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Sell Your Car In Costa Rica

While it is possible for you to sell your car after driving to Costa Rica, possibly even make some profit, it is certainly not without its difficulties.

The average customs tax on cars in C.R. is close to 55% of what an American would consider to be the value.

For example, if the car you drive here is worth $10,000 in the U.S.A., expect the customs tax to be at least $5,500.00. Also, Costa Rica has their own government blue book?

That is not at all similar to the Kelley’s in the U.S.A.

If you have leather seats, air conditioning, automatic transmission, anything that Costa Rica considers a luxury the cost is even more.

Also, the inspection process has become tedious: tires cannot be wider by even an inch then the side of the car, a chip in the windshield has to be fixed, and the exhaust is carefully analyzed.

This being said, it is entirely possible to sell the car without ever paying any of these taxes or going through this inspection process at all.

We have in place a network which can advertise and sell your car, given it is of a style that is even somewhat acceptable here (please contact us for advice on what kind of cars we suggest).

We do advise that you give us as much time as possible to begin the process by doing the following well before your arrival so as to expedite the sale as much as possible:

  • sending us photos or the vehicle
  • your approximate selling price
  • the year
  • the motor size
  • transmission type
  • the date you expect to have the car in Costa Rica
  • and the mileage on the vehicle
  • copy of the title

It is also possible for you to leave the car in one of our representative?s possession when you return to the states for us to sell for you should you not wish to wait for the sale to take place.

Driving your vehicle to Costa Rica does have distinct advantages over shipping it.

Any car that that is brought in by a tourist by driving, is given a 90 day grace period (similar to that of your personal passport) to leave the country or become registered in Costa Rica.

Should you choose to ship your vehicle, something we can help with as well, you can expect to pay customs tax immediately upon arrival or risk the government putting the vehicle into storage and charging a daily charge against the value of the vehicle.

Once the daily charge exceeds the value of the vehicle, the government auctions the car at a ridiculously low price and you are just out.

The cost for driving your vehicle across the border into Costa Rica is very inexpensive.

You are required to purchase liability insurance from the government, at a cost of about $35 dollars for your 90 day stay.

There is the traditional, ?oh no, it has a bug on the grill? spraying charge of a few dollars, but the rest of the procedure is relatively painless.

Should you wish to keep your vehicle in Costa Rica after the 90 days, we strongly advise that you hire a company like ours to assist you in the import duty process as a personal representation with customs can save you a lot of money.


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13 Responses to Sell Your Car In Costa Rica

  1. Dani at #

    So how does one contact this network of representatives? I am currently in Costa Rica trying to sell my truck, as the import taxes are too high, and I’d like something smaller and more economical, with a bit of cash to spare. My 90 days are up in about 6 weeks, although as far as I understand, I can re-enter with the truck once more for 90 more days after that, before I am forced to import it or leave. I have a potential buyer, but I’m afraid I’m not getting a fair price and am unsure of all the required paperwork (I have all the required Canadian papers). I also want to make sure I’m not taken as I buy something else. Any help, contacts or links are appreciated. Thanks!

  2. Hey

    I have a 1997 chev suburban need to sell in a few days willing to take 2 grand for it.. Got it listed on craigslist.org not sure what else too do.. It is also ergo in california which i know makes it difficult, do u have any other options to offer me..

    many thanks form sam

  3. Gringo Guru at #

    Oh the trials and tribulations of selling a car in Costa Rica. You got two options, let it go for less than you want or drive (or ship) it home. No local will buy your car without doing the proper paperwork, they need it more than you so don’t worry about that. Check out the Tico Times Classifieds for more options.

    ~ Gringo Guru

  4. Will at #

    Looking for contact info for these representatives as well. Would like to sell our 1995 Honda Accord, but are somewhat pressed for time to get back to the US. Thanks a lot!

  5. For Sale: 2006 Subaru Outback. Don’t need a vehicle here!

    Milage: Approx.; 86K, Automatic, Air,all-Wheel Drive, New Tires, New Stereo. 2.5 Engine.

    Thank you

  6. rob at #

    Hi, we will soon be selling in CR our 1992 Chevrolet 1 tonne van v8 running good, many many new parts, with basic campervan interior (but normal roof etc.). I can’t get in touch with you otherwise so please email me at rwlarman@hotmail.co.uk as maybe you can help sell it. thanks, rob

  7. Andreas at #

    I bought a Chrysler Town & Country 2002, 3,8l V6, 165k miles, from New York and drove to Costa Rica. Car registered in Florida. Would like to get rid of it in few months. Who can help me? Would be interested getting around $2k. From 90days i have been around 7days in country…

  8. rob at #

    if anyone knows who can help with the paperwork and rules please let us know….looks like we all want the same information and what is this company above that says they can help!??

    please post email address or the details here so we can all know the mystery answer. thanks

  9. Sam at #

    Same questions as above, got a Toyota 4runner for sale. Email me if you guys can help or for more details. p.s has anyone from above been contacted by this website and have they been able to help?

  10. Rob Leonard at #

    Hey. I will be looking to sell a 1996 Jeep Grand Cherokee in great condition with Oregon plates in the first week of March. How can I contact you guys? R

  11. Jeff at #

    Need to sell a Toyota Corolla, Canadian plates 250,000 km

  12. We don’t buy vehicles, but we’ll help connect you to buyers through the site.

  13. mikejoesis at #

    Hi there. I’m looking to sell a 2005 Hyundai Accent GLS. I bought it used here in Costa Rica but there was mistake and the registration didn’t get transferred correctly to me. I’m currently tracking down the lawyer to fix the issue but I need to leave the country by May 7th. I’m looking for a sales representative that can hold onto my car until the sales process is finished then deposit the revenue in a BAC account. How can I contact you guys for more info?

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