheel on imported Japanese cars from the right hand side to the left. Though rare, it could be dangerous. Most taxis you see are "timón cambiado".
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Re: Buying used cars

Postby mahou123 » Mon May 24, 2010 8:15 pm

If you´re looking at imported second hand cars, I heard that Japanese ones are mainly coming to Tacna and sold there on the market, whereas Korean cars are coming to Callao and sold in Lima. There are few firms, easily found on internet, that claim to sell imported Korean second hands, straight from Korea. This is a popular option, judging by large number of Hyundai Sonatas driven as taxis and privately around country. They are relatively inexpensive, and presumably are in better condition after being driven in Korea before, compared to the cars that were driven in Peru. Also, many of those run on gas, much cheaper fuel option here.
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Re: Buying used cars

Postby pelirojaperuanac » Mon May 24, 2010 11:33 pm

Hello all. I have a mechanic who has become family to me. He is one of the most honest, up front and clear cut peruvians alive. he is bilingual,has spent a lot of time with north americans and has a lot of clients who are expats, missionaries, etc.

i just told him what i wanted, he looked, found something, brought me to see it and checked the engine and walked me through each step. i paid him $150 for all his time and for the diagnostic.

i bought a 1985 toyota corona and could not be happier. EXCELLENT car, little things here and there he reapirs and up until now i have never paid more than s/160 for a repair. i can park it anywhere and its not stolen, parts taken.

anyway, if you need some help looking for and then checking out the car, i would be happy to share his information. it took all of the pressure off of me!
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Re: Buying used cars

Postby Russ » Tue Jun 08, 2010 8:15 pm

I am planning to buy a car in Peru to use during my frequent visits and to share with other members of my family who live in the U.S. but also visit Peru. We own a condo in Miraflores which has a secure garage.

What is involved in having one or two additional owners on the title? What about an owner who is not physically present in Peru when the car is purchased? Can that person's name be on the title? Is a power of attorney needed to accomplish this?
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Re: Buying used cars

Postby stuart » Tue Jun 08, 2010 8:38 pm

Russ wrote:I am planning to buy a car in Peru to use during my frequent visits and to share with other members of my family who live in the U.S. but also visit Peru. We own a condo in Miraflores which has a secure garage.

What is involved in having one or two additional owners on the title? What about an owner who is not physically present in Peru when the car is purchased? Can that person's name be on the title? Is a power of attorney needed to accomplish this?



I'm aware that more than one person can appear as the owner... but I think that is limited to two people, i.e. spouses.

A person must be present to sign the papers, but this can be avoided with power of attorney, but they'd have to go to the embassy or visit Peru first to get granted permission to sign contracts.

Whether a person appears on the registration or not bares no relevance to who is allowed to drive the car, just who has to be present to sell it.
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Re: Buying used cars

Postby Russ » Tue Jun 08, 2010 8:58 pm

Thanks, that is what I thought would be required. Perhaps, it would be easier, to form a Peruvian S.A. and buy the car in a company name. Do you know what that would entail? How much might it cost to set up and how much in fees and taxes per year, for a "holding company" with no income?
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Re: Buying used cars

Postby stuart » Tue Jun 08, 2010 10:02 pm

Russ wrote:Thanks, that is what I thought would be required. Perhaps, it would be easier, to form a Peruvian S.A. and buy the car in a company name. Do you know what that would entail? How much might it cost to set up and how much in fees and taxes per year, for a "holding company" with no income?


It would require that you do the above, plus set up a company. To set up the company you'd apply for a visa (if you don't have one) and pay yourself a salary as the gerente, set up the bank accounts, hire the accountant, pay your health insurance and pension (as an employee) etc etc etc.

Probably easier just to take a taxi.
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Re: Buying used cars

Postby tonisdad » Tue Jun 08, 2010 10:22 pm

I just wanted to say great insight Stuart, and I love that last line "probably easier to just take a Taxi".
:lol:
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Re: Buying used cars

Postby Russ » Wed Jun 09, 2010 8:08 am


Take a taxi? That works fine for travel around Lima, but we need to make frequent trips north, about a 3 hour drive in a car and over 4 in the bus. To hire a taxi costs 250 to 300 soles each way and requires a lot of time finding a taxi that wants to make a round trip. Another alternative, is to take a long distance bus from Lima north getting off along the way, but they don't leave from small beach towns, so the return trip would be a problem..

Buying a car is the best solution, and maybe we will just keep it in one persons name with proper insurance.





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Re: Buying used cars

Postby Kelly » Wed Jun 09, 2010 12:10 pm

A taxi driver that charges you 300-400 soles for a three hour trip is ripping you off. Typically, taxis can be rented for 20-40 soles the hour (depending on the driver and the quality/year of the car) and S/100-200 for a full day. For long distance driving, they may add the cost of gas on to that.

