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Photo by Bettina Hoebenreich, at the foot of the Bear Glaciers, British Columbia, Canada.



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  #1  
Old 3 Sep 2018
mak mak is offline
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Exclamation A detailed Guide on buying a motorcycle in Colombia

This is my firsthand experience of buying a Yamaha Tenere 250 from an individual in Medellin in the month of August 2018.
I hope to travel for 4-6 months through Ecuador and Peru and return to Medellin where i can legally sell the motorcycle to either a local or foreign national.

Legally buying a motorcycle in Colombia

I reached Colombia on the 15th of August 2018 with the intention of buying a motorcycle to travel through parts of South America ending my trip in Colombia a few months later.

Colombia is a one of the few countries in South America where you can legally register a motorcycle in your name, cross international borders and legally sell the motorcycle In Colombia.

Legally is the keyword over here as there are cheaper ways of buying foreign registered motorcycles while in South America. They may be cheaper and will involve photoshop skills. But I don’t recommend them and wouldn’t do it myself.

So here we go.
Basics you need to buy a motorcycle in Colombia as a foreign National.
  1. A motorcycle you like.
  2. The Money.
  3. Your Passport.

The Initial Research

Figure out where you want to buy before hand. The reason is primarily to find the going rates and availability of the motorcycle in the cities your planning to visit.

The best cities would be
  1. Bogota
  2. Medellin
  3. Cali
  4. Cartagena
Obviously the bigger cities have a better selection online as well a more structured second dealer network.

The websites to look for motorcycles online are
  1. MercadoLibre
  2. OLX
  3. TuMoto
These are in order of preference and ease of navigation.
I would not recommend buying a motorcycle without seeing and riding it. But they are a good place to get an idea of prices of motorcycles and how they vary across cities. As well as year of manufacture and number of KMs run. It will give you an idea if someone is overcharging for a motorcycle or its ridiculously cheap.. both tend to be red flags.

The Motorcycle

Check the motorcycle
I'm not getting into too much detail over here.because i have a really long checklist. I used to be a mechanic so i know my way around an engine, but it was the first time i had ever seen a Tenere 250 in my life. So after i was satisfied with the motorcycle. I was able to get an independent mechanic to look at the motorcycle. I definitely would recommend this.

Check Frame and engine number as per registration

Check all documents
  1. Registration Card
  2. SOAT
  3. Technico Mechanica
  4. Police clearance - not a document

The Registration Card will have details of the owner, vehicle number,chassis and engine number. model number and smaller details. Just make sure everything lines up and matches and you will be fine.

The SOAT, which is the insurance cover for your motorcycle and any third party damage caused. it is linked to the Motorcycle and not to you. Note the SOAT is valid only in Colombia and you will have to buy a new SOAT for every country you visit in South America. It isn’t very expensive and varies from $15-$30.

The Technico Mechanica, states that the vehicle is mechanically fit to be on the road.
The Technico Mechanica is more expensive and will have to be valid for the entire time you are in Colombia as well as when you re-enter the country.

The SOAT and the Technico Mechanica should be valid at the time of transfer. they typically have a validity of 1 year.

Get a clear chit from the police, just to make sure the vehicle does not have any pending fines, or was involved in any accidents.
This can be done by going to a nearby Police station or even to a policeman who has a data connection. They will enter the vehicle number and will be able to tell you on the spot if anything is out of place.

The Money Transfer


It is typical to pay a small amount as a security deposit for the motorcycle. There is a official document when both Buyer and seller fill in their details along with finalised amount as well as the initial deposit that was paid. Index finger prints of both parties are required for this document.
A lot of individual sellers will prefer to do the transaction in cash. Dealers will be ok with bank transfers but cash seems to be the preferred method.

Be aware of carrying large amounts of cash. Always do the handover in the bank itself and take a signed note from the seller that they have received the money.

Typically they will be ok with installments if you have limitations with ATM withdrawals.
Speak to your bank beforehand ifyou intend to do a large international transaction. You could alternatively usea service like Transferwise or Xoom to transfer the money into a local bank account.

The Paperwork
The transfer process in major cities is very straightforward and typically takes half a day if you go yourself with the seller, and you will have the papers in your name legally.

Knowledge of Spanish is required to make this process seamless.

If you are buying a motorcycle from a dealer, they typically will take care of the paperwork and the entire process will take one or two working days. You will still need a RUNT (so you will have to read a bit more).

Items Needed
  1. Rubbings of the Engine and Chassis number.
  2. Transfer forms - can be obtained at the Movilad/Office
  3. Your Passport.
  4. Original Registration Papers
  5. SOAT
  6. Technico Mechanica

The RUNT
To have the motorcycle you will need a RUNT.
The RUNT is the National Registry for all individuals who own vehicles or have licences. Basically anything Automotive related requires you to exist in the RUNT database.
Registry for the RUNT is free and as a foreign only requires your original passport. Not even a licence.
They will fill in your details as per your passport, scan your index fingers(both of them) and take a photo. You wont get a acknowledgment of the RUNT, but you can always retrieve it from the RUNT website using your passport number.
The RUNT registration takes around 15 minutes not including waiting time.

