For Those In Need of a Clue

We were recommended to WheelsCR by a friend who has lived in CR for several years. We were only 3 days in CR and have no experience buying anything here before. Emailing with Russ over a few weeks before we left the the US was helpful in understanding finance, insurance, registering and delivery options.

I learned a wire transfer was going to be my best option for paying for a vehicle. I got this setup with Chase bank ahead of time. Consider paying the $35 a month fee to have a Private Client account so you can do free online international wire transfers with 24/7 world wide support.

Russ pointed us to a decent hotel in San Jose and we drove there in our rental car from Guanacaste. The next morning Chris picked us up on time. We had a quick chat about the cars he’d arranged for us to see and we started looking at vehicles. Several of the cars would have met our criteria, the first one we saw actually stood out as our favorite.

We made an offer over the phone which was accepted and we drove to the dealer’s home to pay a deposit. The offer we made was only slightly below the asking price, so far I get the impression the dealers here don’t vastly inflate the asking price expecting to haggle like crazy compared to sellers in the US.

We paid a deposit and exchanged banking details so I could arrange a wire transfer for the balance. We agreed for a fee to have the car delivered to us in Tamarindo. Chris arranged for an insurance broker to meet us at our hotel about an hour later to get a policy written.

Title transfer papers were also brought to our hotel for us to sign. All this meant when the car was delivered all the paperwork would already have been taken care of. Chris was with us through all of this answering our questions and making sure everything went smoothly.

By late afternoon Russ had sent me an email with all the details of the dealer’s name and bank so I could arrange the wire transfer. I was able to do this online through the Chase website. I initially had problems with some of the bank routing info but this was just me not editing spaces out of some of the numbers. Chase acknowledged the wire and I got a notification it would take about 8 calendar days. In reality the wire went through really fast and the funds were in the dealers account by the middle of the next morning!

Chris called us to see if wanted to take the car back with us. We’d just got back to Tamarindo so decided to continue with the plan to have the car delivered in a couple of days. The car was delivered on the day and time agreed, the driver sent us a couple of texts to let us know everything was on track.

So far we are very happy with the car. Everything has been as expected and so far no issues. We learned after the fact that dealers in Costa Rica have to provide a very limited 30 day warranty so they have some incentive not to sell a complete lemon. You’d have to take the car back to the dealer for any work but still it is something.

We plan on getting several routine maintenance items done in the next few weeks so we will know they are up to date. The car was more than it would have cost for the same thing in the US but I think that is basically irrelevant. As long as it was priced reasonably for the Costa Rica market that to me is more important.

I just wanted to get into a decent used car that will hopefully serve us well for a year or two as we find our feet here. Certainly better than renting cars with the associated costs and limitations on where you can drive and park them (read the small print).

I’m very happy with the experience of working with WheelsCR and recommend them to anyone like us who hasn’t got a clue where to start buying a vehicle here.

Regards – Paul

An Exceptionally Good Experience

Hi Russ:

I have to say I was a little nervous about engaging with your company initially from over 5000 km away.  However, after reading all of the excellent reviews on your website, I figured it was worth taking a chance on WHEELSCR.  I hope my review here helps others to get comfortable and use your excellent service to find and buy just the right vehicle in Costa Rica.  

My experience with your team throughout the entire process, start to finish, was exceptionally good.  Communications were excellent throughout.  You routinely provided rapid responses to my questions, and were accurate and forthright in the information provided.  That was invaluable in the lead up to my arrival in Costa Rica.

Just go past where the old bridge used to be, from there it’s 500 meters on the right! JAJA

Once on the ground in San Jose, Chris proved to be an exceptional facilitator for all other elements of the required process.  He has a VERY good command of the English language and extensive technical knowledge about all makes and models of vehicles. 

It’s clear that vehicles are a passion for him and not just a job to get done.  He was able to provide the “guided tour” with excellent safe driving throughout the city to all needed venues.  That included not only visiting several targeted dealerships that had vehicles for sale meeting my relatively stringent criteria and budget, but also to the lawyers office to “seal the deal” and a return to the dealer to  pick up the truck when it was read.  He was punctual from the start, at my hotel ahead of time and subsequently to meet me at the bus station. 

I received absolutely excellent service, at a very reasonable price, throughout.  In the simplest of terms, I cannot even imagine trying to do such a thorough search for a car, make all the required arrangements and understand the entire Costa Rican vehicle acquisition process on my own.  That would have been a nightmare I’m sure, despite my having a reasonable capability in the language. 

For anyone arriving into Costa Rica with similar requirements for finding a high-quality used vehicle, I would highly recommend WHEELSCR without a second of hesitation.

You, Chris and Roberto will all be happy to know that I’m a very satisfied customer so far.  I’ve already put the Mazda BT50 4WD pickup truck through its paces, just as I envisioned I would.  It has taken me everywhere I needed to go …down the highway from San Jose to Ojochal and already around some of the Costa Rican mountain back roads.  In all cases, the truck performed perfectly with power, grace and beauty (as shown in the attached pic).  Don’t worry,… I didn’t actually submerge the truck crossing that river, In fact I took the easy way across the bridge but having this truck in the jungle seems perfect and I can’t wait for many further adventures yet to come.

