MotorTip – What car should a veterinarian with R$ 30,000 buy?


Hello, Gustavo!

I thought the proposition of your site was pretty cool and hopefully soon you will be able to publish your book! Good luck with the project!

I’m a Brazilian veterinarian and I work with horses. I’m coming out of a paid post-graduation program for real life (i.e. starting working as self-employed) and I need a car that can handle asphalt (without letting me down) and also country roads of the properties that I will hopefully have to visit.

As with all newly graduated, my budget is limited, very limited.

I’ve been using a Chevrolet Celta with a 1.0 engine these days and I almost got stuck twice, in addition feel like a car assassin on the road: while the car cruised at 110 km/h, the little engine was crying under me.

Snooping around on the internet, I found myself in love with SUVs, but the prices are far from the reach of my pocket… In an idyllic and rose world, I would like to spend a maximum of R$ 30,000, what terminates my relationship with SUVs even before we met. With expensive equipment to be loaded, I’m not the biggest fan of pick-ups. I would rather save my hard-earned investment under a roof, protected from rain and other inclement weather. I don’t have much against used cars, only a natural fear of ending up with a problem in my hands instead of a solution.

I know that R$ 30,000 is little, but I would like you to remember that I left the category “student” for the category “professional unemployed”, what does not change my purchasing power. I’m sure you agree with me.

Thank you for your attention!

Julia D.

Large animals veterinarian


Good morning, Julia! Thanks for being the first to send your inquiry to our buying consultations section, named MotorTips in tribute to my old blog.

The book has already been published. It is this one:—48172–

It is also advertised here on the site. If you want to buy it, just click on the banner at the top of the homepage.

Getting a brand new car with these R$ 30,000 will put you in the same situation you have experienced with the Celta: it will scream on the top of its “lungs” on the road. Any 1.0 car will. If you prefer a newer model, get used to it. It will probably bother you at first, but it does not affect the car at all. Feel free to torture it.

Fiat palio-_ fire_1

Among new vehicles, and considering the usage you have reported to this MotorTip, I would recommend the Fiat Palio Fire. It is simple, but it is solid as a rock. It can deal well with dirt roads, even if there is a risk of getting it stuck in really bad terrains, and it is economical. The problem is that it doesn’t come with the basics: air-conditioning, power steering and electric windows are optional. With all that in mind, you can see that a brand new car in your case is not the best of solutions.

It is a better idea to get a used one. It will allow you to have a bigger and more comfortable car and not necessarily subject to constant servicing. Especially if you buy one that is still in its warranty period. Since many of the new ones offer a three-year period of warranty in Brazil, if you buy one that has been used for only a year, you will still have two more of protection.

One of the best sources for used cars with little time of use, sometimes low mileage and with a good record is the resale network of rental car companies. Localiza, for example, offers good cars in its website, It is worth to check the models that are for sale there. One of which I would indicate, unfortunately, costs more than what you can afford now. My indication would be the Renault Sandero Stepway. The car you can see on the main photo.

It is taller than the regular Sandero, copes well with dirt roads and has a reasonable price of ownership. Is is an “adventurer”, as this kind of car with higher suspension is called in Brazil. The used SUVs for sale are still very expensive, in the range of R$ 50,000. If you can expand the spending limits, go with a Stepway.

Among the cars offered by Localiza, you will have the new Sandero, which is a sturdy car. The VW Gol is also great, but, in order to keep the warranty, you must take the car every six months for servicing. Other brands require only annual service. Keep an eye on the Ford Fiesta (which can be up to 1.6 below R$ 30,000), but I’d go with the Ford Ka, which is sold for around R$33,000.

An SUV with more than two years of use would start to give you a lot of expenses. SUV tires are much more expensive than the ones used in ordinary cars. You can even find a Mitsubishi Pajero or a Suzuki Grand Vitara in the range of R$ 30,000, but they are true gas guzzlers (and Brazil is charging a lot for petrol in order to save Petrobras) and the cars at this price would be very old.


Within Chevrolet, which also offers a 3 years warranty, the best option would be the Onix, but it and its siblings, manufactured over the GSV platform (Spin, Cobalt, Sonic and Prisma), have a problem with the suspension, with a front stabilizer for the suspension that is made of plastic. It does not deal in a good way with bad tarmac. Since it is not very good to drive on unpaved roads, I do not recommend it to you.

The models that you would best serve you are really the ones produced by Renault. As a second option, the Ford hatchbacks. If you can live with a car with no warranty coverage, you may think also about the Fiat models, especially the ones with a Locker system, that can get you out of a possible quagmire, but the protection you want to have with a new car is the one that warranty offers. With that in mind, I would only buy a car that still have some coverage if I were you.

If you need anything else on this matter, please let me know.

All the best, good luck in your career and in the purchase of the new car,


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Gustavo Henrique Ruffo

I have been an automotive journalist since 1998 and have worked for many important Brazilian newspapers and magazines, such as the local edition of Car and Driver and Quatro Rodas, Brazilian's biggest car magazine. I have also worked for foreign websites, such as World Car Fans and won a few journalism prizes, among them three SAE Journalism Awards and the 2017 IAM RoadSmart Safety Award. I am the author of "The Traffic Cholesterol", a book about bad drivers that you can buy at Hotmart, Google Play, Amazon and Kobo.

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