Last modification: 15 Aug 22

Bolivia varies in altitude, featuring regions which are humid and tropical, and others which are cold and semiarid. The country features rugged Andes Mountains with a highland plateau (Altiplano), as well as hills, and lowland plains of the Amazon Basin.

Most of the population lives in the high altitude plains of the west between two cordillera of the Andes, known as the Altiplano. Larger settlements are found in and around the city of Santa Cruz which is situated on the eastern side of the Andes.


Chapter 1: Economic and business environment


11.8 million inhabitants (2021)
up 1.39% year-over-year

source: Statistics Times


La Paz
12,799 (city)
1.86 million (urban area)


Major cities

1. Santa Cruz dela Sierra (1.36 million people)
2.Cochabamba (900,414)
3. La Paz (812,799)
4. Sucre (224,838)
5. Oruro (208,684)

est. 2018


Spanish (official) 60.7%
Quechua (official) 21.2%
Aymara (official) 14.6%


40.4 billion (2021)
up 10% year-over-year

US$3,424 per capita (non adjusted)

source: Trading Economics


Unemployment rate

6.9% (2020)

Main industries

mining, smelting, electricity, petroleum, food and beverages, handicrafts, clothing, jewelry


Bolivian boliviano

Interest rate

4.28% (April 2022) 

Political key info

In December 2005, the Bolivian's moved toward socialism has been led by President Evo Morales with a promise to change the country's traditional political class and empower the nation's poor, indigenous majority. The president has been choesn by his party to run again in 2019, via a still-undetermined method for him to appear on the ballot.


1.79% (June 2022)

Chapter 2 : Automotive market, segments & sales

Total Car park

1.71 million vehicles (2016)

(Source: National Institutoe of Statistics INE and municipal tax administration RUAT)

In terms of passenger vehicles, approximately
30% are compact SUVs, 21.4% are motorcycles, and 18% are cars. While 92% of the passenger vehicles are for private use, the reamininag 8% are for public and official use.


New vehicle registrations (Cars, LCV, Trucks)

1Q21: up 33% to 8,126 units
2Q21: up 123% to 8,898 units
2020: 24,537 units
source: Focus2Move

2019: 29,884 units
2018: 34,000 units
017: 32,550 units
source: OICA

Top 5 brands (total market)

Bolivia has approximately 185 vehicles brands, dominated by those from Japan. 

In 2020, the best-selling brand in the country was Suzuki which saw a 19.1% drop in sales, followed by Renault (-37.7%) and Nissan (-34.1%). Toyota is also popular.

in August 2021, Suzuki led sales a 94.7% jump year-over-year, followed by Nissan (+ 123%) and Renault (+15.1%).

source: Focus2Move

Model preference top 5 (total market)

In 2020, the best-selling model in the country was the Suzuki Swift of which 5,337 units were sold, down 19.1% year-over-year. (21.8% market share). Suzuki Vitara is also popular.

source: Focus2Move

Used car market/renewal cycle

With an average age of 40 years, Bolivia has a larger number of highly polluting and dangerous second-hand vehicles. Approximatey 60% of the country's fleet is more than 10 years old.

In 2016, about 25.4% of Bolivia's vehicles were five years or less (435,175 units). Reprsenting 17%, the second largest category was those which were 15-20 years old (290,795 units).

Collective Transport

Approximately 80% of public transport vehicles are 17-44 years old, according to studies carried out by the La Paz municipality. Many of them are buses (30-60 passenger capacity) owned by union members which have yet to renovate thier vehicles. Many of them actually operate on liquified gas - for domestic use - which have been illegal connected in order to avoid tecnical controls.


Chapter 3: Company car market

Evolution fleet sales (last 5 years)

In 2019, commercial vehicles sales rose 6% to 11,388 units from 10,743 (source: OICA)
2018: 10,743 units
017: 10,900 units
2016: 8,600 units
2015: 12,400 units

Chapter 4: Taxation & legislation

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Chapter 5: Car policies

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Chapter 6: Funding methods

The financial market in Bolivia depends on supply and demand with banks offering different interest rates and payment deadline structures. In general, a borrower would qualify for 80% financing on a vehicle which is priced very close to the annual revenue (salary for individuals) reported during credit evaluation.

Considering a small loan for individuals, interest could run from 9.9%-17.6% depending on the profile of the borrower and the asset needing to be financed. Better rates can be obtained on commercial loans. 

Among the main banks in Bolivia are Banco Bisa, Banco de Crédito, Banco Económico, Banco Fassil, Banco FIE, Banco Ganadero, Banco Mercantil Santa Cruz, Banco Nacional de Bolivia, Prodem, Banco Sol, and Banco Unión.

Chapter 7: Fuel

August 8, 2022
Average gasoline price per liter: US$1.41 (world average is US$0.55)
Average diesel price per liter: US$1.21 (world average is US$0.54)

March, 2021
Average electricity price per kWh Households: US$0.12 (world average is US$0.14)
Average electricity price per kWh Business: US$0.14 (world average is US$0.12)


Approximately 83% of the vehicles in the country run on gasoline, 13% diesel, and 4% natural gas.

Bolivia has one of the lowest prices of gasoline in Latin America. Only Venezuela and Ecuador are cheaper. 

Chapter 8 : TCO components

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Chapter 9: Safety, insurance and telematics


The transit unit of the police department
is in charge of mechanical vehicle inspections (ITV) which are mandatory every year. In accordance with the local traffic code and natoinal regulations, the visual inspection last only a few mintues, and involves checking the lighting, electrical and braking systems, and other accessories.


Establisehd in 2018, the SOAT mandatory traffic accident insurance covers some 42% of the country's automotive fleet as of October. Approximately 760,000 policies, according to data from state firm UNIVida.

Chapter 10: Environment

In terms of electric vehicles, experts believe that this will not occur in the country for at least another five years and the main barrier their high cost. According to the director of the country's energy foundation, Miguel Ángel Fernández, the country lacks policies aimed at encourage electric vehicles. Moreover, importers do not have much knowledge or interest in the market. This pertains both to the passenger vehicle market and the collective transport vehicles such as public buses. 

According to the Ministry of Environment and Water, it was reported in 2017 that the vehicle fleet was responsible for 70% of the country's air pollution, followed by industries and forest fires or the burning of pastures.

Chapter 11: Mobility

Uber in Bolivia first started in the city of Santa Cruz in October 2016. And, it has been present in the federal capital of La Paz since February 2017. Buses are still widely used and the entire fleet - mainly outside La Paz - is very old.

Chapter 12: Key trends to watch