By on April 13, 2012

Welcome to New Or Used Without Borders, where the international team of TTAC answers your intercontinental car shopping questions.

Robstar asks:

My wife & I are about to have our first child in December.  We visit Brazil (SJC, SP) typically twice per year to see my wife’s relatives. Usually each trip lasts about a month (I’m only there the last week or two).  My wife has talked to me about possibly buying a car in Brazil because of our frequent travel there and our need to get around with an infant/toddler.  During past visits, I drove or we took the bus together.  Now that she’ll be taking an infant with her, she wants to be able to drive herself when I’m not there.  We are also worried about safety using public transportation — A single mother & a baby/infant who may speak English at an inopportune time may appear to be an easy target for criminals.  In any case, our current transportation options won’t work because they are not automatic & not as safe in an accident as we’d like.

Our current options are:

1974 (IIRC) VW Beetle with a 4 speed, 1.5L, 40’ish hp.  — Not in any way safe enough for the baby.

2004? 2005? VW Polo, 5-speed, 1.8L.  Not sure on HP but I’d guess it’s 90’ish ? 100?  — 5 speed.

We are trying to decide if we want to buy new, or have my father-in-law help us look for something used.  I’ve asked my wife about renting, but it’s not safe to leave an unsecured car outside overnight (and my in laws don’t have a gate secured spot in their house for a third car).  I don’t think my brother-in-law would be opposed to an upgrade of his Beetle, so that is what we’ll most likely do.

 Here are our requirements in order of need … (Listed in the response.)

Marcelo answers from Brazil:

“All the leaves are brown, and the sky is grey, I went for a walk..” California dreaming. I caught myself humming this song as I read your query. It made me dream of California and the USA. Ah! What a country! One in which we can get a gargantuan car, laden with safety features for a paltry fee. Unfortunately, you ask too much from our still infant market. Let me try to help you as best I can.

1) It must be automatic/reliable — If it isn’t automatic my wife can’t drive it.  Dealerships/service should be common in the SJC area.

Let’s lump that together with:

9) Cost should be under $30.000,00 reais.  That is $17,500 US according to Google.  If it was that price we’d have to finance, but if it was 1/2 of that we could pay cash.

Sorry, you’re out of luck. No brand-new car meets those two requirements in Brazil. The closest you’ll get is a Renault Logan. With 1.6 16v engine (110hp), it can be had with a full 4-speed automatic. But it’ll set you back R$41,320. There are some other possibilities like a Fiat Grand Siena Essence (1.6L 16V, 116hp) for R$45,590 and VW Voyage (1.6L, 102hp) for R$46,600. Sadly, in terms of automatic cars, that’s the closest you’ll get. Bear in mind that only the Logan is fully automatic. Both the Fiat and the VW have so-called automatized transmissions. What this means is that the car shifts the gears itself, but all the mechanical bits are still there. Though cheaper and easier to maintain than a true automatic, there are real drawbacks. The main one is that you should drive it like a manual. In other words, every time you sense a gear change coming, you should lay off the accelerator or you’ll be rewarded with a very noticeable bump.

The Logan is bigger than its rivals. It has a wheelbase longer than a Corolla, for example, which makes for more internal space than you get in a Civic or Cruze. The trunk is good for 510L. The Voyage is the smallest, think New Ford Fiesta size, while the new Grand Siena falls somewhere in between, though its trunk is larger than even the Logan’s.

As to the price, I’d fully expect to knock off at least 2 or 3 grand if I were paying cash.

In terms of support and maintenance, all 3 brands have an extensive presence in Brazil, though Renault’s network is smaller. As you’ll mainly be in São Paulo, no biggie. In terms of reliability all these cars are considered good. The Renault might be a little more expensive parts-wise, but the insurance is usually lower than for the other cars, which should off-set that pretty much. Now, you probably will not be able to serve these cars at your friendly neighborhood mechanic. Chances are he won’t know how to deal with automatic or even automatized cars. There are good indie shops though who could probably do a good job. There is a Bosch Service network of shops for example. If you need the dealership…

Your best bet would be the Renault as it offers a 3-year warranty. Both Fiat’s and VW’s is just for a year.

2) It must be something that has very high safety features, especially if the vehicle is involved in a crash — This is one of the main points of the purchase.

