Lima - 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 bringing something smaller - although I've seen plenty of US-sized vehicles - and that you don't mind getting dinged/scratched/banged up. Accidents are fairly common, probably less common than they should be given the atrocious traffic conditions and local drivers' total lack of consideration and/or ability (which Peruvians freely admit). - Jul 2022

We love our small SUV as we're able to see potholes and when we don't, for managing them without causing an accident. Lots of potholes, even in Lima's best neighborhoods. Lots of hills in the city and lots of mountains outside of it, so I'm glad we have a strong V6 engine, too. - Oct 2018

We had a Toyota SUV and it worked out well. We drove all over Peru and never had a need for a 4X4. I wouldn't bring a vehicle with low ground clearance due to the horrid speed bumps. They will destroy the suspension on your vehicle. Car parts and oil are very expensive, but at least the labor is cheap. - Mar 2018

Something you don't mind getting dinged up, it's inevitable. I have an 2009 Toyota RAV-4 and it's perfect. - Apr 2017

Any car works well in Lima and on the coast. There are many speed bumps though. Parking spots are of normal size unless you are trying to park an Escalade or something of similar size. Gasoline is currently at about $4USD/gallon so a real gas guzzler will hit the pocket book.

Traffic is bad and the drivers are suicidal. The best thing is to park the car and use Uber. Sit back in the back seat, bring a cocktail and play some Candy Crush. - Jul 2016

Every kind of dealership is available here. No issues finding parts. Mechanics are cheap because of cheap labor. Your car will average two fender benders a year, though. - Sep 2015

If you're just planning to drive in Lima and some of the other major cities, most any kind of sedan or van will work fine. We're a little more adventurous and brought an AWD Subaru with a little higher clearance to the country - nice for gravel roads as well as the ubiquitous speed bumps of Lima. - May 2015

Don't bring a white car. It will be brown (due to the ever-present dust) within days. Anything else would be fine. - Apr 2015

Any automobile. - Sep 2014

Any car will do but a higher clearance is preferable given the terrible state of the roads. If you import a car more than 5 years old, you must agree to export it. You cannot sell it at the end of your tour. - Apr 2014

Traffic is crazy and drivers are aggressive. In the city, I prefer a small SUV. You don't need 4WD, but having a larger vehicle can be helpful on the roads. You would be fine with a sedan, however, if you prefer. - Mar 2014

Most types seem to be available here. - Aug 2013

There are restrictions on imported cars more than 3 years old, but otherwise you can bring any car here and be fine. - Jul 2013

A small SUV is nice to have because traffic is very bad, roads are not always well maintained, and bigger does mean better on the road. - Jul 2013

We had a 4x4 CRV. Prepare yourself for big bumps and broken streets with huge holes. - Jun 2013

I brought a 4x4 Subaru Impreza with 250 cc for off-roading, but unfortunately, I only went off-road twice since coming here. Roads in Lima are generally paved and in decent, although not prefect, condition. Driving is a full contact sport in Lima and I would not recommend bringing a valuable or super-modern car. Drivers are notoriously aggressive and nicks and scratches are monthly events. Smash and grab robberies are common, especially when going to and fro the airport along Avenida Faucett. - Jan 2012

This is depends on your needs and what your plans are. You can do most everything with a small SUV or sedan. Something you wouldn’t mind getting a bump or two. There are all the major car dealerships here and a lot of vehicles for sale by owner. 4WD is not necessary unless you are planning to travel the back roads in the country. Taxis are everywhere and more than fairly priced. All of them expect you to haggle the price. They will stop traffic while figuring out the price between the taxi and the rider. Always decide on the amount before getting in the taxi. It is highly recommended to use a car service or one of the better-known taxi companies. People will buy a stick on ‘taxi’ and try to pick up fares. It is estimated that half of the taxis in Lima are ‘illegal’s’. You could easily get by without a car and use a taxi service or hire a driver. Everything you have ever heard about bad traffic and drivers anywhere in the world – doesn’t compare to here. We know people who been here a year and have had a half dozens accidents. Insurance is available here and you have to have the local insurance if you have a car. But most people just settle on the spot with the other driver in case of an accident. The local insurance is more of hassle than it is worth, but you have to have to get your car on the road. - Jan 2012

SUV's are good. The traffic is mayhem here and the philosophy "bigger is better" does apply. - Aug 2011

Bring something strong, reliable, and something you don't mind getting dented and scratched. Peruvian are horrible drivers, and you can be sure that you will have at least one minor accident here. It is quite amazing to see how your very nice, intelligent, worldly Peruvian colleagues change into mean, stupid sociopaths once they get behind a wheel of a car ! Amazing! - Jul 2010

Bigger is better when dealing witht the macho mind of a Peruvian driver. It's not necessary though and gas is very expensive. Any sedan will work OK around Lima and most adventure trips oputside of Lima are by air, not car. - Jun 2010

Bring a 4x4 (so you can intimidate the horrible drivers) and spare parts such as oil and air filters. - Jul 2008

Only slightly worse than driving in DC - any car will be fine so long as it has plenty of life left in it. 4wd isn't necessary. - Apr 2008

Subscribe to our newsletter

New book from Talesmag! Honest and courageous stories of life abroad with special needs.

Read More