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Step by Step to Ship Car to Costa Rica

Ship Car to Costa Rica – Deciding on Costa Rica relocation is a process that can take a while to get all your ducks in a row.  But now that you have decided on shipping to Costa Rica the question remains whether or not you want to ship a vehicle.

When you are going through the decision making process of shipping a car to Costa Rica or buying one down here consider these factors:ship car to costa rica

  1. Do I Need to Ship a Car to Costa Rica – If you are living on the beach and everything is within walking distance you may not require a vehicle in Costa Rica. But if you live 15 miles from the nearest grocery store or you have to commute 30 minutes everyday to work by bus, having a car in Costa Rica might not be a luxury, it maybe a requirement.  
  2. Import Taxes on Shipping a Car to Costa Rica – Import taxes on a vehicle when bringing it into Costa Rica are quite high They range between around 50% to 70% depending on the year of the car you are shipping to Costa Rica and based on the Hacienda Valor which is in essence the Costa Rica BlueBook value. When most people here the taxes they are in shock and more than a few times I have heard “that is what my car is worth.” There is no argument there, but if you search craigslist you will see that the vehicles being sold in Costa Rica have that import tax in the value for which they are being sold.  If you need a car in Costa Rica I truly recommend shipping to Costa Rica instead of buying.  The biggest reason is vehicle history.  If you ship car to Costa Rica you can find out its complete history and know what accidents it has been in as well as any repairs that have taken place.  In Costa Rica there is no such system in place and have to take the word of the person selling the vehicle.  
  3. What Kind of Car to Ship to Costa Rica – This depends on where you are going to be living.  If you live up a dirt road or off the Costa Rican beaten path then 4 wheel drive might be necessary. If you are living in San Jose or a place where the streets are paved and maintained then just about any vehicle will do but there are some thing to consider.  Parts are easy to find for Toyota, Hyundai, Honda and brands coming from the Asian part of the world.  If you decide to ship a Ford, Chevrolet or other US made brand it is not as easy to find parts.  Also consider gas mileage as gasoline in Costa Rica is about $5 a gallon.  I normally recommend a 2002 to 2004 4Runner or Rav4 as they have high resale value and the import taxes are not as astronomical.

Click to Get Your Free Costa Rica Shipping Guide

Steps to Ship Car to Costa Rica

Now comes the fun part shipping a car to Costa Rica.

During your Costa Rica relocation, if you are already sending a 20 foot container then the decision is easy.  You should just add your vehicle to the shipment and order a 40 foot container.  The difference in cost is only about $800 to $1000 for shipping to Costa Rica.  

If you are only shipping a car to Costa Rica the options increase.  

  1. Drive to car to Delaware to Florida and ship the car to Costa Rica using Roll On/Roll Off service.  At Shipping Costa Rica we have worked with these companies for years and get wholesale rates.  We also ensure that when shipping a car to Costa Rica it is placed inside a container instead of on the deck of a ship.  Placing it on the deck leaves the vehicle open to theft.  
  2. Vehicle Picked Up at Your Home – If you do not have the time or desire to drive your vehicle to Houston, Florida or Delaware. (These are the only ports that offer Roll On/Roll Off). Shipping Costa Rica will pick up your vehicle and deliver it to port.  
  3. Shipping Your Vehicle Packed – If you are bringing items that will fill either the bed of your truck or vehicle up to window level, you can ship your car to Costa Rica packed.  The additional fee for this is normally around $150 for the shipping to Costa Rica portion and it will cost a little extra to process this in Costa Rica.  You will also be required to pay import taxes on the goods you ship to Costa Rica.

Arrival in Costa Rica – Ship Car to Costa Rica

Shipping a car from the USA to Costa Rica is the easy part, when it arrives in Costa Rica is the part that you need to be careful you are not taken advantage of. Expats can be taken for a ride when their car gets to Costa Rica and it can almost be held for ransom.  “Pay this or you do not get your car” is not a scenario you want to be caught in.

The vehicle is taken through customs, the fiscal warehouse, through Riteve (Costa Rica Vehicle inspection), and all other logistics to get your car ready to drive away.  Shipping Costa Rica will do all this for you to ensure that all you have to do is take the keys and drive away.  

You have two options when it comes to how you want to register your vehicle after shipping a car to Costa Rica.

  1. Tourist Permit – The car will be taken through the entire customs process including Riteve but you can delay paying the taxes on it for 90 days based on the entry stamp on your passport.  If you arrived a week before your car begins processing then you have 7 days left on the vehicle tourist visa.  The only reason to do this when you ship a car to Costa Rica is if you do not have the money.  Taking it through to get nationalized and paying the taxes on a later date will mean more time and more money down the road.
  2. Nationalization – This is getting the Costa Rican license plates for your vehicle and paying the import taxes.

Now that you have the basics, let Shipping Costa Rica make the process easy and ship your car to Costa Rica.  Get Your Free Costa Rica Shipping Guide Below.

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