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Pan American Highway > Chile Template:Metadata country morocco city casablanca bloc. ain bourja Template:Pricecontrol country Mecanician al Chérif chez Cycliste Khalid Omari

Visiting Chile[edit]

Chile is a very beautiful and safe country, and is very much enjoyed by Overlanders. The borders are easy, safety is not a concern and there is a lot to see and do. Distances are huge so expect to travel many miles. The amazing mountains of the south, where it can be very cold give you forests, amazing lakes, glaciers and active volcanoes. The middle is warmer with forest and wine plantations. The north is more like desert and dry and hot. Amazing beaches. The sea life is abundant and the salt lakes of Atacama are very picturesque.

Entering Chile with a Car or Motorbike[edit]

Correct as of: November 2013

Required Paperwork[edit]

(To check if you need a travel Visa for Chile, application instructions and fees see: Chile Visa online application at Documentos que sirven de base para la confección del Título de Importación Temporal de Vehículos:
a) Carné de residencia definitiva otorgado en el país extranjero o en su defecto contrato de trabajo vigente, en el que conste domicilio actual, visado por el cónsul chileno correspondiente.
b) Pasaporte.
c) Padrón del vehículo o documento que haga sus veces. En caso que el conductor no sea el propietario del vehículo, deberá presentar autorización notarial.
d) Conocimiento de embarque, original en caso de vehículos llegados por vía marítima. Confección del Título de Importación Temporal de Vehículos:
Los interesados deberán señalar los siguientes datos:
- Nombre del conductor.
- Dirección estimada en Chile.
- Nacionalidad.
- Número de pasajeros.
- Número del Pasaporte o, en su caso, cédula de identidad y país de emisión.
- Descripción del vehículo y accesorios
- Descripción del vehículo de arrastre, cuando proceda.
- Firma del conductor. Tramitación del Título de Importación Temporal de Vehículos
La presentación del título se hará en la Aduana, avanzada o paso fronterizo ante la cual se solicitare el ingreso del vehículo al país, acompañada de los documentos que le sirven de base.
De estar conforme la documentación presentada, la Aduana procederá a numerar y fechar el título, consignando la fecha de vencimiento del régimen de admisión temporal, de hasta noventa días, y entregar los ejemplares correspondientes al interesado.
Con la numeración del título se entiende concedida la autorización para el ingreso temporal del vehículo al país.

Process at border[edit]

  • The owner of the vehicle gains entry at Immigration (Migración), including a stamp in their Passport.
  • The owner must show the new passport stamp and original vehicle registration to Customs (Aduana).
  • The owner is issued a temporary import permit for the vehicle. Título de Importación Temporal de Vehículos

If you cross from Argentina in the south of Chile, you are not allowed to carry fresh meat, dairy, or even eggs. Therefore, consume them beforehand. You could hide them, but some border officials know where to look so it's better not to take the chance.

Cost of entry[edit]

Australians must pay a USD$117 "reciprocity fee" to enter, all other nationalities enter for free.

Permitted length of stay[edit]

The same as the owner, commonly 90 days.

Extension of stay[edit]

It is possible to extend your stay by visiting the aduana in Chile, or emailing them. But make sure that you extend it before the original permit runs out.

Here is the experience from one overlander in September 2017:
My experience with overstayed TIP in Chile for those interested.

For starters, I never intended to overstay my TIP, but due to unforeseen circumstances, it happened.

My TIP was set to expire Aug 8th. I went to Aduana at the Santiago Airport and requested a 30 day extension on Aug 1st like a good gringo. On Aug 22nd I received my paperwork allowing the 30 day extension. Yup, it took Aduana 3 whole weeks to stamp a simple piece of paper.

I now had until Sept 7th to leave which worked perfectly for my planned schedule. I flew to the US for an intended 12 days, to return on Sept 5th, then leave Santiago by way of Los Liberatores before my TIP expired.

The hurricanes created a whirlwind of problems, literally, and I was unable to return to Chile until Sept 20th, 11 days past my TIP.

I went to Aduana again, where they drafted up a new request to which I told them I had to leave Chile fairly soon and could not wait another 3 weeks for them to stamp the papers. They said they would expedite it....

