You may be considering buying a car in Costa Rica once you move. Having your own car in Costa Rica allows you to travel around the country more freely. If you buy a car with 4-wheel drive (which is recommended if you live almost anywhere other than the San Jose area) you can access remote, secluded parts of the country. The process to buy a car in Costa Rica is a bit more complicated than in the United States, but it’s nothing to be intimidated by.
You will want to consider which make and model of car you should buy in Costa Rica. This will depend on a few factors. First off, do you have a family? How many people does the car you buy need to seat so that you can get the most enjoyment and benefit out of owning a car in Costa Rica? The kind of car you buy in Costa Rica will depend on who will be riding in that car and what activities you like to do. If you enjoy surfing, you may want to get a truck or SUV. If want a car for driving around San Jose, you may want something smaller and more gas efficient. If you want to be able to access all of the roads in Costa Rica, you will want to buy a vehicle with 4-wheel drive capabilities. Keep in mind, this will add to the cost of the car you buy, but 4-wheel drive is necessary in certain parts of the country during rainy season.
The cost of cars and vehicles in Costa Rica is considerably higher than in the United States. For example, a 10 year-old used SUV in the United States would be valued in the $2,000-$5,000 range, whereas in Costa Rica that same SUV would sell for $8,000-$12,000. While the fact that cars and vehicles in Costa Rica are expensive may at first seem like a negative aspect of buying a car, in reality, it means that cars retain their worth and resale value. If you ever try to re-sell your car in Costa Rica you will be happy to find that you will get a good price for your vehicle.
You can purchase new and used cars through dealerships, and used cars can also be purchased through private sellers. If you buy a car in Costa Rica through a dealer, most of the paperwork will be handled for you by the dealership. If you are buying a car through a private seller, you will want to speak with either a lawyer or contact us, to help you with your paperwork and to explain the process of passing Riteve, the inspection process to ensure the car is in good working order, and registration, or Marchamo.
Once you have purchased your car with a notarized bill of sale, passed Riteve and filed your Marchamo, you will have completed the process of buying a car in Costa Rica. Keep in mind that speaking Spanish fluently is necessary to buy a car in Costa Rica on your own. If you do not speak Spanish that well, or if you speak none at all, you will definitely want to enlist the help of a lawyer or a representative from Send Me South. Even if you do speak Spanish fluently may still want help with buying a car. As in the United States, Canada, and Europe, buying a car or completing any other legal transaction can be complicated and if done improperly can result in delays or other complications. By utilizing the services provided by a lawyer or a Send Me South representative, you can be driving in your new Costa Rican car in no time!