Cars in Costa Rica
The cost of cars are rising as is anything else in Costa Rica. Gas and diesel are now about equal where diesel was 150 colones less per liter, now they are running neck in neck to keep up. This doesn’t help when you are looking at a car to buy.
When we were looking at cars, we always looked for diesel because the fuel was so much less and the mileage seems to be a little better for a diesel car. Some might disagree but that is our experience.
Renting a car can be a harrowing experience. You will settle on one price when you get the car, then when you get ready to turn it in there are all of these added charges. Many of the big name companies do this on a regular basis. The solution to this is to go with a smaller company. One where you can meet the owner. There are a couple of these in Escazu but they are not any cheaper than the big companies. Renting a car for a month (small car) can run anywhere from $600 -$1000.
To buy a car is really your best bet if you plan on living in Paradise. But you must be very careful who you buy from and have a mechanic look at the car for sure. Second hand cars in Costa Rica often have problems that can only be detected by a good mechanic. People drive the life out of them and with the roads being as bad as they are, they really take a beating.
Low miles and newer car are really the way to go if you don’t go new. Each car that we have bought has been used and we have had some good cars with only minor repairs needed. The good thing about repairs is that if the car has easy to find parts like a Hundai or a Nissan, labor is very cheap.
Another point mentioned above…get a car that is popular to Costa Rica and you will be able to find parts. Many of the cars that Expats bring into Costa Rica, the parts are not readily available and must be ordered from the US, costing mucho dinero.
Hundai’s are very popular and less expensive to work on than say an older model Jeep or Dodge.
Mitsubishi and Nissan are too other cars that are easier to work on and find parts.
Transferring title to the new car is subject for another post and will be up later.