Buying And Selling Used Cars In Peru

Buying And Selling Used Cars In Peru

Used car in Peru
Used car in Peru

Buying and selling used cars in Peru can be a VERY problematic situation for locals and even moreso for expats. This blog will detail the sale of one of our car’s which has gone completely off the rails.

I’ll attach actual unedited photos showing just how dangerous driving in Peru can be when it comes to tickets. I’ll add information on what was done and finally today’s end results of over 5 year’s of battling with the city of Lima of fraudulent tickets.

Owning a car is the easy part, selling one or buying one is where you may find yourself in real trouble. Let me explain. Buying a new car has a guarantee there are zero tickets (papaletas) on the vehicle so no need to worry, yet.

The Backstory

About 5 years ago one of our taxis received a couple of photo tickets on Av Tacna in central Lima. The tickets were for what’s called “pico y placa”. This is a law invented to try and reduce traffic congestion around the city. The law applied to all heavy vehicles and family cars. The law also exonerated all legal taxis, which was what our car was, a legal taxi from the day the vehicle left the dealership.

My wife decided to argue this and fought for literally 4 years with SAT who admitted our car was a taxi we were exonerated and those tickets were removed. Again 4 full years of arguing with the government to get there.

Next Round Of Tickets

Photo Tickets
Not about clarity but rather not being able to even read the plate number in the picture.

Ok so sorry about the clarity of the photo, it’s more to show just how screwed up the system is here than anything else. If you notice you can’t even see a violation nor a plate number to associate a violation with. We still got a ticket for being in the bus lanes which we never, ever travel in. Like never travel in because they’re too slow, and too many illegal colectivos who don’t pay attention to others when driving.

Next Level Crazy

Photo Tickets
Another Photo Ticket indicates we were yet again in the bus lanes.

Again my apologies for the clarity. So the yellow line I put there myself. That is the actual physical separation between the general vehicle traffic and the actual bus lanes. Clearly we were not in the bus lanes and we still got a ticket for that.

Problem Buying Or Selling The Vehicle

When we sold that vehicle we were in the process of arguing the validity of the tickets. We notified the buyer of the tickets and they agreed to pay them off. They didn’t, and this is where you as the seller runs into trouble. Me trusting my wife, her family and a few other’s we sold the vehicle with the promise to pay and got taken advantage of. We also followed advice from a popular blog here in Peru and found that literally everything they said is false!

The Solution To Selling A Car In Peru

The solution to selling a car in Peru is simple. Never sell a car without first making absolute sure there are no pending tickets, or impound orders and do not take a promise to pay. Get the money upfront or don’t sell the vehicle or you will still be the responsible party to pay the tickets. This means the popular beliefs in Peru are 100% wrong. The tickets are based on dates and not on who owns the vehicle. The above mentioned blog states the vehicle can not be sold or registered if there are pending debts, that’s 100% wrong. I know firsthand, I’ve sold one with tickets.

If you find yourself needing to pay a ticket, check out our blog on your options

I’m not stupid, I moved here and trusted my family, inlaws, friends and even a popular blog for information and every last one of them was wrong. I’m here to help you not make the same mistake I made.

Buying a Used Car In Peru

Absolutely everything I said above is not a problem for you. That’s right, feel free to buy a used car even if the vehicle has tickets. That’s right you are not in any way responsible for them. You do need to change ownership and I suggest doing this through a notary. Be sure that on the date of the sale there are no tickets because those could be applied to you. Anything prior to the date of sale is the previous owners responsibility.


As shown above the police can and will invent violations, so I suggest regularly checking the SAT website for any potential tickets that you’re unaware of. They invented 4 tickets for me, 2 I was clearly exonerated from, one with a picture so dark no one could possibly associate an infraction, or even who the infractor was, and lastly even as plain as the last bus lane infraction was, they will fight to try and force you to pay come hell or high water.


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