So, having to leave, I decided to head to Bariloche and cross by way of Osorno. I printed all the email conversations, all the request papers for the new extension and explained the situation. After four days of driving, the border told me that my fine needed to be paid in Santiago, and I had to return.

So, if you ever run into this problem, BE SURE TO LEAVE FROM THE SAME BORDER YOU ENTERED!.

So, I begged and pleaded, I explained I have to be on a boat leaving Madryn in 2.5 weeks and so on. The guy was very understanding, very simpathetic and helpful. He called Santiago, had them transfer my "Multa" to Osorno and I was able to sort it out here, thankfully.

It cost $20,000.00 CLP and about 4 hours.

My advice, don't overstay your Chilean TIP. If you need more time, do a border run or expect a long wait for your papers. Also, had I been smart I would have requested another 90 days, even though I thought I only needed <30

The end.

Extension of TITV[edit] Prórroga del Título de Importación Temporal de Vehículos

La prórroga del título deberá ser solicitada por el interesado, antes de la fecha de vencimiento, ante la Dirección Regional o Administración de la Aduana correspondiente, o ante cualquier Aduana debiendo acompañar el original de dicho documento, acreditar la prórroga de la Visa de Turista, mediante la presentación del correspondiente certificado emitido por la respectiva autoridad de Extranjería y Migración.

Si la solicitud se presentare en una Aduana distinta de la ingreso, ésta remitirá en forma interna la petición para su resolución.

En caso que la prórroga fuere concedida, se ingresará esta información al módulo de prórroga del sistema informático, y se entregará al interesado copia del documento.

Storing a vehicle and temporarily leaving the country[edit]

  • In Chile it is possible to store a vehicle and to leave the country without it, as long as you are back before the permitted length of stay for car and owner runs out.
  • I April 2016 Overlanders left their vehicle behind: I had to leave Chile urgently. I was within the permitted length of stay. I stored the car and left by plane from Santiago. I got my exit stamp without questions asked, although the slip that I received when entering had a stamp ENTERED WITH VEHICLE.
  • In December 2015 Overlanders had this to say: We went today to the aduana office in the airport in Santiago. It took 5 minutes. Basically you just have to go there with the person who'll keep your vehicle. The officer asks for both your passports (or IDs) and fills out a form for you. I think you can do that on the day of your departure as it is super fast. Maybe they won't even check when we leave but we were not willing to take the risk! Also the aduana website says that the offices are only opened from 8:30 am to 2:00 pm. Upon return, we were able to have the paperwork canceled without our friend needing to return to the airport.
  • In 2012, Overlanders did leave their vehicle in Chile for longer than the temporary import permit allowed. They say: We had to find someone in Chile who was prepared to sign to say they would keep the vehicle for us and we had to sign to say that if we did not return by the specified date the Chilean keeper of the vehicle would have the right to dispose of the vehicle as they wished - and all that had to go through the notary system first, signed by us and the person with a Chilean passport.

Exiting with a vehicle[edit]

  • The registered owner presents the temporary import paper to customs.
  • The registered owner is stamped out of Chile at immigration.

Driving in Chile[edit]

Recommended books for Overlanding in Chile[edit]

Lonely Planet Chile & Easter Island (travel Guide)
Lonely Planet Chile & Easter Island (travel Guide)
by Lonely Planet, Carolyn McCarthy, Greg Benchwick, J...
From $14.00 on Amazon
Work Less To Live Your Dreams: A Practical Guide To Sa...
Work Less To Live Your Dreams: A Practical Guide To Sa...
by Dan Grec
From $click on Amazon
Don't Go There. It's Not Safe. You'll Die. And Other M...
Don't Go There. It's Not Safe. You'll Die. And Other M...
From $click on Amazon
Americas Overland - The Driving Handbook
Americas Overland - The Driving Handbook
by Donald Greene
From $29.95 on Amazon
Overlanders' Handbook: Worldwide Route And Planning Gu...
Overlanders' Handbook: Worldwide Route And Planning Gu...
by Chris Scott
From $22.49 on Amazon
Adventure Motorcycling Handbook: A Route & Planning Gu...
Adventure Motorcycling Handbook: A Route & Planning Gu...
by Chris Scott
From $click on Amazon
Chile Handbook (footprint Handbooks)
Chile Handbook (footprint Handbooks)
by Chris Wallace
From $13.41 on Amazon

Travel insurance for Chile[edit]

World Nomads offer the most flexible Travel Insurance at the best prices for multi-country / multi-year trips. You can buy, extend and claim online, even after you've left home.

Vehicle insurance requirements[edit]

Insurance is mandatory in Chile, and Police will most likely ask to see it at some point. It's common to buy a policy that covers multiple countries in South America.

Cost of insurance[edit]

The mandatory insurance is called SOAP (Seguro Obligatorio de Accidentes Personales) and costs about $11,000.00 CLP per year for a Chilean car. Many insurance agencies will not sell SOAP to owners of vehicles registered outside of the Chilean national system, but it can be done with perseverance.

SOAP for a motorbike in Chile costs about $75.00 USD for a year (2014). The "insurance year" runs from end of March to end of March, so if you buy SOAP in February you can expect to pay the full year cost for less than 2 months of coverage.

Cheap insurance for foreign vehicles can be purchased online from Magallanes at 5 months for a casa rodante for $10.00 USD.

For extended insurance, there is a Mercosur car insurance that covers most of the Mercosur countries. It costs $30.00 USD per month. It's the most basic type, covering only the car and people who are in a collision caused by the insured.

Where to purchase insurance[edit]

Online at We purchased it at a Terpel petro station, which had a small insurance office attached. Falabella wouldn't sell insurance to foreigners when we tried in 2013.

Consorci sells SOAP online at They call it SOAPEX.

Driving license[edit]

Technically an International Driving Permit is required.
In reality, showing a license from anywhere in the world seems to be good enough.

Driving side of road[edit]

As recently as 2014, some Right hand drive vehicles have been denied entry, specifically at Southern border crossings and when shipping into Chile. Technically, this law is illegal, but a few overlanders have been denied entry, and there isn't really anything you can do. RHD vehicles proceed with caution.
In July 2014 one Overlander shipped into Southern Chile (Port Lirquen and the Customs at Talcahuano (Near Concepcion)) and had a nightmare of a time with paperwork to be permitted to drive a RHD vehicle. Eventually permission was granted, and he left Chile as soon as possible. Recent re-entries into the country have been no problem. The story is here:
You will remember the problems that I was having in Port Lirquen and the Customs at Talcahuano (Near Concepcion) who prevented me from collecting my car from the port, all because one official said that the right hand drive (RHD) was illegal in Chile. I tried everything I could, but even after phone calls from friends and associates in Chile the customs (aduana) refused to allow me to bring my car into Argentina unless I got permission from the ministry of transport.

I went back and forth from the Ministry of Transport and even a letter was sent to the Ministers office in Santiago.

Eventually, I understood that the aduana were either just stupid or simply didn't care. I found out that the "law" that they referred to was not a law but a resolution, "Resolucion 36 of 15-7-1988. and that the actual law referring to my vehicle was Chile General Traffic Law November 2007. My vehicle and documents all complied with the 2007 law, but the aduana did not care or did not understand about the law or that I had a Carnet de Passage etc.

Eventually, the aduana agreed that I could collect my car if I collected from the port on the back of a truck (camion) and if I kept it off the road at my new friends private address, (thank goodness for the Land Rover Club de Chile)!! I had to sign a customs document that I didn't understand, as my Spanish is not good. (see attached). The aduana told me that I had to get permission from the Ministry of Transport and if that was granted then they would allow me to drive.

More phone calls were made to the aduana and the Ministry of Transport in Concepcion told me that it could take sometime. Days and weeks ticked by, but after another phone call to the head of the Aduana in Talcahuano, I was finally told that I could get permission if I returned with my documents. I returned and after sometime was told that they were sorry, but they couldn't issue me with the documents afterall and there was nothing they could do! I then realized something else, that the aduana there, really didn't know what they were doing.

I later spoke to the local police and had my documents checked and was told that all was correct, and I only needed my international driving license and that I should get insurance.

So, I made a decision to leave Chile as soon as possible. I obtained insurance from MAPFRE to cover me right across South America and the next day I drove from Santiago to the Argentina border.

I had no problems at the border and it was straightforward on the Argentina side. I drove south to Tierra del Fuego and again I had no problems entering Chile or Argentina again.

Mandatory items in vehicle[edit]

As of 2016 all vehicles are required to have a reflective vest on board for roadside repairs.

Having a small fire extinguisher and safety triangles to set out on the road, in front of, and behind your vehicle are also legal requirements in Chile.


General Road quality[edit]

Roads in Chile are of excellent quality. All major highways are paved (although sections of the Carretera Austral are only gravelled), marked with lines and well signed. Local roads could be excellent too, however always watch for possible potholes which at times are not so infrequent in Los Lagos area. Watch for loose or herded domestic animals on the roads.

Road signs[edit]

Signs are very frequent and common, even on primitive roads.

Toll roads[edit]

The number of tolls from Santiago to Puerto Montt is about 10 on Ruta 5 (Panamericana). As of November 2013 a toll charge for a passenger car was $4.20 USD on most toll points. Farther south from Santiago the toll drops a bit to $4.00 USD, then $2.00 USD, and at Puerto Montt toll point it's $1.00 USD. Also, there are Exit tolls which are normally about $1.00 USD. Do not discard Ruta 5 toll receipt before you exit it; sometimes they will not charge toll for exiting because your Ruta 5 toll receipt could be accepted as payment as you may not have driven a long distance from the previous Ruta 5 toll. Try to have always exact change.

In Santiago, the toll roads are much faster. Traffic is quite awful. Here is how to pay for the toll roads:

1) Day passes - Use the roads, then pay later. Payment within 3 days of usage is cheaper. Not sure where to pay though, Copec perhaps - anyone to add? - Buy a day pass at the gas station, Copec, then use the roads. It costs roughly $5,000.00 CLP to $6,000.00 CLP per day. - See more here from the official guys.

2) Tag (electronic beeper) - not sure if this works for non-Chilean cars - Buy a tag at one of the offices. There is one in the metro underground area of estacion Universidad de Chile. For a Chilean car, they needed our RUT and passport only. - It's cheaper than the day passes, but quite a bit of hassle to get it. Get it if you will drive around Santiago for many days. - See more here from the official guys.

Vehicle Ferries[edit]

Naviera Austral operates ferries from Caleta La Arenas across the Reloncavi Strait and continue on the Carretera Austral. The first ferry is at 07:15 and then every 45 minutes from then on. They have a helpful office in Puerto Montt [1]. A ferry transfer from mainland to Chiloé Island or back costs 10500 pesos (21 USD) one way. You pay the fee on the ferry upon entering. You cannot pay for a round trip. The crossing takes some 30 min.

Bribery in Chile[edit]

Bribery is not common in Chile, though it does happen. Do not assume a Police officer is trying to bribe you, as he may take offense, making the situation worse.
See the bribery tips page for advice.


There are no Check Points (at least between Santiago and Chiloé) where the police stop you just to check your papers. There are control stations, traffic random monitoring points or road patrols. Carabineros de Chile control stations do not happen as often as toll points. There are advance sings on the right side of the road warning that the Carabineros control station will be in 500 meters. In the middle of the road there will be a shield shaped sign with two crossed rifles on green backdrop. On those control points there could be a police car with a speed radar. Normally, carabineros do not hide to radar you but once I did see a green police car right behind the hill top. Carabineros control stations at local roads are rare but highway patrols can be seen here and there. While cruising, the police vehicles have their roof top red lights flashing but this is just to let you know they are there, it’s not that they are on an emergency call.

