Gasoline in Bolivia is very cheap due to government subsidization, which causes persons to drive in from neighboring countries such as Argentina and Chile to fill up their tanks. To counteract this, Bolivia passed a law in December of 2011 stating that vehicles with foreign plates need to pay a price about 3 times higher than the standard rate.
However, the nationalized gas company, YPFB, has yet to create the paperwork for the gas stations in order for them to process this higher price. Because of this, many gas stations are turning away vehicles with foreign plates.
Here are some suggestions we found to help you get through this issue during your travels:
- Fill up your tank and any extra gas canisters before entering Bolivia
- According to a post on advrider.com, show our vehicle permit and say that this officially allows the station to sell gas. In case that does not work, call the police and insist on them to make a report about the incident in written and send it to the Ministry of Tourism.
- A post on Horizons Unlimited says that "the same attendants who couldn't sell fuel at a fair price (or at all) because of paperwork/plate issues would gladly fill one of their 4-liter emergency bags (or a normal gas can or whatever size) at the normal price". He recommends parking away from the gas station and bringing only the gas canister to the station.
Two helpful blog posts with tips on how to get gas for less than the internetaional price.
- Buying diesel: http://fromatob.org/2012/11/10/diesel-in-bolivia/
- Buying petrol: http://liferemotely.com/trip-shenanigans/bolivia/276-the-art-of-buying-g...
Best of luck to everyone, and please post any more information you find on this page as a comment!