The New Golden Door to Living and Retiring in Costa Rica by Christopher Howard

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The New Golden Door to Living and Retiring in Costa Rica by Christopher Howard

I would like to recommend the book, The New Golden Door to Living and Retiring in Costa Rica, if you are thinking of making a move to Costa Rica.  It is the most comprehensive and well researched source of information of this subject that I have found.  It’s author is Christopher Howard, a North American,  who has made Costa Rica his home.  You can order the book on  Chris traveled throughout  Latin America studying Spanish and getting  acquainted with the Latin American culture.  He discovered Costa Rica, loved it, and decided this was the place for him to settle down.  Chris  has a masters degree in the Spanish language.  Chris has written other books.  His “Costa Rica Spanish” is a popular seller.  You can go on his web site   click here: to learn about Chris’ Relocation and Retire in Costa Rica Tours.   You can find all his books and how to order them   click here:

The New Golden Door to Living and Retiring in Costa Rica covers almost every topic related to moving to Costa Rica, working, getting settled (all aspects such as banking, housing, shopping, residency requirements,….etc.,etc, etc.  Chris did not leave “any page unturned”

One of the most frequently asked questions:  I want to import my car into Costa Rica so how much tax will I have to pay and when do I have to pay it?  If you ship your car you will have to pay the tax when it is gotten out of customs.  How much you have to pay?  This depends on the age and make of the vehicle,  most always a good sum of money!  I inquired about importing my 2003  Toyota Corolla automatic transmission.  The quote I was given was $4,500.00.   Plus I would have to pay the shipping cost from Miami, $800-$1000.  And also pay an agent to get the car  though customs (  price?)   So how do you calculate ahead of time the tax due on a vehicle.  Since the gov of C Rica tends to change the rules yearly, it is best to get the most current information.  How do you do that?  If you have a Costa Rican  attorney hire him to check this for you, that is the safest way to get the most up to date information on  how much you will pay.

If you drive your car over land into Costa Rica you can keep it  and drive it without paying taxes for 3 months, then drive it out of the country for 72 hours,   and then get one more extension for an additional 3 months  (for 6 months total) Don’t drive it after that if you have not paid the tax.  The law can impound it.  All the details of exactly how to do all  can be handled through your Costa Rican attorney.   Of course you are required by Costa Rican law to buy a minimum insurance before you drive the car.  Your attorney again is the best source of up to date information on this matter.

Maybe I should simplify my life and  buy a car in Costa Rica?  This just depends on you, if you want YOUR car for whatever reason, then it might be worth the effort.  There are hundreds of used cars for sale in C Rica.  You would of course need to have a mechanic  you trust go over every aspect of the car before you purchase it.

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