How to bring your car to Ecuador

Freejack :

I have read many many of your posts. You have many neutral and often negative things to say.

Neutral to negative?  Sounds about right if you're describing my thoughts about Ecuador during this past year when I've been in Colombia.  Since October, I've been in the border town of Ipiales, Colombia.  Before that, Medellín and the Coffee Zone.

1. Ecuador's cost-of-living allure has waned in comparison to Colombia, given the weakness of the Colombian peso (good for Expat consumers here). Everything here is on sale as a result of the cheap peso as compared to the USA dollar.  The comparatively cheap Colombian tariffs are part of that story, especially for electronics and smartphones.

2.  In my experience, the restaurant food is tastier here in Colombia.  Not talking about two-dollar 'almuerzos'  .. but chicken and pizza and the better restaurants.  Just tastier in my opinion even in a smaller city such as Ipiales.  The best restaurant I've found here is Da Vinci (Italian).  They've been open only for dinner, but will be adding a lunch menu in two weeks.

3.  After almost a year in office, Ecuador's presidente has shown practically no signs he wants to bring back casino gaming to the tourist-hotels in the biggest Ecuadorian cities.  Here in this city, I'm within walking distance of two live blackjack tables, open nightly.  Minimum bet is 5,000 pesos or $1.67 US. 


Is it true that they are considering an exemption for pure electric vehicles....or, am I just dreaming?

B.Bindon :

Is it true that they are considering an exemption for pure electric vehicles....or, am I just dreaming?

I suspect that Mr. Sandman brought you a dream. :sleep

However, Susan_in_Ecuador did give you hope in a post on this thread last week.  She suggested you contact Sanestar or attorney Sandra Baquero. 

Susan also posted a document filled with Spanish legalese in that post, which could theoretically be relevant.

You might want to re-read post #26 and see where that leads you.


You need to consider the availability of parts for whatever vehicle you intend to import.

What about a vintage car (1960) 3 wheel?

Dear Paul,

Cars of that vintage may be imported into Ecuador.

I say may .. because a 58-year-old car may need to meet certain standards.

What you're suggesting is a rarity.  Anybody who would go to the trouble of importing a vintage vehicle to Ecuador .. should be able to afford an immigration attorney to advise on the issue.  Mine is Sebastian Cordero of Quito, email at scordero(at)

  -- cccmedia

Ahhhhh........I see says the blind we get to the crux of the matter........hahaha........blackjack....oops.....power outage in Chiriqui......another one.......more in less than 1 week here than in 6 weeks in Colombia, Ecuador and Peru..........and more traffic accidents too........just stupid.......

I was likewise curious about the issue of importing new / used cars into Ecuador several months ago. I came across the Ecuadorian law cited earlier in the thread. But I also found this lengthy boring document from the United States Department of Commerce / International Trade Administration: … 5Final.pdf that gives a bit of insight:

quoting from the section on Ecuador "The Andean Automotive Policy prohibits imports from other countries of used cars, trucks, and buses, as well as new vehicles from previous years. It also bans trade in these vehicles among the member nations" ... which includes Colombia and Ecuador.

Googling "Andean Automotive Policy" and "Andean Automotive Agreement" will provide exhaustive details to these trade policies.

I guess that means if you need a car, and you don't have diplomatic privileges, you'll have to budget an extra $20k or so to get a vehicle in Ecuador.

I plan on using the bus for a few years, and uber or taxis when it makes sense.

It's highly questionable how this ban helps citizen consumers , because the economic consequence is that it keeps automobile prices really high. I suppose the stated political goals might be to give an incentive to increase domestic production and otherwise protect domestic jobs and industries.

I also had thought of exporting my car to Peru or Colombia and driving it in, but that looks like a mission that is doomed to fail.

Yep.....nice country....with nice people.......but horrible bureauracracy and tax policies.....But it would appear on closer examination, that Moreno (who seems to be a very decent sort of hombre) is ever so slowly walking back this tax monster......gonna take some time.......but I see it movin in the right direction........Correa, who started off like gangbusters ended up sinking Ecuador into deep debt which now falls upon Moreno to dig out of.........In regards to cars, which I have had since 15 yrs old.....there is a point of view which is not unreasonable, which suggests that maybe its not sustainable for everybody over the age of 16 to have one.......Public transportation is really where its at.....And in Ecuador its excellent........

Yes a car is not necessary, If someone wants to import a vintage then it's probably a hobby thing, and good for them, I respect people with a passion. The public transport here is top notch. I'm going to visit Guayaquil, and R/T is about $100. And going to the airport in Quito is a short bus ride $0.25 and then $2.00 on the airport express bus from Rio Coca station which takes less than an hour, a taxi gets you there in 30-45 minutes from where I live.

We also have express taxis that go door to door between Ecuadorian cities.   

And of course Ecuador is truly a beautiful country and with friendly people. I love Ecuadorians.  :heart:

I've met numerous Venezuelans, numerous Colombians, and Cubans too. None of them are as genuine IMO as Ecuadorians, and perhaps it's not their country, and they are different in their own countries, I don't know. But Ecuadorians, are good people.

