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We have a big day in Ibarra...

You all were perhaps wondering what in the heck are Bob & Roxanne doing in Ibarra?  Well, here's the scoop...

When we visited Otavalo last April, we took a road trip north to the nice city of Ibarra.  We liked just about everything we saw there, but were fascinated that the many auto dealers seemed to have a huge selection of cars available.  This is kind of a change from some that we have seen, where they just have a few on display.

Our faithful KIA has just about been beat to death and rusted out in the last four years, and we both knew that we had to get better wheels.  We figured that Ibarra was the place to get a car, since all those dealers carrying all that inventory, must be doing something right.

Here is the KIA:

This old faithful has been driven miles on the beach, on stream beds, off cliffs, into ditches, and off and back onto concrete drop offs.  Plus it has had no garage for four years of facing a 24 hour onshore flow of salt air...

We knew that,  if we were going to find a car, and get all the paperwork completed, including selling of the KIA, that we would need several days.  Roxanne had found a nice hosteria in town on the Internet, but when we got there the "lower" priced rooms were either all taken or were just a cracker box (but nice!).  She told the owners that we were going to be here for several days, and could she look at some higher priced suites...no problem...this one is $70 or less a night (we aren't sure...).



They added a desk and two chairs for us, when requested.


The place is the El Prado, and it is a sports person's dream...plus hot swimming pools and hot tubs all enclosed...here is thier billboard...

It also boasts a really top flight restaurant, with excellent prices, so we just order in every night and tip the waiter five bucks--he removes everything from outside our door each morning (Suite 66, if you are dying to know!)   Coquita is just fine with this arrangement...

Well, we looked at all the dealerships, and were disappointed to find that the prices seemed to be somewhere between the moon and mars...Stripped down KIA  SUVs were over $29,000, Nissan's were over $38,000, Chevrolets and Fords were in the $40,000 to $50,000 range.

We had read great things about the new Chinese entries to the car market, checked out the Great Wall Company (which is a high flyer all over the world, by the way), and checked out the local Ambacar company, who has the franchise for most of Ecuador...(next stop Cuenca)...

Everyone we talked to lately told us horror stories about buying a "New" car as opposed to buying a used car, and that was the required payment of 12% tax on the full amount of the car.  For any car that we had figured on buying, this would have been over $2800.

Well gosh sakes...it seems that someone told these really smart folks at Ambacar, that they should just include the tax in the sales price that they are asking...duh!!!

 We liked what we saw at Ambacar, but hated the colors that were available--so I checked the Internet, and Rox asked them to check to see if there might be some more interesting colors available anywhere else in their system.  This is 10:00 am.  Our super saleswoman, Gladys Lopez,  checked the printouts, and sure enough, there was an orange one in Quito...but...how do we get it here?  She told us that they use a car hauling company, but that she wasn't sure of the timing...

We decide to take a chance, hand over $500 and say "bring it up"...we are already wondering how our new suite will get along without us,  if we are really late getting home...fingers are crossed...

OK, so now to the next hurdle...what to do with the KIA?  Gladys tells us that the way they work it, is to call a couple of wholesalers, to come and check it out, and then they reduce the price of the vehicle by whatever that person pays for our car. 

Now, our car has had a rough four years, so we weren't expecting much, but we knew that Rox was not wanting to drive the KIA or the new car, all the way back to the Coast...

Therefore, we were pleasantly surprised when the wholesaler offered us more than we expected.  But the service doesn't stop here, Gladys arranged all the paperwork for the sale of our KIA...everything...so now the price of the new car was reduced a bunch...

Our dough was in the same bank used by Ambacar, so Gladys and I just jumped into her car, sat down with the main lady at the front desk, filled out about 5 pieces of paper, Gladys went up to the window, and they transferred some dough from our account to their account...easy as pie!

Since I had all my ID, I was able to apply for a new debit card for our account in the time that Gladys was waiting in line (10 minutes tops...).

 Wonder of all wonders, our new car showed up way ahead of schedule...so I took a couple of photos...and was mesmerized as I watched the whole team of mechanics just about address every nut and bolt and electrical connection in the whole car!  Everything got a safety turn by a torque wrench, just to be sure...and I think, they changed all the fluids...(also...no "dealer prep" charge).

Gladys copied our ID's a bunch of times, and the Ambacar company will take care of our total registration redtape for us, and we get our "registration" tomorrow...

She also arranged full coverage insurance for our new car, which we will pay for tomorrow.

We had driven a green model of the Havel H5 previously in the day, but our new car handled like a dream...plus it's like driving a spaceship that lights up like a juke box!  Not to mention that I just dropped a USB music thumbdrive in the proper location, and the car filled up with rock and roll--so how cool is that!

OK, OK...here it is...


 And, if some of you gringos are looking for a good "Ecuador" vehicle, just get on the internet, check out Ambacar.com, and then drop a note to Gladys Lopez, tell what you want (in English!).  glopez@ambacar.com

 Our new baby is sitting outside of the suite just waiting for us to go to Otavalo in the morning.  Rox wants to get some fun stuff to decorate the new suite...and the fun times just keep on rollin'...

If you wonder again, why we came all the way to Ibarra just to buy a car, take a look at our new plates, already installed, plus, I have the matricula in my hip pocket!

All of these incredible details were worked on and completed between 10:30 am, when we told the Ambacar people that we wanted the orange car from Quito, to 3:30 the next afternoon, when plates and matricula (registration) arrived.  I took a shot of the plates on the car just after we had finished another delicious dinner in our Suite...




Posted on Tue, October 11, 2011 at 08:37PM by Registered CommenterBob & Roxanne | Comments3 Comments

Reader Comments (3)

That is one snazzie ride! Congrats!
Have fun you 3 and safe travels home.

October 12, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterRich and Nancy

Great information about a car purchase. I think we might be next to do the same thing, in Ibarra.

Nice color and sure is pretty.

October 13, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterMike and Patty Grimm

Ibarra location is certainly less confusing and hectic than Cuenca...I am zooming into the Guayaquil facility, called Quilcar, this morning at 8am sharp...will let you all know what I think.
Good luck, and thanks,


October 19, 2011 | Registered CommenterBob & Roxanne

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