Just joined

hello everyone

I'm glad I ran into this site, I think it just might be the site I was looking for with my up and coming move to Puerto Rico. I only have a million questions, I'm hoping to find some answers here if some of you would be kind enough to reply if you know the answer or can offer advice.

I took early retirement from Intel back in 1999 and moved to Costa Rica, I've lived in Nicaragua and Panama as well until 2010 when I returned to the mainland to sell my place and get a social security number for my new Nicaraguan wife. I was planing to be back in the US for a short time and return to Central America, but plans don't always pan out, it took a lot longer to cut loose the remaining strings I have to the mainland, but now I'm ready to leave. The main problem, I wanted to return to Central America, but my wife, once she got use to the USA didn't want to ever return to Nicaragua. So, Puerto Rico is a compromise for us.

I'm in the valley of decision about shipping or selling our car. From what information I've been able to get, with the value of my car it would only cost $820 in taxes.

I would drive to Jacksonville, FL to have it shipped to SJU P.R. for around $1050. That seems fair to me, unless someone else knows of a way to get it ship here a lot cheaper, (which is not always the best way to go)

My question is this, does anyone know of an agent or service that will clear my car at the SJU port, paying for the taxes, insurance, registration for plates and whatever else is needed so I can pick-up the car and drive it away. If anyway knows of a service or person that can do this, please let me know so I can find out what the charge or cost would be to have my car cleared.

Thanks so much and I'm looking forward to getting to know and meet some of you all.


Checking on that for you, but anyway welcome to the forum and soon PR.
I may or may not have an answer for you

I would be interested in this too.  I have a car on the mainland I would like to ship here, if it's not too much trouble.

Hello everyone I have bought cars in Florida and brought them here no big deal just have to do some simple stuff..there are some companies that do this as well and might advise on details..

I contacted Carlos- 247realestatepr, he has a lot of contacts in PR, and should be able to guide you to a company or two that can provide most of those services. Give him a few days to find the info.

Any other questions we can help you with?

Wow, you guys are fast, I really appreciate your help and answers. I don't know if it is worth the squeeze the bring the car or to just buy another good used car. The car is a touchy subject with my wife, like I said, she's from Nicaragua and this is her first car. She worked long and hard to pay off the loan for the car and doesn't understand when it comes to letting go. It's her baby.

On the positive side, it's a 2005 Toyota with 250k miles on it, I think it will get another 50k or a couple more years without too many problems.

When it comes to buying a car in Puerto Rico, can you get a loan stateside through a credit union to take advantage of the low interest rates, or use a local credit union on instead of a local bank if a stateside option is not available. Right now, I don't have any monthly loans or credit card, or house payments, to keep monthly expenses down I'd like to keep it that way.

However, if I did decide to buy a used car there what would the monthly payments be for a used 2013 car, maybe a Toyota including insurance?

I'm hoping someone else has been down this road and has some first hand experience with a car loan through a credit union in Puerto Rico.

Thanks again, you guys seem like bunch of friendly people, I hope we can hook up when I make my move, maybe in a month or two.


Thanks for the information, he seems like the guy I'll need to get a hold of if I decide to ship a car and have him get it cleared for me.


Thanks for trying

Getting a loan for a used car normally is problematic in the states and PR, since usually they charge more interest for a used loan. If you can get the loan from the states and it is a good rate, that is great.

In PR a lot of the people simply pay cash for the used car and bring the seller to the car registration office. Why? Because the car may have tickets, those need to be payed or you end up having to pay them.

Check the classifieds for a car similar to what you are looking for: or go to a dealer

Bringing a car can be expensive (1000 to 1500) plus when you go get it you also have the import tax to deal with. With a car with that level of millage, you need to think about it. You could buy a lower millage and newer car in Florida and bring that, but the newer it is the higher the import taxes, transport is the same regardless of age.


Yeah I know about the milage, that is the dilemma I'm in and which way is the best to way to go. Financially, I can't afford to lay down $13,000 to $15,000 for a used car, I could, but it would really tear a whole in my savings. And what's the point of buying a $4000 to $5000 car? it wouldn't be any better shape, and maybe even worse than the one I have now. So, I'm trying to reason with a "should" or "should not" take on a monthly payment when I worked hard to pay everything off and get out debt. I'm thinking I could afford a $250-$300 a month car payment if the insurance rates aren't insane. Financially, one mans floor is another mans ceiling, or the coat will only do service to whom it fits.

Thanks for the "heads up" about checking 41 ways to Sunday if there are any issues with a car before laying cash down on the barrelhead. It was the someway in Costa Rica, if you didn't "Cover Your Ass" you'd get screwed every time.


When you register your car there is a compulsory insurance, it is just liability, not full coverage. Most people only take that if they are purchasing the car cash. You can get full cover but for an old car that is not under a loan, it may not be worth it. Not sure of the cost but it is 150 a year or so. Sorry I am still in MA.
There are several posts about buying or shipping a car that may help you two decide. Do a search.

In my case my wife car a 2014 will be shipped, otherwise I will not hear the end of it and may have to sleep outside.

you are so right, women feel a lot different about cars than we do, they don't buy a car, they marry one.

Women love their cars as much as their kids.
But a dependable car is very important,  not good when a lone woman's car break down in the middle of nowwhere any place in the world.

Have not heart of many women wanting to be buried in their car, but it is a matter of time.  :D

Speaking of cars being stranded on the side of the road... Does PR have AAA (automobile club)?

