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About Marchamo Car Insurance in Costa Rica: Key Facts

Did you know the priciest car for marchamo in Costa Rica last year was a 2018 Porsche? It had to pay a whopping ¢8.8 million. The marchamo is a mandatory car insurance policy in the country. It’s a big part of driving legally there for all vehicle owners.

Key Takeaways

  • The marchamo is a mandatory car insurance policy that every vehicle owner in Costa Rica must purchase annually to legally drive on public roads.
  • The marchamo combines several types of coverage, including liability insurance, personal accident insurance, and property damage insurance.
  • The cost of the marchamo can range from around $300 USD for older, lower-value vehicles to over $8,000 USD for luxury and high-end models.
  • Failure to pay the marchamo by the December 31st deadline can result in penalties, including a 10% late fee for each month the payment is delayed.
  • The marchamo is administered by the National Insurance Institute (INS) of Costa Rica, and payments can be made at various authorized locations throughout the country.

Understanding Marchamo Car Insurance

In Costa Rica, the marchamo is a must-have car insurance policy. Every car owner must buy it each year to legally use their vehicle on the roads. It proves vehicles can move around safely in the country. The policy protects against different risks, like damages to others’ property or injury claims.

What is Marchamo?

The marchamo is key for owning and using a car in Costa Rica. It’s a big deal for all car owners. Missing the marchamo payment can lead to tough punishments, even losing the license plate.

Importance of Marchamo Car Insurance

Having an up-to-date marchamo matters a lot for driving in Costa Rica. It shows that you’re following the law on car insurance. This lets you drive your car legally on Costa Rica’s streets.

Mandatory Nature of Marchamo

Every vehicle needs the marchamo, no matter where the owner lives or the car is from. You have to pay it by December 31st each year. There’re big penalties for being late, like not being allowed to use your car.

marchamo payment requirements

Coverage and Benefits of Marchamo

The marchamo car insurance in Costa Rica offers several coverages and benefits. It includes property damage coverage. This pays for damage to vehicles or structures in an accident. Also, it has bodily injury coverage. This covers medical bills, lost wages, and more for accident injuries.

Personal Accident Insurance

There’s also personal accident insurance under the marchamo. It covers medical costs and damages for the policyholder and passengers. This coverage ensures they get needed medical care and financial help if an accident happens.

Legal Defense and Representation

Furthermore, the marchamo offers legal defense and representation. This helps with legal fees if the policyholder is sued from an accident. It eases the financial load of legal actions, allowing focus on healing and accident resolve.

Knowing the marchamo’s full coverage gives Costa Rican vehicle owners peace of mind. They feel protected against accidents or unexpected events while on the road.

About Marchamo Car Insurance in Costa Rica

Making sense of the cost for marchamo car insurance isn’t simple. It comes down to your car’s brand, model, and worth. The National Insurance Institute (INS) decides how much you’ll pay each year. For older, less pricey cars, it might be about $300 USD. But for luxury rides, it can soar past $8,000 USD.

Calculating Marchamo Costs

Your marchamo might be pricier if your vehicle’s tax value is high. You could also face a bigger bill if you have traffic fines to clear. Remember, you must settle the marchamo bill by December 31st to dodge extra fees.

Factors Affecting Marchamo Premiums

How much you pay for marchamo hinges on many things. These include your car’s tax value and any fines you owe. You have until December 31st to pay. Waiting longer means facing more fees.

Paying and Renewing Marchamo

In Costa Rica, the marchamo car insurance policy is due yearly by December 31st. Not paying by then leads to penalties. This includes a 10% extra fee for each late month.

Vehicle owners do have options for paying the marchamo. They can go to banks, insurance agencies, and other spots. All these are authorized locations.

Marchamo Payment Due Dates

Payments are only accepted from November 15th to December 31st. It’s very important to pay by December 31st for your car to be legal.

Penalties for Late Payment

If you miss the payment deadline, you face some harsh consequences. There’s a 10% extra fee for every late month. Your license plate could be taken off by the police too.

Keeping your marchamo up-to-date is crucial. It lets your car be legally driven.

Authorized Payment Locations

Costa Rica’s INS has over two thousand spots to pay marchamo. This includes many collection points. It makes it easy for car owners to pay their fees.

Renewal Tips

When renewing marchamo, it’s best to start early. Look into different coverage options and prices. Make sure you’re getting good value.

