So You Want to Sell a Car in Argentina…

I’ve been going through and editing thousands of photos I took in Argentina.  A lot of them are of the yummy things I’ve eaten (way to many), a ton of them are of the beautiful landscapes (Patagonia, Mendoza, Salta, Jujuy) and animals (llamas, guanacos, and vicuñas, oh my!), gorgeous doors (my fascination for doors continues), but I also have dozens of car photos.

Of all the countries I’ve visited and lived in the last two years Argentina, by far, has the most colorful, eclectic, classic/vintage/old vehicles on the road.  There are plenty of fancy expensive cars (not to mention all those foreign car dealerships/cafes on Libertador) but everyday I would find interesting old cars around.

There were also times where I’d do a double take or blink furiously to see how in the world a rusted out metal box with four deflated bold tires was being driven down the street.  I wonder how a car like that can pass a vehicle inspection…  is there is such a thing as an official vehicle inspection in Argentina?  My friend Rita and I would have bets whether a car was just abandoned or if it had an owner who drove it around.  “Do you think that actually runs?  Yeah, definitely.  See how it’s pretty clean?  I bet it runs!”  We’d giggle and take photos and talk about our favorite junk car of the day.

And then I learned something interesting.  If a car has a plastic container/jug of water on the roof, it’s a sign that the car is for sale!  An interested party has to clap his/her hands by the car until the person who’s selling it comes out of his/her house.  No kidding.  That’s how it works.  I’ve asked taxi drivers, tour guides, my Argentine friends and they all confirmed that yes, a container on the roof of a car means the car is for sale.  But as to where, why, and how it got started, no one could tell me.  Below are some examples-

Once I was talking to a taxi driver about this very topic and while he didn’t know when this local custom started, he asked me a question in return- “how do YOU sell a car in your country?”  As if used car dealerships, eBay, Craig’s List, or simply putting a sign on the window of the car didn’t seem logical.  Come on, how can I not love Argentina!

I bet you the car on the left DOES run.  The nice one on the right is for SALE!

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This entry was posted in 2012, Argentina, Travel and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to So You Want to Sell a Car in Argentina…

  1. What a great idea for a post! I love the automobile series. And the water container tip! My pick? The jazzy, snazzy red car. I don’t see a container on top. Maybe I missed it?! Enjoy the weekend! Theadora

  2. lunasealife says:

    I love, love, love this. Put a bottle on top! Clap your hands! Spin in a circle three times!!!

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