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Anyone ever do a long road trip in Argentina?

Anyone ever do a long road trip in Argentina?

Old Nov 27, 18, 12:18 pm
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Anyone ever do a long road trip in Argentina?

So as I posted in another thread, the current climate for visiting Argentina seems favorable from a cost and stability standpoint. I've been to many destinations in Argentina, but I feel that I've only scratched the surface of what Lonely Planet tells me is the 8th largest country in the world. (This is contrast to Chile, where I've been pretty much everywhere from Arica to Punta Arenas). Argentina seems like the perfect place for a long road trip -- IF you can overcome some significant obstacles. As many here know, car rental in Argentina is difficult and very over-priced. And the reliability of gasoline in the provinces hasn't been great.

Inspired by the guidebooks, I think I want to drive the Andean spine from Salta to Bariloche (I'd go futher into Patagonia, but I'd run out of time and I've already been there). I figure I'd need at least 15 days to do this. I also figure I'd need to start from Chile to make the car rental affordable (like start in Calama and wind up in Puerto Montt), but one-way car rental fees can make even Chilean car rentals expensive. Has anyone every done anything like this?
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Old Nov 28, 18, 9:16 am
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Unless you go out of your way to plan things poorly, availability of Gasoline in Argentina, even in remote locations - is no longer an issue. Use common sense, understand what sort of range your vehicle has and use a proper "buffer" though good planning and you will be fine. Please note this includes having Pesos in cash as what may indeed be a challenge is paying Gas with plastic at the smaller (independent) Gas stations.

For a long road trip, some people buy a vehicle and then sell it at the end of their trip... this is not for everybody, but is something that you should perhaps consider.
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Old Nov 28, 18, 6:19 pm
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But can "overseas visitors" (ie non-residents) easily purchase and re-sell a vehicle in Argentina?


Curiously wandering

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Old Nov 28, 18, 6:46 pm
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Originally Posted by wandering_fred View Post
But can "overseas visitors" (ie non-residents) easily purchase and re-sell a vehicle in Argentina?


Curiously wandering

Fred
You need an Argentine tax ID (CUIT) for registering a car purchase, so short answer is no.

I agree with Gaucho100K about petrol. The average quality is pretty standard throughout the country, particularly in petrol stations from larger brands like YPF, Shell, Axion, etc. On occasions in far-away places you might have some trouble finding what we call "Euro Diesel", which is the most expensive one, but other than that it's fine. My only petrol-related concern would be that distances, particularly south of Mendoza and all the way down to Patagonia, are very long and you may not drive through any town in over 300 or 400km. Your tank needs to always be as full as possible.

Other than that, I would always make sure my rental car had a spare tire. Again, distances are long and the Andes and Patagonia are very isolated places -- waiting for an auxilio mecánico to help you will take ages. Some roads in the south do not get any mobile phone signal. The road agency (Vialidad Nacional) has been putting some S.O.S poles on national roads every 5km or so that have free wi-fi so you can call for help, but, while helpful, there aren't still many of those.

I have no idea about rental cars in Chile, but remember your Chilean insurance needs to be extended to Argentina. In the case of car insurances in Argentina, they all cover accidents in neighbouring countries, but in Chile I don't know.
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Old Nov 29, 18, 6:16 am
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Thanks for the advice. I guess I'd need to monitor the gasoline situation while I'm there (is there a website that reports strikes and such?), but it sounds like that won't be a problem. As I've said, I've driven around Patagonia a few times, so I have experience with remote driving. I try to stay off dirt roads when I can to protect my tires. As long as my car runs (a reliable car would certainly be a good idea) and I have a spare tire and gasoline, I think I'd be OK.

The real impediment to this type of trip is renting the car. I have no idea how I could do it in Argentina. When I priced it on Kayak -- going from say Salta to Bariloche -- it was, as I expected, ridiculously expensive. Like more than $1000/week. So I'm guessing I would need to start in Chile. But, as I said, Chile is also difficult for one-way car rentals. I may have to abbreviate my trip by starting in Santiago (where car rentals are the cheapest) and returning there. I did just take a Hertz car from Chile across the border to Argentina and that process was easy. You have to pay them an extra US$120 for the permit/insurance. Other car rental companies seem to operate the same way.
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Old Nov 29, 18, 7:10 am
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Originally Posted by iahphx View Post
Thanks for the advice. I guess I'd need to monitor the gasoline situation while I'm there (is there a website that reports strikes and such?), but it sounds like that won't be a problem. As I've said, I've driven around Patagonia a few times, so I have experience with remote driving. I try to stay off dirt roads when I can to protect my tires. As long as my car runs (a reliable car would certainly be a good idea) and I have a spare tire and gasoline, I think I'd be OK.

