buying a car in bolivia?

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#1 Fri, 07/12/2013 - 14:54

buying a car in bolivia?

Hello all,

I am going to buy a car in Bolivia and drive it to the states. It is a 1960's Toyota. It is Bolivian Owend and registered for its whole life. I am a little bit nervous, because I have no idea what documents to obtain before buying it order to get it through each country smoothly. I imagine I will have to sort out insurance along the way. A carne must not be an option. And the only other thing I can think of is title and registration. But that seems too simple. Anyone who can shed any light on this to me will be a hero. From buying to transport to import into the us.

Thank you,


Wed, 07/24/2013 - 15:24


Hi charles.

I have just purchased a vehicle here (a 1970 VW crewcab) in Sucre, Bolivia and also plan to drive it to California.. I am currently going through the process of getting all the paperwork sorted.
I´ll be honest, it´s pretty complicated but not impossible, IF you have all the correct papers, of which there are lots.

The main thing you will need to do is have the title changed to your name, SOAT Certs, and also a ´Birth Certificate´ for the vehicle,a fuel card, You wont be able to fill up without it..! amougst other things that I am not totally sure about right now as the process has just started for me. I have employed a Abogada to carry out all the leg work for me. The total cost so far has been 1800Bs, approx 200$. Be aware.. there is a shit load of paperwork and you need alot of patience, however if you have time and enough persistence it can be done. I´m a week in and there have been a few hiccups ie paperwork and alot of hanging about at Transito, Cal Dia and the Aduana.. I´m still not totally sure if all is well, I find out in another week or so when hopefully all the paperwork will be signed and the vehicle title is handed over.

Now, in regards to crossing la fronteras, which you will inevitably have to do en route to the states, as a foreigner with a Bolivian registered car, well thats a mystery..! I´ve looked everywhere online and asked as many people as possible and have been told that if all the papers are in order then there should be little problems.. However, I´m a realist and I think that leaving Bolivia could be a problem initially and potentially you may have to pay an export tax..however I am not sure about that point, it´s just something that i have heard.. but, lets face it no one knows for sure as as far as I am aware no one has done it yet..if you get out and into Peru, I´m hoping that the rest of the countries, with a small ´donation´ should let you pass.. The states is another matter.. I´m english and have no idea as to how strict the americans are at the mexican border.. putting it in perspective though, a vehicle registered in a country known to be the biggest Cocaine producer in the world, I´m guessing that the at the very least the car will be gone over with a fine tooth comb, as well as yourself.. ;) that´s a way off though so a little more research is needed on that point.

I¨m guessing you are looking at one of the Toyota Landcruisers..? Blooody nice cars those.. I did meet a Dutch guy, who lives here who has just bought one and he said all was well, however he has not crossed any borders as of yet..

Good luck with it all.. If you have any more questions or need info let me know.. Maybe see you on the road..



Thu, 11/22/2018 - 18:18 (Reply to #2)

Bolivian export

How did your journey getting the vehicle out of Bolivia go?
I am in the process of navigating a importing a 1960s VW back to the US from Bolivia.

Any advice or contact with local companies who can help?  I'm a little lost when it comes to all the steps that need to be taken in Bolivia before it can leave...


Thanks :)

Fri, 08/02/2013 - 04:38

Thanks D,

Thanks D,

I ended up in tarija, there are some good options here, I know what you mean about the paper work. I look forward to hearing how your trip goes. I have not bout a car, as I nipped down to meet a friend in ba for a few weeks. I am excited about the process! Perhaps I will see you on the road! Good luck!

Thu, 11/22/2018 - 18:20

Bolivian vehicles

Any further advice on this topic?

I'd love any help I can get I'm researching getting a 1960s VW from Bolivia to the USA...