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Old 8 Feb 2014
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South America shipping and border help

Hi All, first poster here! With a few friends we are hoping to take a Defender 110 across South America over a period of 3 months. Outline plan at the moment is to ship from the UK to Sao Paulo, drive down through Argentina, up through Bolivia into Peru and ship out to the UK through Lima. We might carry on up into Ecuador but not certain at the moment.
We're still doing our research and deciding if we can afford this. The thing I'm finding hardest to pin down is the TOTAL, all in costs of transporting the vehicle, crossing borders and driving in South America. It's really hard to know if you've captured all the costs and planned for all the documents we'll need.

So far, in approximate order, I'm anticipating:
International vehicle insurance £1450
Carnes £3000
Shipping £2000?
Sao Paulo port fees £?
Sao Paulo customs fees £?
Brazil 3rd party insurance £50
Argentina 3rd party insurance £50
Bolivia 3rd party insurance £50
Peru 3rd party insurance £50
Shipping to UK £2000
International driving licenses

Did I miss anything? Can anybody help me put numbers against these costs?
Can anybody recommend an expert we could enlist to guide us through this? I'd sooner pay a few hundred to know everything is in order than get slapped with fines down route.
We've heard some reports that shipping into Brazil is really hard - Anybody have experience?

Thanks in advance for any responses.
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Old 9 Feb 2014
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Posts: 76
Hi there,

Have a chat with David at HC travel based in the UK, he has just sorted out our transportation of two bikes to Halifax NS, very helpful, i ring him every few days with questions and he happy to take the time to answer them , highly recommended, he did shipping,insurance-health and bikes,and flights, all paperwork. 01256 770775.

Hope this helps,

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Old 9 Feb 2014
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Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: Wales UK
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Sao Paulo?

UK registered vehcile will not need carnet.
ALL south american countries you obtain 'temporary import certificate' at borders on entry. Usually no cost. and most countries give you 90 days permit, exceptions being Bolivia (30 days) and Argentina (180).
IDP not required (though handy if you have one perhaps), but generally only driving licence required will be your standard UK licence.
It is unusual to ship into Brazil, obviously possible and too be honest I'm not sure of the reasons why people don't but as I say it is unusual.
Usual ports of entry from europe would be Montevideo (Uruguay), Santiago (Chile), Cartagena (Columbia).
Options for shipping are either container (110 will fit a std container) or RoRo
RoRo charge by the SqM. Grimaldi is the normal and they ship into Uruguay.
I would suggest container is by far your best option.
20ft or 40ft containers are commonly available, obvious advantages are that you can share a 40ft with another vehicle.
Costs vary and will depend greatly on how much you want to do the paperwork or use the services of a shipping agent.
Your estimated cost of 2000 each way for shipping is about right, i'd be surprised if it costs any more than that. It could be possible to ship for half that.

Argentina has just devalued it's currency which makes it a VERY cheap country to visit at the moment.
3 months is not very much time to really see the vast and varied continent of south america. It's BIG over there, don't underestimate the amount of driving and relatively slow driving at that. We spent best part of 3 years exploring there.

Consider buying a vehicle there.
If you only have 3 months then perhaps to save the cost of shipping it could be cost effective to buy another travellers vehicle or even a local vehilce ?

It is certainly possible to buy something for less than say 4000 quid.

hope this helps a bit.

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Old 9 Feb 2014
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Location: On the road in South America
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Another small problem is time, if you are taking 3 months off work, then allow your first week (and up to 2 or 3) will be spent here in a hotel waiting for the boat, getting your truck, and the last week packing it up to send it home, and spending 4k or so for the pleasure. That could be up to 1 month out of your trip...

Phil's idea to buy over here, or even some rental thing might save you a ball of cash, and a ton of time. If you are intersted to drive a 4x4 iveco, I know someone who has one in storage in Uruguay (I think) that might do a deal for a few months, or sell it outright. Let me know if you want their name.
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Old 14 Feb 2014
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Posts: 8

For such a short trip renting something might be worth looking at - probably cost the same as shipping and all the associated costs. There's Andean Roads in BA who seem a pretty nice set up (we left our vehicle with them once). I'm not sure if they do 4x4, though (?) which, by the way, is not strictly necessary... but the sturdiness of a 4x4 certainly helps, depending on your route. Otherwise there is Ruta Sur (also in BA) who do 4x4 with camper units on the back. In Peru there is rvperu.com (info@rvperu.com) who also supply 4x4s with a camper unit on the back. You could try them and see what they say.
For what it's worth I think your plan is ambitious in the time-scale. If it's a straight blast through South America that you're after then fine. Don't underestimate the hassle and delays you can get with shipping. I've always heard Brazil should be avoided as a shipping point. Apparently BA has also got very bad in the last two years. Montevideo, Uruguay seems to be a favourite.
All the best.
James Marr
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