top of page
  • Writer's pictureAussieEspañol

How to Buy a Vehicle as a Foreigner in Bolivia

The title is worded in the exact same way in which I typed it into Google. My very naive and longshot attempt at not going into the whole thing blind. Well, unfortunately for me, I did so you don't have to.

Step 1. Find your vehicle, meet with your seller and give it a test drive. Step 1 is pretty obvious and with any luck, it goes as smooth as it did for me when purchasing my Tuk Tuk.

Step 2. Agree on the price and payment method. I found cash easiest and went to the trusty Western Union where Foreigners can send themselves money from any currency to withdraw within a bank in cash for a small fee (12 USD).

Step 3. Accompany seller to a Notaria and request that all of the documents be made legally in your name. The process will mostly take around 2-3 business days and cost roughly $450 USD. The Notaria required me to pay 50% at the start to begin and the remaining 50% after completion.

Step 4. During these couple days or at any time, go to Farmacorp (yes it's a Pharmacy) to purchase the SOAT (mandatory vehicle insurance) which is required to be up to date to drive in Bolivia. You'll only need to provide the cashier with the number plate and should cost you around $50 USD. This will need to be renewed yearly.

Step 5. After all the above steps have been completed, the final step is to go to a bank with your passport and pay to have an Inspeccion Tecnica (Technical Inspection) completed. You'll need to provide your passport and also your number plate details. This examination of the vehicle is to ensure it's Road Worthy and also needs to be renewed yearly (things like indicators, lights, brake lights, and whether you have a sufficient tool kit will all be checked).

Paying the $75 USD to the bank in theory requires nothing more then a receipt to be shown for the Technical Inspection but the cheeky boys at the police department reckon that because I didn't have a Bolivian citizen card and only my passport to prove my identity, required an additional $10 USD to be processed. The Technical Inspection can usually be found close to a Police Station although DO NOT ENTER THE POLICE STATION otherwise an officer will try to get a bribe for your innocent mistake like what happened in my case. After the technical inspection you'll get a sticker stuck on your windscreen and be essentially free to drive around Bolivia problem free.

Congrats on your new vehicle!

52 views0 comments


bottom of page