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Purchase Process

If someone wants a new car or a certified used car they will need to go directly to the Agency. One can buy just about any brand of car you are used to finding in North America such as: Chevrolet, Chrysler, Dodge, Isuzu, Jeep, Lexus, Mercedes-Benz, Porsche, Suzuki, Toyota, Ford, Hyundai, Honda, and Mitsubishi. Also, you can buy several other European brands including: Audi, Fiat, Renault, Peugeot, Citroen, Volkswagen, and Volvo.

New Car or Used Car?

Here is a list of really helpful websites for finding cars:

For a good selection of used cars  there is an area of San Ramon called Grecia that is known for having hundreds of used cars in a very small area throughout several car dealerships. They are usually very reasonably priced when compared to other areas.

Step by Step Process

  1. Think about what characteristics are wanted in a car. Then think about what is really necessary and practical for a car in Costa Rica.
  2. Start an online search for the car wanted. Prepare a list of questions to ask about the car looking for.
  3. Go to the agency or make an appointment to see the and take a test drive.
  4. If there is still interest after seeing it , and especially if it is a used car take a mechanic to go and check  the car out. Make the mechanic take a test drive.
  5. If the car has a license plate do a title search on the National Registry webpage to make sure everything seems in proper order try and cross check information by searching not only license plate.
  6. If everything checks out, the car appears to be in good working order, it is time to involve a lawyer in the process to double check everything and dig deeper in a title search.
  7. If everything checks out, one can noow put down a reservation deposit. The lawyer can begin to ready any legal documents. If working with an agency or dealership they will more than likely require the use of their lawyer. The purchaser usually is the one who pays the transfer fee, but one can always try and negotiate that the seller pay half or all of the legal fees.
  8. Define an official signing date in which the buyer  will have to make payment or have financing secured. If financing is involved in the process, it will take longer and be much more difficult since the SUGEF has become very strict.
  9. Then the new buyer will receive the keys and all pertinent documents for the vehicle.
  10. The lawyer will then transfer of title usually takes about 2 weeks in the national registry.
  11. Note that cars in Costa Rica are sold ALWAYS with license plates and the plates stay eternally with the car  not the person. To read more about license plates click here.
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