Tip for Selling Your Car in Guatemala

If you have ever sold a car in Guatemala, it’s important to make sure it is no longer legally in your name!
A fellow missionary, Marty, found out that a car he sold was still in his name. Read his story…

Last week I came face to face with this in an unexpected way. I purchased a used vehicle and in the process of the transfer (traspaso) of the title, I was told that one of my 3 vehicles was overdue for the calcomania payments for 2011 and 2012. But I only had 2 vehicles; or so I thought. I sold my 1992 Chevrolet Suburban. It turns out this buyer never completed the title transfer. When I found out he had not completed the transfer of the title, I de-activated the license plates. I could do this, since in the eyes of Guatemala law, I was still the owner. It cost me about Q1,000 for the 2 calcomanias for 2011 and 2012, a tramitador and several misc. expenses and almost two days of my time.  ~ Marty

Marty said I could share his tips on how to make sure you really sell your car in the eyes of the government:

Here’s how to do it:
Go to any SAT office and simply ask for a “reposicion de tarjeta de NIT”. While there with the clerk, ask for a list of all vehicles in your name. If there is one still listed that you sold at any time in the past, and you have no idea where it is you should start the the process for “Inactivacion de placas”. You will want to apply for “Retiro definitive”, not “Retiro temporal” unless you know where the car is located and can convince the “owner” to complete the title transfer and pay back taxes and/or other unpaid expenses, if any. If you don’t deactivate the plates, you are legally responsible for any and all costs due to accidents, crimes, unpaid traffic violations, past due taxes (yearly calcomanias) and late tax payment fees related to a vehicle with a title still in your name.

Thanks for the tip Marty! Click here for tips on buying a car in Guatemala.

FYI:
Marty wanted to pass this along too…If anyone tries to sell this car to you or anyone you know, there may be problems in getting it licensed now that the license plates have been invalidated.
1992 Chevrolet Suburban 1500 S silver and dark blue
Placas: P-813BFH
Serie (Serial number): 1GNFK16KXNJ325539
Motor: KNJ325539S
Chassis: KNJ325539
Poliza: 3292 ( Aduana in Santo Tomas de Castilla)

How to buy a car in Guatemala.

Here’s how to buy a vehicle in Guatemala:

1. Find the vehicle you want.

First do your research to get a feel for what you need and what is quality.

Questions to ask yourself:

  1. Am I going to be in the mountains, the city, or where?
  2. Do I need a truck, 4×4, van, car, etc.
  3. How many people will I need to carry?

Here are some good resources to check or keep in mind:

  • Research
  • Key words:
    • Rodado = brought down from the U.S. (often had some sort of accident)
    • Agencia = made in or for Guatemala (often has speedometer in kilometers) (often valued higher than Rodado)
    • Tramitador = a person who helps with paperwork for various legal ranglings
    • Taller de mechanica = a mechanic shop
    • Frenos = brakes
    • Llantas = tires
    • Aciete = oil
    • Oxido = rust

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Finding a car in Guatemala

While there are hundreds of car lots all over Guatemala, if you’re in the business of buying a car you may want to check out the vehicles that are for sale at GPautos.com.

This web site gives you online access to thousands of vehicles in a searchable layout. You can pick from cars, pickups, SUVs buses, trucks and even boats from all over the country.

If you’re selling¬† a vehicle, this site can be a great place to present your vehicle to the rest of the country.

OLX’s logo

You can also buy and sell vehicles at the OLX site here. Many vehicles are available and you might find better prices on OLX than on GPautos.

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