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Okay my question is: how does one buy a car over there,do you usually buy from a dealer and how much would a good reliable one average? Is it right that a yearly sticker is $900.00?

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That really depends on what kind of car you want or will need. The roads can be rough here and those living off the beaten track and down a dirt road oftentimes need an off road vehicle during the rainy season. Newer four wheel drive vehicles here can be very expensive and the annual taxes (marchamo) are based on the value of your car. There are many dealerships here that sell new and used vehicles in San Jose. You can even find certified used cars at some dealerships such as Toyota. Check out www.crautos.com and you'll be able to get an idea of what it costs to buy a car here. The webpage even has a blue book feature to get a ballpark figure for the value of a car based on the make, model and year.

Edited by p.a.whitney

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If you are not going to live in the Central Valley where there are car dealers and car buying services, I usually recommend talking to Costa Rican neighbors or friends and finding out who is the best mechanic in the area. Then, talk to him about what kind of car he would recommend you buy, based on availability of parts, longevity, where you will be living, what you will be doing, etc. If you find a car for sale, take it to him for a checkup or to a shop that has a computer and can perform more tests.

 

Your annual tax will not be $900 - it is based on the value of your car as pa whitney said so it varies. If you don't buy your car through a dealer or car buying service, you will need to get a lawyer to do the transaction for you. There will be a fee associated with the ownership change and registration at the public records and the attorney may charge several hundred dollars which will include this fee and his fee. After about a month, go back and get your paperwork that shows you as the owner. This paper you will use for other things.

 

You will need to have a yearly inspection, Riteve, (Ree-tay-vay) and that costs about $20 if you pass the first time. It is rather stringent and you may have to buy new tires or make repairs. You can ask a good mechanic to check over your car before you go to Riteve and this will help.

 

You are required to buy at least liability insurance and you will probably want to have collision or fire or theft. (I don't have the theft part because I live in an area where there is very little crime and this part of the insurance is expensive.)

 

 

Just as an after-thought ---- I don't live near the Central Valley but in a small town in the countryside. I ended up buying a used car from a local man who I knew and I sort of knew the car. He is mechanically inclined and keeps his other stuff in good condition. I bought it from him rather than go to a larger town or to a dealer because I see him several times a week and we live in the same town so if I had a problem, I would just go right back to him. I have asked him several questions about the car and he has been very forthcoming and helpful each time - once even offering to do some work on it which I laughed and said, no, thanks. Not necessary.

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