Leaving Santiago In My Own Car

I stayed in Santiago for a longer period because I needed more time to get a car and to be ready for my trip to other cities. The reason why I started in Santiago is because in Chile, it is possible to leave the country with your own car (if you have all the papers correct). In Argentina for example, it is possible to buy a car but it isn’t allowed to cross the border with it, as a foreigner. I arrived in Santiago first because I knew that it is possible to get everything done in that city and country. At first I had planned to fix everything related to the car in one week and I thought that it was enough time but it took longer than that. After almost two weeks, I need to say that it was a real adventure in itself to get everything perfect.

During my stay in Santiago I did research about the whole process to get a car to be able to leave the country with all my papers complete.

After reading a lot of articles I came across a reference to Suzisantiago. It is a company in Santiago that offers services to help travelers. It is exactly what I needed, so I contacted the owner asking if we can meet. At first, I had doubts because next to positive reviews, I found some bad reviews as well. So going into the meeting, I was careful but after talking to him I realized that they would be really helpful for me.

The first thing a foreigner needs to be able to buy a car is a RUT number, this is like a BSN in the Netherlands (ID number to be registered in the country). I made an appointment and alongside a notarist that works for Suzisantiago, we went to the notary and SII service office to get a RUT number, and with that number I started looking for a car. After that, Suzisantiago provide me with some websites for cars that reach my needs, especially for a long trip, we found a good car (Suzuki SX4) in one of the best neighborhoods in Santiago. Two days later, I visited the car with the seller, a wonderful man called Luis, and we did a test drive, a garage inspection and reached an agreement about the price and then I gave Luis a handshake with a smile.

Transferwise made it possible to transfer my money from a Dutch account to a Chileans account. It took me a lot of time to find the best platform to pay Luis and I am happy that he received the money safely. The latest steps for the car were to put it under my name, I needed to do it with the notary, and to make the car ready for the road (new front brakes, full up aircondioning).

Suzisantiago organized an evening for trip planning where they gave information about what to do when crossing a border or what are good places and spots where travelers need to be more careful and to pay attention. It was a detailed presentation, they also said that if I need help or if I’m looking for a garage, even if I’m anywhere in South America, I can call them, and they can help me or provide me with the best and closest garage. Together with Luis (seller of the car) I went to a mall specialized in camping and car stuff to buy important things for my newly-owned car, such as a Jerrycan to cook my own food or a roof tent.

One day I made a test trip with the car to San Jose de Maipo, 2h from Santiago, between big mountains. The car passed that test easily and I realized that driving in an automatic car is very relaxed.

Santiago was a wonderful city and no other place was better for me to start. The stay in a Guest family in the center of the city was perfect and I felt really at home there. After putting a rooftent on top of my car and the official documents in my bag, I am ready to leave the capital of Chile and move on to another city, after that I'm planning to go to Pucon and Puerto Montt, and that’s the start of my Patagonia trip. While fixing the papers for my car, I needed something to clear up my mind, so I went to a pool to the top of the city, with a wonderful view. It is always sunny and hot in Santiago, around 30 and 35°C so I think going for ice cream or a swim in the pool is always a good refreshment idea.