The Fiat Grand Siena comes with airbags and ABS in this version. It also offers side bags and window bags for extra dough. The Voyage comes with airbags and ABS, but only offers side bags for more. The Logan comes with 2 airbags, but doesn’t offer ABS, side or window bags even as an optional. However, the Logan is made to sell worldwide so maybe you’d like to take that into consideration. It is sold in Western Europe. Now, both the Grand Siena and Voyage are strictly emerging market cars. Take that as you may.

3) It must not scream “money!” or “foreigner!”. It has to “blend in.” I think this rules out anything Japanese, Korean, German, ALL SUV’s, ALL minivans, etc — We are trying not to be car-jacked or kidnapped.

The Fiat Grand Siena is at launch. So it will call people’s attention. The Voyage and Logan have been around for a while, but thieves seem to have a thing for VWs in Brazil. The Logan is very low key. This is reflected in the insurance for these cars. As for used minivans see below.

4) It should be easy to insure — We’ll buy full coverage, so we want it to be somewhat affordable.

The Logan can be insured for the lowest rates in the market. You’ll probably be quoted a little less than R$1,000. The Voyage will cost a bit more than R$1,200 and the Grand Siena is so new it doesn’t have any on-line quotations yet. Expect something similar to the Voyage.

5) It should be easy to get an infant/toddler in and out of.  My wife is about 5’2″ or so…. keep that in mind.

Again, the same order of ease due to the cars’ size. The Logan is tall and wide. The Voyage is the lowest and narrowest. The Grand Siena falls in between. Since I am in a similar situation to yours and own a Logan, I can recommend this car to you. We fit our baby seat very easily into the car and (almost) never bang the baby’s head when getting him into and out of the car. Head, shoulder and leg room in the Logan is the best, followed By Grand Siena and Voyage.

6) It should have at least 4+ doors (hatch ok, wife prefers sedans)

All cars I recommended have four doors. I recommend them over their hatch brethren not for the doors, but for the trunk. Again, I own a Logan. In it, I can put our baby’s stroller and we still have room to spare for some luggage. The Logan’s trunk is quite square (the wheel wells interfere very little) and that helps a lot. The Siena’s trunk is bigger by a hair, but as the car is narrower the shape is not quite so baggage-friendly. The Voyage is smaller by a good margin. All of the cars have goose-hinge arms. The Logan’s disadvantage here is that it’s the only one whose back seat does not recline.

7) It should get decent gas mileage.

Though I have no experience with these automatic or automatized cars, I would expect anything from 6.5 to 7.5 km/l in heavy city driving. If you choose to fill up with ethanol, expect around 30% less mileage. Highway driving should return in the range of 11 to 14 km/l. The Renault is famous for being economic in the city, though its shape doesn’t do it any favors on the highway. Overall, I’d expect the Voyage to be the most miserly, the Logan in second and the Grand Siena would trail.

BTW, factory numbers are based on such an unrealistic test standards to render them (almost) completely worthless.

8) It should have a free/cheap yearly registration.  If not we can live with it, but something way less than the Polo (800?900 reais/year) and greater than the fusca (free) would be what we are expecting.

Yearly registration is of 4% of a car’s price. Should you buy in December, you’d have to pay 1/12 of 4% of the price you effectively pay for the car. Buying in January you’ll pay 4% of the price you effectively pay.

Should you buy used it could be the yearly tax has already been paid, so you wouldn’t have to. The tax is 4% of the price of the car on the list as compiled by Fipe (though I don’t know how they arrive at the numbers they do because nobody ever pays full Fipe price).

If we go used, we’ll need resources we should be looking for.  Is there a cars.com equivalent in Brazil?  Should we just look in the newspaper?  Is there such thing as “CPO” in Brazil?  How is title transfer done?  What is the most secure way to do a used transaction? Is it common to get to test drive the car?  Do banks finance used/new cars to non-residents?  Would we better off selling a vehicle here to pay in cash or the equivalent?

If you go used you can start hunting at such sites such as webmotors.com.br. You could also look at the on-line versions of local newspapers. Of course, there will be some sites specialized in São Paulo, you should check that.

CPO programs are not offered by all makers in Brazil. However, even some run-of-the-mill makers have them. Such as Chevrolet with its ‘Siga’ program. If you buy from a dealership, normally they provide full-guarantee for 90 days. You could buy from an indie shop. Though the law states that they have the same legal responsibility as the dealers, getting them to honor it can be close to impossible. There are some serious ones out there, but if I were you, a foreigner, I’d have second, third and fourth thoughts. Should you buy from a private seller, you’re buying ‘as is’. They have no legal responsibility.

