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The Truth About Shipping a Car or Motorcycle to Costa Rica

Costa Rica Shipping – You have decided that the time has come to pack up and relocate to Costa Rica, either to start a new life or to escape the country you are presently residing.  Whether or not you are shipping your household goods or buying new ones in Costa Rica is a decision you will have to make but the topic for today is shipping a vehicle to Costa Rica or buying one in the country.

If you are like many you do a little research before heading down to the country. Although the public transportation in Costa Rica is fairly reliable going grocery shopping in a bus can be a little bit of a nuisance and taking taxis or Uber can quickly add up when it comes to costs. There is also the possibility that you want the freedom to easily get from one place to another and not have to wait on public transportation to get there.  But whether or not you feel the need to have a vehicle when living in Costa Rica is entirely up to you, some people get around find without them.

But let’s talk to those that want to have the convenience of having a car or motorcycle in the country.  If you live 25 miles from the nearest town or buses don’t run near your house or condo it might be more be more a necessity than a luxury.

Click to Get Your Free Guide to Shipping & Costa Rica Relocation

If you have gone to Craigslist or CRAutos, you might have noticed that the prices of vehicles in Costa Rica are a bit higher than in your home country. The reason for this is when a vehicle enters the country Costa Rica places between a 52% and 79% import tax on the vehicle depending on the age. This in itself drives up the sale price of vehicles in the country as almost all of them add this costs into the sale price to go along with the shipping.

So you have two options if you own a vehicle free and clear in your home country.  

  1. You can sell your vehicle for market value or close to market value and then purchase a vehicle in Costa Rica
  2. You can ship your current vehicle to Costa Rica and pay import taxes, shipping and nationalization

Option 1 – When searching for a vehicle in Costa Rica there is a chance that you can find a good deal.  But unfortunately these are few and far between. Because of the cost of vehicles in Costa Rica many hold onto them until they are on their last legs. More than once I have heard stories of people that have bought vehicles and after a month or two they were in the shop more than they were on the road.  There are the lucky few that find a diamond in the rough, but if the car lasts 30 days after you buy it and then starts having clutch, engine or other major problems there is no warranty nor ability to get your money back.

Option 2 – Shipping your vehicle to Costa Rica may sound like an expensive venture with ocean shipping, import taxes and nationalization.  Many hear the import taxes and say “that is more than the value of my car”. But here are the facts:

  1. You know the history of your vehicle and you know if it has any problems, there is no CarFax for Costa Rican vehicles nor any warranty
  2. The costs you are going to incur is about what you would pay for the same vehicle in Costa Rica if not a little less

The decision is of course up to you, but if you need a vehicle in Costa Rica it is always always a better choice to ship down one you already own rather than purchase one in Costa Rica.  You have to take into consideration your budget, etc…. But to learn more about shipping a car to Costa Rica click the link below to get your free Costa Rica Shipping Guide.

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