You are a wise person. Ecuador, Columbia and Peru are signatories to an International Automobile Accord that permits the duty free importation of 35+ year classic cars. In Ecuador, see your local EMOV.

Hey , so I could bring to Ecuador  my 1981 Delorean with no problem ? What would be the process? Do I bring it driving from Colombia or can I send it by boat from USA ?
I’ve lived there more than 6 years and wanna move back to Ecuador

Hello Josseecu,

If you are Ecuadorian living abroad for more than 2 years, you can bring a car as part of your household goods move BUT the car can't be older than 4 years old.

In your case is not possible unless it can be declare as an antique car or something similar but I don't know for sure this kind of imports are allowed here in Ecuador and if this car model can be declare as an "antique"


The delorean is an antique car , 1981 there are aproximately 6000 cars of this , its rare to find them on sale. Have you seen back to the future? Thats the one
What would be the process to bring it as an antique ?

Yes, I know. Is like the one in the movie.

Let me find out with customs what are the options you can have.


josseecu :

Hey , so I could bring to Ecuador  my 1981 Delorean with no problem ? What would be the process? Do I bring it driving from Colombia or can I send it by boat from USA ?
I’ve lived there more than 6 years and wanna move back to Ecuador

i think there's an excellent chance you can bring in this classic car.

You apparently have a lot of options -- it's your call, for instance, whether to drive it in from Colombia.

If you drive in, depending on the current ANT rules, you could probably bring it in for 90-180 days under a tourist visa if that suits you .. and deal with the long-term paperwork during your 90-plus day stay.

I'd have a lawyer -- mine is Sebastian Cordero, scordero(at) with offices in Quito and on the coast -- supervise the process and guide you through any pitfalls.

Where is the car now?  You're post is unclear whether you have lived in Colombia or the USA for the past six years.

cccmedia in Quito

post deleted -- unintended repetition due to system error

Its in Miami, i wanna bring it permanently here . That lawyer said its not possible

josseecu :

Its in Miami, i wanna bring it permanently here . That lawyer said its not possible.

Tell any lawyers you consult that you are aware there are classic-car permission rules for Ecuador and have him or her tell you -- or research for you -- whether your car fits the guidelines and/or what the guidelines require.

cccmedia in Quito


I asked our customs agent about the car and he said is not possible to import any old car. It has to be no more than 4 years old.

The only option is for temporary imports for shows or exhibitions, this permit is only  valid for a couple of months.


According to this official Aduana del Ecuador SENAE page the car or motorcycle can be no more than 5 years old:

Click on the question in blue that asks
¿Se puede traer un vehículo automotor o motocicleta como parte del menaje de casa?

Colombia permits the importation of carros clásicos o antiguos but apparently Ecuador does not.

I'm still so confused as to whether or not I can bring my truck from the U.S. into Ecuador as I relocate there with a permanent visa.
The shipper is telling us that we CANNOT bring the truck.
The embassy is telling us that we CAN bring the truck.
We are U.S. citizens that have lived in the U.S. for the past 30 years.  We are relocating and bringing our household goods.  Would the truck be considered household goods?
The truck is a 2015 Toyota Tundra with a 5.8L engine.
Can someone please kindly shed some light on this?
Thank you

I don't think you as a foreigner can bring your 2015 Toyota Tundra 5.8L vehicle, for several reasons.

The link I provided above for the government page for the Aduana del Ecuador SENAE, states that the new cost of the vehicle to be brought in along with your household goods cannot exceed 60 SBUs (Salario Básico Unificado).  For 2018 the SBU is 386 USD so the price of the vehicle cannot be over 23,160 USD, when new.  But if it is only up to 5 SBUs more, you just have to pay more.  And you will pay as import tax, as much as 49% of the value of the vehicle when new.

But your vehicle's price when new was not even close to 23,160 USD.

In addition this shipper: … cuador.php

...states that the size of the motor is limited to 3000 cc.  5.8L is 5800 cc so it's too big.

That shipper above has a "Contacto" link, you could ask them to clarify:

Finally, Ecuador's Resolución No.0976-2009 spells out that only returning Ecuadorian citizens may bring in a vehicle along with their household goods, and the vehicle still must meet the requirements above. … de_trabajo

Just a point on taxes. The total can far exceed 49% and actually more than 100% for some vehicles. The Chevy Tahoe for instance starts at $119,490 .

Anything over 4000 cc is exorbitantly taxed, one tariff is an environmental tax. But even with smaller engines some vehicles are heavily taxed also. One simply needs to look at prices for ordinary citizens compared to vehículos exonerados, for diplomats and disabled persons, which are exempt from taxes to understand how significant the taxes are.

If one wants the least amount of taxes the idea is to purchase a vehicle with less than a 1600 cc engine, and preferably one that is assembled in Ecuador.

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