Please bear in mind that this kind of buying can be tricky even for a local. Titles sometimes are not clean, sometimes you end up buying a cloned car or even one that’s been judicially alienated. Also, tickets stick to the car, so after a while you could find yourself responsible for something you didn’t do. Dealers usually offer clean, legal cars. Indie shops can be tricky. If you go private all bets are off. Always check the car at the DETRAN (the local DMV), but even so something could crop up.

Safety is also important to you. It is not unheard of for private sellers and indie shops to not replace the airbags of a car that’s been in a crash. But they turn off the warning light. Buying used in Brazil can be a hassle, if you get even a whiff of suspicion run.

As that other song says, “This is not America, lah, lah, lah, lah”.

Banks finance cars to residents. To get a line of credit, you’d have to show proof of residence, ID and proof of your income. I think it’d be hard for you to get credit as a foreign national, but that’s where your in-laws could come in handy. I wouldn’t bother though. I’d get credit in America and bring cash. Car loans can be had for anything between 1 and 2%. For a used car, you’d have to pay over 2%. Cheap, you say? That’s PER MONTH. I’m sure you could get much better rates in America.

Lastly, you discarded minivans. Keep in mind that minivans in Brazil are much smaller than those in America. Some of them like a Citroën Picasso, Renault Scènic or Chevy Zafira blend in nicely and don’t call attention. Some came with automatic transmissions, airbags and ABS (but not all, check!). Insurance for them is not so bad. They can handle your baby needs. They may not be as economic in terms of mileage as the cars mentioned above, but they usually offer more.

Happy motoring!


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37 Comments on “New Or Used In Brazil: Car Shopping Tips For Gringos...”


  • avatar
    Robstar

    Wow…2%/month? 1.02^12 is 26.8% APR. I’d be better using my credit card.

    Also: You said insurance would be $1000…is that per month or per year?

    Thanks,

    Robstart

    • 0 avatar

      Hi Rob,

      1000 a year! Now this is where your in-laws could come in handy. Assuming they insure their car, if they have not had any claims, discounts of up to 40% are given. You could insure it in your father-in-law’s name and name you and the wife as eventual drivers. Surely there will be some discount.

    • 0 avatar

      Also, and I just remembered, insurance goes up as the car ages. The first 2 years after purchase it might drop a little, but then starts going up. As mentioned below in an aswer to another post, older cars get more stolen. Plus, part support can become patchy (especially if not best seller). In fact, it’s almost impossible to buy and then insure a car older than 10 years. Insurance companies simply deny coverage. Yes crazy, and a market ripe for someone to come in and make a killing.

  • avatar
    mnm4ever

    “and (almost) never bang the baby’s head…”

    hahaha, babies need a cpl bumps… toughens them up!

    What a great read, and very interesting insight into car ownership in another country. I had no idea there were so many safety and crime concerns in Brazil. Might have to cross that one off my list of potential retirement spots.

    But, we had our first baby and had a Honda Civic coupe. took road trips, went shopping, it was our only car for the first 3 years of my sons life. For the life of me I do not understand why people think with one baby they need some huge car. Your wife is there for 2 months of the year, and obviously has family there as well. Surely she can live with something less than perfect for the few times she will need to drive around by herself? Also, it sounds like getting an auto trans in Brazil is a bad idea. Teach her to drive a stick, its not that hard.

    • 0 avatar
      Robstar

      My wife has mentioned multiple times that she wants to learn stick. This has been going on for 2 years. The only car I have to teach her with is a 2005 WRX STi….not a really good learning car for many, many reasons. I’ve looked into buying a beater stick car to teach her on, but the reality is that we need a car for her to get around in sooner rather than later. Even if I teach her, that doesn’t mean she’s going to be good enough at it to start on (some rather steep local hills) and/or enjoy it.

      It’s not that we need some HUGE car, we don’t. We need something more reliable & safer than 1970’s vw that she can drive herself around in, especially at night.

      • 0 avatar
        mnm4ever

        Kind of like learning to ride a motorcycle on an R1, yeah, I get that. But I thought you said you had a Polo with a stick? Teach her on that? Borrow a car from a friend? Test drive a new car with a stick, keep it overnight, and use it to teach…

        It took my wife literally 2 days to be comfortable driving a stick, now thats all she wants in all cars. She doesnt even like my DSG GTI, says thats stupid to have in a sports car (I think shes right now too!). Its mostly a mental thing, once you figure out the feel of the clutch, you are good forever.

