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Selling a Chilean 4x4

Travel Forums Central/South America & The Caribbean Selling a Chilean 4x4

1. Posted by danm11 (Budding Member 2 posts) 4y Star this if you like it!

Hi All,

Firstly thank you to the wealth of information on this forum. I purchased a 4x4 in Santiago, Chile in 2011 and the experience was greatly helped by the information I learnt here.

I am considering selling my vehicle. It is a 1989 Nissan Terrano 2.7TDI - outfitted for travel (Roof rack, shelves and bed inside, blackened rear windows etc). I purchased it for about $4500USD equivalent.

I would appreciate any advice on which country I should go to in order to maximise the price I can get on sale. I am in Argentina currently, but Paraguay, Bolovia, Peru and possibly Ecuador are options. In an ideal world I would like to sell the car within a week or 2 of arriving in a place.

The car has Chilean plates and is registered there on my name, I have all original ownership documents.

If anyone has any ideas or suggestions please let me know. Thank you in advance.

2. Posted by polyglot25 (Budding Member 42 posts) 4y Star this if you like it!

Hi there,

My first thought was: "if it's got Chilean plates I don't see where else you're going to sell it other than Chile". I still think that! Given that South American bureaucracy is often byzantine, I would have grave doubts about the prospect of selling a Chilean-registered vehicle abroad, even with all the documents. I certainly wouldn't expect to be able to sell a French-registered car here in the UK, without having first re-registered it to the new country.

If it's even possible (and the idea of dealing with Bolivian, Ecuadorian or Paraguayan bureaucracy makes my blood run cold...bearing in mind I've spent the past 15 months in South America) I'd have thought the only way to sell the car outside Chile is to re-register it in the country you wish to sell it in. Obviously I've never sold a car in SA but I cannot envisage someone taking the car off your hands with foreign plates still on it. Perhaps you should contact a solicitor in Chile and find out if this is legal. South American countries, including the more "advanced" ones like Chile and Argentina, have very strict (in Argentina's case extremely strict) import/export and duty rules.

I experienced first hand a driver on a trip I took in Bolivia experience huge problems with the military police because his transfer-of-ownership papers weren't in order. He'd apparently applied for the transfer over a year before, and nothing had been done. If selling a Bolivian-registered vehicle to another Bolivian is so difficult for a Bolivian, imagine how hard it would be for a foreigner to sell a Chilean-registered vehicle in Bolivia!

Let us know how you get on, but if I were you I'd want to avoid mountains of paperwork and labyrinthine bureaucracy and just sell the vehicle in Chile!

Good luck!


[ Edit: Edited on 12-Jan-2013, at 08:48 by polyglot25 ]

3. Posted by polyglot25 (Budding Member 42 posts) 4y Star this if you like it!

A quick search pulled up the following fact: importation of vehicles more than 5 years old is prohibited in Bolivia, and has been since 2009, supposedly for environmental reasons (which is a bit of a joke!). Vehicles younger than this attract import duty. I can't quite picture it being possible to sneak a vehicle in ("I'm just visiting Bolivia in my car") and then selling it. A legal sale will require, almost without doubt, documention proving the vehicle has been imported according to the rules. It might be worthwhile checking out the link I found. Since I can't post links here, send me a PM and I will forward the link - it has info on importing cars into Bolivia (although the 5 year old rule, IF it's correct, means you can't import your 1989 vehicle in)...

4. Posted by polyglot25 (Budding Member 42 posts) 4y Star this if you like it!

I've found more info on getting a vehicle into Paraguay and Ecuador too. Can send you the links. Apparently, Paraguay is the only country which will allow you to import a vehicle (for use or resale) which is more than 10 years old.

The more I read, the more I'm convinced that the only sane option is to sell the car in Chile. Vehicle prices are high in Chile so it should be doable!

5. Posted by cpruter11 (Budding Member 2 posts) 3y Star this if you like it!

Hi Daniel,

I will be traveling to Chile at the end of April and will be in the market to buy a car similar to yours. If you still have it available for sale in chile please let me know!



6. Posted by Stadler79 (First Time Poster 1 posts) 3y Star this if you like it!

Dear chris

I just travelled chile and argentina in a used chilean subaru outback 4x4 2.5l 115'000 km. I'll be selling it in Santiago arround 21st of May 2014. (clp 6200000) equiped for camping with boxes matrasses in the back and camping chairs!

Regards kasi