Go Back   Horizons Unlimited - The HUBB > Planning, Trip > Trip Paperwork

Trip Paperwork Covers all documentation, carnets, customs and country requirements, how to deal with insurance etc.
Contact Overland Solutions for all your custom modifications and setup for overland travel.

LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 10 Jun 2012
madmarco's Avatar
Registered Users
Veteran HUBBer
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: Zurich, Switzerland
Posts: 136
Lightbulb Buying a motorcycle in Peru

Hi all

I recently bought a bike in Peru and wrote a blog post about it, you can find the original on Buying a motorcycle in Peru – Marco’s Blog | schnueriger.net
For the sake of the HUBB usability I will just copy and paste the whole information, here it comes!

I am currently in Lima and have two months of vacation. As some of you might know, I'm a big fan of motorcycle travelling and thus my plan was to buy a bike here and ride it in Peru, Bolivia and Ecuador. In the meantime I was already on the road but since I had a little accident somewhere in the mountains on 4300 meters I am now back in Lima to fix a broken finger :-). The good thing is that I now have time to write this article which hopefully helps other motorcycle travellers that plan to do the same or a similar thing.

Just to make things clear, this article is about buying a motorcycle with Peruvian number plates in Peru and how to get the paperwork done. It's NOT about importing or crossing the border to Peru with a foreign bike.

To sum it up, here is what you need to do, you will find more detailed information afterwards:

  • Find and buy a bike
  • Permiso para firmar contratos - S 12.25 + $50
  • SOAT - S 480.-
  • Gravamen - S 33.- (usually done in the notary's office)
  • Notari - S 180.-
  • Official Photocopy of the bike paper - S 4.-

It needs to be mentioned that I had a lot of support from a few friends, especially from Flavio from Inca Moto Adventures that eventually sold me one of his Honda XR600's. He also rents out bikes but this wasn't an option for me since I wanted to travel for a longer duration than what seems to be considered a usual rental period. The whole process took about a week and would have taken longer if I would not have had that great support - thanks for that!

If you are seriously interested in buying a bike, just contact me and I could also give you some more information, e.g. GPS coordinates of the various locations.

Find and buy a bike in Peru
A good friend of mine currently lives in Peru and by lucky chance she got acquainted with a motorcycle travelling enthusiast named Fernando. He first pointed me to the following websites that give you a good overview of Peru's m/c second-hand market:

I did some research on these websites while I was in Switzerland and saw some reasonable offers. These websites gave me a feeling for the prices which seem to be even a bit higher for Japanese bikes than back in Switzerland. Honda seems to produce bikes in Brasil which are sold far cheaper than the imported (bigger) ones. So another option for you could also to be to buy a new bike right here, e.g. there's an excellent Honda Shop called Desert Sport Racing in Miraflores, Lima. They were not very helpful, but it's probably one of the most decent Honda bike dealers.
Fernando later mentioned that a guy he knows sells an XR400 for about 4000 USD, so I got in Contact with Flavio Salvetti from Inca Moto Adventures. I somehow didn't react quick enough but the xr400 was gone. But he had an XR600 for sale and offered it with a bigger fuel tank (5 gallons - 19 litres) for USD 4400. Because I only had two months I wanted to make sure that I at least know which bike it would be when I'm there so I decided to buy the XR600. I sent 10% of the buying price and finally sat in the plane to pick up my bike.

Get a permission to sign contracts

Right after I gave the rest of the payment to Flavio we both went to a notary's office called Schiaffino to get an official third party to attest our contract. This seems to be already enough of bureaucracy to me, in most western countries you only need a third party for important things like a marriage or when you buy a piece of land, but not such a simple transaction as buying a bike :-) However, the notary also seems to act as an intermediary towards the ministry of transport and from that point of view it spares you from going to another place. Which it didn't in my case.

Important: take the money in cash with you, peruvian ATMs are very mean - they only let you get 200 USD out per transaction, and I heard that you can only get 400 per day as a maximum.

Off we went to the notary (there are hundreds of them all over the city) and did our first try! It soon ended as they complained I need to have a special permission to sign contracts. From what I understood, this is only necessary if you are a foreigner. This has nothing to do with the so-called Carnet de Extranjeria which I didn't need at all.

Alright, I went to the 'immigraciones' office (coordinates available but every Peruvian taxi driver seems to know it) to get a stamp in my passport which says "permiso especial para firmar contratos". First go directly to the bank counter in the ground floor, tell them that you need this paper and pay Soles 12.25. Then go up with the receipt to the 3rd floor (peruvian numbering scheme - ground floor = 1) and look for a counter called 'permisos especiales' or something like that. In general, if you just ask some of the officials, they help you a little bit, but don't expect a foreigner advantage in these places.

