Buy local car in Paraguay and sell it in other South American country (CL, AR, PE)

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#1 Fri, 08/07/2015 - 04:12

Buy local car in Paraguay and sell it in other South American country (CL, AR, PE)


we would like to buy a used car in Paraguay (with Paraguayan plates) that is older than 10 years, drive it down to Patagonia and then sell it on the way up the pacific coast in Chile/Argentina or Peru.

Could you please help us with some questions regarding some of the pitfalls in the process:

  1. Is it possible to sell the car in Chile/Argentina/Peru? (Somewhere I read that in some countries there is an age limit on used cars to them for example)
  2. Is the sale only possible to another traveler that quits the country with the vehicle or also to nationals that stay in the country?
  3. Do we have to pay export fees in Paraguay and / or import fees in the country of sale?
  4. Do import fees only apply if the car stays in the country? (Sounds logical)
  5. Do age limits only apply if the car stays in the country?
  6. What are the advantages to buy a car with US/Canadian plates?

I’m sorry if these questions are quite basic and might have been asked before. To me the process still is not very clear. So I would greatly appreciate your help! It might also help other people who want to buy a used/old car in a south American country with its plates and sell it in another;-)

Best regards,


Tue, 08/11/2015 - 13:13

The process is not very clear

The process is not very clear because generally speaking, in most countries there is no convenient and quick legal process for a foreigner selling a foreign vehicle to another foreigner. This is not to say there aren't ways to do this, but they are usually designed to skirt the law on a 'what the eyes don't see the heart doesn't grieve basis', or they are downright wrong in that they make use of forged documentation. One complication that can apply is that it is sometimes not possible to legally change ownership of a vehicle unless the vehicle and new and old owners are back in the original country so in that case, while a psuedo-sale can often be transacted using the cover of a Poder (power of attorney), not all subsequent border crossings will succeed and then there is the problem of how to sell the vehicle to the next sucker in a way that they don't have problems.


As for selling to a local, supposedly it is sometimes possible in free trade zones such as Iquiqui, or in countries where there is no age limit, by officially importing the vehicle and paying import taxes on it. Another method is to just give the vehicle away or sell it for scrap in countries where they don't check whether you had a vehicle when you came in. Still illegal of course and it goes against the spirit and the letter of the law regarding temporary import of vehicle by traveller.


Given that - as you can see in the used car adverts on here -, the average worth of vehicles used by travellers is so low that it is hardly worth going to too much trouble just for a couple of thousand dollars. Those with more expensive vehicles usually take them back home when they have finished their travels in America