The real impediment to this type of trip is renting the car. I have no idea how I could do it in Argentina. When I priced it on Kayak -- going from say Salta to Bariloche -- it was, as I expected, ridiculously expensive. Like more than $1000/week. So I'm guessing I would need to start in Chile. But, as I said, Chile is also difficult for one-way car rentals. I may have to abbreviate my trip by starting in Santiago (where car rentals are the cheapest) and returning there. I did just take a Hertz car from Chile across the border to Argentina and that process was easy. You have to pay them an extra US$120 for the permit/insurance. Other car rental companies seem to operate the same way.
In my experience it's always cheaper when you book directly at the rental companies' websites. All the large international rentals are here (Avis, Hertz, Alamo...) and have .com.ar websites. Otherwise you always have Despegar.com -- I'm not a big fan myself, but sometimes they offer good prices. Renting a car doesn't come cheap in here, though.
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Old Nov 30, 18, 2:07 pm
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Originally Posted by Marambio View Post
In my experience it's always cheaper when you book directly at the rental companies' websites. All the large international rentals are here (Avis, Hertz, Alamo...) and have .com.ar websites. Otherwise you always have Despegar.com -- I'm not a big fan myself, but sometimes they offer good prices. Renting a car doesn't come cheap in here, though.
Yeah, many of us norteamericanos on Flyertalk rent a lot of cars so we're good at playing the discount game (and it can be quite a game in the USA). Some of these tricks work, to some extent, in South America (like we can sometimes use our best discount codes to save a few bucks at the big chains). But I don't think anything is going to "work" in Argentina for a multi-week car rental. The price is going to be thousands of dollars, especially on a one-way rental. So I think I'd have to rent the car in Chile and take it across the border. Or not do the road trip.
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Old Dec 2, 18, 3:35 pm
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Perhaps regulations have changed recently, but I have purchased a Vehicle for a foreign non-resident that did not have a CUIT, he did have to register for a CDI, which is similar to the Tax ID number that you get in the USA when you dont have a SSN. The amount of paperwork to purchase/register a vehicle has gotten better (ie less) over the years... its still not as "easy" as in the USA but its not that drastic.

Originally Posted by Marambio View Post
You need an Argentine tax ID (CUIT) for registering a car purchase, so short answer is no.
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Old Dec 6, 18, 9:19 am
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Originally Posted by Gaucho100K View Post
Perhaps regulations have changed recently, but I have purchased a Vehicle for a foreign non-resident that did not have a CUIT, he did have to register for a CDI, which is similar to the Tax ID number that you get in the USA when you dont have a SSN. The amount of paperwork to purchase/register a vehicle has gotten better (ie less) over the years... its still not as "easy" as in the USA but its not that drastic.
I guess if I needed a car in Argentina for a few months I'd look into this, but I don't think that buying and then selling a car for a two week roadtrip would make any sense.
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Old Jan 10, 19, 12:56 am
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If you knew someone else with a similar trip, you could trade cars in Mendoza. Then each car wouldn't be one-way. (You'd technically have to stop at a Mendoza car rental desk to add extra drivers to do it properly.)
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Old Feb 11, 19, 5:55 pm
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I have some friends that sent their motorbikes from Switzerland to Uruguay and then started their Argentinian roadtrip from there. If I understood correctly the reason for sending their bikes to Uruguay was that they could get them through customs in a day or so.

We rented a car In Argentina for a week last week, and yes, it was a bit more expensive than in many European countries but petrol was very cheap and so many other things were so cheap that we didn't mind paying a bit more for the car. It was something like 1000 USD for a week for a smallish SUV, full coverage, which to me is not that bad given it was peak season. We didn't want a normal car as we knew we'd be taking lots of ripio roads, a complete must unless you are willing to miss lots of wonderful places.
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Old Feb 12, 19, 6:47 am
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Originally Posted by ticino View Post
I have some friends that sent their motorbikes from Switzerland to Uruguay and then started their Argentinian roadtrip from there. If I understood correctly the reason for sending their bikes to Uruguay was that they could get them through customs in a day or so.

We rented a car In Argentina for a week last week, and yes, it was a bit more expensive than in many European countries but petrol was very cheap and so many other things were so cheap that we didn't mind paying a bit more for the car. It was something like 1000 USD for a week for a smallish SUV, full coverage, which to me is not that bad given it was peak season. We didn't want a normal car as we knew we'd be taking lots of ripio roads, a complete must unless you are willing to miss lots of wonderful places.
The extra expense is certainly worth paying in return for the freedom if affords so glad that you reported back. Not being tied to bus timetables and routes allows you to go and stop wherever you want when you want.
Which rental company did you use? How did you find driving here compared to Europe?
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Old Feb 12, 19, 9:49 am
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Interesting ...cheap petrol.....Those of us who live here, we continue to complain ..... about petrol price rises .Last month , I had to fill up in Spain and I havent complained since then.....
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Old Feb 12, 19, 4:47 pm
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Originally Posted by malagajohn View Post
Interesting ...cheap petrol.....Those of us who live here, we continue to complain ..... about petrol price rises .Last month , I had to fill up in Spain and I havent complained since then.....
It's all relative. Argentina petrol prices are almost 2x those of the USA. But Europe is usually 3x!
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Old Feb 13, 19, 7:41 am
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Originally Posted by iahphx View Post
It's all relative. Argentina petrol prices are almost 2x those of the USA. But Europe is usually 3x!
Here the petrol price isn't that far off what they charge in the UK. A KitKat however can be had in the UK for half of the price they charge here.

Having said that I'm not complaining about the price of a packet of fags here compared to the UK.
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