Buying a Car, travelling around South America

Travel Forums Central/South America & The Caribbean Buying a Car, travelling around South America

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1. Posted by GavinC (Budding Member 2 posts) 12y Star this if you like it!


I'm in the early stages of planning a road trip around South America when my current job in Georgetown, Guyana comes to an end.

What I was thinking of doing was buying a car in NE Brazil (Boavista, RR), then heading for Caracas, and on to Quito to pick up the PanAmerican highway all the way down to Argentina and finally back to Belem, where I'd sell the car before heading back to Guyana.

As British citizen, do you have any advice on how complicated this is likely to be (particularly the border crossings with a Brazilian-registered vehicle). What about insurance? Could I buy this in Brazil and have it valid for the whole of South America? Would I need an address in Boa Vista for the car to be registered at?

Thanks in advance,


2. Posted by thespis (Budding Member 39 posts) 12y Star this if you like it!

Hi there!

I was choosing the best words to tell you what I think about it when I read the last answer on - please check it. I 100% agree with the author.

Some points:

I can be wrong, but as far as I know the Panamericana highway does not exist yet.

It will be very easy to buy a car, but if you want the documents in order you will need to wait about 2 weeks. Of course nobody will tell you about how to do it and you will be probably blackmailed by all the cops on your way for the rest of your trip because there will be always something not completely legal.

Gasoline costs more than US$ 5 a gallon in Brazil.

You will need "vehicle in top mechanical shape and make sure you can fix it to get to town if it breaks down in a remote area. In mountainous areas a standard is preferable to an automatic." , as someone said before in other thread.

Good luck,

3. Posted by rasberries (Inactive 154 posts) 12y Star this if you like it!

when are you thinking of doing this?

I could split gas $$

4. Posted by dbloom (Respected Member 586 posts) 12y Star this if you like it!

Makes good sense, have a local lawyer or notary do the paperwork for you and there are always local branches of auto insurnace companies, if you don't speak Portuguese get a travel companion or two who can manage and share expenses. When I got my residency and registered my auto in Central America all was done on the local level and in the local language, when all the paperwork is finished you drive away, knowing you can sell the ehicle in Brasil on return and that spare parts are available in case of problems. As for those dreaming of driving North to South America, best you have a really sturdy vehicle 4x4, a good frieght forwarder in Panama/Colombia or Ecuador, good insticts and mechanical ability and language and communication skills plus a bit of money in the bank. If you start heading toward Panama in an old clunker.beware.

We have a lot of of Brasilian members on our "hospitality" site..message me for info.