BUYING A CAR IN CHILE, MY EXPERIENCE AND TIPS
BUYING A CAR IN CHILE, MY EXPERIENCE AND TIPS
The process for buying a car in chile can be complicated and long if you don’t know the right steps and which places to go for a successful purchase.
Important things you will need:
- An address in Chile. Can be the address of the place where you’re staying or the address of a friend. The important thing to know is that the adress needs to be in the same district as the SII (Internal taxes services) where you’re getting your rut
- Your passport and PDI (that Little paper that they give you when you enter to the airport that says how much is your tourist time)
- Your drivers license: is important that you have your international drivers licence if you're planning to drive the car in South america.
- A Chilean Sponsor, for getting the RUT, can be a foreigner person with chilean work visa o residence.
- A BIP card for using the bus and the metro, you can buy it at any metro station
- Some cash for paying the fees for the notary, and transportation
A Little patience to wait for a few hours in the proper institutions for getting everything done.
First step: getting a RUT:
A RUT is a tax identification number that is necessary to buy a vehicle in Chile, this is not a visa, nor an authorization to work in the country, this number only allows you to buy a property with your name paying the correct taxes. A Chilean sponsor is needed to obtain the RUT,you will be charged some notarial fees (approximately 4000 CLP), This rate corresponds to the realization of a power where it says that your friend is your sponsor here in Santiago, to obtain an RUT in the SII (internal tax services)
Second step: find a vehicle
For buying a car in Chile I will recommend you a budget of about 4.500.000 - 7.000.000 CLP for a standard van/4x4. This because you can save a lot of time buying a good car for a bit higher price, than search for a cheap one that will make you spend money on repairments, You can search online in pages like chileautos/yapo and you will find dealers and regular people selling their cars.
You have to be very carefull about trusting a seller in Chile because they can change the KM of the car, or wash the engine to make the great picture of the perfect car, when it’s a car full of details and bad use.
First you will need to ask about the fines record, all the papers like revisión técnica, permiso de circulación, and how much KM the car have.
Also with the plate number you can search in a page called “Autofact” and get the report of all the history of the car, how many owners has had, if the KM is real, if the car have been is a total loss crash, it will only cost 5000 CLP and you can pay with credit card
Third step: Transference
Now you found your dream car, you want to buy it, well this is not as simple as just buy it. If you’re buying for another foreigner is easy to pay just with a bank transfer, but if you’re buying from a local chilean person the bank transfer is a complicated and hard thing to do that requiers a lot of trust on both sides (seller and buyer) and sometimes is better to pay with cash, yes I know it’s a lot of cash but is the easiest way, not the cheaper tho, because In Chile you can get up to 600,000 clp per day from cash machines (per card), and in every transaction they charge you taxes that can be like 6000 CLP per transaction depends of the bank.
Other ways of transferring money into Chile are via Western union or afex/small world but with high fees too, It is also recommended to email your bank and ask them what's the best way they can send money from your bank account into Chile, some banks can do it pretty quick and with low fees.
Any payment for the vehicle before a notary contract is not recommended. When buying a vehicle you will need to pay the buyers tax and fees at the notary, an average of 120,000 CLP depending on the price of the vehicle (1.5% of the deal value + aprox 35000 notary +aprox 35000 registro civil).
When doing the buying/selling contract you need to make sure the contract has the right details, and all of the paperwork is being done correctly and you receive a poder and a declaracion jurada. This last two are the paperwork for crossing the borders (only to argentina) while waiting for the padrón, I’ll explain that in the next step.
Now you have a car on your name, congratulations! You want to start traveling south america, but there’s a few things you’ll need before starting the fun trip
Insurance and tag
After you bought the car you need to go to an international insurance company to get insurance, I recommend MAPFRE and you can get there the RCI insurance, this is an internacional insurance that covers you in Peru, Argentina, Brasil, Paraguay, Uruguay y Bolivia, ( countries belonging to the mercosur) and it’s just 23,000 CLP per month.
The tag is a little highway chip, that allows you to pay in the toll routes in Chile, because if you don’t know in Chile there’s some highways where you need to pay a little tax everytime you pass. Also you can get a daily pass and pay it online in www.pasediario.cl, this last one is great because you can use it in other toll routes outside Santiago.
Get the Padron
The Padron is a vehicle registration document. It serves to see the actual basic information of a car and its owner. The padron arrives around 21 days from signing the notary contract. The padron can only be collected by the vehicle owner, physically at a registro civil office all around Chile. I recommend traveling inside Chile till you get the Padron. If you still want to exit Chile with the car without the Padron, this can be done with a poder from the seller.
Some important things about the poder:
• Dealerships cannot provide this poder
• You cannot cross to Bolivia with a poder
• I recommend only crossing through mendoza with a poder
Now you travel is done, you have so much memories but you’re ready to come back home, and the good news is that you can sell your vehicle in chile, very easily!
Last step: selling your vehicle
I recommend to plan at least 2 weeks for this process, and to start publishing your car with days of anteriority in webpages like Drives the Americas, on facebook in pages like panamerican travel association, and other travelers pages. Also don’t forget to do a technical revision before selling the car because it will help to sell the car faster if it has all the inspections up to date, remember to check for fines and debts in the toll routes.
when you find a buyer and want to make the transfer you will need to have the “Certificado de multas pagadas" y "certificado de anotaciones vigentes" you can just get it at www.registrocivil.cl and pay with credit card, this is the register of the fines and owners of the car, also you’ll need the "permiso de circulación" your RUT and passport.
You must leave all the papers of the car to the future owner of the car, and you will only take one copy of the contract.
Don’t forget to get off the TAG (that little chip for toll routes) in case you bought one.
Little helpfull tip for travelers:
You can also find companys who do all this work for a really low fee in santiago, and so much faster that you or me could do it. The best I know is Suzi santiago, they help to do all the paperwork and provide you all the right forms, they can even help you to build literally a HOUSE inside your car, and help you with selling the car back, all included in a 210,000 CLP fee and 120,000 if you're buying a bike.
Here are the links: