What is the process of buying a car in Costa Rica?
Updated: Jun 24, 2020
Buying a car in Costa Rica is different than other countries, it involves an attorney to get the title done, but it's a very easy process which can be completed within a few hours.
After you have found the car you like and had it properly inspected to make sure it is in correct working order, all you need to do is agree into a fair price with the seller, pay for the car and go the the attorneys office to do the title. That simple!
The title is basically a legal change of ownership for the car, and can only be done by an attorney. It is very important to do this change either if you are buying or selling a car. If it's not done, the previous owner is still held legally responsable for the car, which is not a good thing and many things can go wrong. The title change must be done every time!
The meeting with the attorney may take no longer than 45 minutes. The attorney will issue a title that will reads both parties personal info and attorneys info, the car details, and will indicate that both parties agree to sell/buy the car for the agreed amount and want to proceed to register the car on the National Registry office to the new owner. After both have singed the new title, the attorney will give you a code which you can take to any of the National Registry branches and get the official title, or you can opt for the attorney to get the title and then mailed to you, this may take up to 3 weeks.
Once you have signed the title at the attorneys office, all is left is to get the keys from the previous owner and happily drive away with your new car.