Whether you are moving to Costa Rica or already living here you can possibly need to make the decision on whether to ship a car to Costa Rica and pay the taxes or purchase a car in Costa Rica.  Although there are always exceptions to the rule, it is recommended in many cases to import the vehicle as it usually saves time and money in both the short and long term.

If you are planning to purchase a vehicle in Costa Rica instead of shipping your current vehicle, you should get all the facts before making this decision.  This also holds true for those people planning on purchasing a vehicle in Costa Rica.  There are 2 major reasons you should ship a vehicle to Costa Rica: money and vehicle dependability.
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Money

Before your journey to start your new life in Costa Rica if you plan on leaving your vehicle at home you are going to need to sell it. This has many potential downfalls. First, In order to get the best price for your current vehicle you are going to have to start the selling process 5 to 6 months ahead of time in order to get multiple offers to get the best price for your vehicle. This is going to require you to spend time and money on selling your vehicle. Secondly, when you get a good offer this could mean that you are without personal transportation for a period of time before your journey to Costa Rica. Finally, if you decide to wait until last minute to sell your vehicle you could have to take a loss on the vehicle to sell it quickly or if you are unable to sell it pay for storage or a friend to try to sell it after you leave. These are just a few of the disadvantages of selling your vehicle.

The next step for when you arrive in Costa Rica is the purchase of a replacement vehicle. If you have looked on craigslist or other auto vending websites in Costa Rica you will notice the large price discrepancy between the USA/Canada and Costa Rica. An auto that you could get outside of Costa Rica can and usually is about double the price in Costa Rica. For example a 2000 Grand Cherokee which in the USA would go for about $5,500 would sell for about $11,000 […]