Traveling with pets[edit]

In all national parks pets are not allowed. You can still try to drive through without being caught depending what park it is, but officially it's not allowed. Private parks like the Huilo-Huilo or the Pumalin Park from Douglas Tomkins allow pets.
Otherwise traveling in Chile with pets is easy. There are good veterinarians and you get high quality food but not cheap.
Problematic is the border procedure when entering from a foreign country into Chile. You will need a health certificate and a SENASA certificate to enter Chile. For Chile it's officially only valid 21days after issue but sometimes they also accept older SENASA certificates.
People attitude towards dogs and their owners are alike in Europe or USA. It's expected that you pick after them etc.
Be also aware that dog food is usually only allowed in still sealed bags and with no bone contents. Check ingredients and leave bag sealed before crossing the border to Chile. Some borders will let you through with open bags, some not.
More information can be found here

Gas and Diesel price in Chile[edit]

Last updated: November 2017

Currency and unit to display:

Gasoline Grade Price
Regular - 93 octane $1,263.00 CLP per Liter
Super - 95 octane $1,311.00 CLP per Liter
Premium - 97 octane $1,345.00 CLP per Liter
Diesel Ultra $1,013.00 CLP per Liter

Gas and Diesel Availability / Frequency[edit]

Gasoline shortages are not common, and gas stations are frequent, except in the extreme South and North of the country. Here (for example in Aisen and Patagonia) gas stations are sufficient for journeys but it is advised to fill up if you pass a gas station and you have under half a tank remaining.

Gas and Diesel Quality[edit]

Gasoline and Diesel are generally thought of as high quality, and very high octane gasoline for performance cars is usually available. Diesel Ultra from Copec stations has 15ppm sulfur content. More info on the Copec site:

Gas and Diesel App[edit]

This app on the phone lets you show all the cheap gas stations in Chile.

Safety and Security Considerations[edit]

Driving at night[edit]

Driving at night is not typically thought of as a problem.

Vehicle parking[edit]

Parking vehicles on the street towns during the day and at night is typically OK. Find a secure parking lot in the biggest cities, especially in Puerto Montt and Valparaiso.

Special driving considerations[edit]

Headlights must be on all time.

Security advisories and information[edit]

Camping in Chile[edit]

Camping is becomming more common in Chile, and as such campgrounds can usually be found in touristy areas. Many Overlanders road-side camp in the remote parts of Chile.
Price for organized campsites is Unknown.

In Santiago, the Hostel International on 151 Cienfuegos, centrally located near metro station Los Heroes, has a big parking lot with no height or width issues for most overlanding vehicles.

Bloggers often publish camping lists - see section below.

Camping guide books[edit]

List and link to books specifically for camping.

Drinking water[edit]

Tap water in almost all of Chile is safe to drink. Ask a local to be certain.


Paper maps[edit]

Reise Know-How are amoung the best paper maps. Purchase paper maps before arriving in Chile

by Reise Know-How Verlag
From $14.95 on Amazon
Chile (national Geographic Adventure Map)
Chile (national Geographic Adventure Map)
by National Geographic Maps - Adventure
From $8.24 on Amazon
Chile (national Geographic Adventure Map)
Chile (national Geographic Adventure Map)
by National Geographic Maps - Adventure
From $8.24 on Amazon
Lonely Planet Chile & Easter Island (travel Guide)
Lonely Planet Chile & Easter Island (travel Guide)
by Lonely Planet, Carolyn McCarthy, Greg Benchwick, J...
From $14.00 on Amazon

Very high quality road maps of Chile can be purchased in gas stations and book stores throughout the country.

GPS Maps of Chile[edit]

  • Open Street Map: Appears to have good coverage.[2]
  • Garmin: "Most urban areas with intertown roads".[3]
  • TomTom: Amount of coverage not listed. [4]
  • Proyecto Mapear has great coverage and version 10.0 also includes Argentina, Uruguay, Bolivia and Paraguay [5]

GPS co-ordinates for camping, propane, gas, repairs, etc. in Chile[edit]

Special Overland Travel interests[edit]

  • The extreme southern end of the Carretera Austral (Route 7) is highly regarded among Overlanders and well worth the drive. The road is a dead end at Villa O’Higgins, the extreme Southern end. It is possible to buy extremely expensive gas here, but don't count on it being there. It's necessary to catch a ferry to get all the way to the end, these ferries run year-round.

