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Panama Expat Forum

vehicle Ownership by Non-Residents

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susanellen40
7/30/2011 15:51 EST

Hi All,

I am starting to price vehicles to buy for the time my husband and I are going to live in Panama (a trial period while we explore and figure out if it will be permanent).

What does registering a vehicle in Panama entail? You don't need to be a resident, or do you? What about insurance...is it required? What's the average cost?

Thanks!!

Susan

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802mark

From: Panama
7/31/2011 11:49 EST

to buy a car here, you don't have to be a resident. whoever is selling the car to you will have to take you guys with him to the ATTT office, and he will have to pay around 10.00 for a piece of paper of transfer, then they will retype a new car title in your name. you might have to have copies of your photo page of your passports.

titles here are on 8 1/2 by 14 sheet of paper with their seal on it. it's not on a small type we use back home, nor can the seller just sign the title and hand it to you, you must go to the office to get a new one recorded.

The tags on that car will stay with that car as well, they will not be changed.

the seller will have to make sure he has ins. and the tags are up to date, if not he will have to pay and show all that before they will let him sell it.

You will be able to drive that car on the tags that are on it for the time left on those tags.

I have liability Ins only on my 2006 terracan it runs me around 300.00 per year.

when it comes time to renew those tags, then you will need,

proof of Ins.
passport
title
inspection papers

you must have copies of all this paperwork. you also have to have copies of all this when you go to get the car inspected.

fees, inspection is around 25.00

tags 40.00

also note where ever you go to get a new title on this car is the place where you must go each time to get anything done on it. meaning if you do it in panama city, then that's where you have to go each year even if you live 8 hours away.

you can get it transfered to your area, but that takes time and more paperwork to get done.

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greggsoden
8/3/2011 15:23 EST

Hi Mark, Who do you have your liability auto insurance thru there in Panama?

And what does the 802 stand for in your username? Vermont area code, by any chance?

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802mark

From: Panama
8/3/2011 22:55 EST

Ok you posted twice so I will try to do both here... first off my ins. in with griffen ins. here in panama...
2nd. 802 was my call name on the radio when I was a police officer, and then when I started a vol fire dept in ark..


and last,,, DO NOT THINK ABOUT DRIVING DOWN HERE...... your going go travel throught some very bad areas, plus your going to have to have paperwork and stamps and ins. for each country you pass,, get on a plane and forget about driving.

you will be much safer... trust me.. if not read about the drug wars going on in mexico alone.. you get stopped along the way with my boy's with ak47's your going to do as we say... not worth it.... fly...

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capt
8/4/2011 07:47 EST

Not to mention the "shake downs" at every border.
Capt

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TatianaAaron
8/7/2011 14:31 EST

I will be moving to Panama on September 24th, and I am looking to buy a car there as well. I'm looking for a used car and my budget is around $7,000. What are the best options for buying used cars in the city? I would prefer to buy one from an expat looking to sell theirs, but if that is not an option how would I go about buying one?

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802mark

From: Panama
8/7/2011 19:37 EST

http://www.encuentra24.com/panama-en/classifieds

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bb1fit
1/9/2014 12:19 EST

I am wondering about a new car purchase. I am in the process of residency, but as of yet according to the lawyer 3-4 months away. I plan on moving down to Panama early next month (February), we have been there and found a place we like and have a real estate agent as well as a lawyer. Anyway, I plan to buy a car new there while there soon after I arrive. Without a bank account set up yet, as this cannot be done until residency is established is my understanding, how do you go about financing a new one? Many thanks

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panamajames
1/9/2014 19:44 EST

Cash is King. Wire cash to your friends here in Panama for the car. Maybe the dealership. You can also send funds to your lawyers escrow account. I can probably get you a simple account opened here so you don't have to carry around a lot of cash. There are so many ways.

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bb1fit
1/13/2014 11:36 EST

Appreciate your post. How much do dealers typically want 'down' from an expat. Just wondering about bringing money there. I have gotten my reference letters from banks here in the states, and am in the process of working with Scotia Bank.

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panamajames
1/14/2014 02:04 EST

Dealers typically want 100% down on a car. Cash is King. Financing a car is huge here.........I wouldn't do it.

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bb1fit
1/14/2014 13:31 EST

Thank you again. Sorry if I am being a pest, but I guess I am still a bit confused then on buying a car there. I know no one in Panama, other than my real estate agent and lawyer. The agent is a bit hard to even contact email. If I bring cash on the flight, I have to declare it, and my experience with overseas travel/custom does not bode well for that. Can you please advise? I was planning on buying new, but am unsure on how to go about it.

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volcan357
1/14/2014 15:49 EST

If you have a bank account here, you can wire the funds to your bank account. If you don't have a bank account you could probably wire the funds to the bank account of the dealer. You would need to talk to the dealer first and get their bank account number and routing information.

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