Car prices in Panama?

Discussion in 'Living in Panama' started by AlbyM, Dec 24, 2008.

  1. AlbyM

    AlbyM New Member

    Hi All,

    How are prices for cars in Panama? Similar to the States or more expensive? Is there an internet site you can recommend to shop for cars in Panama? Thanks in advance!
  2. exilio

    exilio New Member

    Sticker prices on Asian and European cars are pretty much the same as the US, or even a little bit lower; the US brands (regardless of point of manufacture) tend to be higher than the US.

    The big difference is that here, new car dealers won't haggle: the price is the price. Oh, you might get free foglights or floormats, but the whopping let-me-check-with-my-boss discounts that you find in the US do not occur here. So, the net-net is that you pay a bit more in Panama (or, a lot more on a US brand).

    Some of the new car dealers have websites, but I've never seen any that post prices. For used car prices, you can look at or
  3. xxweekxx

    xxweekxx New Member

    I thought they were like 20% higher due to import taxes??

  4. vornado

    vornado Member

    I do not agree with this post. I have purchased two new cars within the last 12 months. Car prices in Panama are 30% to 50% higher than "invoice" price in US.
    Also you can haggle the price with the dealer. I got a Honda 10% below the "sticker" price and a MB 20% below "sticker" price. It just takes a little time and effort.
  5. Panamanian

    Panamanian New Member

    I think it is quite expensive . . .
  6. exilio

    exilio New Member

    Reply to Vornado: Well, I think you and I are both confusing our semantics about numbers. The sticker (not invoice) price in the US for most Asian and European cars will be very close to the sticker price in Panama. Sometimes a little more, sometimes a little less.

    The "invoice" price, a term commonly used in the US, is the price that the car dealer paid to the manufacturer. They like to say things like, We're selling cars at $100 above invoice!! (What they don't tell you, of course, is that they get thousands of dollars in kickbacks from the manufacturers, depending on their sales performance, ad dollars, and many other things.)

    But in my experience buying new cars in *both* countries, the sticker price in the US is almost meaningless. They'll advertise a much lower price, and once you're on the showroom floor, you can haggle for days and play one dealer off another.

    In Panama, the only price they'll advertise is the sticker price (if they advertise prices at all -- and usually they don't), and when they know you're ready to buy, they'll give you the "real" price, which is, as you say, 10-20% below sticker -- or even more.

    E.g., when I bought my new (Japanese) car in Panama last year, the first price quoted to me by the sales rep -- the so-called sticker price -- was $30K. That very quickly became $25K, in the first conversation. And when I elected to buy a last-year model (but still new car), it became $23K.

    Cf. to the US, the sticker price on the same car, with dealer prep and shipping and all that other nonsense, is $28K. But when you go to the dealer and start negotiating, you still end up at about the same place: A friend in Arizona bought the same car, same year as mine, one month later than me, and he paid -- guess what? -- $23K.

    Now, all of these facts have been altered somewhat in the past year, because the US dealers are getting a lot more aggressive, because they're stuck with millions of dollars of inventory that they're paying interest on. So, right now, you can definitely get better deals in the US, especially if you're shopping for a high-end car like Jaguar, MB, Porsche, Hummer, etc. But that's still not *necessarily* a reason to buy in the US and ship to Panama, because the shipping and import duty will be very, very high.

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