The clerk takes yor receipt, does some magic with it and then I had to go down to the bank counter again to pay exactly USD 50 - hard currencies for the world! Another stamp on that paper and then back to the 3rd floor, hand out the paper and then you just have to wait. In my case this only took an hour, but afterwards I finally had that stamp in my passport. Funnily enough I will have to go through this procedure again when I sell my bike because the stamp is only valid for one month!

Third party insurance
I heard and read (1) (2) (3) different stories about this topic and this could actually refrain some travellers from buying a bike in Peru. Flavio was quite sure that a third party insurance called SOAT is needed and asked by the notary in the process of legalisation of the bike. In the end I gave in and bought for 480 Soles one year of insurance which is directly bound to the motorcycle. The good thing is that I can sell the SOAT to the next owner, but I would have preferred a limited duration and thus a lower price for it. I've also heard that the price for motorbikes is much higher than for cars - hard to comprehend when you think about how much damage you can cause to a third party with the bike in comparison to a car.

Unfortunately I don't have the details on this SOAT, because Flavio has organized it for me, but there are many places on the streets that sell SOAT (probably not for m/c but just ask yourself through). If I get more detailed information, I will let you know.

Another try at the notary - and at the SUNARP
I had the bike, a cool new stamp in my passport and a 3rd party insurance - let's go to the notary's office! Everything was running smoothly, I think we already saw a draft of the contract by the notary but then clouds, rolling thunder and nasty lightnings came in and made me go to yet another office. Usually the notary would look up in a database run by the ministry of transport (or something like that) if my bike was involved in accidents, robbery or I don't know what, but the system failed exactly at that day for all notary offices in Lima. The manual alternative means going to one of the SUNARP offices [coordinates available], ask for a paper called GRAVAMEN and get that printed out and signed and carry it back to the notary. Too bad I wasn't the only one - took me another four hours of waiting, but you know I was already getting used to it :-)

Finally getting (waiting) for the paper
Luckily Flavio had time for another visit at our favourite notary's office that late afternoon and really, this time there seemed nothing to be missing. I wondered what's coming next - but nothing (significant) was asked from me. We signed the contract which included the amount and the payment method (effectivo - cash) and that was it more or less. There is a little catch though - that little paper which indicates the vehicle holder was and is still running on Flavio's name and I will get the one with my name on it only after 7 to 10 days. In the meantime I already started travelling and my Swiss friend is said to be allowed to pick up the paper at the notary as long as she has the original receipt of the notary and the old vehicle holder's card (original). This probably means you can't cross borders. So, if you have a friend that could pick up the paper for you and send it to you, you are ready to go! Otherwise you'd have to wait until the paper is ready and pick it up yourself.

Another thing I almost forgot to mention is that I had to give an address on some papers. For this, I was using the address of my Swiss friend here in Lima, but I think a hotel address would have done the trick, nobody was really looking after that address and there's nothing to be seen in any system because I'm not registered as a resident here in Peru. I think they just need something to fill out the blanks :-).

In the meantime I had a silly little accident on the road and am back in Lima, thus cannot tell you how it works if somebody else picks up the papers.
Reply With Quote
Old 12 Jun 2012
madmarco's Avatar
Registered Users
Veteran HUBBer
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: Zurich, Switzerland
Posts: 136
I sell the bike! Go here: http://www.horizonsunlimited.com/hub...peru-now-64758
Reply With Quote
Old 19 Jul 2014
Registered Users
New on the HUBB
Join Date: Jul 2014
Location: Peru
Posts: 5
2014 experience

I realise that my case is different as I was a buying a new bike from a dealer, but it was much simpler.
The bike shop gave me a bill of sale which I had to take to a notary - just to get my paperwork and signature verified (I had read about the "permiso para firmar contratos" but was told I didn't need it - and it is only valid for 30 days, I believe), and cost me 5 soles. I took this back to the bike shop and was told the paperwork and plate would be back in around 28 days - and I rode away on my new bike. Time taken was around 3 hours!
I went straight to a kiosk in the nearest Mall and bought my SOAT (3rd party compulsory insurance) for 380 soles (it varies between location), and was good to go. The document (plastic credit card type) duly arrived, along with the plates, and everything is 100% legal. Have been "checked" numerous times by the police on my travels and most just want to check that the "tarjeta" (card) agrees with the number plate!
Reply With Quote

Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 Registered Users and/or Members and 1 guests)
Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Looking for some help in getting started TotalTomination South America 20 30 Oct 2009 17:02
Wanted : Travel bike in Argentina/Chile Dec'09 flashG TRAVEL Bikes for Sale / Wanted 7 27 Oct 2009 01:33
Bike rental Argentina christy South America 8 24 Oct 2009 12:21
Buying and registering a motorcycle in Chile timyarb Trip Paperwork 12 23 Oct 2009 16:42


NEW! HU 2015 Motorcycle Adventure Travel Calendar is now available! Get your copy now for some terrific travel inspiration!

