Driving in Colombia – Part 3

Driving in Colombia – Part 3 – Taxes and Insurance

There are a series of costs associated with owning/driving a vehicle in Colombia.

The first is called SOAT or Seguro Obligatorio de Accidentes de Tránsito. This is a mandatory, annual insurance required for all vehicles traveling within Colombia. The cost is relative to the type of vehicle (motorcycle, car, SUV) as well as the model and number of cylinders.

This insurance covers personal injuries to people in a traffic accident in the following aspects :

Medical, surgical, pharmaceutical and hospital expenses.
Permanent disability.
Death of the victim.
Funeral expenses.
Transport costs and mobilization of victims.

There are limits to the coverage of SOAT . When  they are exceeded  these costs should be paid by the person responsible for the accident or vehicle insurance . Generally as a foreigner,  you should carry the highest possible coverage  because in cases like this you could easily become the victim of an excessive claim.

The second cost you must pay annually is a tax on your vehicle. Usually there is a period between January and the end of February  where a 10% discount is offered for an early payment. For 2013, the payment period was until July 12. After that date a late penalty is applied of 134.000 COP. Note that the dates vary slightly from year to year.

The tax is determined with this formula.  You can obtain this information and the necessary form from your local Transito office and it can be paid there or in a bank.

If the value of your vehicle is  :

–        From  1.000.000 to 37.000.000 , the tax is 1.5%

–        From 37.000.000 to 87.000.000, the tax is 2.5%

–        From 87.000.000 and up, the tax is 3.5%

The other small tax that you will pay annually is called Semaforizacion. Basically this is a payment that supposedly contributes to the maintenance of the street lights in the city where your vehicle is registered. In Medellin for 2013, it was just under 30.000 COP.