Shipping a Car to Costa Rica from USA
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Very Important Tourist Information

As a tourist, you are afforded the right to drive the vehicle for three months without paying taxes. The time begins when you enter the country, not when the vehicle enters the country. As an example, if you enter Costa Rica on the 1st of January, and your car arrives 1st February you will only have two months left . At the end of three months, you have the option to extend the right to drive the vehicle for an additional three months. In order to do this you must follow the following procedure. You will have to leave the country prior to the three month limit by driving across the border to neighboring Panama or Nicaragua for 48 hours. When you re-enter, they will re-stamp your passport, which will allow you to drive the vehicle for three additional months. If you wait until the three month period is up, theoretically you are required by law to pay the taxes on the vehicle.
RoRo car shipping to Costa Rica

RoRo Car Shipping to Costa RIca

The RoRo car shipping method should be used when transporting a car and nothing else. There is absolutely nothing allowed inside the car except for the jack and spare tire. This is normally the cheapest way to ship a car to Costa Rica since the car only needs to Roll On and Roll Off (RoRo) the ship. Since this is the case, the car must be in good mechanical condition.

Once the car is aboard the ship, it will be blocked and braced to the ship’s deck to prevent it from moving around the ship. While damage to any vehicle is highly unlikely, ships will rock while out to sea. Marine insurance is available to cover damages and/or total loss.

The RoRo car shipping method is almost always when only shipping one car from USA. In the case of Costa Rica, it is only use to ship cars out of Houston. Since there is only one RoRO departure shipping ports, you're car may be sent via container ship to save you money. By default we will always quote the cheapest price.

container car shipping to costa rica

Container Car Shipping

The top reasons why people ship cars via container is 1) They are shipping two or more cars 2) They are shipping personal belongings inside the car 3) The RoRo departure port (in Houston) is too far and it would be cheaper to pay the little extra for container shipping.

There are shared containers and exclusive containers. Shared containers is when you are sharing the container with other cars. Exclusive, sometimes called FULL container, is when nobody else is using the container except you.

The only possible drawback of using container shipping is when it's a shared container. The shipping line will not send a shared container that only has one car in it. If there is only one car in a shared container, there may be a time delay until the next sailing which is about once per week. This doesn't happen often. Besides a possible time delay, that's the only drawback.

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This information was written by Francisco Meza.

If you have any questions regarding shipping a car to Costa Rica, please feel free to ask below.