Bringing a car

A common misconception among foreigners coming to Costa Rica is that you will save money by bringing a car here from the US. There are some major drawbacks to this.

  • You have to pay import duties, which is the main reason cars are so much more expensive here. Plus insurance and shipping costs.
  • You will have to go through the process of clearing customs, not an easy task!
  • The guarantee that you have on the car from the US dealer is not valid in Costa Rica
  • The car may be damaged in shipping or have parts stolen in transit. Insurance doesn’t always cover this.

If you still think you want to import your car the following taxes will apply.

  • Less than 3 years old – 59.33%
  • 4-5 years old – 70.63%
  • 6 or more years old 85.32%

These rates are applied not only to the Black Book value of the car (regardless of the purchase price), but also to the shipping and insurance costs.

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