Despite attempts of state reform and commercial openness by President Mauricio Macri, the country's economy started to slide in 2018 and continued worsening up until his reelection bid in 2019. In October (2019), he was defeated by Alberto Fernández who took over as president on 10 December. The new president took office with 50% inflation and a benchmark interest rate of 40%.
With 14 million cars, Argentina is home to the third-largest automobile fleet in Latin America, only behind Brazil and Mexico.
Population of approximately 44.8 million (2019)
Buenos Aires (est. population 2.89 million)
|Major cities|| |
Buenos Aires (2.89mn, or 13.5mn metropolitan area), Córdoba (1.61mn), Rosario (1.33mn), Mendoza (1.11mn), and La Plata (957,800)
US$519 billion (2018)
|Unemployment rate|| |
9.7% (September, 2019)
Source: Trading Economics
|Main industries|| |
food processing, motor vehicles, consumer durables, textiles, chemicals and petrochemicals, printing, metallurgy, steel
|Interest rate|| |
prime rate, 50% (January, 2020)
Source: Trading Economics
|Political key info|| |
Despite attempts of state reform and commercial openness by President Mauricio Macri, the country's economy started to slide in 2018 and continued worsening up until his reelection bid in 2019. In October (2019), he was defeated by Alberto Fernández, the new president-elect of Argentina. Mr. Fernández will be taking office on 10 December.
52.9% (December 2019)
Source: Trading Economics
|Total Car park|| |
Source: AFAC (Argentina component manufacturers association)
|New vehicle registrations (Cars, LCV, Trucks)|| |
|Top 5 brands (total market)|| |
1. Volkswagen (68,618 units) -41% year-over-year
2. Toyota (65,065) -29%
3. Renault (63,389) -45%
4. Chevrolet (50,997) -50%
5. Ford (49,933) -46%
|Model preference top 5 (total market)|| |
1. Toyota Hilux (25,120 units) -25% year-over-year
2. Ford Ka (16,630) -45%
3. Chevrolet Onix (16,541) -45%
4. Toyota Etios (15,748) -51%
5. Volkswagen Gol Trend (13,663) -45%
|Dealer network (including fleet dealer network)|| |
More than 1,500 car dealerships are in Argentina. The country's dealership association is ACARA
|Total Fleet Park (company cars)/Fleet penetration in total fleet sales|| |
Argentina does not have any formal data disclosing this information.
|Evolution fleet sales (last 5 years)|| |
Considering that annual fleet sales is estimated at 10% of the market, approximately 46,000 corporate vehicles were registered in 2019 and 80,000 in 2018. (based on total vehicle sales estimated by ACARA-ADEFA).
|Top 5 fleet brands (fleet market)|| |
Some of the most popular light commercial vehicle brands in the country are Toyota, Volkswagen, Renault, Chevrolet, Ford.
|Fleet Model preference top 5 (fleet market)|| |
Some of the best-selling light commercial vehicle models in the country are Toyota Hilux, Ford Ranger, Renault Kangoo, Volkswagen Amarok, and Peugeot Partner.
The basis of company car taxation in Argentina is reflected in this overview. Different types of taxes are considered here: taxes related to the registration of the vehicle, income taxes and VAT aspects. Expected future developments are also briefly listed, if any.
1. Car taxation
1.1. Registration tax
The taxable event includes the individual/Company’s purchase, importation, self-production, receiving as gift or award, or other forms of obtaining a taxable vehicle for personal-use.
Vehicle Purchase Tax payable = Market value * Tax rate (1,50% (National Vehicles) – 2% (Imported Vehicles))
Determination of market value for the initial registration:
The one that arises from the valuation table of the National Administration. When it is not possible to determine the value, and if they were new national imported automobiles or imported ones through intermediaries: the price of the good plus expenses and taxes resulting from the operation, according to the sales invoice or an equivalent document.
In one occasion only, at the moment of acquiring the vehicle.
1.2. Annual circulation tax
The registration of vehicles is taxed in the corresponding provincial territory. (Auto Registration Fee)
The individual or company who register a vehicle with the administrative departments of vehicles within the territory of Argentina.
The valuation of motor vehicles is calculated annually according to the characteristics and the values assigned by the chamber representing the automobile insurance activity, insurance companies, specialized publications and the chamber of official dealers.
