Importing a car is easy to do today with so many reputable importers available. Shipping a car out from Miami's port will cost approximately $1,000 or less. If you need someone to come and get your car and drive it to the port for you, there is a fee for that but it will be more convenient for you.
If you are closer to the west coast, you can make arrangements to have your car shipped from a port near you instead. Once your vehicle is shipped, you will be able to pick it up in Moin or Limon, which are ports located in Costa Rica, along the Caribbean cost.
Before your car can ship anywhere, ask about how do I ship my car to Costa Rica? It must pass the emissions standards and this test can be done right in the United States, before you even leave. It's important to also consider what you will do if your car breaks down on your while in Costa Rica. There are automobile repair shops there and labor is fairly inexpensive, the part may be hard to find. Costa Rica is not prepared to work on American made or European vehicles. If your car is a vintage, you will certainly have a difficult time getting the parts to it, if you need it.
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For the most part, the roads are all paved and the driving conditions are good. Most of the regions are connected by maintained roads. Secondary roads could pose a challenge for anyone who is not expecting it and has no experience driving in Costa Rica. The secondary roads are not normally maintained and are in rural areas where it is isolated. If you are living in the country, then you may want to have a four-wheeled drive to get you back and forth and not a sedan. Always make sure that your vehicle is in good enough shape to drive around rough terrain before you allow it to get on the boat to depart. Your vehicle will still be inspected once it reaches the port by Revision Tecnica de Vehiculos, or RTV. They will inspect it before you are allowed to have it. They will inspect all the lights, breaks, any safety features, and more. It's mostly an annual inspection of your vehicle.
The shipping company that you hire will help you with all the customs paperwork to ensure that you have everything you need to import your car. This is very beneficial if you don't speak Spanish. Once the paperwork is filled out, you will need to prepare to pay all import duties and taxes for your import. The amount you pay will be based on the value of your vehicle in Costa Rica, not so much the blue book value as what is used in the United States to determine the value.
Options such as power windows, optional stereo system, and alloy wheels are also considered when determining the amount of duty you will need to pay. The condition of the vehicle along with the mileage will not normally play an important part in the value. The values of the vehicle in Costa Rica will most likely match the blue book value in the United States because the government will use a market value calculator and ensure that all features are accounted for before obtaining the price. Vehicles that are more than six years old will pay 73% value tax. Vehicles one to five years old will pay 52%. You can calculate the value of your car by using an online calculator to do so.
You will need to register your vehicle once it arrives in Costa Rica. You will be responsible for registering your vehicle and obtaining temporary tags to put on your car. The newer your vehicle is, the higher your fees will go. You also need to factor in auto insurance. You most likely have insurance already but it may be a good idea to check on extra protection. You may qualify for state run insurance through Instituto Nacional de Seguros, also known as INS. You can find out more about these quotes through a local attorney, which can offer services at a lower cost. While this all sounds overwhelming, it's not that hard to do however, your other alternative is to buy a car in Costa Rica instead.