      • 0 avatar
        Rental Man

        You can rent the next car in Brazil and teach her to drive on their smoking clutch.
        Here in the US it would be cheap enough to find a teacher with a manual car. They are out there. A few visit and she will get it. After that she will slip a little and the car will turn off.
        Big deal.
        Here in the US a women driving stick is so special. Anywhere else in the world it is the only way.

    • 0 avatar
      tankinbeans

      “…huge car…”

      Queue the, “all of the kid’s crap” argument. My parent’s carted both of my brothers and me around in a Tempo until I was 6 or 7 (we’re 3 years apart).

      • 0 avatar
        Robstar

        The issue with renting a car in Brazil is we have no place to put it overnight. You can’t leave it out on the street….I suppose we could rent it for a day, return it. Go back & rent it again, return it, but that isn’t really my idea of a vacation.

        2ndly, the father-in-law probably wouldn’t be too happy with his daughter burning up his clutch….and I’m not too happy about possibly testing this theory.

        My father-in-law has slowly moved up the “car status tree” and his polo is his pride & joy. He would be seriously not-happy if it got a scratch on it.

    • 0 avatar

      I undestand that Robstar will do some travelling. So as noted, sedans can take baby stuff and some baggage. The cars suggeste are by no means huge :)!

    • 0 avatar

      If she should learn to drive stick, the cars will be cheaper. However, the cars mentioned are top of the line, so they come witht the added safety features. If she learns manual, you can buy cheaper, but you’ll have to check the boxes for airbags and ABS (when and if available for the lower trim cars). By ticking the boxes the price can go up very quickly.

      Remember Rob, if you do go brand new and pay in full, demand discounts. 5% is common, but depending on your toughness (and dealer inventory) almost 10% would be doable. Remember, the cars are top of the line (except for Siena), few pwople buy them in Brazil. They can be difficulot for dealer to deal.

  • avatar
    MrWhopee

    Weren’t there rental cars in Brazil? It seems that situations like this is where a car rental is for. Why worry about rentals being stolen? If you purchased the full coverage insurance (which is probably a wise idea when driving in less than familiar country) you just call the rental agency and request another one. If you buy your own car, where would the car be stored when you’re not there? Who maintains it?

    The US has the lowest priced autos, probably in the entire world. Thus American often got a sticker shock when pricing cars in other countries. Small, basic econocars can cost more than a midsize cars in the US!

    • 0 avatar
      Robstar

      It wouldn’t surprise me if the included insurance covers theft if left unprotected overnight. I also don’t know if it covers burned up clutches…

      Perhaps Marcelo can comment? If it covers both of those then that might be the way to go, at least to get my wife started.

      • 0 avatar
        tankinbeans

        Is it really that easy to burn up a clutch? That quickly?

        Not being facetious, I’m honestly curious. When I learned with my car I was slightly worried, but I don’t think I inflicted that much extra wear on it and never smelled anything other than excess manufacturing material burning off (went away after about 200 miles).

      • 0 avatar
        Robstar

        Can’t edit my comment for some reason…I forgot to add:

        The new car would be driven by & maintained by my brother-in-law in-place of his 74 beetle. He’d also help pay insurance/maintenance on it when we aren’t there.

      • 0 avatar

        Theft sure. A burning clutch? Don’t know. Probably not. They could claim that it was due to bad use and deny coverage. Talk to the insurance people before commiting.

  • avatar
    Felix Hoenikker

    When I used to travel to Brazil and Mexico on business in the mid to late 90’s, I was always impressed by the measures that the locals needed to take to protect their cars. Off street parking beind locked gates, ets were the norm in both countries. Kidnapping is also endemic.
    Property crime in general was off the charts compared to what I saw in the US, and in the 70s I lived and went to college in some very marginal neighborhoods, but never had a car stolen or broken into when parked on a public street overnight.
    I suppose that if the police in SA strated to vigorously enforce laws against property theft, a signicant portion of the population would have been behind bars. It was probably cheaper just to let this stuff go compared to the cost of jails.

    • 0 avatar
      Robstar

      When I was dating my wife, I asked her what was the biggest shock to her when first visiting the US (outside of language change).

      She told me “The biggest shock is that cars here in the USA are left parked on the street overnight — and that they are still there in the morning!”

      • 0 avatar
        Felix Hoenikker

        Robstar,

        We had a visitor from Argentina once who told me the same thing. He was really surprised when we had dinner in a restaruant, and I left the car unlocked in the lot and it was still there when we came out. He didn’t understand the undesirability of 8 year old 80s GM A body cars.

