Importing a car

How to bring your car to Nicaragua

Importing a car

Used cars are difficult to come by in Nicaragua and though it is a complicated and somewhat expensive process importing a car, it may make sense if you want to drive your own vehicle instead of renting. However, there are a few things you should keep in mind when importing a vehicle.

Before you start the process of importing your car, try to get in touch with someone who knows everything about it. It can be someone who recently imported a car themselves or someone from the Nicaraguan Customs Authority. That way you are prepared when you start the process and you know what’s expected from you. Also have patience and keep in mind that the process might take a while and that things may change along the way.  

You must be a resident to import a car, and cars more than ten years old are not allowed to be imported into the country.


 To import you car the following documents are required:

  • Driver’s license
  • Passport
  • Proof of ownership (required by Nicaraguan Customs)
  • Certification by the Nicaraguan Consulate from your home country
  • Proof of insurance
  • Vehicle info & declaration of value
  • Commercial purchase agreement or invoice
  • Original Bill of Lading
  • Customs and border certification to be arranged by your shipment country but which you should check has been submitted at least 72 hours before the vehicle is to be exported

All vehicles must have a local third party liability insurance. You can get  this from one of several local companies for between $120 and $240 per year, depending on the amount of coverage purchased.

The amount of tax that you must pay for your car depends on the value, model, year, cubic centimeters and accessories.

If you apply under the subcategory of rentista or retiree you are able to purchase or import a vehicle for personal use every 4 years with no import or sales tax due, up to US$25,000.

Further reading

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