Vehicle Maintenance[edit]


4x4s / Trucks


Local Garages[edit]

  • Arica, Chile Centro Diesel Turbo, La Africana 3262, Phone 2215740 Owner Flavio and mechanic Jonathon are top notch. Approx GPS coords: -18.459701, -70.283936
  • In Limache (1 hour from Valparaiso) there is a reliable, good mechanic and speaks some English. His name is Jano and his cell phone is+56 9 7744 6162
  • Monster 4x4 - Their store was well stocked with good parts and the gents there seemed great

Buy or sell a car or motorbike in Chile[edit]


Foreigners can purchase and register vehicles in Chile, and drive them to any country they choose without limits. However, foreigners (nonresidents) must first obtain a tax identification number called a RUT in order to register a vehicle.

Spencer Global ( is a law firm run by an American in Chile. For a fee ($250,000.00 CLP in mid 2015) they will obtain your RUT as your Power of Attorney, and represent you for tax purposes in Chile for a year. You can apply for a RUT before you even arrive in the country. A thread with more details is here

Here is a blog entry giving advice about buying a vehicle in Chile in 2013 to drive North.

These guys can give you capable help with buying and selling a car in Chile [3]

Buying with a Poder and transfering the TIP[edit]

Here is a step by step instruction on how to buy a Canadian plated car in Chile:

Some details to understand our situation:

  • Sellers: Australian couple
  • Buyers: Dutch couple
  • Plates of the car: Canadian, Alberta province
  • Location of transfer: Santiago de Chile
  • Construction used for transfer: Poder

First of all we tried to do a complete transfer of the car in our name on a distance. Together with the help of Alex Smith we found out that it is impossible to completely register a Alberta (Canada) car legally in your name on a distance. The buyer needs to be present in Canada to do this (the car doesn’t need to be). Since this was not a option anymore we went for the poder construction. Basically this means you are getting a permission from the owner to drive the car anywhere. The seller is still registered as the owner of the car. So this is a construction you have to do in good faith.

Step by step guide:

1: First of all you write down a bill of sale. It’s good to use the standard version of Alberta (will explain later). We added a comment in the bill of sale about the fact that we bought it with a poder in Chile. You can find it here:

2: when you both signed the bill of sale. The next step is to start looking for a notary. We tried to find a certain notary that was recommended here on the group a week ago but we couldn’t find him. So after 7 more attempts we finally found one. The exact location and name you can find here (there are more mentioned in iOverlander):,-70.6588159,17z/data=!3m1!4b1!4m5!3m4!1s0x9662c5a5854f08e7:0x7943ba5da0575126!8m2!3d-33.4392616!4d-70.6566272 In this area it’s crowded with notaries so if they somehow refuse you can go to a other one. We noticed how less fancy the place looked how more happy they where to help you.

3: When you found a notary you have to explain what you want. We told them that our seller was my friend and he travelled from Canada to Chile. Now my friend will return and I’am the great friend that will drive his vehicle all the way back to Canada. You DON’T mention anything about buying/selling. So for this we wanted a "Carta poder vehiculo" (also sometimes called a autorizacion vehiculo al extranjero).

4: In our poder she basically wrote down that the owner gave me the full right to drive the car wherever I wanted to go (we mentioned the continents). When you get your poder you check it carefully. This is the only document you will have to legally drive your car, so check it carefully!

5: When you have your poder it’s time for a high five with the seller. You breached the first big hurdle. The second hurdle is to get it stamped by 2 ministries (some will tell you that they did it with one, but you really need two to be fully legal). First stop is at the following location:,+Santiago,+Regi%C3%B3n+Metropolitana/@-33.442015,-70.6550311,17z/data=!3m1!4b1!4m5!3m4!1s0x9662c5a6be33690b:0x3fac3f17d27169b4!8m2!3d-33.4420195!4d-70.6528424 this is the ministry of Justice. We where here around 9:30 am and didn’t have to wait. On this location you will ask for a Apostille. Basically they are verifying that your notary is indeed a notary in Chile. BE REALLY CLEAR that you need it for Canada (we didn’t and we had to come back for this because they send us away at the next step). It’s the first step in making your poder valid internationally (this is what a lot of people forget to do). This proces was done in 5 minutes for us.

