David Car Dealers

Probably the first thing that a person from the US should realize is that cars manufactured for Panama are not the same cars that you would buy and have experience with in the US. I have been told that some people have had trouble with some service on US autos that they brought here because of some of the differences. Cars are one thing that becomes personal preference. I would advise that you check into the reputation of the dealer you choose. It is my personal opinion that the dealer may be more important than the brand.

General Motors, Kia, Subaru Located just off the Inter-American Highway next to Super Baru. I looked at some of the Chevrolets, which I thought would probably be built in Mexico. I was told that all of the cars they had on the showroom floor were from Korea.
GM< Kia, Subaru

Honda (Bahia Motors) While you are now starting to see a lot of Honda’s in David, the dealership is in Panama City. I understand that Honda is serviced by Grupo Tambor in David.

Hyundai (Petroautos, S.A.) Located on the Inter-American Highway

Grupo Q sells Mazda, Chrysler, Jeep, SsangYong and is located just off the Inter-American Highway across from Toyota.
Mazda, Chrysler, SsangYung

Toyota (Ricardo Perez, S. A.) Located on the Inter-American Highway
Ricardo Perez also carries Daihatsu which isn’t shown on its website. I have had some experience with car and I really liked it for a small car. 35 miles per gallon isn’t too shabby for a 4×4.
Toyota, Daihatsu

Mitsubishi (MMC Panama, S.A.) Located on Calle Miguel Ángel Brenes a block or so from Nissan.

Nissan (Panamotor) Located on Calle Miguel Ángel Brenes next to McDonald’s

Skoda (TESA) Located on Calle Miguel Ángel Brenes close to Super99.

Ford Products (Distribuidora David) Located on the Inter-American Highway right across from KFC in David, Chiriqui.
Ford and Suzuki

76 thoughts on “David Car Dealers

  1. Is DISTRIBUIDORA DAVID still open in David? In March of this year (2005) when we were in David we stopped at their dealership on The Inter-American Hiway and checked out the latest Latin versions of Fords including a Ford Eco and a 4 door Ranger pickup with a turbo diesel. Both models are made in South America and are not available in the states.

  2. It is still there. I saw the new 2006 Suzuki Grand Vitara. It is a complete body make over. I thought it was a little pricey however.

    Looks like I forgot their photo. I will put it up.

  3. I have a 2005 VW Beetle, diesel. I’ve about decided that I should NOT bring it when I move down in mid-2006. Instead, I hope to buy (in Panama) a used vehicle (4×4 probably) with good gas economy.

    Does anyone have an opinion about my decision?

  4. VW has service in Panama City, but I am not sure about other areas. If you are planning on doing any driving off the main highway or out of any city, then a sedan will be challenged. Probably the cheapest and most economical 4×4 is the Daihatsu Terios. It is Japanese and serviced by the Toyota dealer in Panama. The engine in the Terios is a Toyota Yaris engine. It will give you around 34 miles to a gallon. While it is not a heavy-duty 4×4, it will probably get you anywhere you want to go.

  5. I am going to buy a jeep wrangler when I retire and move to panama. I would like to know if there is a jeep dealer there and if I would be better off buying here in Miami and shipping it there.

  6. The Jeep (Chrysler) dealer is also the Mazda dealer. Personally, I would buy here and not in the US, since the models are not the same and service might be more difficult on a car built for the US. However I don’t remember seeing the jeep wrangler in Panama.

  7. Please send me an email that includes an email address for the Nissan and toyota dealers in David.


    Dick Mullen

  8. The associated websites have contact email addresses or contact locations. I don’t specifically have them. You can find the URL for the websites in the Link area of Chiriqui Chatter or in the post above.

  9. David, Panama is closer for me than San Jose. I was thinking about purchasing a new small to mid size 4X4 of some type or a small double cab truck (which would be more practical for me) of Toyota, Nissan, Great Wall, etc.

    I have been moderately successful in several fields of life, but buying a car is not among them! Because I have to leave Costa every 90 days, I was thinking, perhaps, about buying in David, but only if I can have the car serviced there as well.
    Your thoughts would be greatly appreciated.

    Sarah Parker
    Playa Zancudo
    (506) 2-776-00-06

  10. Hi Sarah,

    One of my favorite small 4×4 cars is the Daihatsu Terios. I can get about 34 miles to a gallon and if you can find a good used one, it should satisfy your needs. It is sold and serviced by the Toyota dealer.

  11. Does anyone know of a reputable person to repair an air conditioner for a Hyundai Terracan. Got one quote from Petroautos at $258 to repair the evaporator — they said it has a hole in it. Before we took it there, we had air but it was not working properly. After they checked it out, we have no air at all.

