Costa Rica,  Planning

Buying a Costa Rican car

One of the main reasons to start our journey in Costa Rica was the ease of buying our own car here.

Our first plans were to drive from Panama to Mexico or vice versa. That meant we would have to buy a car either in Panama or in Mexico. One of the first rules we read about buying a car in Mexico was: “check if the car is not stolen”. That kinda ruled Mexico out as a starting point…


In our search we stumbled upon the wonderful website This site gave us tons and tons of information on how to buy and register a car in Costa Rica. A mail to Russ Martin (and the very elaborate response) made the choice very easy. We would fly to Costa Rica and Russ would help us getting the exact car we needed.

We arrived in Costa Rica on a friday afternoon. Saturday morning, Russ’ Costa Rican brother-in-law Chris met us at our appartment. Us, that is me and Flora (our six year old daughter) who wanted to come along. Chris took us on a journey to different car dealers who had the kind of car we wanted within the predefined price range. By noon we had seen and tested nine different cars and we were ready to spend some money.

Our car

A black Mitsubishi Montero from 2001 stole both Flora’s and my heart. To me it felt right, the car had the space we need and had a good vibe. Flora fell for the open roof window!

Some two hours later, around 2 PM we were driving the roads of San Jose in our own car, fully registered in our own name! Chris helped us getting roof racks and after a late lunch, we drove home to show the car to the rest of the family.


It’s long been a tradition of ours to name the cars we drive, so this could not be an exception. A family meeting resulted in us choosing the name Rodrigo as the perfect fit. By putting a surfer sticker on the back we formally baptised our car: Rodrigo Montero.

Welcome in the family Rodrigo. Hope we bring each other a lot of joy and hope you bring us safely to all the places we want to visit this coming year.



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