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Photo by Michael Jordan, enjoying a meal at sunset, Zangskar Valley, India

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Photo by Michael Jordan
enjoying a meal at sunset,
Zangskar Valley, India

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  • 1 Post By katalyst

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Old 2 Jan 2019
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Buying a bike in Chile / Santiago

Hi everyone,

A heads up on the requirements for buying a motorbike in Chile and a company that helps travellers inspect and buy bikes, then provides guidance and support while travelling in Chile and Argentina.

Briefly, to legally buy and own a motorbike in Chile then take it over borders requires:

To own it in Chile:

- an RUT (a Chilean tax number, which requires a Chilean sponsor for foreigners)
- Certificado de inscripcion for the bike (aka a padron; a laminated card with the particulars of the owner and the vehicle; essentially proof of ownership)
- During the 2-3 week period before the Civil Registry updates the register and sends a new certificado de inscripcion, an autorizacion (a notarised declaration from the prior owner to confirm that, though the certificado de inscripcion doesn't carry your name, you have authorisation to be riding the bike and to take it across borders)
- Permiso de circulacion (which confirms that annual taxes have been paid)
- Certificado de homologacion individual (which confirms that the vehicle has had its annual inspection)
- Chilean insurance (and the certificate of insurance)

To complete the sale:

- Compraventa (a notarised document that records the particulars of the sale, including the RUT of the purchaser)

To cross borders:
- Proof of ownership (the certificado de inscripcion plus the autorizacion)
- A declaration jurada (a notarised declaration that you will return the bike to the original country. Note that this doesn't seem to be strictly necessary and I wasn't asked in Argentina or Bolivia for the document, but you'll be at a notary anyway for the rest, and better safe than sorry)
- The aduana documents (at each border, there will be a form that records the exit of the vehicle from one country and entry into the next country. That form needs to be retained until the next border, at which point it becomes the exit document for the current country)
- Depending on the destination countries, insurance in the destination country (though this was never inspected at aduanas)

So - obtaining an RUT; then ensuring that all of the documents have been obtained; then that they are complete and technically-correct; then finding a competent notary is far from a trivial task.

This is where Suzi Santiago comes in.


In my research on advrider and HUBB prior to leaving home, I had struggled to try to confirm exactly what the requirements are, let alone find someone who could sponsor me for a RUT. Navigating my way through all of the documentation would have been a challenge - except for a reference in one of these threads to Suzi. I sent an e-mail and was glad that I did.

It's a local travel services company that was started by two brothers - Noam and Daniel. In essence, they help travellers with all of the requirements of buying a vehicle in Chile (car, bike, whatever); help to inspect the vehicle and negotiate the sale; assist with finding mechanics and equipment; provide general route-planning advice; are available to assist during the course of the trip (e.g. if someone is stuck at a border crossing); and then, at the end, can sell the bike after a traveller has left the country (whether through their own advertising, through the local vehicle sale sites, etc).

They're organised, responsive, and cheap (c. US$150 for the service). For that, in the week while I was finding and prepping a bike, Daniel would have spent 2-3 full days helping me - travelling to bike shops, speaking to vendors, obtaining an RUT, going to notaries, finding parts and mechanics, etc - and over that time, I saw them doing the equivalent for 10-15 other travellers.

I might have been able to do it on my own - with difficulty and uncertainty, but the idea for us is to be on the road and exploring, rather than stuck in paperwork and legal complexity - so Suzi is highly, highly recommended.

Hope this all helps.
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Old 13 Jul 2019
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Hi katalyst!

One question; Have you been across Bolivian or Peruvian border without your name on the padron but the autorización and the declaración jurada? I have read quite a few bad experiences trying to get out of Chile as a foreigner owning a vehicle, even with the new issued padron. It seems the interpretation of the law by the guys in aduanas is not always the same.

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Old 14 Jul 2019
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Hey mate, this thread : https://www.horizonsunlimited.com/hu...santiago-45637

It's kept fairly up to date with people's reports of experiences in Chile. Be sure to jump to the last page for the most recent stuff.
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