Bogota - Post Report Question and Answers

What kind of car do you recommend bringing to post, given the terrain, availability of parts, burglary/carjacking risks, etc.? What kind of car do you advise not to bring?

Recommend a small SUV or anything raised up off the ground. The roads are horrible inside the city. - Feb 2021

Bring any car. SUV for those wishing to explore the mountains. - Jul 2020

Bring what you like to drive. You don't really need a car here. The Embassy offers shuttle service to and from work for a fee as there are limited parking spaces. You can bike to work. - Feb 2020

People bring everything from giant Suburbans to compact cars. I appreciate having a smaller car for tight parking garages, but wish that I had a larger car for road trips and camping. If you are going to camp/hike a lot you may find yourself on rough dirt roads, and want all wheel drive or higher clearance. We honestly don't drive much at all in the city because of the availability of taxis and Uber, so I mainly use my car for trips outside the city. All parking is reverse-in. - Nov 2018

People bring everything. I suggest something small and easy to park and drive. High-clearance is nice for pot holes (they're everywhere) and when you're out of town on dirt roads. You see mostly Toyotas, Nissans and Hondas, but I haven't heard of anyone not being able to get cars serviced. I haven't checked prices of tires or parts, to see if it's worth shipping them. - Sep 2018

There are all kinds of cars here. We have a Honda Civic, which works well for tiny parking spaces, but lots of people have smaller SUVs and all the Marines have massive SUVs. High clearance is nice if you want to go to some hiking locations outside the city, but we have also driven all over in our Civic and been fine. There is a Honda dealership that replaced my airbag when it was recalled. - Aug 2018

For trips outside the city, bring a 4 wheel drive vehicle. - May 2018

Any car will work, but an SUV helps, since Bogota's streets are absolutely terrible with crater-size potholes. - Aug 2015

A four-wheel drive is very useful due to road conditions. - Aug 2014

Bring a car that can handle potholes in the middle of the highway. You can sell your car for what you bought it for in the U.S. at the end of your tour. Parts are generally available or easy to import (at a cost). We did well with a mid-range SUV. There is a wide variety from small sedans to Landcruisers and Prados. It depends on your family size and personal preference. You can also get by without a car if you are flexible. - Jun 2014

A small SUV is best - but bring a used one if possible. Your car will get dinged up no matter what you do. Drivers here are aggressive and often do not follow basic rules of the road. And traffic citations are rare. Carjackings have decreased significantly in the city, but always keep doors locked and windows rolled up (people will reach in from motorcycles and take your property off the seat if they can). - May 2013

A small SUV is the most ideal. But focus on small as parking spaces are extremely tight. You can leave your 911 at home, but a car with average clearance gets by okay. - Oct 2012

I drive an old Toyota Corolla around the city and I love it. Even with the blue plates, I feel very inconspicuous and have never had any issues. We have been able to have it serviced without problems and it is the perfect size for zipping in and out of traffic. Drivers are VERY aggressive here and I'm happy to not have a big car in which to fight the traffic. - Jul 2012

Any city car that you don't mind getting beat up. There are craters instead of potholes and half of the vehicles on the (very crowded) roads are buses, taxis, and motorcycles that will not hesitate to be aggressive to the point of physically bumping you out of the way, so expect dings, scratches, and fender benders. - Apr 2012

The roads in Bogota aren't great, but they're not bad either. Most cars in the city are compact, minis. People told me I would need a car, so I brought mine--but I regret it. I find driving here very stressful, mostly because it's such a big place with lots of highways and byways that I still am not comfortable with. Also, taxis are cheap. If you don't have a car and feel comfortable walking and using taxis, you def shouldn't let anyone convince you that a car is a necessity. If you do bring a car, consider buying a local GPS to help you get around. - Dec 2011

Any car is fine. We had SUV which served us well on the poorly-paved roads and outside the city. But you don't need one. - Jul 2011

Small! There are lots of issues with the parking spots -- they are so narrow. I've been driving in lots of places in the world, and I thought Mexico city was the worst. Bit that was before I knew Bogota! There are no rules here. - Nov 2010

Do not bring a vehicle. Traffic is crazy, the driving is crazy. - Sep 2010

None. You can't drive to very many places. There is an armored van to work in the morning, and taxis are cheap. I have driven all over the world, but once I saw these fools, I decided not to ship a car. - Aug 2010

SUVs are best. Colombians are crazy drivers. It's good to have size on your side. - Aug 2010

The smaller the better. Parking spaces are very tight. We have a small car, and it's still hard parking in tight spaces. Often times you'll only have a few inches to spare on either side of your vehicle. Roads are fairly decent, and as long as you are careful there is no need for a large vehicle. - Aug 2010

We have a Toyota Sienna, and there are lots of Toyota agencies here. But the Sienna is not available here, so they have to order parts from the States, and they are really expensive. In addition, the parking spots here are really small. If you don't need a big car, bring one as small as posible. But single men bring good cars -- because for the Colombian women, a fancy car is important. - Jun 2010

I wouldn't own one here. You can't import an used car (maybe dips can, I don't know) and adding to the horrible traffic situation sitting in a parking lot of cars whose drivers know no rules is not my idea of freedom. Moreover, there is pico y placa, which means that several days a week license plates ending with certain numbers will not be allowed on the streets. Take a taxi,or even a bus (but not after dark). - Jan 2010

Smaller cars or SUVs are best for the tight parking spaces. - Sep 2009

Pretty much everything is on the roads here. - Dec 2008

A small SUV is the best. Parking spaces are small, but you want a bigger car so you can see in all of the traffic and get a little more respect on the road. - Dec 2008

SUV, but not too big, mid size is perfect. The roads are soooo broken that you really need a bigger car. - Nov 2008

Nothing too new or expensive, preferably small SUV. - Nov 2008

Love having our SUV but the garages in most apartment buildings are so narrow that we've scraped the side of our Pathfinder. That is the only consideration to have. The service on the vehicle is relatively cheap, parking is plentiful in town. I would now normally go into my THEY DRIVE CRAZY here speech but that's with any tour overseas! - May 2008

There are a lot of potholes and it rains almost all the time. Your vehicle should have some clearance, so a small SUV is probably your best bet. Parking spots tend to be small. - Apr 2008

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