I am Not in the island, so not sure about AAA itself, but there is an equivalent service, but dont know the name. Wait for others that currently live in the island they can anwer better.


And yes AAA is in PR, I just checked.

Thanks Rey!!!

If you ship your car, the shipper can refer an agent to clear the paperwork thru Hacienda (tax office).
I bought a used 05 Nissan Sentra six years ago with 68k miles. It now has 158k, still running reliably and doesn't burn oil. It's got plenty "parking lot rash" and could use a paint job, but mechanically it's solid because that's where I put my money. (tires, shocks, suspension, brakes, etc.)  I paid cash so there wasn't any sales tax and register it for $184. yearly which includes $4K liability insurance. The roads in PR are in disrepair and will take a toll on your vehicle's suspension. Flats, broken shocks and bent rims from potholes are fairly common.

Inexpensive Japanese cars are readily available and familiar to all the repair shops here. I would advise you to closely crunch the all numbers and consider all the associated headaches involved in importing a vehicle from the States.


I like the way you think, we reason in the same style, consider all the angles and weigh everything out. Thanks for the information about getting the car cleared when it arrives, that takes a load off my mind and will be one less problem I'll have to deal with. If I knew how everything worked, I'd do it myself. I think there will be a "Next time" and by then I should know how to do this. 

From what I've read, Honda has a best rated suspension for ruff roads, Toyota is second, I was surprised to see few Range Rover a few rungs below Honda or Toyota. In my estimation Toyota makes one of the    best all around affordable car that runs forever if you take care of it.

I have a 2005 Toyota Matrix, right now it needs $5-$600 of repairs, nothing serious I could forget it and still drive it.The Tax is around $800, and a grand to ship from Florida. The car has 250k in mileage, I estimate I could get another 2 years before replacing it. I'm leaning toward shipping. I know what is wrong with my car, and what it will cost to fix it. I might get a big surprise with a different used car.

Right now, I have no monthly bills, living expenses only. No credit card or loan debt. Until I find out what my monthly expenses will be on PR, I don't want to start out being in debt.

Besides, I have a wild hair up my ass about buying a motorcycle with a sidecar and have it deliver after I arrive in Puerto Rico. I can get a cloned BMW R/75 with a sidecar that looks like it served with the German Army in world war 2. Russia and China stoled the design from Germany during the war and they are still making the same motorcycle today, they haven't changed a thing. You can order a brand new Chinese CJ750, (BMW R/75) with all the accessories needed  to make it look like it served in the German Army for $7500 (Not including taxes or shipping). I think I'd have a lot more fun driving that bike around then I would any new car. I would have it paid off before the Toyota needed to be replaced.

I wouldn't get a bike until long after you see and acclimate to the style of driving that prevails down here.  It's very aggressive; very "me" first, screw you; everybody constantly on cell phones and speeding. Cops don't usually enforce traffic laws so people run stop signs, never signal and are totally clueless about "right of way" rules, also lots of open containers. Most don't even yield for ambulances and emergency vehicles. There has never been any driver education programs in the school system.......... and it shows.

I have seen quite a few (mom & pop) motorcycle clubs doing rallies all over the Island on big road bikes. There's also several jeep clubs around. They all appear to be enjoying themselves.

They get their driving license at Taco Maker
Also dont forget the drivers on the left lane doing 30 in a 65 mile zone.
And the drivers turning left from the right lane

I especially like when they take the wrong exit, realize their problem and then back down the ramp out into oncoming traffic. Sometimes they'll be extra considerate and even turn on their emergency flashers.

If there is anything stupid You have not seen, some driver will do it, may take a few days, but something new will come. We could record it a make a major motion picture about stupid, careless and inconsiderate drivers.
Sometimes I Laught at some of the stupid things I see

If you drive defensively you may be at that stop sign for an hour or two waiting for someone to let you take a turn.

I wouldn't want to ride a bike here on the island. I feel saver in my (almost antique) full size pickup truck. :D


I think you have a good point about waiting to test the waters, also I might be biting off more than I can chew with shipping a bike and a car at the same time, especially when the bike I'm thinking about getting has to be shipped from China. Being retired, I try to stay off the road when everyone is trying to get to work, or at night on the weekends when the party-hardly crowd is hitting the bars.

As for aggressive cut throat drivers, trying driving during rush hour at night in a rainstorm in Rome, I saw the winners of the international asshole/cutthoat drivers awards in Rome They'd run up on the sidewalk to cut you off, it was unreal. Maybe instead of a bike, I'll get a late 1970's Cadillac without the optional steering wheel, and let the Caddy just run everyone else over.That's a sad commentary about driving conditions on Puerto Rico, sadly, it's most likely the truth. 

I've always felt they should make getting a drivers license just as hard to get as a pilot's license. Instead handing out drivers licenses like they are prizes in box of a Cracker Jacks, they should at least require a IQ test. That would probably take care of the traffic jams as well, fewer people would be able to pass. But damn, not yelling to emergency vehicles? That is about as dumb as you can get.

There is an automobile club. It is about $40 for the year.

First things first, find out what's on the Island and if you think it fits your expectations. It takes awhile to absorb all that this place has and doesn't have.

It's different down here and not everyone likes it. Too small, too crowded, too slow, too much littering, too many stray dogs, too humid, etc., etc.  Most of the malcontents were whiners long before arriving here and have no ability to adjust and accept PR just as it is. They're destined to move around a lot and be miserable much of the time.

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