How to prepare for buying a car
Here are some useful tips for those who plan to buy a car in Santiago:
1) Bring cash with you (according to your budget). Transferring money to Chile can be a serious nightmare and cost a lot,we also do not recommend paying with a bank transfer because it is unsafe, for this reason we recommend bringing cash.
In case you are buying from another foreigner with a Europe/US/Canada/AU etc bank account than it's a little less risky to do a bank transfer.
Another reason for bringing cash is that you are ready to buy the car immediately after we negotiate the price and before the seller regrets the lower price we achieved.
2) Get a local sim card, we recommend virgin mobile since it's easy to manage through their website. You should charge the sim with 10,000 CLP and get a 1 gigabyte internet plan + 200 minutes, it should cost around 7,000. This will help us communicate with you and coordinate important things with you such as a notary visit or a garage meeting. You should also use google maps and waze GPS.
3) Get a public transportation card to use the metro and bus system. You can get them at any metro station. You can charge it for 5,000 or even less. Buses cost around 0.5 euro for each ride.
4) You should know that a good 4x2 car starts at 3,000,000. we haven't seen cars under that price that were good. A decent 4x4 starts at 4,200,000 and we recommend having a budget between 4,500,000 to 6,500,000 in order to buy a great car in good condition with proper papers, no fines and not many past owners if more than 1. We also prefer buying our cars from rich areas as it more likely that they took good care of the car.
5) We are usually able to negotiate between 200,000 to 600,000 of the ad price.
6) For those who want to sleep in the car and have a low budget we would recommend buying a small 4x4 and a roof top tent. It is not a good idea to look for a big 4x4 in a very low budget (under 4.5 million) because you are most likely to buy a bad car. Remember, there are no bargains, no surprises and no miracles, only numbers and common sense.
7) Most important tip: YOU ARE NOT A MECHANIC, and even if you are, you do not have the proper tools to check the car yourself. Always use a garage, and it has to be a proven and reliable garage, like the one that we work with.
8) When checking a car, be suspicious and skeptical, every car has something bad about it, and we have to find it, either for not buying a bad car or for negotiating the price.
9) Bring an international licence.