Ship Car To Costa Rica

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Ship Car To Costa Rica
Costa Rica

Ship Your Car To Or From Costa Rica

Typical Shipping Prices โ€“ How Much Does It Cost?

  • Transporting a car to Costa Rica from the U.S. is fairly simple and affordable compared to other international destinations.
  • It can cost $1,000 or less if youโ€™re shipping from a nearby port in the U.S., such as Miami. On the high end, car shipping costs can reach $3,000. Itโ€™s important to consider import taxes when shipping to Costa Rica since they can be as much or more than the shipping itself.

Cost & Time Examples For Shipping a Car toย Costa Rica

New York, NY to (New York port) to Caldera$275$3,6005+22
Los Angeles to (California port) to Caldera$350$3,1005+13
Las Vegas, NV to (California port) to Caldera$450$3,1005+13
Seattle, WA to (California port) to Caldera$550$3,1006+13
Detroit, MI to (New York port) to Caldera$575$3,6006+22
Chicago, IL to (New York port) to Caldera$675$3,6006+22
Denver, CO to (California port) to San Jose$775$3,6007+17
Memphis, TN to (New York port) to Caldera$800$3,6006+22
Miami, FL to (New York port) to Caldera$925$3,6007+22
Dallas, TX to (California port) to San Jose$1,025$3,6007+17

*Prices and times are estimated. They can vary depending on the season and the type of vehicle.

*Save the ground transport cost by delivering the vehicle to the nearest port.

*Allow an additional 10 days to process the documents.

*Prices are for 1 car in a dedicated 20ft container. This is the safest and most reliable way to transport a vehicle internationally. Other items may be included in the container to help save you money when moving.

*Using the RoRo (roll on, roll off) method is less expensive and shipments can be completed in fewer days. Contact us now for a free RoRo quote.

Shipping/exporting a car internationally can pose quite a challenge if you are not adequately prepared or you do not select a reputable auto shipping company.ย  However, if you allow yourself plenty of preparation time and gather a little information, the entire process can move forward without a hitch.

Costa Rica is a vibrant and beautiful country, with 2 main ports for shipments, Puerto Limรณnย  and Puerto Caldera.ย  Both of these ports are capable of receiving individual car imports, so it depends on the origination and destination of your vehicle to determine which port will work best.

It is important to note that Costa Rica requires emissions testing for any vehicle being imported into the country.ย  This testing MUST be completed 2 months before shipping the vehicle!

There are two options for shipping/exporting a vehicle into Costa Rica: Temporary Import or Permanent Import.ย  Either selection still requires emissions testing, but there are some significant differences in procedure depending on the outcome.

Required Documents For Shipping A Vehicle To Costa Rica

Vehicles brought into Costa Rica from non-residents for 3 months or less are NOT subject to customs taxes.ย  The documentation required is as follow (it's a good idea to bring copies and originals, both front and back):

  1. Passport.
  2. Driverโ€™s License (ensure copies are made of BOTH sides)
  3. Registration certificate.
  4. Title (if vehicle is owned free and clear)
  5. If the person bringing the car is NOT the owner, an authorization from the owner permitting the vehicle to enter another country must be provided (notarized and certified by a Costa Rican consulate)
  6. Temporary use permit (TVUP)
  7. Certified emissions test.
  8. Bill of lading.

Click here to learn more about vehicle registration process in Costa Rica.

Steps of Procedure

  1. Fill out form for temporary import provided by Costa Rica Customs.
  2. Present copies and originals of the documents/items listed above (ensure passport displays migratory condition, must match date of duration for which you seek temporary import status)
  3. If you are a Costa Rican citizen, provide prove of residency
  4. Be prepared to pay a couple small fees for the temporary import permission, currently $25 at a special customs window, and $15 to Costa Rican National Insurance Institute (but both fees subject to change)

A-1 Auto Transport ships vehicles worldwide. Click Here or call 1-800-518-8708 to get a free, no obligation to buy price quote to ship your car.Click here or call 1-800-518-8708 to get a free, no obligation to buy price quote to ship your car.

Permanent Import

To permanently import a vehicle into Costa Rica, it is in your best interest to contact a Costa Rican Customs agent first, but you can more or less expect to follow the following procedure.ย  In addition to the documents required for temporary import, you will also need to produce:

  • Commercial Invoice.
  • Bill of Lading.

The import taxes in Costa Rica tend to be on the higher side than many other countries, but because the cost of the sales tax on vehicle purchases can quite also be significantly higher, it may still be financially sensible to ship your car.

There are many variables that go into determining the amount of tax charged.ย  The first is the age of the car:

  • If the vehicle is 3 years old or newer, the taxed percentage is 52.29%
  • If the vehicle is 4-5 years old, the taxed percentage is 63.91%
  • If the vehicle is older than 6 years, the taxed percentage is 79.03%

The next contributing factor is to determine the value of the vehicle.ย  The value is determined by one of following two ways, and Costa Rica always uses the HIGHER value produced to calculate import taxes.

Import value of the vehicle:ย  Determined by the Ministry of Finance AutoValor which is essentially Costa Ricaโ€™s version of Kelley Blue Book.


The commercial invoice value plus all shipping and insurance charges.ย  This often referred to as C.I.F. (Cost, Insurance, and Freight).

As with any new experience, there is a learning curve that goes along with it.ย  But with the proper knowledge and a reputable auto transport company such as A-1 Auto Transportย by your side, this new venture can be more exciting and much less tedious.

Shipping Of Heavy Equipment & Oversized Cargo To Costa Rica

The absolute quickest, most affordable and easiest way to ship heavy equipment or oversized cargo to another country is through reliable and well-received international transporters. For instance, A1 Auto Transport has been shipping cargo nationally and internationally for nearly three decades. With our broad networking capabilities, skilled technicians, access to the right transporting haulers and equipment, use of the latest shipping technologies, and education in foreign import laws, we are positive we can ship your oversized cargo or heavy equipment to Costa Rica in no time at all.

What Kinds of Heavy Equipment and Oversized Cargo Can We Ship?

Throughout our time, we have shipped a countless number of heavy equipment, large vehicles and oversized cargo types. To give you more of an ideaโ€ฆ

  • Construction Equipment
  • Industrial Equipment
  • Backhoes
  • Forklifts
  • Skidders
  • Scrapers
  • Mining Equipment
  • Large Trucks or Heavy Vehicles
  • Cranes
  • Engineering Equipment
  • Agricultural Equipment and moreโ€ฆ

It doesnโ€™t matter what type of equipment or cargo you have or where you want it shipped to, we offer every one of our customers insurance coverage. The coverage you receive may not cover the entire value of your cargo but if you wish for the best protection we do offer additional insurance packages.

How Do We Ship Your Heavy Equipment or Oversized Cargo?

The transport methods offered to you for your future transport of heavy equipment to Costa Rica depends on what type of cargo you have exactly. However, we have a total of four different shipping methods available overall. When you call in to schedule your transport, we will let you know of all your options. To give you an idea of these methods of transport, here is a little more informationโ€ฆ

RoRo Shipping- the least expensive transport method since it is an open air service that requires your vehicle or equipment roll on to and off of the ship using a ramp.

LoLo Shipping- this open air service is recommended to anyone with inoperable vehicles or crated equipment such as an engine.

Flat Rack Shipping- this open air shipping method fastens your cargo to a metal rack before being placed on the boat.

Container Shipping- as the most expensive of the shipping options, it provides the most security. This is available to those with heavy cargo that can fit into a 40ft container.

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Related Information & FAQs

Written By:

Joe Webster
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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.

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