Costa Rica/Selling my Canadian car


Hi, I am driving through Central America and want to sell my car in either Nicaragua, Costa Rica or panama. I am struggling to find solid info about how or even whether this is possible, it's a Toyota 4runner 1994 and I have had a lot of interest but hear conflicting information on selling it and legal paperwork, government tax and (especially in Nicaragua) that because it is over 10 years old I can't sell it. Any information would be really appreciated, thank you

COSTA RICA: You can enter Costa Rica for 3 months with Canadian driver's license and license plates on car.  You have to remove car after 3 months or it can be impounded during routine stops (unlike in USA/Canada, the police do frequent random car stops to check paperwork, in Costa Rica, Panama, and Nicaragua).  You cannot bring car back into Costa Rica for 6 months after first and subsequent exits.
DUTY: You will pay about 130% the value of the car sold in USA or Canada in duty.  Duty is a percentage of the Blue Book value of vehicle, BUT DEPRECIATION IS ONLY FOR (I think) 10 YEARS.  I looked into importing my USA 1997 Land Cruiser, and it was more than $10,000, plus shipping costs of $900, on a car I bought in USA for $5000.  Duty is paid on CAR and TRANSPORT, so if you drive to CR, no duty on TRANSPORT.
Can't help you on Nicaragua.

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Tucker Comstock


Can answer any questions about Costa Rica from perspective of a resident - weather, driving times/distances, things to see and things to avoid, what you should be nervous about and what is really not a problem, except in your head. I have lots of experience with government regulation, banking, property ownership, legal structures, insurance issues, employing people.


Resident of Costa Rica. Operating a business in Costa Rica sine 1991. Designer and publisher of technical information on Costa Rica travel. Experienced world traveler, so have grasp of travel standards required by many types of people


Bachelors degree, University of Colorado Masters, University of Michigan Commercial balloon pilot (flown balloons in 20 countries)

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