      • 0 avatar

        I’m pretty shocked when eventually I leave my car overnight and nothing happens. Once, I lived in a place with no garage and parked my cars outside for about 2 years. Never ever happened and on occasion I did leave the cars unlocked. Luck? Or maybe the perception of danger is greater than what it really is?

        The problem with violence in Brazil is that it can happen at any moment at any time and in any part of town. This increaes the perception of unsagety. Even safe neighborhoods are (potentially ) more dangerous than safe neighborhoods in 1st world.

        But, I have never been robbed, mugged or had a house broken into. My cars have never had radios pulled. In fact they haven’t even been scratched.

        Hope I’m not pushing my luck by writing this !

  • avatar
    CJinSD

    Instead of buying a car in Brazil, spend the money on flying her family to visit you. It is silly to worry about the passive safety of cars and then have your baby spend two months a year in Brazil while you worry about your loved ones being the targets of crime.

  • avatar
    infinitime

    I’ve never been to Brazil, but I am well familiar with Chery’s products from having driven them as company cars in China. There are several on Chery Brasil’s website which seem to fit your criteria:

    http://www.cherybrasil.com.br/

    Provided that there is a reasonable dealer network and parts source, these are actually a very viable alternative to the European/Japanese offerings, at a fraction of the price! I’ve driven the Chinese-market equivalent of the “Cielo”, and it is a thoroughly decent car… (decent being comparable to a mid-2000s Hyundai).

    Anyhow, just figure that I should point out this less-often considered option.

    • 0 avatar

      Chery within Robstars price range don’t offer autos. In fact, don’t think any Chinese make offers auto. Though all do seem to offer safety features across their lines.

      Plus, they don’t undercut the competitors by that much. Their pricing would have to be at least 20% less to entice me, for example.

  • avatar
    mcqueen66

    I’m in Colombia, so no direct clue about Brazil. However i think general stuff applies.

    First of all, if the car is from the cheap category it is probably easier to get it stolen (the whole car or some part like mirrors or window rubber) than a middle or high class car. Not sure about secuestro express or something like that.

    My experience is: Talk to your relatives, do not go into parts of the town that you should not go, do not leave your car on the street (plenty of public parkings and in your case, search for a neighbor that can rent you a garage) and have insurance with assistance (in case of a break down).

    In Colombia, chevrolet, and renault are huge, and mazda is big (since we have assembly plants). Now nissan and hynday are big as well. For a new car i would choose a nissan sentra b13 (not the safest car but it is ok for the money), a logan or sandero from renault, or a new gol. For a used car, here with about 10.000 USD you can have a VW jetta MK4 around 2002, a Honda accord around 1998, an audi a4 1998, a logan 2005, and a lot of other stuff. The thing is that since an old accord costs asd much as a new logan, they are not regarded as a super expensive car. A different story is a BMW. My dad used to have like 10 years ago an E30; it costed like 8000, but people thought since it is a BMW they must be rich.

    Talk with native people, they know that some brands that are regarded as crap in US are actually money in brazil and the other way around. And remember two things, no cars that are also sold as taxis (they are the main buyers for stolen parts)and repairs in this countries are cheaper than US or Europe.

    • 0 avatar

      Sorry, most of this does not apply to BRazil. In Brazil, more expensive cars get bits and pieces robbed. Cheaper cars not so much.Cars that are taxis are not negatively seen by population either. What really gets stolen are older cars. The Fusca/Beetle is still the most robbed in BRazil, followed by older Gols and Unos. Newer cars are pretty much left alone. Seems ease of robbery is what attracts these petty criminals looking for an easy score. Things like Citroen’s Picasso backlights that can be pulled off with bare hands, or Ford’s Ka and Renault’s Sandero that stupidly place spare tire under the car and not in trunk.

      Robstar, this poster does have a point. I avoid special alloy wheels. Not worth the hassle in terms of durability (potholes galore) and do attract unwanted attention. Also, looking to fly under the radar as much as possible avoid big rims 14 inches don’t get robbed. 15 incheds calls attention. I believe anything bigger becomes a thief magnet.

      Mazda, Nissan all Japanese and Koreans are seen as exotic and draw attention.

      Fiat, GM, Ford, VW, Renault , Peugeot don’t attract attentin too much, though Citroën is seen as a boit more upscale.

