I used Wheels CR to buy a new Toyota Hilux and the service Russ provided was exceptional.
Initially, I thought I would buy a car from a dealership myself. All the reports I had found on the internet said new car prices are non-negotiable and Costa Rican dealerships usually don’t have English speaking sales people. I figured non-negotiable pricing was unfortunate financially but would simplify the process. As for the lack of English speaking sales people, I figured I’d just do my best with my VERY limited Spanish. New cars are expensive in Costa Rica and wages are low, so I figured dealerships are probably used to working with expats. On my next trip to Costa Rica, I visited Purdy Motors in Liberia and verified all of this. I had discovered Wheels CR during my initial internet search but didn’t pursue it because I tend towards the do-it-yourself model.
A few months later, when it was time to pull the trigger and buy a new vehicle, my concern about the risks had grown. Even the best process can have a snag and my ability to resolve it would be impacted by my inadequate Spanish. Also, I had some discomfort with wiring a lot of money to a Costa Rican business while I was still in the states. I remembered Wheels CR and looked at it again. The cost of the Wheels CR service was insignificant compared to the price of the truck I was buying, and I liked the fact that I would have a local advocate who was fluent in Spanish and had contacts inside the dealerships.
I used the form on the Wheels CR website to submit all my info to Russ, including the make and model I wanted based on my previous visit to Purdy Motors in Liberia. He responded the next day with a quote from the Purdy Motors dealership in San Jose. The dealer agreed to sell me the next model year at the current model year’s price and throw in tinted windows, full insurance for three months and 2 years of service (parts and labor). The deal Russ got me paid for the cost of the Wheels CR service ten times over – at least.
Next I had to wire money to buy the vehicle. My bank and I misinterpreted the wire information sent by the dealership and the wire didn’t go through. We tried to amend the wire and that didn’t work either so we had to cancel it and try again. It all became very confusing and the dealership at one point took the position they didn’t get the money while my bank insisted they did. This validated my prior concern about possible snags in the process and levels of risk. Russ got on the phone with his contact at Purdy Motors and made him go line-by-line through their banking activity reports to confirm they had actually received the wire transfer. Only someone fluent in Spanish with contacts inside the dealership could have done that. I would have had to hire an attorney otherwise, and I’m sure it would have mushroomed into an enormous problem.
The day after my wife and I arrived in Costa Rica to permanently relocate, Russ picked us up at our hotel and took us to the dealership. He drives an all-electric vehicle, by the way, which is pretty cool. Anyway, he sat through the entire delivery process with us, which is much longer than in the US, and explained every document we were signing.
In the end, I can’t even put a price on the value of the service provided by Russ and Wheels CR. I would recommend it to anyone without hesitation.