Finding good used cars in Costa Rica

As most retirees know, new automobiles are very expensive in Costa Rica. If you are short on retirement dollars, look for a used car. Fortunately, there are a lot of used cars here.

So where do you start? There are ads in the Spanish newspapers like La Nación. There are also ads in English publications like the Tico Times and in the on-line newspaper, Am Costa Rica. In addition, is a website that has many used vehicles.

Retirees can also visit one of Costa Rica’s used car lots. Probably the best place to look for a used car is the town of Grecia. It is a charming place located about an hour west of San José. Grecia is famous for its metalic church and being known as the cleanest city in Costa Rica. So what does this have to do with finding a used car? When you drive from the main highway into Grecia you will quickly notice that there are between 50 and 65 used car lots along both side of the road with hundreds of vehicles from which to choose.

Once you have found a vehicle you have the right to take it to a mechanic and get it checked out. NEVER buy a used car without doing this. Before I forget, some of the used car dealerships will finance a vehicle if you are short on cash. However, it is always better to pay cash to avoid high interest payments.

Don’t forget to have your lawyer check any document you have to sign when purchasing a vehicle and always ask about a guarantee.

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8 thoughts on “Finding good used cars in Costa Rica”

  1. Pingback: Finding Good Used Cars in Costa RicaCosta Rica Property Finder | Costa Rica Property Finder
  2. Grecia is a good place to buy a used car, but watch out for cars that have had the mileage turned back.

  3. Moving to CR end of August.
    Purchasing a B&B and need a good
    van or suv 7-8 passengers to transport guests. Like to spend
    less than $20K Any suggestions

    anyone purchased the cars from rental companies?

  4. I have a 2005 Nissan Pathfinder, 7 passengers in excellent condition. It was imported from the states. I bought it as a safe, reliable car for my family. We have an add on craigslist, or email me at

  5. Highly recommend avoiding buying certain cars like Renault or cars without any resale value.

    They are impossible to sell and the parts are ridiculously expensive.

  6. All used car lots here turn the odometers back. In addition, any car from the USA is suspect, since so many dealers import write-offs and fix them up cosmetically. There are sites where you can check the VIN number of a USA car and get its complete history. After checking about 10 cars, I gave up…all had odometer turned back A LOT and many had been in SERIOUS accidents.

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