I think I found the answers to my questions. I found a pdf document on the ITA website that outlines the import requirements for various countries in SA and it has a section on Chile.
The document is titled "Compilation of Foreign Motor Vehicle Import
United States Department of Commerce
International Trade Administration
Office of Aerospace and Automotive Industries
I can provide the link to the pdf, if it is okay with Charles (Admin).
But basically, the part of interest was this:
· In Chile the importation of used vehicles is prohibited. Chile does allow imports of used ambulances, funeral hearse cars, fire- fighting vehicles, street cleaning vehicles, irrigation vehicles, towing vehicles, television projection equipment vehicles, armored commercial vehicles, workshop vehicles, cement making trucks, prison vans, radiological equipment vehicles, motor homes, off-road transportation vehicles, and other similar vehicles for special purposes, different from common transportation vehicles. These used vehicles pay a 9 percent import duty plus VAT. Fire- fighting vehicles are not subject to import duties, and pay the VAT on the CIF value only. A vehicle is considered new if: 1) It is of the current year; or The model is of the last year but the importation occurred before April 30th, and 2) the vehicle has no more mileage than that required to transport the vehicle from the factory to the point of sale and according to customs it corresponds to a first transaction vehicle (i.e., the invoice is from the distributor or the factory).
For off road I wonder if they mean 4X4 vehicles?
For tow vehicles, does having a motorized winch attached qualify?
And here is the part that was mentioned in a post before about the special law for returning Chileans:
Special laws allow tax-exempt new/used car imports by persons returning from exile or returning after living abroad (for one complete year or more) for studies or work after a determined number of years. People domiciled in two domestic free trade zones, Iquique in the north and Punta Arenas in the south may also import used cars. Imports in these areas are exempt from customs duties and VAT. (See Various Trade Arrangements).
From another place on the web, I found that if you drive a car into Chile, you have only 90 days. The temporary import of vehicles into Chile is valid for 90 days only, even if the tourist obtains an extension of his tourist visa. If the vehicle remains in Chile for a longer period, it will be treated as illegal, in accordance with Chilean customs regulations.