The payment of the tax is annual, divided in 6 bimonthly installments.
2. Income tax
Enterprises recognized as general taxpayers are entitled to use the input tax to credit against the output tax.
4. Company car
4.1. Income tax - Deductible expenses and Depreciation
ü Automobile maintenance: is deductible only up to ARS 7,200 per car for each fiscal year.
ü Annual depreciation allowances for trucks and automobiles: 20% per fiscal year.
ü Depreciation for automobiles, including those used for leasing, is deductible only up to that part of the acquisition cost not exceeding ARS 20,000 (net of VAT).
4.2. VAT – Deduction
4.3. Company car in personal tax returns – benefit in kind
4.4. Leasing Financial - Accelerated depreciation
5. Income taxes – drivers’ personal taxation
5.1. Private car in the personal tax return
6. Excise Tax
Includes the transfer and importation of automobiles and motorcycles.
Producers, importers and merchants.
Rates vary depending on the sales value of each type of good:
Automobiles and Diesel Engines: 0% (in effect until 12/31/2018)
- Up to ARS 900,000: Exempt
- Higher than ARS 900,000: 20%
- Up to ARS 140,000: Exempt
- Higher than ARS 140,000: 20%
Excise duties are normally calculated on the sales price as including the excise tax itself and any other tax levied on the chargeable product except VAT.
At the time of acquisition
Source: BDO (2018)
As of January 2018, biodiesel exports have an 8% tax. Besides keeping more of the fuel at home, this will bring the market closer to the 27% export tax already being lobbied on soy oil.
The Argentine government has approved a new emissions policy through resolution 797-E. As of January 15, 2018, automobile manufacturers and vehicle importers in the country will need to declare carbon dioxide emissions and fuel consumption amounts.
In the meantime, while the European Union has lowered import duties from Argentine biodiesel exporters, the United States has increased its import duties.
Moreover, its worth pointing out that Argentina gives progressively increasing tax breaks on cars US$25,000 and more.
There isn't a standard car policy in Argentina as determining who gets a vehicle is directly related to the company's core business. Nevertheless, salesforce divisions are usually the ones that have more company vehicles and these types of cars are known as “job car” o “tool vehicle”. Managers and Directors also have vehicles. However, these vehicles are not necessarily related to the daily activity of the company and they are known as “benefit cars”.
In terms of using vehicles for private and business use, many companies find it very difficult to measure and control their fleets parametres so cars frequenly end up being used for both purposes. Besides a lack of well defined policies, there is a lack of fleet management and telematics support in the country.
When it comes to traffic violations, they are not easy to deal with in Argentina as it is difficult to access ticket information on a single unified platform. It is actually quite simple in the main cities, but accessing this information is much more difficult in small cities in far-away provinces.
In terms of paying fines, it is usually the employees' responsibility. As legislation does not allow companies to make deductions from salaries, HR departments depend on the “goodwill” of the employee. In many cases, employees just end up paying off their tickets at the end of their policy when they have an option to buy the car (a common benefit given by companies).
As for vehicle repairs, it depends on each and every policy. However, more companies nowadays rely on the expertise of fleet management companies to take care of this. However, there are still quite a few companies that have their own direct agreements with garages and repair shops. Accidents, on the other hand, are handled by insurance companies.
Argentina's vehicle leasing market has experienced exponential growth over the last few years and there is still a high demand for renting & fleet management solutions.
Nevertheless, there still a lot of ground to cover, especially for companies that still manage large vehicle fleets alone and without any type of outsourcing solution.
Source: RDA Renting
Although car sales are on the rise, there are financial constraints in the country which explain why it is not necessarily because of financing. Due to high inflation (approximately 25% as of March, 2018), interest rates are also quite high. As such, the nominal value of a 3-4-year-old car could be higher than its nominal price when first purchased.
This makes it very difficult for leasing companies or car buyers to get credit, which is already very expensive. In the end, those with cash on hand are more likely to buy cars than finance them,.
To give you an idea, in April of 2018, the Central Bank of Argentina kept its benchmark interest rate at 27.3% and policymakers are not expecting much improvement for at least two years.
It is the lack of credit coupled with the low demand for financing which explains why there are almost no funded fleets in Argentina.