It’s also smart to stay updated on payment methods and requirements. This will make renewing your marchamo smoother.

marchamo payment

Marchamo and Other Insurance Requirements

If you own a vehicle in Costa Rica, you need to follow some insurance rules. Beyond marchamo, there’s a must-have automobile coverage called the Seguro Obligatorio de Automóviles (SOA). It takes care of personal injury and property damages from accidents, regardless of who’s at fault. This insurance is part of your marchamo and is run by the National Insurance Institute (INS).

Your vehicle must go through a yearly RITEVE inspection. This makes sure it’s safe and meets emission standards. This check is separate from paying your marchamo but needs to be done before. The inspection is detailed, keeping vehicles in top shape and roads safer for everyone.

Mandatory Automobile Insurance (SOA)

The Seguro Obligatorio de Automóviles (SOA) is linked to your marchamo in Costa Rica. It takes care of injuries and damages for drivers and people involved in accidents. This insurance makes sure all vehicle owners have some level of protection. It encourages safer driving habits for everyone.

RITEVE Vehicle Inspection

Every vehicle in Costa Rica must pass a RITEVE check every year. This inspection looks into safety and emissions. It checks brakes, lights, tires, and other parts. Passing the RITEVE is required before you pay your marchamo and get a new circulation permit.

Costa Rican vehicle regulations

Marchamo for Special Cases

In Costa Rica, all car owners must buy the marchamo insurance every year. But, some people get special treatment. If you’re a car owner with a disability, you might get a lower price or even not have to pay. This rule is very helpful for those knowing about costa rican vehicle regulations and not wanting to pay the full price for mandatory vehicle insurance.

Disabled Persons’ Vehicles

Even if you’re disabled in Costa Rica, you should pay for the marchamo for your car. But, there’s good news. Depending on your situation and your car, you might not have to pay as much. This fact helps a lot with marchamo payment requirements and makes owning a car in Costa Rica more affordable.

Recently Acquired or Registered Vehicles

If you just got a car in Costa Rica, be ready for some extra steps to get your marchamo. You’ll probably need to show the car’s title and its most recent driving permit. Understanding these rules is key for anyone, especially expats, dealing with mandatory auto insurance and costa rican driving regulations while living there.


The marchamo car insurance policy is vital for every car owner in Costa Rica. It covers property and body damage, personal accidents, and legal help after an accident. Knowing about marchamo payments, costs, and where to pay is key to avoid penalties and keep your car legal.

It’s part of the needed driving insurance and rules in Costa Rica. This includes SOA insurance and RITEVE vehicle checks. Following these rules keeps everyone safe and driving legally.

The marchamo is very important for owning a car in Costa Rica. It ensures all cars are safe and covered. Car owners protect themselves, their passengers, and others by meeting marchamo requirements. This way, everyone avoids fines and drives with care. Knowing about the marchamo and driving rules helps make the roads safer for all.


What is the Marchamo?

The Marchamo is a must-have car insurance in Costa Rica. Every vehicle owner needs to buy it yearly. It shows that you can use your car on the roads of the country.

Why is the Marchamo important?

It’s key for all vehicle owners in Costa Rica. The Marchamo covers you for damage to property, injuries, accidents, and legal help if you have an accident. Not paying can lead to fines or taking away your license plate.

Is the Marchamo mandatory for all vehicles in Costa Rica?

Absolutely, every vehicle must have the Marchamo. It’s true for all owners, no matter where they’re from. The deadline to pay is December 31st each year to avoid extra costs.

What types of coverage does the Marchamo include?

The Marchamo includes liability insurance, personal accident coverage, and property damage protection. These ensure vehicle owners are covered if an accident happens.

How is the cost of the Marchamo calculated?

The Marchamo’s price changes based on your car’s make, model, and value. Expect to pay from 0 for older cars to over ,000 for luxury models.

When is the Marchamo due, and what happens if it’s not paid on time?

You must pay the Marchamo by December 31st. If you miss this date, you’ll have to pay a 10% monthly late fee until you do.

Where can the Marchamo be paid?

Marchamo payments are accepted at different places in Costa Rica. This includes banks, insurance companies, and some other locations set for payment collection.

What other insurance and regulatory requirements are there for driving in Costa Rica?

Besides the Marchamo, owning a car in Costa Rica means you must have SOA insurance and pass a yearly vehicle safety and emission test (RITEVE).

Are there any special cases or exemptions for the Marchamo?

Disabled car owners might get Marchamo discounts or be exempted. Also, brand-new car owners might need extra paperwork for the Marchamo.

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Article by Glenn Tellier (Founder of CRIE and Grupo Gap)

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