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Thread: Importing Vehicle

  1. #1

    Default Importing Vehicle

    Long time reader. First time poster here. I'm currently living in Costa Rica but looking to move to Nicaragua this next year. I really want to buy a car to use in Costa Rica but would like to be able to bring it to Nicaragua when I move there. Does anyone know the latest info on this? All I have found on the internet so far is 15% import tax and vehicle can't be older than 5 years old (in some places I've read 10 years old).

    Thank you.

  2. #2

    Default Re: Importing Vehicle

    You've asked several questions, some not stated. Importing to CR, and then importing the same vehicle into Nicaragua makes no sense at all.
    Taxes are really high in CR. If you sell an imported vehicle in CR you can expect to get a good portion of this back,,, but if you bring the vehicle to Nicaragua, this tax payment will be lost, and you'll be hit again in Nicaragua.
    So, anything you import to Costa Rica you want to sell in Costa Rica.



    Are you going to become a Nicaragua resident? Are you old enough to take advantage of the pensionado exoneration? It's worth $25K, but vehicle cannot be older than 7 years. Even trucks, which would normally be importable with a lot of years on them ---- (I brought in a 1986 and 1992 Ford F250) - - - will NOT qualify for the exoneration if they are more than seven years. Give yourself some extra time, as the residency approvals are running 8 months.

    You can't get the exoneration until you have the approved residency in hand.

    You can also buy new in Nicaragua and receive the exoneration plus other costs associated with the purchase, BUT the vehicle cannot already be nationalized (import duties already paid).
    They will not refund the import duties that the dealer paid,, for example, and the dealers generally pay the import duties so the is ready to drive off the lot.

    Nicaragua treats trucks, even luxurious ones, differently that passenger cars and SUV's, with the trucks costing significantly less to import.

    I've brought three vehicles down so far. Two trucks, and a Toyota Highlander that I imported to Costa Rica. I sold the Highlander last month in Costa Rica.
    I'm coming down again towards the end of this month with a Ford F150 that I hope will fit into the $25K number.
    I will drive it on a tourist permit until it does, I have a couple of years before it hits the 7 year limit.

    In the last two weeks I'm aware of two other couples who have made the drive from the US, arriving successfully in Nicaragua. this makes the most sense to me, as there are many well priced , well maintained vehicles in the US.

    The post begs many questions, you haven't mentioned your age . . .and your intentions in Nicaragua. This is a complicated question, and every scenario plays out a bit differently. CR is cracking down on perpetual tourist cars, but if the car was Nica plated you could bring it into CR without much scrutiny, and get 90 days. However, you can't register it in Nicaragua unless you are a resident. I understand that CR changed that rule too, when I imported, I was not a resident.


    CR is also looking harder at their perpetual tourists, I was accused last year of being a perpetual tourist. Although I go back and forth frequently between Nicaragua and CR, I live mostly in Nicaragua and the US. They haven't bothered me recently . . .The point is, what is true today, might change tomorrow.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Importing Vehicle

    Excellent information KWP.

    Another point to consider: Are replacement parts for your car available in Nicaragua at affordable prices? If not you will have to import them yourself directly, and pay extraordinarily high customs duties and sales taxes. And also have to wait a hell of a long time until they get here.

    Since you plan to move to Nicaragua within a few months, I wonder what the point is of buying a car in CR and importing in into Nicaragua. It would seem to me to make more sense to buy wait until you move and buy a car here.

  4. #4

    Default Re: Importing Vehicle

    You could also consider W2C Customs Brokers as a viable vechile import solution.

  5. #5

    Default Re: Importing Vehicle

    Quote Originally Posted by Pop Alexandra View Post
    You could also consider W2C Customs Brokers as a viable vechile import solution.


    Exonerations for pensionados were reduced significantly,, both vehicle and household goods.

    I was planning another cargo trip,, hope to have Arielka accompany Shelley to INTUR in February to see PRECISELY what is required

  6. #6

    Default Re: Importing Vehicle

    From the accounts I've heard, you get to pay taxes or you get to pay daily storage fees.

  7. #7

    Default Re: Importing Vehicle

    Quote Originally Posted by billbudsocket View Post
    From the accounts I've heard, you get to pay taxes or you get to pay daily storage fees.

    What if you drive it in ??

    I've heard of containers being held up,, but nothing recently about how it goes.

  8. #8

    Default Re: Importing Vehicle

    My guess? I'd say they'd tell you have to go to managua since the people that do the exonerations calculations aren't at the border, but maybe it could work...

  9. #9

    Default Re: Importing Vehicle

    Quote Originally Posted by billbudsocket View Post
    My guess? I'd say they'd tell you have to go to managua since the people that do the exonerations calculations aren't at the border, but maybe it could work...
    They do vehicle importations at Espino. You have to work through a customs agent who is at the border.
    He has direct access to Aduana's servers to complete the transaction.
    It's all done at the border,, I did it once with a Ford Pick Up.
    ALMOST did it two years ago with another,, but decided not to.


    Don't know about household goods. I avoid Espino now,, would use Guasaule.
    They are really organized,, have a cajero.
    For me it is out of the way,, but I have had good luck there, and have been fairly treated.

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