  12. Hi Charlotte. I, fortunately, have not had to have any AC work done. It can be a tricky problem. It there is a leak it could have been made worse by their testing, but still could be the problem. To find the leak shops used to put in a dye to locate the area of problem.

    Maybe others can respond with a known repair shop. Tambor might reccomend a shop and I think Tambor, who is not cheap, but I think reputable, would send you somewhere that could fix it.

  13. hi charlotte
    ask for Radiadores Chiriqui near Hotel Iberia for your problem

    for electric problems ask for “Boli Jaen” in the same area, i recomend it specially. profesional and not expensive.

    curiously all Chiriqui ends in these garages.

  14. Thanks so much for replies. Was not able to get Chiriqui website due to lack of power on & off constantly in our house and then the site was not available. Finally got that fixed.

  15. Howdy
    I’m trying to get a “warm fuzzy” about my decision to sell my current vehicles and purchase a new vehicle (in Panama) after I arrive in Panama. In addition, I wanted to follow up on a referral I found in another forum for a reputable car dealer apparently located in Chiriqui.

    Warm Fuzzy
    Probably late next year, I’ll be moving to Panama from Texas under Panama’s pensionado visa program. I have a ’99 Honda CRV and 2000 Toyota 4Runner (USA specs). I’m thinking I should sell both vehicles and purchase a vehicle in Panama (rather than shipping one vehicle to Panama). One concern is the mechanical differences between vehicles made for the two markets and getting good quality maintenance on my older vehicle. Another concerns is the age of the Honda and import restrictions. I haven’t yet found the age restrictions for importing vehicles into Panama…so I don’t know if I could if I wanted to.

    Car Dealer
    In another online forum, in an article dated 1 Nov 2008, someone spoke highly of Oscar Hernandez at the Toyota dealership in Chiriqui…excellent customer service, etc. In addition, the poster said that Mr. Hernandez made all the arrangements to “…hook me up with a fixer in Panama who did all the paperwork for my pensionado import tax exemption.”

    1. What’s your opinion? Should I sell the vehicles and buy in Panama or import one vehicle (like the ’99 Honda CRV)?
    2. Have you heard of Mr. Hernandez? Can I purchase a vehicle in Panama and still get the “pensionado import tax exemption?”

    Appreciate whatever info you’re able to offer…thanks for your time.

  16. OK. The following is my opinion and you know the old saying about opinions.

    I am not aware of any age restriction on importing a car. I don’t think there is any. Getting parts is another story. Even with new cars, depending on Make and Model, parts may be difficult or slow to get. As you stated, models may be built to different standards than the US models, and that has been a problem for some people. To know for sure, it would be better to talk to the appropriate dealer to understand the serviceability of the car. I think the CC link section has a used car site. See how many of that years cars are being sold in Panama.

    I guess your bringing your cars to Panama, depends on the condition you think they are in. You should assume you will spend approaching 30% more in Panama for the same car. I chose to leave my cars in the US and bought here.

    I know Oscar Hernandez and have purchased a car from him. I did not use my pensionado visa, when I bought the car. Whether it is worth it or not depends on a few things. It usually takes 2 to 3 weeks longer to buy a car using your pensionado visa discount. If you decide to sell the car then the buyer is going to have to pay the taxes on the value of the car when you sell it and there will be more paperwork for the sale. Oscar should be able to give you the pros and cons.

    If you buy in Panama and do not use the pensionado visa, you should consider waiting until one of the auto fairs is going on. That is typically when the best deals can be had.

  17. Hello my name is Carlos and I am from David but I lived and worked as a teacher in The USA for a couple of years. I know how it feels to start life in a whole new setting. So If I can be of any help to find good and inexpensive places to fix the air conditioning, or repair electrical and mechanical problems in your car feel free to contact me to my e-mail address carpalg@yahoo.com and I will give you the mechanic’s address or phone. You may want to talk to them in Spanish though.

  18. Hi Don, I was wondering if you might be able to offer some assistance… your site has been such a wonderful source of both information and enjoyment to me, and has offered such wonderful tips about what all is going on in this wonderful world that is Chiriqui. I have been here about a year now and am just thrilled to be able to call it home. Now, however, I am hoping to buy an ‘auto segundo’, or second hand car… and I was wondering what options there may be available to me, particularly here in Chiriqui province. I am aware of the ‘encuentra24’ website and, while that has been of great service, most everything on there (perhaps not surprisingly) is in Panama City. I was wondering if you might know of any good second-hand car options/dealers/services IN Chiriqui? Any help that you could possibly provide really would be greatly, greatly appreciated. I am anxious to find something… and am hoping that I won’t have to schlep 6 hours on the bus to the city in order to do it!
    Thanks Don!
    Wishing you and your great site all the very best, as ever…

  19. Hi Stephen. There may be a reliable used car place, but I don’t know it. The safest way to buy a used car is to know the current owner and trust him. Without a known history of any used car there is a fair risk that the car may have been wrecked or abused. Just my opinion.