You also have the option of renting a car, although that may be more expensive than a taxi.
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Re: Buying used cars

Postby markr » Wed Jun 09, 2010 12:36 pm

"250 to 300 Soles each way." An excellent example of the "Gringo price"
I was spotted by a taxi driver walking out of my apartment on the Malecon, when I lived in Miraflores. He did the calculation, Gringo+expensive apartment = $$$$$ and proceeded to quote me S/.40 to go to central Lima. How wrong he was, I just laughed in his face, walked round the corner and got into another taxi for S/.10
I've found they sometimes do the same calculation if you ask to go somewhere like the Contry Club in San Isidro. It can be up to about S/.8 cheaper to tell them that you want to go to Starbucks and then just walk round the corner rather than ask to be dropped outside the hotel.
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Re: Buying used cars

Postby Russ » Wed Jun 09, 2010 12:46 pm

The Taxi has to make a return trip empty. By the way, the 250 soles price quote was to a local person, the best price I could get from another driver was 275 soles (initial price was 300) Several drivers were not interested in making the return to Lima trip. Colectivos by the way, I am told are a thing of the past. The buses replaced them.

Our return trip will likely be a week or more later each time. Best deal so far, was a free ride back to Lima with someone who just happened to be leaving about the same time.

A rental car would be needed for a week or more. I recently checked with Budget in Lima and including full coverage insurance, economy car, costs about US$80 per day, slightly less by the week.
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Re: Buying used cars

Postby rgamarra » Wed Jun 09, 2010 4:29 pm

I don't know what your budget is, but I highly recommend AMSA VW. They were just ranked #2 in the world by the VW corp. for their service standards. We bought new from them, but they were there for us well after our original purchase and they've been very good to take care of the people we recently sold our VW to.

If you go there, ask for Fernando Ascona, he's the svc manager and he can direct you to the right person in the used sales dept.

http://www.amsa.com.pe/

I recommend them based on the high level of integrity they have demonstrated with us. Don't be put off by the sales staff, buying a car in Peru is not like the U.S. where they jump through circus hoops just to get the sale, in Peru it's like the sales staff is doing you a favor. However, what I really liked about AMSA (that even US Car dealers couldn't hold a light to) is their post sales service. They gave us our first maintenance free, covered everything under warranty, took care of any special licenses we needed, insurance, etc. and towed our car free for us when it needed general maintenance done.

Anyway, that's just my recommendation.
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Re: Buying used cars

Postby euroman » Fri Jun 11, 2010 12:50 pm

Why buying a used car. (Mostly junk)
You can buy a new descent motorbike for far less money.
I bought a new Honda CGL 125 for 3800 soles. SOAT is 110 soles anually.
I drive 2000 km a month and spend 100 soles on fuel.
You can park your bike inside your house thus no need to rent an expensive garage.
And above all...the beautiful Peruvian girls love bikers. I never had a girl saying no when I offered her a ride.
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Re: Buying used cars

Postby markr » Fri Jun 11, 2010 1:50 pm

"Biker."
A Honda CGL 125 hardly drums up images from Easyrider, and what if you have a family?
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Re: Buying used cars

Postby american_in_lima » Sat Jun 12, 2010 7:58 am

euroman wrote:Why buying a used car. (Mostly junk)
You can buy a new descent motorbike for far less money.
I bought a new Honda CGL 125 for 3800 soles. SOAT is 110 soles anually.
I drive 2000 km a month and spend 100 soles on fuel.
You can park your bike inside your house thus no need to rent an expensive garage.
And above all...the beautiful Peruvian girls love bikers. I never had a girl saying no when I offered her a ride.



Going on what Euroman says, I personally think that a motorbike is too much money. A bicycle is the cheapest way :)

Why buying a used bike. (Mostly junk).
You can buy a new descent bicycle for far less money.
I bought a new Huffy for 380 soles. SOAT is 1 sol anually.
I drive 2000 km a month and spend 0 soles on fuel.
You can park your Huffy bike inside your house thus no need to rent an expensive garage.

http://www.huffy.com/Products/Product.aspx?p=370&cat=3&subcat=11

And above all...the beautiful Peruvian girls love bikers on Huffys. I never had a girl saying no when I offered her a ride on my Huffy
Regards,

George
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Re: Buying used cars

Postby scott » Sat Jun 12, 2010 8:14 am

markr wrote:"Biker."
A Honda CGL 125 hardly drums up images from Easyrider, and what if you have a family?


You obviously have not spent time in the jungle. Here motorcycles are a family vehicle. You will often see a family of 5 riding down the road. Crazy as it may seem, it is 100% true and common.

George... LMAO!
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Re: Buying used cars

Postby markr » Sat Jun 12, 2010 6:24 pm

scott wrote:
markr wrote:"Biker."
A Honda CGL 125 hardly drums up images from Easyrider, and what if you have a family?


You obviously have not spent time in the jungle. Here motorcycles are a family vehicle. You will often see a family of 5 riding down the road. Crazy as it may seem, it is 100% true and common.

George... LMAO!


You don't have to spend any time in the jungle to know that 5 people on a motorbike is simply irresponsible.
I'll go with Georges idea now of suggesting a bicycle, not only can you park them in your house, they don't stink of petrol.
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Re: Buying used cars

Postby scott » Sat Jun 12, 2010 6:51 pm

markr wrote:You don't have to spend any time in the jungle to know that 5 people on a motorbike is simply irresponsible.
I'll go with Georges idea now of suggesting a bicycle, not only can you park them in your house, they don't stink of petrol.


However irresponsible, that is how it is in the jungle.
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