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Car Shipping To Costa Rica

If you ever have to ship a car to Costa Rica you will need to decide if you want it shipped by plane, by sea or by land. But no matter what you choose you will stay have to respect a series of rules and pay the necessary taxes and fees.

Most people prefer to ship their cars to Costa Rica by a shipping vessel. The Costa Rica ports where you can have your car shipped are Puerto Limon (the most important one), San Jose and Puerto Caldera. The number of car shipping companies that offer their services on this route is large and they all offer free online quotes that you can use for comparison purposes and make the best choice. In addition, car shipping to Costa Rica will also require some documents. The main two documents that you will have to provide are the original invoice and the registration documents that can together prove you have paid for the car you want to ship and you are its legal owner.

A more special requirement of the Costa Rica authorities is the emission test. Any car that is being shipped to this destination needs to be the subject of this test. It doesn’t matter the time you plan on staying in Costa Rica. The test will still be mandatory if you want to benefit from international shipping. Other requirements refer to the taxes and duties that have to be paid. The level of taxes is higher than in other cases because more than one tax has to be paid. There is the import tax, the taxes that apply to the shipped car, the consumption tax, the port duties and so on. The tax level depends on a series of factors including the make and model of the car, its year of purchase and of course its current market value.

There is also a possibility to avoid paying the taxes involved by driving the car in Costa Rica. This is a facility that allows you to drive the car shipped to Costa Rica for three months before you will be required to pay taxes. The three months start not when the car shipment arrives to Costa Rica, but when the owner arrives in Costa Rica and picks up the car. This rule applies only for tourists that come to Costa Rica for a holiday, but that doesn’t mean that they won’t have to still pay local taxes and other fees that a car shipping to Costa Rica usually involves. You can find out all the details from the Costa Rica Consulate.

When the car arrives to Costa Rica you will also have to deal with the customs clearance that can be handled by an agent of the car shipping company you hired or by yourself. It’s all up to you, if you decide to use the services of a freight forwarder or not. If you decide to do it yourself, then you’d better choose as destination port San Jose, because the procedures involved by customs clearance take less time in this port. In Puerto Limon or Puerto Caldera, you might even have to spend the night in the port in order to finalize all the procedures.

Once your car shipping to Costa Rica is finalized and you get to drive your car on this country’s streets, you should be aware of the new traffic rules in Costa Rica that involve some new safety equipment for drivers and their cars. Some are the same as in the USA. There are just a few differences you should definitely keep in mind.


One Response to Car Shipping To Costa Rica

  1. Tee says:

    Don’t forget about the import tax which can made a large difference in deciding whether to bring a car into Costa Rica or simply buying one when in the country.

    Cheers, Tee

    Tee is senior editor of Costa Rica Magazine http://www.CostaRicaCLOSEUP.com and Love In the Wild Fans Magazine http://www.LoveInTheWildFansMag.com set in Costa Rica

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