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 and even buy the car remotely, but it will require lots of paperwork to be approved by the chilean embassy in your country and will cost a lot more.

We do not recommend doing this, getting a RUT takes 1 hour with our service and same for the title transfer.

Most car ads are not updated after 1-2 weeks and probably sold if they are not bad.

So how can you still speed up the process?

1) Figure out what type of vehicle you want (van or suv)

2) See the average budget needed for this vehicle and bring cash in order to quickly pay for it. feel free to consult with us.

3) Fill out our find me a car form located under Contact tab.

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. Seller 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 of colombia and also in chile.

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.

* Risky - many 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 3 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.

Question: What are the costs besides the price of the vehicle?

25,000 garage inspection, 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 repairs if needed, 200,000 - bed platform/kitchen and gear depends on how complex what you're building.

Question: How much do I "lose" for this type of "rent"

1000 USD - 2000 USD usually, but it depends on many factors such as the type of car you bought, the km you drove etc... usually you lose more when buying unreliable cheap cars, thats another reason we recommend having a decent budget and going for a reliable brand SUV.

Yes, in most cases SUV is more reliable than VANs because of better suspension and more durable engines.

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.

Van: more recommended to travelers of 6 months and more. it can take up to 2-3 weeks to convert it.

usually its more economic but needs maintenance more often. The camper side is the big advantage as you can make a nice home on wheels in the back.

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 fast buying proccess.

Question: What is the minimum travel time recommended for buying a car instead of renting?

We recommend at least 3 months, why? because it can take up to 21 days till you can leave Chile and because the buying process can take up to 2 weeks and because of the selling process, however if your car stands within our requirements you'll be able to let us sell it for you and save precious time.

Question: What are the notary and SII fees for a RUT?

Around 5,000

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 goes to taxes and around 40,000 to notary fees, another 20,000 approx goes as payment 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.

Question: How much does a garage inspection costs?

25,000 CLP. There are places that charge 10,000 but do a very basic inspection and places that charge 40,000 and more for a very extensive inspection. The garage we use have the perfect balance between price and quality, time and availability. It's that kind of garage that will honestly tell you if a certain repair is not necessary even if they can make money out of it.

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.

100% of our clients have crossed with a vehicle, to maximise the odds we provide our clients 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 3.500.000 - 6.500.000 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 3,500,000 to 7,000,000 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.

gasoline consumption of most 4x4/vans is 10L - 14L to 100KM, gasoline price in Chile moves around 1USD for every liter. every 10,000KM should cost 1000 - 1400USD

On a tight budget we would recommend getting a sedan or hatchback car or a motorbike.

Question: Should I come back to Santiago in order to sell the car?


You might lose lots of the value trying to sell outside of Chile, not to mention its illegal since when exiting you sign a declaration that you will return the vehicle to Chile.

Santiago has the biggest car market and also our help and clients who are looking for good cars.

We aim to buy and sell cars mostly within our network.

If the vehicle you bought stands with our requirements, we can save you precious time and sell the vehicle for you.

Question: Can you give me a short overview about fixed monthly costs?

Sleeping in the vehicle /tent/camping sites and mostly cooking your own food: 600-1000 $ per month

Sleeping in hostels and eating out: 1200-2000 $

That includes attractions, trekking, going out etc

Question: What sites do you recommend for finding cars?

We recommend Chileautos, Yapo and drivetheamericas although most cars have high mileage on Drivetheamericas. We don't recommend websites such as vivastreet as they rely on the database from Chileautos/yapo and outdated/ sketchy.

We also have a network of clients that buy/sell vehicles and dealerships that send us special offers.

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 common around most travelers but can also be done at the insurance office we will send you to.

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