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Buying a car in Panama (Panama City)

Hi everyone and thank you in advance for any help.
I moved to Panama 2 weeks ago and would really like to buy a car here.
My lawyer that is handling my immigration paperwork told me that I need to first register at some government office before I can actually buy a car (dont remember the exact name), but she said it could take a few more weeks. Some other expat told me he arrived 5 years ago and bought a car in his name straight away and did not bother registering anywhere first. He has the deeds to his car, insurance and all other paper work in place.

Now I am slightly confused, as my lawyer says I have to wait and I am bored for having to ask everyone for a lift whenever I want to go anywhere.

Would really appreciate any feedback or experiences that could help my clarify whether I can just buy a car or have to wait.

Thank you,