chicama peru road tripSo have you ever wanted to go on the trip of your lifetime? Are you worried that your budget won’t reach? Well with only a few thousand dollars and a good car you can travel from Chile all the way back to USA including gas, food, & lodging.

As an international car shipping company, many of our customers are travelers and ship their cars from USA to Europe, Africa and Latin America. Some people are shipping cars to their families while others are going for work purposes (like a move). And then sometimes we have customers who go on these awesome adventures for a couple months. Today we will be talking about how these particular customers take the cars overseas and how much it costs. Your American dollars will go a lot further in Latin America than in Europe. As always we will use an example with fictitious names.

Two close friends, Dean and Santiago, want to go on a surfing trip and drive up the coast of Latin America all the way back to USA. They have saved for this surfing trip of a lifetime. What adds more excitement is that there won’t be crowded beaches like there are in Southern California. Basically they don’t want to drive from USA all the way to some country and then have to turn around and come all the way back. They want to ship their car to Chile from USA and do a 1-way road trip all the way back to USA. Since they are both splitting the cost, it means this trip is going to be much cheaper as individuals.
Chicama Surf Trip From USA
Dean owns a Ford Explorer (SUV) and opts to ship it from Long Beach, CA to Chile. They can ship a sedan for much cheaper, but they want to take their surfboards on the road with them. From Chile the two friends will drive all the way back to USA and stay as close as they can to the coast to catch some nice waves.
They filled out the quote form on Ship Overseas and got a rate of 2, 100.00 from Long Beach, CA to Chile. They got an arrival date of April 1st for the truck in Chile and decided to arrive a couple days early just in case. Once they pick up their car at the arrival port, they begin their adventure back to the US.

To make this story short and more relevant to you, we will end by giving these tips.

  • You will need to pay a fee for every country you enter. Here’s how it works. We’ll just use Mexico as an example because I personally did this 1 month ago. When you cross a border and you are going to cross to the next country, you will have to get a certificate from the Customs Department. In my case it was from the Mexican Aduana (Mexican Customs). There were 2 fees. One was for $48 for permission to enter the country. The other fee was a temporary import fee which was refunded once I left the country. Most likely there will be a bank that issues the refund so make sure you don’t leave on a Sunday otherwise you’ll will have to wait until normal business hours of the bank.
  • There is a road that goes all the way from South America to USA, but in Colombia the road is unpaved. While it’s okay for an F150, don’t be taking a Honda Civic.
  • Take a real GPS that is satellite driven. Download the maps from the GPS manufacturer. Don’t rely on cell phone GPS because it will only work with cell phone towers. Also buy a regular map, one that you can hold in your hands.
  • Take an English to Spanish dictionary. Use your Google Translate App in your Android phone if you don’t speak Spanish. This app allows you to say something in English and it will translate it “verbally” into whatever language you want, even Chinese
  • Use Wavecation to book hotels in South America or AirBnB to reduce costs. Also for people who don’t mind hitting the road extra hard, buy a tent and sleeping bag.
  • Take your debit card to pull cash from ATMs. There are different currencies. Also, don’t forgot to tell your bank that you will be traveling so they don’t put a freeze on your CC.

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Important info to Ship a Car Overseas:
  • No car can leave USA if it has a lien on it. What does this mean? Your car must be paid in full. The only people who can ship a car overseas and still carry a lien on the car are US Military and Government employees/contractors. For those people a letter of authorization from the lender will need to be issued to pass US Customs. Otherwise the car may be considered stolen.
  • A clear Title of Ownership with no Liens on the Title.
  • If you bought a car new, then your name must be listed on the front of the Title as the registered owner.
  • If the vehicle has been sold, then both the Seller and Buyer have to sign the back of the Title in the spaces as detailed on the back of the Title.
  • For safety reasons, the vehicle cannot have more than a ¼ tank of gas.
Import Duty for Destination Country:
  • Import duty is NOT collected by Ship Overseas. It must be paid at the arrival port by whoever is picking up the car. We wrote a blog post about vehicle import duty here. It talks about how to find out import duty for your country.
Travel & Living Abroad:
  • Most countries will allow a traveler to temporarily import their car for up to 6 months. After the 6 months is up, import duty will be charged. For many travelers going to Europe and taking their car, a deposit is paid up front. When the car goes back to it's destination country, the deposit is refunded. If a person has lived in USA for 1 or more years, most countries will allow that person to bring their car back duty free! The car must not have any liens on it. Please check with your Customs Department first.

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