The Paperwork for the transfer
For the transfer the seller/dealer will have to bring the original registration for the vehicle.
Transfer forms can be obtained at the office of transfer and are not charged. You will have to use a local address. even a hotel address is fine.
Just a single large detailed form which will need your passport number, your index finger print and signature. it is in spanish but well laid out and easy to understand.
Submit the forms and make the payment for transfer.

Cost of Vehicle transfer
The fixed amount for the transfer 77,000COP + 1% of vehicle value.
From what i understand. If it is a dealer, it is included in the price. But for individuals, the cost of transfer is split equally between both parties.

After making the payment. You’’ll be asked to return to collect the papers in an hour or two.
Go grab a coffee and enjoy the anticipation.

Return to collect the papers and your done.
Make sure all financial transactions are done, collect the SOAT, Technico Mechanica and keys from the seller and you’re done.

Note:-
I bought the motorcycle directly from a seller and not through a dealer. My spanish is basic at best and not equipped to conduct business with government agencies. I was lucky to have a patient seller who accompanied me and helped with the paperwork.

Remember to smile a lot, be patient and accommodating.

Last edited by mak; 4 Sep 2018 at 05:27.
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  #2  
Old 3 Sep 2018
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Comprehensive write-up, thanks for sharing
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"For sheer delight there is nothing like altitude; it gives one the thrill of adventure
and enlarges the world in which you live,"
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  #3  
Old 4 Sep 2018
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Yeah I'll second that, good job, got it saved for future reference. Cheers
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  #4  
Old 4 Sep 2018
mak mak is offline
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Thanks guys.
I'll try update the post with a few links.
I struggled to find complete information online for the entire process before i landed here in Colombia.
Tried to put together as much as i could..
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  #5  
Old 4 Sep 2018
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Very nice post. Thank you for this info!
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  #6  
Old 5 Sep 2018
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Question

Great info, thanks! I may end up doing this myself.
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  #7  
Old 17 Sep 2018
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Many thanks!
In 3 weeks i'm flying to Bogota to buy a bike and i'm enchanted with Tenere 250 (well, i've never seen it alive though). Unfortunately, according to the dealers websites now they don't sell it new in Colombia, only enduro-type XTZ250 ("Lander"), and there are not so many offers buying it used on mercadolibre...
Hope to add here my own buying experience in a month.

mak, if it's not a secret, what what was the initial price for your bike and did you negotiate it? Prices on mercadolibre are weird but i'm pretty sure they are negotiable, the question is how much...
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  #8  
Old 17 Sep 2018
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This is the guide!

Yo invito el café en Bogotá! Coffee's on me.

If you need some help with Spanish, message me, I am close to some Yamaha and Suzuki Shops, and others.

Great job Mak, did you enjoy the tinto?
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  #9  
Old 24 Sep 2018
mak mak is offline
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Hey Korsun,

Most places dropped the price by atleast 1 million pesos after i pointed out minor issues. Everyone seems ok to negotiate. But obviously within reason.
I saw quite a few motorcycles and this seemed to be the case everywhere.

I got the price down from 13.5 to 12 million and spent the different adding accessories to the bike
I did find some Tenere 250s for lower but they had higher mileage.

Quote:
Originally Posted by korsun View Post
Many thanks!
In 3 weeks i'm flying to Bogota to buy a bike and i'm enchanted with Tenere 250 (well, i've never seen it alive though). Unfortunately, according to the dealers websites now they don't sell it new in Colombia, only enduro-type XTZ250 ("Lander"), and there are not so many offers buying it used on mercadolibre...
Hope to add here my own buying experience in a month.

mak, if it's not a secret, what what was the initial price for your bike and did you negotiate it? Prices on mercadolibre are weird but i'm pretty sure they are negotiable, the question is how much...
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  #10  
Old 24 Sep 2018
mak mak is offline
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Thank you so much for the invite!!
I'm way South right now. Hopefully when i return in a few months!
I'm still enjoying the tinto!!
At San Agustin now, slowly making my way to Ecuador in the next 10 days

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jvlianja View Post
This is the guide!

Yo invito el café en Bogotá! Coffee's on me.

If you need some help with Spanish, message me, I am close to some Yamaha and Suzuki Shops, and others.

Great job Mak, did you enjoy the tinto?
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  #11  
Old 25 Sep 2018
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Appreciate the detailed information.

1. Can you provide a little more info for the money transfer to the seller? Exactly when did you give the seller money and what did you get in return?

2. Where did you find a mechanic to check the bike? Cost? (I heard they do a complete check at near the Macro (over the river past the Poblado Metro Station) but the cost sounded a little high.

Thank you.
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  #12  
Old 21 Oct 2018
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Well, i finally did it. I spent a week in Bogota choosing and buying used bike and one week more in the surroundings of Bogota while they were doing all the paperwork.
So, personal experiences. I have a very basic Spanish, by the way.
Registering in RUNT really takes 15 min (and costs 4$). That was the easiest part.

