COSTA RICA AUTOS and MOTORCYCLES
So you want to move to Costa Rica? Or just spending so much time there, you’re considering buying a car or motorcyle there, or better yet, bring the one you have to Costa Rica and thus saving you a ton of bucks. See Costa Rica auto and motorcycle import fees
First, buying a car or motorcycle in Costa Rica, expect to pay. You have to pay the import duties (about 20%) which are the main reason cars are expensive. Plus the dealers will require insurance and tap on their shipping costs. There are two things to consider, 1) if you buy a new car from a dealer in the US, the guarantee won't be valid here. 2) The car may be damaged in shipping or have parts stolen in transit and you will have to pay for this. There is no guarantee. While the insurance you buy may cover this damage, it probably won't. Especially if the damage may have been pre-existing or not related to the handling of the container
Second, so you want to bring a car or motorcycle down, you'll have to go through customs and believe me that’s not pretty - be prepared to have a bunch of money because it will cost you an extra, 1) if the car is 3 years old, 60%, 4-5 years old, 70%, and 6 or more years old, 86%. Or you can choose to have a customs broker, and figured another 4-5% on top. Costa Rica values a car on what is called the Black Book, and it is not based on Kelly's Blue Book or Value of a U.S. Dealership, but a value that the Ministry of Finance Costa Rica – Customs Department puts on it. And only God knows what that is! However, to give you an idea, if you have a new U.S. bought $40,000 vehical, when all done and said, it will probably cost you about $35,000 just to import that car into Costa Rica.
TIP: Be very careful when buying a car or motorcycle from a private party or any Costa Rica classified ads like Craig’s List. Always get the vehicle import documentations from the buyer and make sure it has been inspected. If the vehical is worth over $3,000 have the paperwork reviewed by a customs attorney or government agency to check for forgery. Otherwise, you may find yourself paying a lot more and even a fine. Or worse, the car or motorcycle impounded.
In the end you may just use the excellent public transportation system that Costa Rica has especially San Jose bus shedule, where even the best drivers have a hard time driving or just rent a car.