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Shipping a vehicle to Costa Rica

Shipping a vehicle to Costa RicaIs shipping a vehicle to Costa Rica a hurdle or not? When moving to Costa Rica, you might have a doubt about shipping a vehicle to Costa Rica. Should you shop for a car once you arrive in Costa Rica? Find out more now.

Many of you would like to bring their own vehicle because it’s such a great one. Maybe you just bought it or because it has some kind of personal value to it.

I can tell you about the different experiences our clients have had importing their vehicle or bought in Costa Rica. Some did it the right way and others went through hell. This article is just a guideline to make you aware of the hurdles you will find on your way when shipping a vehicle to Costa Rica.

Import taxes when shipping a vehicle to Costa Rica are very high in Costa Rica. Customs charges C.I.F. (Cost, Insurance, and Freight). Distributors of new and used vehicles pay the same tax percentages as you will but their shipping cost will be much lower because of the bulk, so in the end, the taxes charged will be lower too (as it is charged on top of the insurance & freight cost too).  You can check on the import duty you will have to pay for your car on the Finance Ministry’s website, unfortunately, all in Spanish.

That is why you should be looking at the resale value of your car at home and at prices of cars in Costa Rica before you take any decisions.

Spare parts

Another very important issue is if the Costa Rican car dealers and distributors offer spare parts for that vehicle. Some cars like Toyota and Nissan have different models with the same name for the USA and Europe than they have for Latin America. Those might be the same cars but with different spare parts or a different engine. Shipping a vehicle to Costa Rica

The internet makes it easier now to shop for vehicle spare parts and fly them in. But not all car mechanics know how to fix a car that is built to North American standards.  And few have the computer to check them. Also, it’s important to know that you need an emission control report. And some States don’t have that.

Transport the vehicle

There are three different ways to transport your vehicle to Costa Rica, by air, sea or land. However, the law regarding the importation of any vehicle into Costa Rica is the same.

Shipping a vehicle to Costa RicaIf you ship your vehicle by sea, there are several ways of doing it. You can have it put in a 20 Feet container or have it shipped in a banana boat. Don’t fill your vehicle with other merchandise to save money. You will be surprised how little of it will get safely to your home.

Drive your car to Costa Rica

Many have asked me over the years if it’s possible to drive the car to Costa Rica. My answer is yes, but don’t do it. Besides the language problem going through all the Latin American countries, the road is dangerous and not worth saving yourself a couple of hundred dollars. If you are very adventurous, go ahead and have fun and write a blog about it for us when you arrive here.

Import your vehicle yourself

You don’t want to go through all the hassle of getting your vehicle through customs? If you still decide in shipping a vehicle to Costa Rica, just call our expert Edwin Obando Jr. at Winmovers at (506) 2215-3536. Or check their website. Shipping a vehicle to Costa Rica

Edwin will tell you which freight forwarder to use in your hometown to make the arrival of your vehicle in one piece and getting it through customs without being overcharged, which is a very easy way to go. WinMovers can also take care of moving your furniture to Costa Rica when you relocate.

We write these blogs because we thrive on happy customers and we sincerely hope you will be one that appreciates us taking the time and effort to help you with your relocation to Costa Rica as well as finding you the property in Costa Rica you are looking to purchase or rent.

In other words, we’d like to have your Costa Rica real estate business. Contact us NOW.


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Ivo Henfling

Your West-side of San Jose real estate agent, covering Escazu and Santa Ana, Rohrmoser and Ciudad Colon. If you are looking to buy a home in Costa Rica or invest in a condo anywhere in the Central Valley or looking for any property for sale in Escazu or Santa Ana, you need to contact Costa Rica real estate agent Ivo Henfling. Ivo has been selling Costa Rica real estate on the westside of San Jose, in the locations of Rohrmoser, Sabana, Escazu, Santa Ana and Ciudad Colon for over 20 years and can show you hundreds of happy buyers of real estate in Escazu and those other areas. For Ivo, a deal is not a good one unless both buyer and seller are happy.

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