January 20, 2020
Average gasoline price per liter: US$0.95 (world average is US$1.11)
Average diesel price per liter: US$0.88 (world average is US$1.03)
June 1, 2019
Average electricity price per kWh Households: US$0.10 (world average is US$0.15)
Average electricity price per kWh Business: US$0.07 (world average is US$0.12)
The top five factors that affect TCO in Argentina are Insurance (approx. ARS 2,000/month), Gas (approx. ARS 30/liter), Financing (2018 local benchmark rate of 40%), Repairs and Maintenance, and Road Tax (approx. ARS 1,500/m). Others could be registration (6% of vehicle value), services, and tire changing.
Argentina has very good opportunities when it comes to the need for reducing vehicle TCO. Many corporate clients have little control over their fleet expenses so having a business partner, or a company to consult and control every aspect of costs brings forth a lot of benefit.
Authorizing and registering every car service, repair, maintenance, fuel reload, among others, is key. Clients need to know exactly how much they are expending and need to make use of the tax benefits stemming from invoices sent to them.
However, the problem in Argentina is that companies are usually not set up with fleet management aimed at really collecting and organizing information. Usually, decisions are made based on the price of cars and the discount they can get from buying in large numbers.
Companies need to consider the total cost of repairing, fuel, delays in the delivery, depreciation, lost opportunity, and the real relationship between the car they need and the one they buy. All of this is information companies need to know in order to make the best decisions.
Source: RDA Renting
The Observatory for Urban Mobility (OMU) concluded that the rate of road fatalities in 2014 was about 3.5 persons for every 1,000 inhabitants in Buenos Aires. To address road safety, Argentina has set specific policies in place, among them under its recently created National Road Safety Agency.
Approximately 20% of the vehicles in Argentina are insured
Mandatory third-party vehicle insurance: Article 68 of Traffic Law 24,449 of 1995, provides that all automobiles, trailers or semi-trailers, must be covered by insurance covering any damage caused to third parties, whether or not transported. (Source: Mapfe 2017)
The Telematics service market is divided into two groups: the first one is made up of the larger companies that serve major accounts and offer a wide range of devices aimed at improving cost control and high-end reporting by means of an advanced dashboard service. The second group is made up of smaller vendors who mostly focus on tracking.
The use of Telematics in Argentina is widely spread across the trucking industry, where they have adopted all features and make good use of all available capabilities.
However, the light commercial fleet segment has failed to embrace the full potential of telematics so far, apart from specific vehicle location functions. The technology is available for them to use, but it has not happened yet.
This is an area where good, affordable options are readily available, all of which will pay off in the short term.
At present, some insurance companies in Argentina request that all vehicles worth more ARS 500,000 to be fitted with vehicle recovery devices.
The Argentine government has approved a new emissions policy through resolution 797-E. As of January 15, 2018, automobile manufacturers and vehicle importers in the country will need to declare carbon dioxide emissions and fuel consumption amounts. Last year, the country saw 4.58 metric tons of co2 emissions per capita.
The requirement is for manufacturers and importers of light automotive vehicles which fall under category M1 (those with no more than eight passenger seats, not including the driver) and N1 (vehicles transporting no more than 3,500k of cargo)
The automotive companies must report the information to a technical operations unit, which hands out emissions certificates in addition to keeping track of co2 emissions and fuel consumption.
Even though the value of car ownership tends to be higher in Latin America, most bigger cities such as Buenos Aires provide bike sharing and ride hailing services. Argentina wants to transform its cities with the Cities 2030 plan, with a strong focus on transportation. The expansion of public transport, combined with the overall planning tool SUBE (Buenos Aires) should boost public transport.
The share of cycling in Buenos Aires increased strongly over the past decade, thanks to electric and shared bikes.
Finally, to cope with traffic congestion, air pollution and road safety, some cities in Argentina are at the forefront of mobility evolutions, such as shared, electrified, and smart mobility, as well as encouraging active and public mobility.
Safety standards are evolving. In more and more Latin American countries, large companies are moving away from cheap models with little safety equipment and are now preferring international safety standards for their whole fleets (including ABS, airbags, seatbelts for all seats).
It's early days for carsharing on most of the Latin American continent but interest is growing, helped by traffic congestion and rising environmental awareness in large cities.