6: Great you now have your bill of sale, poder and Apostille! Next stop in just a 3 minute walk from the ministry. Next stop is here:,-70.6550595,18.88z/data=!4m13!1m7!3m6!1s0x9662c5a6be33690b:0x3fac3f17d27169b4!2sMoneda+1155,+Santiago,+Regi%C3%B3n+Metropolitana!3b1!8m2!3d-33.4420195!4d-70.6528424!3m4!1s0x9662c5a679dd2d47:0x1c316a49db09c3d9!8m2!3d-33.4414538!4d-70.6550925 It’s the ministry of foreign affairs. Also here you will ask them to stamp your Apostille. It’s possible that they will tell you it’s not necessary, just ask them again to just put a stamp on it to be sure. When they put a stamp on it you are done with the paperwork. This stamp will validate your papers for all international countries.

7: Now it’s time for a hug (believe us, high fives are not enough anymore at this moment)! You have one last stop to go. A stop where we talked hours about. Do you need to go to the border or not? Let me try to explain it. The seller entered Chile with the car and was issued a TIP for this. The TIP will be in his name. So now the question is…do you need to change the name on the TIP? And here is the final answer (for right now): NO you don’t need to go to the border! The poder gives you the right to drive the vehicle and with that you can also leave the country. Which makes sense of course. To be sure we went to the Airport (ground floor across door 4 there is a small blue door that says Aduana) and spoke with the boss of the Aduana there. He told us straight away that the poder was enough (we already heard stories from travellers that they just left the country with the poder and without the seller so this was the confirmation we needed). But nice as he was he went into the system for us and added a note to the TIP. In this note he explained we both where at the airport and that my friend allowed me to drive his car and the should let me leave the country. For us this was enough insurance to not drive to the border.

So everything should be fixed by now. Time for champagne.

Oke this is where the process for today stops but let’s do something strange today and look at the future as well… We know we won’t drive our vehicle back to Canada. So we will sell it again someday in South America. So with buying the car we started preparations for that as well. What did we do:

1: You have to make a ethical choice. A lot of people make a fake register of the car. They use this for crossing borders. This is NOT necessary to do but will make life easier. Your poder is enough for crossing so you really don’t have to do it. That being said…it will make things maybe more complex at the border crossings (how often do you see a Chilean poder from a Australian guy with a Canadian car in the hands of a Dutch guy at the border of Suriname?). So that decision is up to you...

2: We used the Alberta bill of sale mentioned at step 1. This is a format they like and why wouldn’t you make them happy with using this format.

3: When we sell the car again and the next owner (or the owner after that) drives it up to Canada he can register it as follow. All he will need is the Bill of sale of all the transactions. If you can show them the paper trail about what happened with the car you are good. So bills of sale, poder, etc, etc. Just save it all.

4: We took a movie of the moment that the current owner sold his car. With that movie we can show the sale happened. Also we made a picture of the current owner with the bill of sale and his passport next to his face. We think that these pictures can help when the next buyer somehow has to convince people that all of this really happened.

So yes we are the owner of a car now. We aren’t the owner of a car in the Canadian system. But yes we can travel all the way north with this poder. And yes we can resell the car and yes the owner after us can still register the car again in Canada. I hope all of this answers a lot of questions. Please share this information. Feel free to send us a message if you have any questions: If you have any questions regarding USA vehicle I would recommend to talk to Alex Smith. He knows all the details about it and is able to assist you on a distance.


Update 2023: The best advice to sell a car in Chile is to have a chilean plated car, as a foreingner you can get a RUT to buy and legally transfer a car into your name. To sell a car in Chile you can used diferent portals such as:

Here is advice posted in July 2017:
HOW TO SELL A CAR IN CHILE We have European passports and sold our US car in Iquique (Chile) after driving down there from California. Iquique is the heart of a so called "zona franca" (customs-free zone), which extends to the north of Chile. You can legally sell your non-Chilean car there through a ”usuario registrado de zona franca" (registered customs-free zone user). We did that through the "usuaria registrada" Sylvia Mesías, who is a professional customs agent: +56 990517388, +56 997340471,, Call or write her (we spoke in Spanish) and she’ll guide you. The paperwork is basically done on one day after you find a buyer.

