buying a car in chile with a tourist visa

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buying a car in chile with a tourist visa

Post by blacksheep » Mon Aug 03, 2009 9:29 am

I haven't found this topic anywhere, so let me know if there is already an answer to my question.
I want to buy a car in Chile in order to travel in this country as well as Argentina and Brazil. Through what i have seen, it is the easiest country out of the 3 to do so.
I plan on travelling in those 3 countries extensively in order to find a place to settle down (I have already spent 3 months in Brazil and 2 in Argentina). I usually always travel by bus but now things are getting serious and I need a car to push my searchs more thoroughly.
Could you please confirm this is possible on a tourist visa, and what procedures I need to go through. I also saw that you have some tax free zones, like Iquique, can I purchase a vehicle there as well ? would the conditions be the same ?
I plan on leaving for Santiago in November 2009 and spending a month there (if anybody knows of a small studio or bedroom up for rent) to enable me to look for the famous car and take the opportunity to get acquainted with the chilean culture.
I'm looking for a second hand confortalbe 4WD (where I could sleep in), so oculd you let me know which are the most popular in Chile, and if possible Argentina and Brazil (Suzuki, Nissan and Hyundia seem to be popular) ? that would be a great help.
I have a French driving license so I guess that should do it.
Thanks for any info

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Re: buying a car in chile with a tourist visa

Post by admin » Mon Aug 03, 2009 12:52 pm

You need an IRS rut number. Easily attainable at the nearest IRS office to say your hotel or wherever you are staying.

Make sure the title is clean. Also keep in mind that you will need a notarized power of attorney from the seller, if you are planning to leave the country before the title registeration is complete.

Make sure you have a title search done on any used truck you might buy. Santiago has the best deals on cars, but also the most stolen cars in the country.

If you buy a car in the tax free zones you need to be resident, and if you drive them out of the zone for more than 3 months a year you have to pay the taxes on them. They have special license plates, and the fines are steep of you get caught doing it.

There are a lot of cheap used cars on the market right now, because a lot of people are buying new cars with the good deals and low interest rates.

By the way, I have a 1999 diesel Galloper for sale and a 2002 Toyota Hilux pickup for sale. Kind of accident of my buisness with all the the clients coming and goings from the country, we reluctantly find ourselves in the used car biz. The funny thing is I don't even have a driver's license. I got a private driver and car on call. No real need for license.
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Re: buying a car in chile with a tourist visa

Post by perezoso » Mon Aug 03, 2009 3:47 pm

I had no problem buying a car on a tourist visa, but when I tried to cross the border into Bolivia the chilean immigation officials said i could not take the car into Bolivia as I didn't have a RUN (chilean ID). If the car had been owned by a chileno, and i had notarised permission, I could have driven into Bolivia.
I dint try to cross into Peru or Agentina with the car, so I'm not sure if it is the same deal on those borders

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Re: buying a car in chile with a tourist visa

Post by RuneTheChookcha » Mon Aug 03, 2009 8:09 pm

You had a normal tourist visa (i.e. just an "entry" stamp in your passport, plus a stamped "tourist card"), a Chilean RUT
number (as it was needed to buy the car), then the car was registered in your name (and your RUT number), and all the documents were in order, and in your name. Yet, you were not allowed out of the country by Chilean immigration, as "you didn't have a RUN (that's a plastic Chilean ID card with photo)", right?
- How does one cross a river?
- Don't get your feet wet.

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Re: buying a car in chile with a tourist visa

Post by perezoso » Tue Aug 04, 2009 2:50 pm

yeah - thats how it was, although to be more specfic, the chileans said I would not be able to enter Bolivia. So maybe they were they were advising me of the Bolivian border reqirements, as opposed to the chilean.

Only tried it once, at the Bolivian border crossing just out of San Pedro de Atacama. We were doing a visa run, so we left the chilean border post in San Pedro with our chilean exit stamps, drove to the Bolivian border post ( maybe 1/2 an hour away), where we parked the car, got entry and exit Bolivian stamps at the same time, hopped in the car and drove back to san pedro for our chilean entry stamps.

Didnt try it any where else, so I cant say if it just a bolivian requirement.

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Re: buying a car in chile with a tourist visa

Post by grecy » Mon Jan 23, 2012 11:26 pm

I spent two years driving from Alaska to Argentina, including a good amount all over Chile.

For everything you need to know about driving around Chile as a tourist, checkout <LINK REMOVED> : Chile Overland Travel - WikiOverland

Good luck & Have fun!


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