We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.
We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

Buying a Car in Colombia?

Which Medellin hotels are on sale?
dd/mm/yyyy dd/mm/yyyy
See hotels
Rohnert Park...
Level Contributor
3 posts
15 reviews
Save Topic
Buying a Car in Colombia?

We have been in Mexico and Central America for over a year. As our car is not a good choice for South America, our intention is to drive to Houston, donate it, fly to South America, buy a car in South America, and make the circuit trip around South America. Has anybody done this before? Can Americans buy a car in South America relatively easy?

Any and all input would be greatly appreciated!

CDY
Medellin, Colombia
Destination Expert
for Panama City
Level Contributor
3,664 posts
96 reviews
Save Reply
1. Re: Buying a Car in Colombia?

You can buy a car in Colombia with just a passport and drive under your US license for a limited time.

Cars are expensive in Colombia however - double the US used prices.

Rohnert Park...
Level Contributor
3 posts
15 reviews
Save Reply
2. Re: Buying a Car in Colombia?

Thanks for your input! Would there be an issue with driving through borders? We recently read that someone bought a car in Argentina with the intention to, like us, drive around all of South America, only to find that he could NOT bring the car out of the country, as he was an american citizen.

Buffalo, New York
Level Contributor
139 posts
75 reviews
Save Reply
3. Re: Buying a Car in Colombia?

I am not sure about other countries but make sure you know where you are going in Colombia and are not taken captive by guerrillas. Its no joke. I travel with my in laws and there are soldiers everywhere and checkpoints but that is near Bogota and they know where they are going. You should really research this more before doing it.

Calgary, Canada
Level Contributor
19,551 posts
2 reviews
Save Reply
4. Re: Buying a Car in Colombia?

Thundarr357, you need to read some news reports from this generation. You are really, really out of date.

Cheers,

Terry

Buffalo, New York
Level Contributor
139 posts
75 reviews
Save Reply
5. Re: Buying a Car in Colombia?

Terry,

I don't think I am out of date. My wife has extensive family and friends throughout Colombia who she is in contact with. I am not saying all of Colombia is dangerous or anywhere near what it was a few years back but there are still are dangerous areas and I was advising the poster to exercise caution.

Calgary, Canada
Level Contributor
19,551 posts
2 reviews
Save Reply
6. Re: Buying a Car in Colombia?

Thundarr357,

No normal tourists are being, "taken captive by guerrillas" like you posted. That's a wildly exaggerated scaremongering statement.

Of course there are areas in Colombia that are off limits to normal tourists but those are usually far off the beaten path and easily avoided. They're not places where someone doing a road trip would normally go.

It's really simple, basic research and not anything to be worried about.

Cheers,

Terry

Buffalo, New York
Level Contributor
139 posts
75 reviews
Save Reply
7. Re: Buying a Car in Colombia?

Terry,

Where does one do research about what areas are safe and which aren't? If you have a source that has this info I would be interested for my own knowledge.

Thundarr

Calgary, Canada
Level Contributor
19,551 posts
2 reviews
Save Reply
8. Re: Buying a Car in Colombia?

Thundarr357, since you're married to a Colombian and you've been to Colombia you should know by now that the country is in the Dark Ages as far as the Internet is concerned. There is no magical place where you can log-on and instantly get accurate, up-to-date info regarding unsafe areas.

The Gringo Trail is very well defined in Colombia and that has been the case for well over a decade now. Not so long go there used to be a handful of backpacker hostels in the entire country, now they're almost uncountable in each of the major cities alone.

The best way to research safe/unsafe areas is the very same as anywhere - check with your embassy, ask local officials and talk to hostel owners. The worst way is to listen to locals who never travel anywhere, or listen to family members who have a vested interest in keeping you close and not having you wander around out of their control...

Cheers,

Terry

Bogota, Colombia
Destination Expert
for Colombia
Level Contributor
3,765 posts
7 reviews
Save Reply
9. Re: Buying a Car in Colombia?

Well as a foreigner, I for one am living testament to the early “gringo trail days” as a young Canadian lad of barely 19 I cut my teeth on the Colombian portion of the trail. Little did I know at the time this would be the start of my long love affair with Colombia. I have been witness to at least four decades of Colombia’s looong guerilla history and add to that the failed war on drugs…

Moving forward after three decades, as President Uribe and the Colombian people stepped up to shed Colombia of its undeserved reputation as one of the “world’s most violent countries” Unlike many I thought a visit to Colombia was well overdue. Along with my wife, some Bogota family members and a few others that had left Colombia for various reasons we embarked on a long road trip > "Eje Cafateros". We booked a bus, guide and like many other Colombians set out to rediscover my beloved adopted country. We ate, drank and extensively toured our way through one of Colombia’s soon to be discovered best kept secrets.

Unlike others who preach fear mongering and may choose to live a more sheltered life or simply remain with their head in the sand, I will be winging, driving, busing, walking, and hiking my way to somewhere new in Colombia…

Calgary, Canada
Level Contributor
19,551 posts
2 reviews
Save Reply
10. Re: Buying a Car in Colombia?

The only thing I would disagree with playa4u is your comment, "... as President Uribe and the Colombian people stepped up to shed Colombia of its undeserved reputation as one of the “world’s most violent countries"..."

Colombia was indeed one of the mot dangerous and violent countries on the planet and it's reputation was extremely well deserved - but that's by-and-large in the past now and I would argue that with a little common sense and street smarts it has become one of the easiest and definitely most interesting countries in all of Central/South America to travel through.

Cheers,

Terry