With the “Search Meter” that I’ve got setup on this site, I’m able to log what searches are attempted in the search field within this site. One of the more common questions I have is to go into more detail about actually buying a used car. I can tell you that from the side of the road and from a car showroom are the two worst places. The best place that I’ve found, and that I have used personally to buy vehicles, is the Used car market/swap meet-up over in the Vitan area that occurs every Saturday and Sunday. I will edit this post later to get an exact address, but any taxi driver or person over near t he Vitan area is fairly familiar with this, as it is cause for most of the weekend traffic over in that area.
This car market is best in the mornings, as by the afternoon the owners of cars tend to give up and head home. What you have here is a few hundred cars brought together by their individual owners and grouped somewhat loosely by price and type. You can walk through at your own pace, open up the cars, start them up, look them over, and take them for a quick drive around the park. The owners are all very much on top of their game here, whether they are in the business of buying and selling, or this is their personal car, or they are reps from a company, they all try to make the best presentation they can. You will need a mechanic unless you are very mechanically inclined. Romanians are the best as far as I am aware at the “rip off” and making cars appear functional even when they are ready to drop. Even though there will be a LOT of lemons, because there are so many owners competing here, there will also be a lot of great vehicles, and hopefully those are the vehicles that will sell, and sell first. That’s another reason to get there early, as you won’t typically see the same cars there more than 2 weekends in a row.
Now here are some pointers when actually searching for a vehicle here. Stay away from the high end cars unless you are very familiar with what you are doing. More often than not these are black market vehicles, with “doctored” paperwork. The sellers will almost always “know” someone that will gladly “help you through the paperwork process”. I would recommend going the other direction on these (keep in mind your exponentially larger tax bill based on engine capacity as well). ((if you see an exotic black market car at a really great price, just shoot me an email first…lol)). Another potential scam is the American car mark-up. No a Jeep Cherokee or Chrysler 300 does not cost 30,000.00 Euros. Not to bring over here, not to pay in taxes (if you notice they’ll all be the smaller engine size) so don’t get sucked in… unless you want an American car specifically. This is their business, they’re making money at this. We are talking about people who just have a car they wish to sell…that’s it.
Here’s a great piece of advice… take a look at the license tags on the front and back of the car. You’ll want it to say B as the first letter, for Bucharest. Imagine that. If it is from outside of Bucharest, but inside Romania, you’ll have to pay a hundred or so ron to switch it over to a new “B” plate. Now if it is from outside Romania, you’re looking at possibly paying more money to straighten out the documents leaving its country of origin, even though its already left, and then you will be paying a premium in importation taxes here as well. Don’t let the sellers tell you this is already taken care of, because common sense will tell you if it’s paid, then they’d have proper plates. Again, these may also be black market cars. So keep sharp.
As far as registering the car and making it “yours”, we’ll get the actual addresses of all the locations you;ll need to go to in order to pay the taxes, registration, insurance, title, tag, yadayadayada. If you have a family member or someone you trust that is Romanian, put it in their name. It’s cheaper and ten million times less of a paperwork nightmare. My car is in my Romanian wife’s name… and it still took 4 days to run around.