Muchas Gracias! a Usted, Chris and Katia for your excellent work and service…. y a Roberto tambien!!


They Were Amazing …

I am moving to Costa Rica in October and have been traveling back and forth from the US to prepare my house.

One of the most important things was to find a good car.

My friends, who moved to Costa Rica 3 years ago, recommended Russ at — they were absolutely AMAZING.

I gave them my criteria, and when we met Chris showed me only cars that met those criteria and within my price range. He never tried to upsell anything.

I found a great AWD SUV, and the buying process was actually smoother than in the US.

My friends in Costa Rica have picked my car up for me, and now it’s sitting in my driveway waiting for my return. Russ also hooked me up with an insurance broker, and my car is insured before I move in October.

Thank you Russ, Kattia and Chris for making this a great experience!

Sybille Ahlstrom

Getting Through the Challenge

Russ and Chris were very helpful from setting up a day to go car shopping to picking me up at my hotel and finding me the right truck! It’s a very good service they offer in a country where buying a car for a foreigner can be quite challenging! We got all the paperwork with the attorney and the insurance handled in one afternoon and I drove off with my new truck that day! 



An Absolute Joy … Virtual Style

Russ and Kattia were an absolute joy to work with through the entire process.

The level of service, integrity, and attention to details far surpassed the very affordable price for the search process and additional services.

The vehicle we selected, after being given some strong candidates, needed some additional add-ons, in order to meet our needs.

Russ coordinated all of the appointments, handled the semi complicated logistics with the dealer and various vendors, and pulled it all together seamlessly. The vehicle was delivered to us at our hotel, with all additions complete, in a timely and professional manner.

We strongly recommend Russ and Kattia for your automobile search needs in Costa Rica.

Pura Vida, Annie & Patrick

Almost as Relaxing as a Recliner!

Thanks again very much for your helping me find and select an SUV for me here in Costa Rica. Next to the recliner chair I bought, your fee was the best investment in service and VALUE I have made here.

There is NO WAY I could have researched reputable auto dealers and known where to look for the vehicle I needed/wanted, found them in a big unknown city, and negotiated with them (with my very limited Spanish). Many friends had suggested that I go to San Jose to look for a vehicle, vs dealing with local unknown individuals and vehicles of uncertain quality and prior servicing.

2018 Toyota Land Cruiser Prado

Also, helping to arrange the registration without outside legal fees, and arranging to meet and prepay insurance before I left the lot was a tremendous relief to me.

The Del Valle brothers delivered the vehicle to me at my hotel, and will follow up with sending an extra key and the manual to Uvita. They seemed very sincere and capable in helping with follow up servicing, inspection, warranty, and tax issues.

Several friends here in Ojochal had recommended you to me, and they were certainly right in doing so. Thanks again, Russ

Virtual Excellence

Russ Martin of provided an excellent service in assisting us with the purchase of our car in Costa Rica while still in Canada.

Russ first determined our needs and then explained the difference between cars in Canada and Costa Rica. He promptly gave us detailed information about each car according to our needs. He answered our questions quickly and we were able to find a 2017 Toyota Fortuner in great condition without a scratch on it.

2017 Fortuner Virtual Delivery

He helped us do the transaction quickly. We have had a chance to drive our car on rough roads and we are pleased with Russ’ service and our new car. We highly recommend Russ for anyone needing this service.”

Ron and Amanda Greenway

Absolute Gents …

Russ was extremely helpful and answered all of my questions in detail, correspondence was done via email and responses were quick.

On the day, Chris took us around and was such a pleasure to talk to. He really knew his stuff and helped us find a great car. He ensured we had everything we needed and understood exactly what was going on.

Kia Sportage 2011

If you are in CR and looking to buy a car, don’t bother trying on your own as you are most likely going to lose a lot of money and time. Russ and Chris will save you a load of time and money, they have the right connections and are absolute gents.

Will use them for a car in the future.

All the best, Tony

Tracking Down a Tracker

I want to recommend Russ Martin at He did a great job helping me find a used vehicle in Costa Rica. His knowledge and expertise saved me days and probably weeks of hassles.

He showed up at my hotel in San Jose, on time and ready to work on the day of our appointment. He took me to see six different vehicles and I was able to select the one I liked the best in my price range. He had a great list of both dealer vehicles and privately owned vehicles that he had found for me.

Once I selected the vehicle (Chevy Tracker), he went to the bank with me to help setup the payment to the owner, he helped me get additional insurance coverage for my car, and he setup an appointment with his lawyer to facilitate the sale and paperwork between the seller and me.

We began at 9:00 A.M. and I had my new vehicle at 3:00 P.M. the same day. His process was smooth and professional. I highly recommend his service. It will make your move much easier.

Thank you Russ! 

Robert Cook