Insurance time for Costa Rica Cars


Real Estate in Costa Rica is a rewarding experience. Depending on your life style, family needs can include a golf cart, car, truck, boat or motorbike. At this time of year the new insurance rates are ready. Instituto Nacional de Seguros ( INS ) calculates rates somewhat the same way as property taxes are assessed according to the vehicles value. Payment is submitted, recorded and a receipt along with windshield sticker are issued. It’s called paying the Marchamo (Label) and is a requirement by law. Car insurance is available in several levels, starting of course with the required base rate. Payment must be received by Dec 31. or interest can apply. If your car is leased or has a loan, the finance company would require more then the base rate.

For Owners;    

Follow this calculator supplied by INSSimply type in your cars plate number (Placa), fill in the security protocol , then hit Consultar.  Next scroll down to the bottom and you will see the new base rate. .

Where to Pay; 

All INS offices and the Bank of Costa Rica porcess  In addition,  local banks offer an online payment system. Check with your bank on how to do the procedure by online transfer. Remember at some point you will need to pick up the sticker.

Thinking of buying used;  

Car or golf cart, truck, etc?  Be wise and inquire that the Marchamo is paid up to date. If it hasn’t been paid, there would be a retro active payment plus interest. Through a lawyer there is a possibility to have that retro active charge removed, but again that can take months and there is no guarantee of success. Contact your Lawyer prior to payment of the vehicle, it’s easy to check. And can generally be negotiated in the agreed price. I will be adding a list of Lawyers on my website in the near future. 

Away Owners; Get in touch with your lawyer or property manager by Dec 31st to ensure the Marchamo has been paid.

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Owning and Living in Costa Rica

I am a full time Real Estate Sales Rep, with Remax Ocean Village. Our Remax team, has offices in Playas del Coco, Playa Hermosa and Playa Panama, Costa Rica. We service the Gulf of Papagayo and area.  

Buying a car when I buy a home in Costa Rica

I have lived in Costa Rica for 4 1/2 years now but started vacationing here well before that. At one point prior to moving here full time I bought a car in Ontario and drove it here for fun. A friend from Toronto that spends the winters here in Playas del Coco jumped in for the ride. That’s another story for another day. I purchased a one owner 1996 Toyota Corolla as it blended in through Central America and when I got to Costa Rica I decided to keep the car for a runner as I enjoy traveling around the country. That’s where we get to the nuts and bolts of this story. My 1996 Corolla had a cost of $3,000 USD for duties, plates, Lawyers fees, safety check, insurance,etc. But after driving it all that way and the car running well, it was very convenient to just go ahead and import the car. I thought wow now I have about $4,500 dollars into a car that would get scraped in Canada. Then everything changed for the better. After moving here I decided to live in San Jose and Central Valley, Costa Rica and purchased a business. Having to drive into San Jose everyday, my wife and I decided it was better to drive and park the older Corolla in the city as much as possible. Sure enough after having the Corolla here for 7 years we have to do some maintenance. New rings and head gasket, complete brakes, windshield, Suspension front and back, tires and we had the car completely repainted. We used the base insurance as it was on old car and we weren’t worried about collision. Take a moment and ask yourself the cost of having all that work done in North America or Europe. Scary isn’t it. I would say all said and totaled including insurane over 7 years the total cost about $4,800 dollars. That is dirt cheap to have a car that is fit as a fiddle and it’s still worth more in Costa Rica then what I paid certified in Ontario. Last week I had new tire installed on our Rav4. So I took it over and had new struts installed and a 4 wheel alignment and complete suspension check. The complete labour was C 25,000 ( $ 40 USD ). I’m not suggesting to purchase on old car, or drive a car down here. It’s not for everyone. At the time it served the purpose. It’s no small secret that buying a car in Costa Rica can be expensive, but every time you have your car serviced you will walk away with a grin on your face. Remember to select something you really like and fits the terrain you plan on covering, because as you become more and more Tico you may find yourself keeping your car much longer then you normally would.

Theo Veenstra is a full time Realtor with Remax Ocean Village, based out of Playas del Coco, Costa Rica.

1 bdrm Condo For Sale in Playas Del Coco, Playas Del Coco

Completely Upgraded

•  54 sqm , 1 bath , 1 bdrm Condo

– FOR SALE  USD67,000 . Owner Financing available

For Sale in Costa Rica. Nice one bedroom condo with on in-town location, yet very quiet. This unit is one of two larger units in this complex at 54 sq meters. A fully furnished condo, with stainless appliances, granite counter tops, air conditioning, TVs, and most everything you need to just move right in. The owner has taken great care and expense to upgrade the kitchen and bathroom giving the best possible living space. Walking out you will encounter a large common pool and Jacuzzi, a shared laundry room and parking lot. All this is on a level lot adjoining a level street just a few meters to downtown Playa del Coco and out to the beach. Its a great spot for older people not wanting to negotiate stairs of any kind. Water and property taxes are included in the maintenance fees and owner financing is available to qualified buyers. Come have a look and start the good life today.

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