Peru requires auto insurance (SOAT), even for foreigners transiting the country. We'll be crossing from Ecuador in about a week - haven't decided which border to use yet.
Does anyone know where to buy short-term SOAT near one of the borders?
As long as you have insurance (we used Sanborns for all of South America) you aren't required to also buy SOAT. This was definitely true when we were in Peru in 2009 - we actually stopped at a SOAT office in Lima to ask since the cops were hassling us on the Pan-America, and the SOAT people said we didn't need it. If the cops hassle you, just be firm and don't give any ground.
Figured it out.
I bought SOAT at the Macara border crossing. It was $8 USD for a one month policy. The insurance office is the building on top of the hill, just south of Migracion and across the street from Aduana.
You need some form of insurance, but it doesn't have to be SOAT - it just needs to have equal coverage. The relevant law is here:
Articulo 30.1, Ley No. 27181: Todo vehículo automotor que circule en el territorio de la República debe contar con una póliza de seguros vigente del Seguro Obligatorio de Accidentes de Tránsito - SOAT o certificados contra accidentes de tránsito, que contengan términos equivalentes, condiciones semejantes o mayores coberturas ofertadas que el SOAT vigente,
Spent a few months in Peru, was only asked once for soat, but when I got to
the boarder Peru Y Bolivia, they wouldn't stamp and papers without seeing
some form of insurance for Peru. I have an International Licence a book form
that holds a real licence inside for three years in 10 languages, thats was all they
needed to see and were happy. Its worked a number of times so far, it was worth
getting it: Its a International Drivers Document, a web site out of Miami,
your photo is placed within the page like the newer passports, you send them
an impression or copy of your legal licence and then they will DHL ect finished back to you
can get for 1, 2, or 3yrs has bar codes an incrypted info within the licence.
I tell them it includes the insurance for Sur America for three years, I did buy Soat
It is true - you do need insurance. It just doesn't have to be SOAT. If you purchase insurance for your whole trip that covers Peru (as we did) you don't also need to buy SOAT. You can see that it states exactly that in the law above:
Todo vehículo automotor que circule en el territorio de la República debe contar con una póliza de seguros vigente del Seguro Obligatorio de Accidentes de Tránsito - SOAT o certificados contra accidentes de tránsito, que contengan términos equivalentes, condiciones semejantes o mayores coberturas ofertadas que el SOAT vigente,
SOAT , is nothing else but what we called in the United States a P.I.P. type of insurance. This is the minumum required by law in the U.S. as well as Peru, Colombia, Argentina (not Chile, Ecuador yet).
Have clear, that a SOAT only cover others car and both drivers hopitalization, most probably basic treatment at public hospitals. So, you are always at risk.