Costa Rica: Car Imports Down 17%

From January to June of this year 35,157 new and used vehicles came into the country, registering a fall of 17% compared to the first half of 2017.

Thursday, August 9, 2018

According to figures from the Ministry of Finance, between the first half of this year and the same period in 2017, the number of new vehicles imported into the country went down by 14%, going from 28,203 units to 24,395.

For the periods in question, the number of used vehicles that entered Costa Rica also registered a fall, in this case 23%, going from 13,989 to 10,762.

See also: "What Car Brands are Circulating in Central America?"

In relation to market behavior, Carlos Aguilar, director of the Association of Importers of Vehicles (AIVEMA), told that " ... 'The vehicle market is cyclical and normally performs well in the second half of the year with the introduction of the following year's models; However, this performance may be affected by issues of national importance such as the discussion on the fiscal plan as it generates uncertainty among buyers. Under this premise it is expected that this year will conclude with the sale of some 45,000 new units, which represents a decrease of 10% compared to 2017'."

See also "Auto parts in Costa Rica: $200 million market"

Regarding the challenges that the sector faces, Aguilar explained that " ...'The current behavior of the market presents us with the challenge of being more efficient in our operations and looking for more options to motivate vehicle buyers, if our efforts are accompanied by clear and defined government policies that establish a "country policy" on vehicles, that would be an ideal scenario.'"

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After registering increases in the number of imported vehicles in November and December, car dealers in Costa Rica expect that this 2020 will reinforce the positive trend.

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Between January and June this year 43,975 new and used units were imported, which is about 7,509 more than in the same period in 2013.

Imports of used cars grew by 24% going from 24,613 in the first six months of 2013 to 30,567 in the first half of this year, according to figures from the Superintendency of Tax Administration.

Importers Demand Lower Taxes for Used Cars

July 2013

Sellers of used cars in Costa Rica believe there is discrimination in the way the Ministry of Finance estimates import taxes on cars.

According to Jose Carballo, president of the Costa Rican Automotive Chamber, the industry complains that 52% is charged for new vehicles, while used cars which are over six years old are charged 79%.

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