Summary of Steps A. We visited Sylvia at her office in “Zofri” (Iquique) and she explained us the whole process B. We published an ad of the car on the local newspaper “La Estrella de Iquique” and online in C. At the moment we found a buyer (4 days), we made an appointment with Sylvia for the import & sell paperwork D. On the day of the paperwork, step by step, and helped by Sylvia we (1) notified customs that we wanted to import the vehicle, (2) cancelled our temporary car import done when entering Chile by car (this is the most important step), (3) temporarily endorsed the ownership of the car to Sylvia, (4) notified to “Puerto de Iquique” that we wanted to import the car to the “zona franca” through Sylvia, (5) imported the car to “zona franca”, and finally, (6) sold the car to the buyer. We have a document for each step. The fee for Sylvia depends on the price of the car.

Conditions for the buyer (please, re-check them with Sylvia) A car bought by a Chilean in the “zona franca” from Iquique can be basically used within the “zona franca” (and its extension to the north); the driver is allowed to use it 90 days per year outside, though. It is also possible to permanently move the car outside the “zona franca” if any of these conditions are met: (1) the buyer/driver is disabled, (2) the buyer is Chilean, but lived outside Chile in the past 1.5 years and is coming back to Chile again, or (3) the buyer lived the past 5 years in “zona franca” and is moving somewhere else in Chile. Additionally, if the car is left in “zona franca”, the tax to pay is 0.5% over its selling-price; if the buyer meets any of the 3 conditions above and frees the car for another part in Chile, the tax lies around 27% over its selling price.

Hope that’s helpful! Good luck!

A few things to note:

  • If you have a camper or any type of vehicle you can sleep in, when you enter Chile try to get the vehicle type listed as "Camper" (Casa Rodante) on the temporary import papers. This will make it much easier to sell, legally, anywhere in the country. If you have that on your papers, follow this advice to sell outside the tax free zone

for the ones who are trying to sell their foreign truck in Chile, there are two main options out of the zona franca. selling to another foreigner through a poder or selling to a Chilean resident. in this case he has to import the truck and it is approximately another 28% of the declared price. it is very straight forward. once you agreed, the buyer has to hire an agente de aduana. you drop off the truck under customs, next day you sign at a notario and third day the buyer get the truck out of customs. the vehicle becomes Chilean. to reach out the local market I posted on a FB group called "casas rodantes de chile" talk to Mauricio who run the group and has imported already a few motorhome. nice and very knowledgeable.

  • Chile has special "Tax Free Zones" (Zona Franca) (Region XII) (Puerto Natales* is a good example) that have different importation laws that the rest of the country. A resident of those zones can legally import a vehicle that is less than 10 years old, though they will have to use a customs agent, deal with a lot of paperwork, pay heavy taxes and fees and the vehicle will be restricted in where in can go within Chile. You will need to find a resident of one of the tax free zones willing to go through the paperwork and expense and sell your vehicle to them. Due to the cost and difficulty, do not expect to receive a large amount for your vehicle.[6] Some people claim to be able to get around the not more than 10 years old rule. If you are a tourist (nonresident of Chile), the effort involved in selling a vehicle to someone in a Zona Franca region can be enormous and frustrating.


  1. Naviera Austral
  2. OpenStreetMap Chile
  3. City Navigator® South America NT
  4. TomTom Map availability
  5. Proyecto Mapear
  6. Chile Forum - Can I sell my Canadian car in a Zona Franca?

Helpful External links[edit]

  • overAndes- A small company to assist travellers to buy, build and sell cars in Chile.
  • Landcruising Adventure – Travel Information Page on Chile (paperwork, border crossings, money matter,s budget, documentation, diesel & gas stations, etc).
  • Self Drive in Chile – Sample itineraries for overland travel in Chile
  • Chile Newcomer's Guide – Useful information about money, food, safety, etc.
  • Chile IMEI Registration – When you visit Chile you must register your phone or will be signal lock and data.