Dear A.M. Costa Rica: (published Wednesday, April 26th, 2006 letters)
Thank you for the recent articles on purchasing a used vehicle in Costa Rica.
After having all I could stand of George Bush, I decided last year to leave the U.S. for Costa Rica.
I bought a finca in Turrialba and moved in January. The farm included a well-used truck, so I wanted a better vehicle to see this beautiful country. I contacted my local mechanic who suggested several vehicles. After doing some research I decided to look for a Hyundai Galloper diesel.
I found a Web site which is operated by Russ Martin. Russ helps Gringos locate a car and guides them through the entire process, which can be very intimidating to most newcomers as indicated in the excellent Garland Baker article. I met Russ in San José, and he took me to three used car dealerships that specialize in importing Hyundais from Korea. I bought a 1994 model for $7,000.
Russ charged $250 for his service, which included negotiating and guiding me through the process for registration, test drive, translation, etc.
For an extra fee the car salesman (Miguel Fuentes) offered to have the Galloper inspected, licensed, and delivered to me in Turrialba, which I accepted.
The Galloper was delivered as promised. I took it to my local mechanic and asked him to do a complete inspection and repair everything he found wrong. He found several minor items and the total charge was $140 for parts and labor.
I have had the Galloper for six weeks and it is running great. Russ and Miguel did everything they said they would do, and I highly recommend their service.
Ted Douglas, Turrialba