Buying a Car

It is not worth driving your car from the United States or anywhere else within Central America as the import taxes you have to pay in every country are VERY high.

If you are going to buy a car it is very recommended that you buy a 4 by 4 as without one there are many places you can’t get to as the roads are in very poor conditions. is the best place to find a used car, or you can go to Grecia, which is a town that has many used car lots. Going to a Car dealer like Honda or Toyota may not be reliable for used cars, you may be better off buying from a Costa Ricans.

You want to take the car to a mechanic to get it checked out and most Tico’s don’t mind you doing that. There are many mechanics in Cuidad Colon one of them is Christian – 8818-9985

If you purchase the car you need a lawyer to do the paper work and check and make sure that the car has no issues (accidents or delinquency) a lawyers number Elisabeth Zamora 8377-5477


When you own a car in Costa Rica you need to pay for a technical inspection every year for a car older than 4 years and every 2 years for a car younger than 2 years.  This goes by the month when the car was first registered by the department of transportation.

As well, every year in December you have to pay taxes – based on the year of the car and the engine size. You can pay this at almost any bank, and it is worthwhile doing as the fines are astronomical.

Within the yearly registration payment there is a basic liability insurance – it only covers third parties, not you. For additional insurance Costa Rica only has one insurance company called INS. Though other companies are popping up you can find INS in every neighbourhood in the country and they are very reliable. For full covereage it is approximately 400 000 colones ($800 U.S.)

It is approximately 30 000 colones ($60 U.S.) to fill up 14 gallons