Choosing the bike. I've read that bikes here are in awful condition and sellers don't negotiate too much... But it was a bit hard to believe. It's time to confess that i've never seen such bad bikes for such a bad price. After looking to 5 Yamaha XTZ250 (Tenere or Lander, they are basically the same, Tenere is more tourer type), bargaining the price down at maximum 300k peso, i decided to give up and buy a new Honda XRE190 (i didn't like it though). But before to have a look to the last Tenere in my list. Magically this one was in ok condition. Only one owner who did the maintenance at the mechanic shop and didn't even knew where the air filter is located on the bike. I was lucky. Upon a cup of tinto the price was negotiated from 12 400 000 to 11 800 000.

Transfering money. We decided to try swift bank transfer but 1) it takes 2-3 working days, 2) there were things i couldn't understand. For example, the client service in the seller's bank Bancolombia said that he can receive transfer in dollars even if he has an account in pesos but swift simply does not work this way... So, we went to a shopping mall and here in the ATM of Davivienda bank i received all those millions... Davivienda has no fees, ok exchange rate, 2 000 000 max for one transaction and unlimited transactions per day.

After that we went to SIM (the same place where you get RUNT). But before that the seller said he hasn't paid taxes for 2 years (although earlier he said he had, "al dia") but would pay them now in front of me. So we visited Bancolombia before SIM.The price of transfer was completely on him. It was on Thursday and i was told to return to SIM for my tarjeta del propietario (the card of the owner) on Tuesday. Because it takes time for tax information to go through a system. The seller gave me the keys, his SOAT (insurance) and Tecnomecanica for the bike and also his tarjeta del propietario. He said, i can drive now with his card. I don't understand how it works, really. But with his card i was driving for a week and no one stopped me. On Tuesday nothing has been ready yet. Came back on Thursday. Success.

So, one more advice: if you like a bike and decide to buy it, always ask for the papers for taxes, SOAT and Tecno. They're quiet expensive if buy it separately. Tecno costs 130 000, SOAT about 500 000 (for a year and you cannot buy one for a month) and taxes - depends on engine cc, 400 000 -- 500 000.
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  #13  
Old 21 Oct 2018
mak mak is offline
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Congrats!!! Hope to see you on the road!!!!




Quote:
Originally Posted by korsun View Post
Well, i finally did it. I spent a week in Bogota choosing and buying used bike and one week more in the surroundings of Bogota while they were doing all the paperwork.
So, personal experiences. I have a very basic Spanish, by the way.
Registering in RUNT really takes 15 min (and costs 4$). That was the easiest part.

Choosing the bike. I've read that bikes here are in awful condition and sellers don't negotiate too much... But it was a bit hard to believe. It's time to confess that i've never seen such bad bikes for such a bad price. After looking to 5 Yamaha XTZ250 (Tenere or Lander, they are basically the same, Tenere is more tourer type), bargaining the price down at maximum 300k peso, i decided to give up and buy a new Honda XRE190 (i didn't like it though). But before to have a look to the last Tenere in my list. Magically this one was in ok condition. Only one owner who did the maintenance at the mechanic shop and didn't even knew where the air filter is located on the bike. I was lucky. Upon a cup of tinto the price was negotiated from 12 400 000 to 11 800 000.

Transfering money. We decided to try swift bank transfer but 1) it takes 2-3 working days, 2) there were things i couldn't understand. For example, the client service in the seller's bank Bancolombia said that he can receive transfer in dollars even if he has an account in pesos but swift simply does not work this way... So, we went to a shopping mall and here in the ATM of Davivienda bank i received all those millions... Davivienda has no fees, ok exchange rate, 2 000 000 max for one transaction and unlimited transactions per day.

After that we went to SIM (the same place where you get RUNT). But before that the seller said he hasn't paid taxes for 2 years (although earlier he said he had, "al dia") but would pay them now in front of me. So we visited Bancolombia before SIM.The price of transfer was completely on him. It was on Thursday and i was told to return to SIM for my tarjeta del propietario (the card of the owner) on Tuesday. Because it takes time for tax information to go through a system. The seller gave me the keys, his SOAT (insurance) and Tecnomecanica for the bike and also his tarjeta del propietario. He said, i can drive now with his card. I don't understand how it works, really. But with his card i was driving for a week and no one stopped me. On Tuesday nothing has been ready yet. Came back on Thursday. Success.

So, one more advice: if you like a bike and decide to buy it, always ask for the papers for taxes, SOAT and Tecno. They're quiet expensive if buy it separately. Tecno costs 130 000, SOAT about 500 000 (for a year and you cannot buy one for a month) and taxes - depends on engine cc, 400 000 -- 500 000.
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  #14  
Old 22 Oct 2018
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That's another good experience, do not forget to change the oil! enjoy
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Old 2 Nov 2018
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Looking for some advice regarding this. I have a 2017 Honda xr150 on Colombian plates. Purchased in Chile. I will be in Colombia in 3-4 months and would like to transfer it into my name when I arrive. Obviously the owner will not be with me. And my poder only covers riding, not selling or transferring. Will it be possible to transfer it into my name with out the owner? Or can they make me a poder from Chile to do it, and post it to me?
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