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Colombia/Buy a car of a fellow traveller


We are a couple planning to travvel around in South america (Colombia, Equador, Peru, Bolivia, Argentina, Chile) and we would like to travel by car or 4x4. So we have to buy a car.
We've searched and found somebody (a foreigner) selling his 4x4 in Colombia. Himself bought it in chile and the car is registrated there.
My question is if it's possible for us to buy that car and leave Colombia and travel around whith this car without having troubles to pass borders and entering Chile again and then sell the car in chile to other travellers...
Can you help me with this topic?


Dear Katrin:

You may enter the South American countries with your Chilean car and you will be allowed to visit those countries under the condition of not moving in into the country without importing the car. That is, you are allowed to bring a foreign car to other countries, but for a short period of time, say a month or so. I do not know how long for each country. I suppose that you are supposed to drive the car back to Chile (which would be a long trip back) or ship it there (which could be expensive) once you are finished with your trip. I suppose that the other option is pay the import fee in the country where you want to drop it off and sell it. I know that Colombia does not accept the importing of a used car (a car older than a year). Therefore you will not be able to import it into Colombia, but I suppose that other countries do not have that restriction. You will need to find out which country you want to leave the car in and what the import regulations for it are. I suppose that you can also abandon the car in a different country (which it is probably illegal and on your name and the car could be used for a crime or dismantled by anybody) or sell it and have the buyer worry about the import regulations. I suppose it would be difficult to sell a car that has not been officially imported. I suppose that you are not allowed  to move in into another country with a car that has not been officially imported or without declaring that you are moving in into the country using a resident visa you obtained. I am not in the customs business and therefore I am not the best person to ask, but those are my assumptions and what I know.

Normally you can drive a foreign car into other countries as long as you have the papers of the car and get the car insurance to drive in that country. I suppose that at many o some entry points there might be a car insurance company that will sell you the temporary car insurance. I suppose that some or many small entry points will not have insurance companies nearby, but that there is a higher chance at major entry points. I do not know if there is an international car insurance that you could buy or a South American insurance that will cover you for that area. I suppose there is none yet.

Best wishes,



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