The Costa Rica 2015 Car Show – Expomóvil 2015 – is being held right now at the Pedregal Exhibition Centre in Belen and it’s started off with a record number of car loan applications.

In the first 48 hours 33% of the 6,000 who attended the car show had applied for car loans which aren’t cheap in Costa Rica. As an example, Banco de Costa Rica is offering car loans in colones with a fixed 9% interest rate for three years, it costs about half that for a US dollar car loan but why are cars so expensive in Costa Rica?

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We asked Costa Rica Tax Expert Randall Zamora why cars are so expensive in Costa Rica and here’s what he said:

“The main reason why cars are so expensive in Costa Rica is the high import duties. Here’s what happens when we look at the numbers.

  • The government’s tax department adds up the cost of the new car.
  • They add the cost of shipping that new vehicle to Costa Rica.
  • Plus the cost of insuring that car while it’s being shipped to Costa Rica and then…
  • The government adds 53% to come up with the basic ‘cost’ of a new car in Costa Rica.
  • The car dealer then has to add enough of a margin for him to make a profit selling that car.

Of course if the buyer needs financing to buy the car, there will be additional expenses because the financing costs (approximately 9% in colones) are also higher, but this is why the Audi R8 V10 cost $252,000 in Costa Rica (and that’s probably a special low promotional price for the car show) which is about $100,000 more than it costs in the U.S.A.”

Why Are Cars So Bloody Expensive in Costa Rica?

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There are more hybrid cars on show than than ever before including:

Start your Spanish studies now by visiting the links to the news stories discussed in the video below:

Costa Rica Import Taxes On Energy Efficient Cars

New and used up to three years old = 52.29%

From 4-5 years old = 63.92%

Six years and older = 79.26%

Costa Rica Import Taxes On Regular Cars

New and used up to three years old = 87.17%

From 4-5 years old = 98.79%

Six years and older = 113.90%

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Ten Cheap Cars in Costa Rica Under $20,000

Here are ten different new car options from Cori Motors, Hyundai, Great Wall, Suzuki, Toyota, Mitsubishi, Geely, Nissan, Chevrolet y JAC for under $20,000

  1. Suzuki Alto 800 (2015) = $9,900
  2. Cori Motors FO GLX-I (2015) = $13,900
  3. Nissan March Active (2015) = $13,900
  4. Hyundai Grand i10 (2015) = $15,200
  5. Chevrolet Spark Lite (2015) = $11,990
  6. Geely LC 2016 (2015) = $11,900
  7. Toyota Yaris Hatchback (2016) = $19,700
  8. Mitsubishi Mirage (2016) = $17,900
  9. JAC J2 (2014) = $11,500
  10. Great Wall C20R (2014) = $15,900

If there is a specific news item you would like us to discuss, let me know by emailing me here.

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This Costa Rica News highlights video was compiled by Scott Oliver, author of 1: How To Buy Costa Rica Real Estate Without Losing Your Camisa, 2: Costa Rica’s Guide To Making Money Offshore and 3. ¿Cómo Comprar Bienes Raíces en Costa Rica, Sin Perder Su Camisa?

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