El Salvador-Borders and Driving
Smaller than the US state of Massachusetts, El Salvador still has plenty to offer, including awesome surfing, emtpy beaches, and beautiful highland villages. It's small size makes it a very manageable and accessible country to explore if vacation time is at a premium. Read more about crossing El Salvador's border with a car, and road conditions within the country.
- Population: 7,100,00
- Capital: San Salvador
- Fun fact: From March till October, nearly every beach boasts consistent 6-foot-plus surf.
Border Crossing Information
- Passport (2 copies)
- Vehicle title (2 copies)
- Registration (2 copies)- may also be requested
Costs: $3 fumigation
At some crossings, you may pay $3 (US) to have your car fumigated. For immigration purposes, you will need to show your passport, but you will not get a new stamp in your passport due to the C-4 agreement. Then you will fill out some paperwork to receive a Salvadoran vehicle import permit, and someone will briefly inspect your vehicle. The permit should not cost anything.
- Vehicle Import permit (1 photocopy)
A quick and easy border crossing. After showing your vehicle import permit and passports, you will surrender the original import permit, and keep a copy bearing their original stamp and signature indicating that you have taken the car out of the country. You will need to show this as you enter Honduras, and presumably Guatemala as well. You should not have to pay anyone anything.
People's experiences vary depending on crowds at the border, corrupt or honest border officials, and rules can also change. Read more details about people's individual experiences crossing borders into and out of El Salvador. Read a few experiences on this page.
Roads and Driving
Military Checkpoints and Police
The police set up periodic road blocks, and if your car seems unusual or they can tell you are a tourist, you will likely be asked to pull over. They will examine your documents, ask you some simple questions, and you can proceed on your way. If you are pulled over and you don't believe you did anything wrong, see the scams and shakedowns section for techniques to avoid paying bribes.
Gas prices are expressed in the units of the specific country.
April 1, 2012:
Premium: $4.90/ gallon
Price is in US dollars per gallon
Conversion: 1L=0.26 gallons