HUGE, 11.5 x 16.5 inches, beautifully printed in Germany on top quality stock! Photos are the winning images from over 600 entries in the 9th Annual HU Photo Contest!

Horizons Unlimited 2015 Motorcycle Adventure Travel Calendar.

"The calendar is magnificent!"

"I just wanted to say how much I'm loving the new, larger calendar!"

We share the profit with the winning photographers. YOU could be in the HU Calendar too - enter here!

HU DVD Autumn Special!

Take 40% off Road Heroes Part 1 until October 31 only!

Road Heroes features tales of adventure, joy and sheer terror by veteran travellers Peter and Kay Forwood (193 countries two-up on a Harley); Dr. Greg Frazier (5 times RTW); Tiffany Coates (RTW solo female); and Rene Cormier (University of Gravel Roads).

The first in an exciting new series, Road Heroes features tales of adventure, joy and sheer terror by veteran travellers."Inspiring and hilarious!"

"I loved watching this DVD!"

"Lots of amazing stories and even more amazing photographs, it's great fun and very inspirational."

"Wonderful entertainment!"

Check it out at the HU Store! Remember to use Coupon Code 'HEROES' on your order when you checkout.

Renedian Adventures

Renedian Adventures

What others say about HU...

"I just wanted to say thanks for doing this and sharing so much with the rest of us." Dave, USA

"Your website is a mecca of valuable information and the DVD series is informative, entertaining, and inspiring! The new look of the website is very impressive, updated and catchy. Thank you so very much!" Jennifer, Canada

"...Great site. Keep up the good work." Murray and Carmen, Australia

"We just finished a 7 month 22,000+ mile scouting trip from Alaska to the bottom of Chile and I can't tell you how many times we referred to your site for help. From how to adjust your valves, to where to stay in the back country of Peru. Horizons Unlimited was a key player in our success. Motorcycle enthusiasts from around the world are in debt to your services." Alaska Riders

contest pic

10th Annual HU Travellers Photo Contest is on now! This is an opportunity for YOU to show us your best photos and win prizes!

NEW! HU 2014 Adventure Travel T-shirts! are now available in several colors! Be the first kid on your block to have them! New lower prices on synths!

HU 2014 T-shirts now in!

Check out the new Gildan Performance cotton-feel t-shirt - 100% poly, feels like soft cotton!

What turns you on to motorcycle travel?

Global Rescue, WORLDwide evacuation services for EVERYONE

Global Rescue is the premier provider of medical, security and evacuation services worldwide and is the only company that will come to you, wherever you are, and evacuate you to your home hospital of choice. Additionally, Global Rescue places no restrictions on country of citizenship - all nationalities are eligible to sign-up!

New to Horizons Unlimited?

New to motorcycle travelling? New to the HU site? Confused? Too many options? It's really very simple - just 4 easy steps!

Horizons Unlimited was founded in 1997 by Grant and Susan Johnson following their journey around the world on a BMW R80 G/S motorcycle.

Susan and Grant Johnson Read more about Grant & Susan's story

Membership - help keep us going!

Horizons Unlimited is not a big multi-national company, just two people who love motorcycle travel and have grown what started as a hobby in 1997 into a full time job (usually 8-10 hours per day and 7 days a week) and a labour of love. To keep it going and a roof over our heads, we run events (22 this year!); we sell inspirational and informative DVDs; we have a few selected advertisers; and we make a small amount from memberships.

You don't have to be a Member to come to an HU meeting, access the website, the HUBB or to receive the e-zine. What you get for your membership contribution is our sincere gratitude, good karma and knowing that you're helping to keep the motorcycle travel dream alive. Contributing Members and Gold Members do get additional features on the HUBB. Here's a list of all the Member benefits on the HUBB.

Books & DVDs


All the best travel books and videos listed and often reviewed on HU's famous Books page. Check it out and get great travel books from all over the world.

Motorcycle Express for shipping and insurance!

Motorcycle Express

MC Air Shipping, (uncrated) USA / Canada / Europe and other areas. Be sure to say "Horizons Unlimited" to get your $25 discount on Shipping!
Insurance - see: For foreigners traveling in US and Canada and for Americans and Canadians traveling in other countries, then mail it to MC Express and get your HU $15 discount!

All times are GMT +1. The time now is 13:18.