FAQ When Buying a Car In Chile
Question: Is there anything we can do in advance in order to speed up the process?
It is possible to get the RUT remotely and even buy the car remotely, but it will require a trip to the chilean embassy in your country, scheduling an appointment can take some time, later on paperwork will need to be mailed to us.
Generally it is easier and more practical to just arrive to Santiago and go through the full service process with us, the big advantage is that you can see and test drive the vehicle before buying it, every customer have their specific preferences and details that can bother them about the vehicle, so buying remotely can be a little risky or disappointing sometimes..
So how can you still speed up the process?
1) Figure out what type of vehicle you want (van or suv), you can pre-buy the full service, this way we will send you car ads and explain you about all the options available in Chile so it will help you decide even before arriving.
2) See the average budget needed for this vehicle and consider bringing cash in order to quickly pay for it (in case it's not a very expensive vehicle). there are more ways of paying for a vehicle such as credit card if its a dealership (costs 4%) or using our credit card payment service (costs 6%) or use transferwise app for money transfer.
Question: Can I sell a Chilean car in another country ?
Yes, however we mostly recommend selling back in Chile so you can use our car sale service and to have a simpler process.
There are 2 ways you can sell your car in Colombia for example:
1) The long way - you will need to have all car's paperwork up to date. buyer will have to send us a permission to get a RUT and buy a car in his name. seller will have to send us a permission to sell his car in his name. all documents will need to be approved at the chilean embassy in colombia.
2) Give the buyer a notarized permission to use the car and cross borders and also a permission to sell it.
The buyer will travel with the car while it stays on the sellers name and will sell it back in Chile to another traveler.
* A little risky - some borders might not accept this permit ** if anything illegal is made by the buyer or was made by the seller in another country the car might be confesticated at the border *** Notaries in chile might not accept these permits and therefore the buyer will not be able to re sale.
Question: How long does it takes till I receive the Padron (ownership document)
It usually takes around 4 weeks and can delay if there are holidays or any issues at the civil registry.
You can travel inside Chile immediately after buying the vehicle. the padron can be collected at any civil registry around chile, we also go twice a week to the registro civil to check for our customers padrons and once they are ready we send them to them (included in the full service)
Question:when buying a car what are the costs besides the price of the vehicle?
Around 25,000 a month for international insurance, around 120,000 tax for buying a used car (always paid by the buyer) 200,000 - 400,000 on vehicle maintenance if needed, around 300,000 on bed platform/kitchen platform.
Question: What is the difference between buying and selling? the actual cost of buying a car and not renting one:
1000 USD - 2000 USD usually, but it depends on many factors such as the type of car you bought, the km you drove the ware and tare etc... usually you lose more when buying unreliable cheap cars, that's another reason we recommend having a decent budget and going for a reliable brand and model of vehicle.
Question: What type of vehicle should I buy? van, SUV or motorcycle?
First of all, from personal experience i can say that all setups are great, fun and capable of doing this trip.
SUV - more comfortable driving, tough suspension and engine, more common and faster to find, faster to convert to a camper - generally the most practical option. Ideal for families with kids because of the 5-7 seats.
Van: more recommended to travelers of 6 months and more. it can take up to 2-3 weeks to convert it.
usually it's more economic on gasoline (because most vans are diesel) but needs maintenance more often. The camper side is the big advantage as you can camp for longer time than you would do with a 4WD SUV. ideal for couples as almost all vans in chile have only 2-3 seats.
Motorcycle: Very practical option, more recommended to low budget travelers, always a better option than buying a very cheap car. A tougher type of traveling style, but extremely economic and faster buying process.
Question: What is the minimum travel time recommended for buying a car instead of renting?
We recommend at least 3 months, because the more time you travel with a car you bought and not rented the more money you "save". also, it takes 1-2 weeks to just go through the proccess of buying the car, then maybe another 2 days to just prepare it for selling, then 1-2 months to get it sold in most cases.
Question: What are the notary and SII fees for a RUT?
Around 7,000 pesos for doing the notary paperwork, then we go with it to the tax office and ask for the RUT number for you (costs around 2,000 pesos).
Question: What are the fees and taxes when purchasing the car?
Taxes and notary fees usually cost between 90,000 - 150,000 depending on the value of the deal.
1.5% of the declared deal price goes to taxes and around 40,000 to notary fees, another 20,000 approx goes as fee to the Registro Civil.
Question: How long does it takes to get a RUT number?
With our service it only takes less than 2 hours and no paperwork is needed to be filled by the client. (it can take a few days during pandemic times or when there's a strike)
Question: How much does a garage inspection costs?
We offer our full service customers 2 free mechanical inspections at our place, it is also possible to take our mechanic with you to see a car at the cost of 15,000 pesos + transportation (you can take him in the uber with you)
Question: Will I be able to cross borders with the car/bike ?
Of course. We will get you all the paperwork necessary and guide you to cross at the fastest and easiest crossings. However, we have no control over a border crossing officer in a bad mood, there is a possibility that you will not always cross, if that happens we will try and speak with that officer or guide you to another crossing.
Crossing from Chile to Peru is not possible for foreigners. It is recommended to go through Bolivia.
We provide our customers with a border list, route planning a notarized declaración jurada and a poder.
Question: How long does the whole process of RUT and buying a car takes?
This depends on many factors such as budget, expectations, Availability of cars in the market. However, with a budget of between 5.500.000 - 8.500.000 and looking for a van/SUV it should take around a week to a week and half.
*The higher the budget the faster it should take.
Question: I want to buy a car/van/4wd/4x4, what budget will I need?
Between 5,500,000 to 8,500,000 CLP will be a good budget, also you should take into consideration additional costs such as repairs (200,000 - 700,000) maintenance along your trip and gasoline.
On a tight budget we would recommend getting a cheap sedan,hatchback or a motorbike.
Question: Should I come back to Santiago in order to sell the car?
It is easier and more practical to sell in Santiago, finding a buyer for a chilean vehicle in another country can be a little slower than usual, however if your trip plan is set to end in another country then why not.
Question: What sites do you recommend for finding cars?
We recommend Chileautos, Yapo and facebook marketplace.
Question: Talking insurance and registration Are there different types of insurance and what's the difference?
There is SOAP which is the obligatory car insurance for a Chilean vehicle (third party). Then there is RCI which is an international insurance in order to cross borders with the Chilean vehicle. A high coverage insurance for theft and accidents is not something very common around most travelers but can also be done for turists with some companies, feel free to consult with us.