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?

I would bring a four-wheel drive, but wouldn't park on the street. There were many incidents before we arrived of people stealing the "brains" of cars. Not too many incidents while we were there though. - Dec 2019

A car with medium to high clearance that you don't mind getting banged up. Preferably something with 4WD if you plan to go exploring. There are age restrictions on imports. - Feb 2019

Any car will do. Note that the Bolivian government has tight import restrictions (age/cost). However, you should be able to sell and recoup what you paid. - Sep 2016

The regs for importing a car here have recently changed. It is now something like no older than 1 or 2 model years as opposed to three. This is rumored to be a decreasing window so check with someone in the know before you plan. As for types of cars, they are all over the map here, VW Bugs to giant SUVS, as long as you are ok with bumps and dings, you'll be fine. - Jun 2015

Small SUVs are popular among embassy personnel, like RAV4s and Subaru Forresters. The roads here are rough, and there can be some flooding during the rainy season, so something with clearance and all-wheel or 4 wheel drive is recommended. Plus you're always driving uphill, so something with some power is good. If you're importing a vehicle, it can't be more than 3 years old. - Apr 2015

4WD is really helpful given the steep hills. Nothing too big as parking can be tough. Check with the CLO or your sponsor to find out what cars are popular, because vehicle part theft is a big problem and rare cars seem to be targeted more frequently than others. - Nov 2014

In La Paz a sedan or smaller SUV/crossover vehicle is fine. Parking spaces tend to be narrow and small both out in town and at residences, so monster SUVs may be more trouble than they are worth. Most popular makes here are Toyota, Nissan, Jeep and Suzuki. You can also find an astounding number of old Volkswagen bugs! The government only allows diplomats to bring cars younger than 3 years old and limits the value of the car based on diplomatic rank. Cars do retain their value so you can sell your newer car for near what you paid for it when you leave post. Many have their cars "hardened" here which involves inserting structure around side mirrors, the hood and the electronic brain of the car to deter theft. It's probably not a bad idea to do but some members of the Mission have suffered repeated thefts despite hardening. It's also advisable to be very careful where you park and check in advance if there is secure parking at your destination. - Jan 2014

Definitely an SUV. If you bring your own, it needs to be less than 3 years old. You can get it hardened to help deter thieves and you can sell it for about what you bought it for. A lot of people have Jeeps or Nissans and haven't had any problems with parts. - Jul 2013

If you bring your own, an SUV is needed. You are able to buy one here from people who are leaving. Your car will not depreciate much here. - Jun 2013

4X4. There are price restrictions depending on title. Check before you buy with GSO. You will be able to sell your car easily before departure. - Jul 2012

Large SUV to enjoy the mountains. - Feb 2012

High ground clearance for the potholes and flooding, enough engine power to make it up the hills. Not too tall or wide because roads are narrow and garages are tight +both commercial and residential). - Aug 2011

I recommend an SUV. The government of Bolivia now has a rule that your car can't be older than three years old, but you should be able to sell it for what you paid for it when you are ready to leave if you want to. - May 2011

A very strong car. Sedans suffer a lot here. Roads are a mess and the best option is a 4x4 SUB like a Jeep. - May 2011

SUVs are good, but smaller crossovers are even better because parking spaces are gold!Because of the rugged terrain outside the city, and even the rough roads in the city 4-wheel drives are a good choice if possible. Any type of car that requires special or expensive parts has difficulty getting repaired here. - Mar 2011

Bring an SUV or a Jeep. They also sell fast here when you leave. - Aug 2010

There are a lot of 4 by 4 because of the steep climbs - Jan 2010

Higher clearance is good even for city driving. 4-wheel-drive for outside of city if you do that kind of exploring. Parts can be found, but you can bring your own. They secure your vehicle locally to avoid theft of car parts. - Aug 2009

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