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Thread: Import a Car

  1. #1

    Default Import a Car

    I am living in Costa Rica for one year. I would like to buy a car here and bring it to Nicaragua with me a year from now. Any info you have would be much appreciated. So far, all I have found out is:

    1 - The car can't be older than 10 years old
    2 - There's a 15% import tax

    Anything else involved? I continue to read conflicting info on the subject. Can anyone point me in a direction where I can get some solid info?

    Thanks so much!

  2. #2

    Default Re: Import a Car

    Think KWP was just posting about this, maybe 3 weeks ago. Not sure if he gave specifics but he most likely can if you cant find the thread.

  3. #3

    Default Re: Import a Car

    I answered his specific post in some detail on another site. If you buy a car in Costa Rica and bring it to Nicaragua you will lose the value of the CR import duties that ride with the vehicle.
    For example, I sold my CR plated 2007 Highlander two months ago for $15K. A similar vehicle in the US would cost half that. I recovered (some of) my import duties by re-selling it in CR.
    Had I brought it to Nicaragua I would be importing a luxury SUV and would pay Nicaragua import duties. The CR import duties would be lost. Even if one is to buy a CR plated car, already nationalized, there is some amount of import duty attached to the vehicle value. Actually, I couldn't import the Highlander into Nicaragua, because it didn't meet the seven year limit. Ran a lot better and smoked a lot less -- (didn't smoke at all,, some days I thought I had the only vehicle in Nicaragua that didn't smoke) --- than most of the vehicles on Nicaragua highways, but no matter.


    Tax depends on type of vehicle (age also in Costa Rica, newer are less percentage wise).
    Numbers are big in Costa Rica, figure paying the KBB value of the vehicle in import duties).



    Work vehicles (pickups, even luxurious ones) come into Nicaragua much cheaper then SUV's.

    Ten years is for private importation, dealers are still limited to seven (but this may change, lot of cars stuck at the border because of this mis-understanding, or rather, --- Aduana's interpretation of the law change).

    Old trucks can still come in, and cheaply.
    I've brought in two, a 1992 and a 1986, both Ford F250 diesels.
    Perfect farm vehicles, not so good driving around Estelí, especially downtown.


    Exoneration of duties for pensionado residency: Must be seven years or less, irregardless, to get the $25K exoneration.

  4. #4

    Default Re: Import a Car

    I imported an suv into nicaragua and it was older than 10 years old. The issue never even came up.
    I did pay about 75% of the cars value in import taxes by the time all was said and done, which in the end made it not at all worthwhile. Should have just bought a vehicle here....which i ended up doing recently anyway. Much easier, faster, and roughly the same price or slightly cheaper

  5. #5

    Default Re: Import a Car

    Quote Originally Posted by vinyljunkie77003 View Post
    I imported an suv into nicaragua and it was older than 10 years old. The issue never even came up.
    I did pay about 75% of the cars value in import taxes by the time all was said and done, which in the end made it not at all worthwhile. Should have just bought a vehicle here....which i ended up doing recently anyway. Much easier, faster, and roughly the same price or slightly cheaper



    Remember, that pensionado vehicle import duty exoneration of $25K is good every four years.
    Household goods exoneration of $20K is one time.

    If you buy instead of import, you can use the exoneration as well. But, there is a Gotcha.
    The can cannot be already nationalized. They will not back out already paid import taxes.

    Dealers typically pay the import duties up front (buyer pays them, of course, dealer is just fronting the money).
    The reason for this is obvious: the car is then ready to be driven off the lot. A potential purchaser finds that more attractive.

  6. #6

    Default Re: Import a Car

    Been a while since I've been on here. Great information guys. Thank you so much. Gives me a lot to think about.

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