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How to Import Your Vehicle (and everything else) into Costa Rica

Posted by admin on August 10, 2017
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There’s a reason Costa Rica has become such a popular destination for expats, and the majestic landscape is only part of the picture. With lower than average costs of living, abundant opportunities for work, and a plethora of exciting outdoor activities to be found, it truly is a dream come true. Achieving the dream and actually making the move is the most difficult part of the process. However, with proper planning and adequate foresight, you can be getting settled into your new home country quicker than you may imagine possible. Take heed of the following tips and tricks in order to streamline the process, and look forward to a whole new world of opportunity in the beautiful country of Costa Rica.

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  1. Calculate a projected budget you can afford that covers the costs of import taxes and fees.

    It is important to note that Costa Rica adheres to the International Convention on the Harmonized Commodity Description and Coding System, heretofore known as the Harmonized System, or HS. This system was developed by the World Customs Organization as a uniform way of classifying commodities universally. You can use this system to estimate how much you can expect to pay in terms of import taxes. For example, there are classifications for different types of furniture, vehicles, and any other household goods you may plan on bringing with you.

  2. Find a reputable auto transport or international moving company to help you ship your vehicle and household items.

    If all of this seems very overwhelming and confusing to you, it’s probably because it is. Your absolute best bet is to enlist the help of a reputable, dependable, and experienced international moving company or auto shipping company that can ship a car to Costa Rica. Take your time finding the right fit, and make sure whoever you decide to commit to has adequate experience overseeing international moves to Costa Rica. This company will be with you every step of the way, so it is important to make a good decision from the get-go in order to ensure a smooth relocation process.
    Pro-tip: More information on shipping a vehicle, including the documents required to do so can be found here.

    playa blanca

  3. Plan for lodging arrangements upon arrival.

    Temporary housing, hotels, or AirBnB can be found in abundance, but if you are ready to take the leap into investing in your own personal property, then there is only one dependable resource available ( If you are planning on shipping large furniture, your personal vehicle, or other items that need proper storage, then you should definitely explore the possibility of purchasing a home. This is also obviously a no-brainer if you plan on making Costa Rica your permanent country of residence.

  4. Budget wisely or secure employment prior to moving.

    Unless you have the funds on hand to cover you through at least the first 6 months of your stay, then you will need to have employment lined up, or at minimum, some very promising prospects. Retirement income, or steady pension plans, are usually adequate, as long as the housing you select is within budget. Certain areas of Costa Rica have increased cost of living due to recent popularity, so make sure you have ran the correct numbers, so you don’t need worry or stress about finances after arriving at your dream destination.

    costa rica night city
    Image by Aero Mexico