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Riteve; Pains of the Costa Rica Vehicle Inspection

Costa Rica News – For everyone that owns a vehicle in Costa Rica or has shipped one down from the USA or Canada, you know about the process which is Riteve, the Costa Rica vehicle inspection.  This is one of the most well run processes in Costa Rica and is actually harder to pass than the vehicle inspection in the USA.

costa rica riteveIn 2013, 48% of vehicles in Costa Rica failed the safety inspection on the first try. The main reason for the failures were gas emissions and brake failures.

Besides the two most common causes for failing the test, there are others, such as seatbelts and tension bars not functioning properly. If a vehicle fails, they have 30 days to fix the issues and bring it back to the same gas station for a second check. This second go costs 50% of the full inspection price. If it fails again, it must be resubmitted for a first check, at full price.

You might find this surprising considering some of the cars and trucks you see driving on the roads of Costa Rica.

The failure rate a decade ago, in 2003, was 71%. The 48% seems high, especially since so many people pay off inspectors to pass. I would assume that the actual number would be closer to 60% or more if the bribes were not being passed under the table.

Under Costa Rica traffic law if you are pulled over after your yearly Riteve inspection has expired you are subject to a fine.  During the first 30 days after it expires you can usually get out of the fine by saying you have just not had time or pulling the old 20 thousand colones in the palm trick……not recommended but it happens.

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