The second largest city in Costa Rica, Alajuela is highly populated. It is the capital and administrative head quarter of Alajuela province. As it is located in the central valley, it is considered to be a part of the greater metro region.
If you need to import your car here for ease of commuting while you stay in Alajuela, it can be difficult if you try doing it on your own. However, when you select a trusted and experienced auto shipping service such as A1 Auto Transport Company which has transported thousands of cars to different countries, the complete process becomes manageable.
Specific regulations in Costa Rica.
As per the Costa Rica Customs Department, you are allowed to import your vehicle under Temporary permit and permanent permit. Depending upon your requirements, you can apply for the right permit. With stringent rules about emission and environment, it is important that your vehicle is inspected and tested for emission standards at least 2 months before it is shipped.
Importing the vehicle on a temporary basis.
If you are only importing the vehicle for 3 months or less, it can be brought in from USA on a temporary permit. You will not be liable to pay any import tax and duties. However, it will have to be sent back before the culmination of the permitted period.
You need to apply for the import permit provided by Costa Rica Customs. To do it you are required to submit the documents for verification and the copies, which will be kept for their record. It is important that you have the work permit or residence visa for the duration when you are applying for the vehicle import. For returning citizens, you are required to show proof of residence. There is a small fee that has to be paid to Costa Rican National Insurance Institute.
Irrespective of whether you are applying for temporary or permanent import permit, you need to submit these documents:
- Driving license and passport.
- Registration and insurance certificate.
- Title deed (in your name)
- Bill of Lading.
- Purchase invoice.
In case, there is a lien on the vehicle that you need to have the letter of authorization from the lien holder and this has to be notarized and certified by the Embassy of Costa Rica.
About Permanent import.
It is essential to get the details from A1 Auto Transport service, when you are planning to permanently import the vehicle. The procedure is similar to the temporary import. Additionally, when you import permanently, you have to pay all of the taxes. The taxes are lower than buying a new car in Costa Rica. The taxes on imported cars are based on the price of the vehicle, shipping and insurance charges and the most important is the age of the vehicle. These are:
- Vehicle is 3 years old or less, it is taxed at 52.29%
- Vehicle is 4-5 years old, the tax is 63.92%
- Vehicle is more than 6 years, tax is 79.03%
Costa Rica customs uses the Ministry of Finance AutoValor to evaluate the resale value of the vehicle and based on that the import duties are fixed. It is important to get the details of shipping covered so that you are aware of the total cost and time required for importing it. Contact us at A-1 Auto Transport or call in the Embassy of Costa Rica for more details.
Written By:Joe Webster
Joe Webster began his journey in the auto transport field by attending the University of Southern California (USC), where he graduated with a Bachelor of Business Marketing.
After college, he started his career in the auto transport industry from the bottom up and has done virtually every job there is to do at A-1 Auto Transport, including but not limited to: Truck Driver, Dispatch, Sales, PR, Bookkeeping, Transport Planner, Transport Manager, International Transport Manager, Brokering, Customer Service, and Marketing. Working with his mentor Tony Taylor, Joe Webster has learned the ins and outs of this industry which is largely misunderstood.
With over 30 years experience in the industry, we've been helping people ship their vehicles, motorcycles, RV's, heavy equipment, household goods and more across the country or overseas without a hitch. Ask us anything.