  20. Hello! When you need “an auto de segunda”, the best option is to contact a reputable mechanic who can check its condtions. I agree: it is very important to know the “pedigree” of the car …
    The sales people at the company of your choice know of second-hand cars. In particular, I prefer my car dealer´s shop for maintenance. There is another option: approach Sandí´s on Vía Porras and L North Street. ( Just turn at the corner of Credicorp, St. Georges and Interoceánica building on Obaldía Ave.). Good luck!

  21. Hey just wondering if you can lead me in the right direction I’m a journeyman body repair tech in Canada and am trying to see if theres away for me to work or start a business in panama . I have worked at a ford dealership here for the last 20 years and are looking for a change

  22. To work in Panama you have to have a work permit. Hard to get if you are going to be taking a job away that a Panamanian can fill. If you own a business, you have to have at least 3 Panamanian employees.

  23. Well it may not of changed from 3 employees in general. I’m not sure. However if your starting a business in order to have a residency visa based upon that business then the requirement is 5 employees. http://tinyurl.com/cyvgqf; see article 188.

  24. I am looking for a Nissan Patrol or Toyota Prado, do you know anybody who hase one and want to sell?
    Or a Company that is selling used cars(not to old)?


    Reinier Plooijer

  25. Hi Don- I enjoy your website very much. Thanks for all the good Info. My husband and I are in David with our pensionado visas. We are looking for a used car, nothing older than a 2000 model. Our first choice is a Hyundai Galloper, second choice is a Mitzubishi Montero. We’d be glad to hear from anyone with one of these to sell, or knowledge of one. Thanks again.

  26. Hi Linda. You might consider going by both of the dealers and see if they have people that are wanting to sell. While most of the dealers don’t take trade ins, they sometimes know of people that are wanting to sell.

    Next, I would think you should have your own mechanic check out the car and give you a reading on it’s health status.

  27. Is there any Mercedes Benz dealers or repair places in David or Panama City?

    I’m thinking of bringing mine down.
    It’s just a nice car 🙂

  28. Hi Duke. There is a MB dealer in Panama City. I don’t know who services them in David. I recommend checking with the Panama Dealer and see if there is an authorized service center in David.

  29. Por favor, necesito saber si en David, Panamá puedo encontra de segunda o nuevo un computador para mi automovil NISSAN SEDAN 2002, B15, GXE. Puedo enviar más datos si son necesarios sobre el computador ya dañado y sobre el automovil mismo si así lo requieren.

  30. Hi Don,

    Congrats on your site, it is the best information about the David area available!
    We will be returning to David from Canada as soon as our townhouse is built in 12 – 18 months. We have a 2007 BMW 323i, that is the apple of our eyes, thus we would like to import it if possible.
    Are there any independent mechanics who specialize in BMW’s and do you think they can get parts for a North Amercan spec bimmer such as ours? We don’t want to be stuck with an orphaned car in a foreign land.
    Our construction manager in David mentioned that the new owner of the Suzuki dealership is an excellent mechanic who used to be a great indy garage owner?

  31. hi Don. It is just to tell you a joke. I wanted to find out information in Astrovision the company, and I have really enjoyed all the complaints people send to you about the company jaja. Beside that I think this is a very interesting chatting place for your american friends and also for us., people who like english. I work with missioners from North Carolina so I’m going to suggest them the different options they have to visit this year. I live in David and you know more than me about chiriqui…good…
    by the way I’m and english teacher and I’m almost a retired teacher.
    nice to meet you.

  32. We have a great little toyota 4 runner 1990 we drove down from the states its got a new motor before we left, and we are almost finished importing it here in PC… are there used dealers in David/Boquete area that we can sell it at if we drive out there? I was thinking it’s more of a country car with 4×4 and everything and maybe we would have more luck? We have it online and have gone around, and people call but don’t actually show up to see the car, when they make an appointment and even the used dealers here, show interest and say they are interested but we don’t see any payment.

    Any suggestions or ideas would be great.

  33. If you want to take a photo and write up an email with the pertinent information including price and contact info, I will post it for you.

  34. I am looking for a dependable used car in David for around $2000. just for local transportation. I understand there are small local car lots that have cars in this catagory, but I do not know their locations. Any help would be appreciated.
    Thanks, Bill

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