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I haven't been everywhere...
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Photo by Igor Djokovic,
camping above San Juan river,
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  #1  
Old 17 Apr 2023
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Selling Chilean bike in Colombia 2023

For those interested, this is how I went about selling my Chilean bike in Colombia.

Feb 2022 - Bought second hand in Chile
Mar 2023 - Sold in Colombia

I had considered returning to Chile to sell, but I had had the bike out of Chile for over a year so there was a possibility of a fine (when leaving Chile, I'd signed something saying I'd return within 90/180 days or something) but mainly I couldn't return because Ecuador wouldn't let me in. They have a visa policy of '90 days within a 12 month period' and I'd already used my 90 days so couldn't get back through to Chile from Colombia for another six months (without a lot of boats through the Amazon!).

In Colombia, there is no way to import a used vehicle. I speak Spanish and I only heard of a few exceptions for very old or classic cars, and only after speaking with a LOT of dealers and online buyers. Apparently Diplomats get a quota for bringing foreign vehicles in but that's pretty much it! Legend has it even J Balvin had to take his imported Ferrari back to the USA after 6 months.

My best option would've been to sell to a foreigner, completing a sale document at a Notaria and providing them with a 'poder' to allow them to cross borders (not always straighforward) back to Chile where they could officially change the ownership. I did a lot of searching in Medellín for a traveller who might be interested but couldn't find anyone. So my alternative was to sell it to a local who would just ride around small towns / in the countryside where the police wouldn't hassle them about documents.

In most countries, the temporary import permit (TIP) is a physical document given to you by customs as you enter and taken off you as you leave. In Colombia it's digital post-COVID so I just had an email saying my bike was authorised until April. What this meant is that I could take the bike to the border, take it out of the country officially but I would still have an email that says I'm authorised if I'm asked for documents. I agree, it's not ideal, but it meant that I was able to sell it locally and not worry about the TIP expiry, as 'I'd already left'.

I ended up selling by going from dealer to dealer in Pasto. I also tried in Medellín, Mocoa and some other places near the Ecuador border but the best offers I got were in Pasto. Ended up selling it for about ⅓ of what it cost me in Chile, which was also about ⅓ of what it was worth in Colombia, were it Colombian registered. Completed a document of sale and was paid in cash.

Hope this helps, any questions feel free to reach out.
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Old 18 Apr 2023
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Location: Back into the hamster wheel again, in Oslo - Norway. Did a 5 year RTW trip/250 k kms, 2014-2019
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Thanks for the info, some good points to know.

Actually I wasnt aware of that Equador had s visa policy of 90 days/12 months. I guess most travellers only travel one way through Equador on their travels - so not many are aware of this….
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Old 18 Apr 2023
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Location: Neiva Colombia
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Ecuador visa

I dont know what the Colombian was thinking when he bought your Chilean plated bike There is no way in Hell its going to be Plated Colombian
But Its Colombia they have ways That I would never Try
I entered Ecuador in November last year from Colombia I returned this year in feb into Colombia I had ten days left on my tourist visa and the lady at the San Miguel crossing asked if I wanted to extend my visa for another 90 days, I said no thanks ill pass and asked her about how much time I would be allowed coming back to Ecuador this year
she replied 10 days and I would have to apply for a 90 day extention
Ecuadors system is different and I'm not sure on how they reset your time to stay 90 days then apply for a Extention for 90 more
In Colombia this is strait forward
As far as buying and registering a bike in South America, crossing borders shouldn't be a problem, you won't need a temporary Import Permit This only applies to vehicles that are not from SA
When I entered Ecuador in November at San Miguel the crossing was easy peasy Going into Ecuador the officials never even looked at my moto Though I was standing in Migration with riding gear and helmet, Same coming back to Colombia
The Colombia/ Ecuador migration officials are 10 feet apart Stamp out stamp In
it doesn't get any easier, Colombian plates rock
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