      The rest of your observations pretty much serve here, too.

      • 0 avatar
        ekaftan

        I don’t know if Brasil is like Chile, but down here what gets stolen is what can be sold. People go downtown to were all the cheap parts stores are and ask for parts they need that are too expensive on the dealer and thieves sensing demand start stealing them and selling them.

        Examples are ECUs, mirrors, wheel covers, MAF sensors, alternators. Some cars are in such high demand for parts that downtown garages cover them with a heavy tarp and only park them right besides where the guards are.

        If dealers sold parts for reasonable prices, there would be very little car theft.

        I drive old strange cars with almost no stolen parts demand and I can leave them unattended and nobody steals them.

  • avatar
    ZoomZoom

    I don’t understand how parking a rental on the street is at more risk for theft than parking your own car on the same street…

    Unless I misinterpreted, of course…but I could swear that I saw comments to that effect in at least two of the posts above.

    • 0 avatar

      I think you misinterpreted…
      Rentals don’t usually have any external marking as rentals (like license plates etc.). Yes that was done at rental companies insistence, for a Florida learned a couple a years ago with that German couple, it is not a nice idea to single out tourist.

      So in reality I think it’s impossible to distinguish a rental than a normal private car.

    • 0 avatar
      Robstar

      Nobody parks regular cars on the street overnight either….at least I’ve never see anyone in my wife’s family do it.

  • avatar
    cRacK hEaD aLLeY

    Have you thought about the option of divorcing the Brazilian and marrying a German, Japanese or American?

  • avatar
    cRacK hEaD aLLeY

    Brazil is not for beginners, as someone once said. With money, though, you can pretty much count on a life most Americans are incapable of even dreaming about. It can be that good. You will fall in love with the food, the woman and the air-conditioner. In this order.
    However, if you become poor or decide to play the middle-class game nowadays you are probably better off living in Nunavut. And you better be very, very well connected.

    I once rented a brand-new Gol at Aeroporto Carlos Jobim in Rio. The lot attendant asked me if I wanted the hubcaps off and proceeded to put them in the trunk anyway. He said I would have to pay for them if they were stolen. Before, though, he showed me the spare and the jack, proud of the fact they were new and – above all else – still in the trunk. “Tem que retornar com o estepe, ok?”. Then he asked if I wanted the antenna removed and placed in the trunk as well. Sure. Why not.
    Had I not lived in Rio before I would have thought it was a TV prank. But it is not. When you see kids being dropped at private schools inside bullet-proof Toyota Corollas with black-out windows driven by chauffeurs you realize there is something essentially very, very wrong with the way things are structured there. It is a sad place, actually, despite all the propaganda to the contrary.

  • avatar
    JennerJCruz

    I live in SJC, I hope I can help you. SJC, as most of the countryside of Sao Paulo, is quite developed. The city boasts 650,000 people and 350,000 cars. Brazil is so diversified. So, what applies to one part of the country, does not apply to another. There are plenty of car dealers. Go to any big one, attached to the brand you want. 1,5% interest per month is the norm, maybe lower. I, personally, have a C4 Grand Picasso minivan, made in France, automatic, 7 seats, glass overhead, 4 zones air conditioning, 17″ wheels, front and rear parking sensors etc. It costed me about R$97,000 (USD54,000). I had never my car stolen, I always park in garages, except when I sleep at my girlfriend’s overnight. That’s when the car is left on the street. Insurance is less than R$1,700 (USD1,000) a year. State tax (IPVA) is something like R$3,000 (USD1,700) a year: I really don’t remember well. And gas is much more expensive in SJC (R$2.50/l or USD6.3/gal), when compared to the US. But it is still cheaper than Italy (EURO 1.7/l or R$4,25/l), where I am this week. I take the car to Citroen’s garage every 10,000km (6,200mi) where they change oil, repair everything etc (covered or not by 3 years warranty) for R$800 (USD450) in general. The biggest problem in SJC and SP are the fines, since cops and speed checkers are everywhere. Funny thing, lots of cops don’t seem to stop the thiefs… Use common sense, hear the locals, go to an authorized dealer and let him take care of the red tape (he is going to charge you about R$350 (USD200) for it).

  • avatar
    JennerJCruz

    I have nothing more to do here in Parma this morning, so… I checked a SJC’s VW car dealer website. There are offers from R$19,900 (USD11,000), not automatic, though. Check it by yourself at http://www.originaldovale.com.br/. Good luck.


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