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Vehicle age restrictions - Pan-American highway

Los Angeles...
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Vehicle age restrictions - Pan-American highway

A friend and I are looking to buy a vehicle to drive from Los Angeles down the Pan-AM highway through to Santiago, Chile. Planning to sell the vehicle there and then fly home.

Does wisened overlander or Central/South American seasoned traveller have info about vehicle age restrictions for any of the countries on the way?

Currently looking at a '98 Dodge Dakota 4x4, and our cut-off vehicle year is 1997, we wont be going older than that.

Oakland, California
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1. Re: Vehicle age restrictions - Pan-American highway

How are you planning to get past Panama? There is no passage through the Darien.

Los Angeles...
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2. Re: Vehicle age restrictions - Pan-American highway

Encountered that dilemma about a month back - at this stage the best we've managed to come up is renting half of a 40ft container for the vehicle, and then flying or sailing over ourselves. Pretty pricey but I guess it has to be done! Have you done it before by any chance?

Oakland, California
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3. Re: Vehicle age restrictions - Pan-American highway

No personal experience, sorry. Sounds like an awesome adventure though. I've never heard of vehicle age restrictions, but don't claim to be an expert on the subject.

CDY
Medellin, Colombia
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for Panama City
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4. Re: Vehicle age restrictions - Pan-American highway

First - look for a used Toyota, much easier to get parts for in Latin America

Second - check laws in Chile for selling the truck, in Colombia for example you cannot sell a used vehicle to a local to keep in country

Los Angeles...
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5. Re: Vehicle age restrictions - Pan-American highway

Thanks for the advice, tried to find a toyota but they are hard to come by due to their popularity, so we ended up getting the dodge mentioned above. The parts problem will just have to be dealt with if/when it arises.

As for Chile, your right, it's exactly the same as Columbia so that'll be another problem to tackle at a later date. Do you know what's Columbia's reason for restricting used car imports like that?

Atlanta, Georgia
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6. Re: Vehicle age restrictions - Pan-American highway

Do some research on going all the way down to La Palma, Panama (on the pacific side) there I believe you can put your car in a boat and catch a ride on the same boat, much cheaper than container and flying. I remember reading about people that have done it that way, can't remember where, sorry. Do a Google search, you'll find it, there are tons of people that have done it and documented the trip.

Good luck !!

Atlanta, Georgia
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7. Re: Vehicle age restrictions - Pan-American highway

Oh, dodge parts will be hard to find all the way down, try doing all the preventive maintenance and anything you can think of before you leave and be gentle on your Dakota.

CDY
Medellin, Colombia
Destination Expert
for Panama City
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3,735 posts
97 reviews
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8. Re: Vehicle age restrictions - Pan-American highway

I would sell the Dodge and get the Toyota, if you stick with it, bring lots of spare parts plus it will be a lot harder to sell, you will probably have to give it away.

They dont let you import used vehicles becuse they are trying to protect their internal car market, they dont want a bunch of used cars from the US being dumped there.

9. Re: Vehicle age restrictions - Pan-American highway

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