New License Plates Revealed

New Sticker - must match new plates

Yet another sticker for your windshield

Starting in January of 2012, the National Property Registry began using the new license plates for cars being registered in the country for the first time.

The most distinctive feature of the new plates is that they have letters!  Prior to this year, the plates were numbered in consecutive order.  Late in 2011 the numbers were over 900,000, so the question was would the registry move to 7 digit plates, or do something else.

The powers that be decided to go with the new plates and add letters to the mix.  If you know your statistics, you know that a 6 digit passcode made up of only numbers has a possible 1 million combinations.  Whereas a 6 digit passcode, made up of 3 letters and 3 numbers that may be repeated, has a possible 8,000,000 combinations. (only 20 letters may be used – since the registry excluded vowels)

However, the new license plates aren’t just pretty permutations.  They have other new features as well, intended to prevent falsification and “cloning”. Read More

WheelsCR.com – Info on Getting and Using a Vehicle

WheelsCR.com Information on Vehicles in Costa RicaWelcome to our site!  Here you will find useful information about cars, trucks, motorcycles and ATVs in Costa Rica. Nothing on oxcarts is planned, but you never know…

Buying a Car in Costa Rica – If you would like to purchase a vehicle in Costa Rica, we can help you make the process as hassle-free as possible.  This page offers the details of the service we provide for a very reasonable fee.

Makes and Models – this section offers articles on different brands and models available in Costa Rica.  The features, pros and cons of different vehicles. We also discuss whether parts are available and whether they can be repaired by most mechanics or not.

Costa Rica Automotive Info – this section offers articles on many aspects: tips on buying a car, discussing advantages of diesel vs. gasoline engines, tips on passing the RTV inspection, handling a traffic stop, changes to the traffic law, tips on buying accessories, and much more.

If you have suggestions or questions, please don’t hesitate to contact us with our form.

Thanks Before Thanksgiving

Hello Russ and Kattia

Thanks for all your help with the purchase of the vehicle. The service provided was excellent, fast and efficient. We appreciate all your efforts in sourcing suitable cars, arranging the appointments, driving us around, and arranging the insurance, etc.

We would most certainly be recommending your company to any of our friends that one day might be interested in coming to live in Costa Rica.

We really are enjoying the car, with the only issue being a slow leak in one of the back tires that we will need to have fixed in San Joaquin.

Thanks again and look forward to seeing you once the license plates arrive.

Enjoy.

Garry McMullen
David Phipps

A Pleasant Resolution

As you know, Kattia was very helpful in the purchase of a car. She indicated that you would like to be kept informed as to the service that Autos Delgado would provide after the sale. I am writing this to alert you to the fact that the brakes are going out.

I mentioned my  concern to Julio Cesar Delgado G. at the the time we were trying the car out and he assurred me the problem with the softness of the brakes had to do to with that they were new and had not settled in. Now, if I do not pump them up or if I only apply them, the pedal will go to the floor. This has been a slowly developing problem, becoming this serious last night.

I will contact Mr. Delgado today and I hope he will respond in a positive, rapid manner and correct to problem immediately. I will keep you informed as to his reaction and response to the 30 day guarantee.

Thank you John Martin

********** Afternoon Message

Julio, the owner was always very reachable, courteous and helpful. At first, he indicated his mechanic would not be available until Monday as today was the end of the work week. I politely told him that I would have no transportation this weekend and for much of Monday.

He told me that he would contact his mechanic to see if he could get to it this morning. Ten minutes later he called me and told me to bring the car in immediately as he had made arrangements to have the repair done. We did so.

He repaired the window control on the passenger side before having me follow him to the repair shop. He took me back to his agency and the my waiting family. We took a tour of the surrounding area. He called about an hour later with news that the car was repaired and at his agency.

We returned and it was ready with a new master cylinder, ready to go. He had one of his workers washing and polishing it, as good as an exterior detail job. I have driven the car and given lessons to Carolina this evening.

Needless to say, I am pleased with his response.

John

Import Duties on Shipping a Car to Costa Rica

The Galloper was never sold in the USA, but offers good value and economical operation.

If you have a vehicle that you have owned and that is commonly imported to Costa Rica, you may consider shipping the car to Costa Rica. This article explains the reasoning behind the high import duties, as well as some exceptions, including updated information on environmentally friendly taxes.  Read More

Permit for vehicle to leave Costa Rica (temporary exit)

Tico Plates, Exit Stamps for Vehicles

Getting an Exit Permit for Costa Rica Registered Vehicles

If you want to go see the Panama Canal or take a weekend trip to Nicaragua, then your car, truck, SUV or motorcycle with Costa Rican plates, must get a permit to leave the country.  This is something you can do yourself, although someone else can do it for you with a notarized letter.  The cost of the permit is about $11, but it is only  good for 15 working days, so you have to leave the country within about 3 weeks of the time you get the permit. Following is the low down on the procedure, which varies according to whether the vehicle is owned by an individual, company, NGO, government agency, or if it is in the process of being registered to a new owner. Read More

Costa Rica Fuels: Gasoline, Diesel, LPG, and more

Turbo Diesel Intercooler Engine - The best of both worlds?

If you are going to own a vehicle in Costa Rica, a big part of your life (and budget) is going to be spent filling her up.  Here is some information about fuel varieties, the national refinery and distribution system, and the choices you may make in buying a car. Read More

Paying for a Vehicle if You Don’t Have a Costa Rican Bank Account

Sexy, eh?  Could be trouble though ...

Jeep Wrangler Close-up

Many of our clients for the car buying assistance service are in the process of relocating and have not yet established a bank account.  But they would prefer not to wait to buy their vehicle until they get an account.  There are a number of ways to arrange for payment of the auto, but the best one for you may depend on your budget (the amount to be transferred to Costa Rica), and also where (or who) you intend to buy the car from.  For example, currently a wire transfer to the dealer’s account is the best option in most cases.  But if you are buying from a private party or a dealer you’ve just met, then it wouldn’t be wise to wire the money into their account and expect to pick up the car a few days later.  They will probably be in Rio spending your money on wine and loose women!

Read More

Importing a Car to Costa Rica vs. Buying a Vehicle Here

On some web sites people recommend importing a vehicle yourself rather than buying a vehicle that is already in Costa Rica.  A common concern cited is that cars coming in are flood damaged — Katrina Kars — or wrecked vehicles.  But, often the person giving this advice is a customs broker !  To be fair, we also earn money providing a service to people who buy cars here, so if you import a vehicle yourself, then we obviously can’t help you or earn our keep. This article attempts to objectively look at the issue and offer you advice depending on your situation. Read More

Costa Rica Auto Insurance and Coverages

The hill of death?

Accidents happen ...

If you have done some driving in Costa Rica, you may have felt an “urge” to get insured (lol) .  Most of our clients in the PASS service end up getting voluntary coverage, often mainly for the road side assistance which is valid nationwide.   The following information is basic information on the mandatory and voluntary insurance in Costa Rica.  What they cover and some information about costs.

Read More