Shipping A Vehicle To Nicaragua

The Challenges Of Shipping A Vehicle To Nicaragua From The USA

If you’ve considered having an auto transported to Nicaragua from the United States, you’ve probably found that it’s tricky to find accurate information and, even if you do, that doesn’t ensure a smooth delivery. The U.S. Embassy often gets complaints about the process, which speaks to delays and fees that can be accrued from seemingly minor (or nonexistent) infractions related to paperwork and procdures.

If you’re just starting the process of learning how to transport a car to Nicaragua, here is a helpful overview of what’s in store and what you need to do: 

Auto Transport Restrictions In Nicaragua

When shipping a motor vehicle to Nicaragua, there are restrictions as to what types of autos can and cannot be brought into the country, as well as differing taxation brackets (see below). With the exception of antiques and donations, no cars more than 10 years old can be brought into the country. Older vehicles can be brought into Nicaragua if they are donated to the Red Cross, local fire departments or a religious organization.

For more information on import/export restrictions, visit the Nicaraguan customs authority.

Shipping A Car To Nicaragua From USA – Required Documents

As with any international shipping procedure, there a host of documents that are required to bring a car into the country. The person who is named on the title must be present for customs clearance and must be able to present the following documents:

  • Passport
  • Certificate from U.S. Customs & Border Patrol
  • Bill of lading
  • Residence visa
  • Title
  • Proof of insurance
  • Vehicle info & declaration of value
  • Invoice certified by Nicaraguan consulate 

Taxation On Automobile Imports To Nicaragua From U.S.

Taxes on imported motor vehicles are assessed based on the cost of the auto, insurance and freight value. This is referred to as the selective consumption tax and the valuation tax differs depending on the size of the engine in the vehicle. Here’s how it breaks down:

  • more than 4,000 cc = 30%
  • less than 4,000 cc = 25%
  • less than 3,000 cc = 20%
  • less than 2,600 cc = 15%
  • less than 1,600 cc = 10% 

Moving A Car To Nicaragua: Other Considerations

Clearly, it’s no easy task getting a car moved to Nicaragua. It is possible to purchase a car in the country, but used cars tend to be harder to come by and usually aren’t in the best condition. Generally speaking, the amount of vehicle information and driving history aren’t consistent with what we’re used to seeing in the U.S. (e.g. don’t expect a CarFax).

Road conditions are also not the best in some parts of the country, which means that a vehicle with higher clearance is preferable in certain areas. Gas prices in Nicaragua are also on the high end, even by U.S. standards, which is a cost you should factor in to your decision.

Need help shipping your car to Nicaragua from the USA? A-1 Auto Transport  can help!

Further Reading 

U.S. Relations With Nicaragua – Find more information about U.S./Nicaragua trade relations and the laws that govern them, as well as helpful links to affiliated sources from the U.S. Department of State.

Trade Regulations – Learn about the regulations and standards for imports and trades with Nicaragua from the U.S. Embassy in Managua, Nicaragua.

Joe Webster
Director Of Marketing –
Office + 831-688-1425



  1. Donald Williams

    July 21, 2015 at 12:28 pm

    I was wondering what would be the taxes and fees to import a 2.7 liter Toyota 2006 engine for a Tacoma pickup

    • Horst schwanz

      May 17, 2016 at 1:36 pm

      To get the resident papers I need a bithcertivicat I can,t get it
      anymore ,as they (in Germany) can,t find it any more .Is it
      absoilutley needed.I tried to get it many times

      • Darrell

        September 16, 2016 at 11:36 am

        Yes, you must have it.

  2. J Walt

    March 31, 2016 at 10:11 am

    I was just reading that if you become a retired resident (pensionado)(Decree 628) you can import one $25000 vehicle every 5 years without import tax or tariff.
    Anyone know if this still applies?

    • Darrell

      September 16, 2016 at 11:36 am

      Yes and it is every four years but must be a resident to do so.

  3. carmelo jesus garcia

    July 15, 2016 at 11:27 am

    need to know or get an estimate what amount should I pay on import taxes if I ship my car to necaragua am a u.s.a citizen but I am applying for recidence in Nicaragua. I am reciving retirement disability?

    • Frida Espinoza

      September 16, 2016 at 11:22 am

      A 2016 car is considered 10 years?

    • Darrell

      September 16, 2016 at 11:39 am

      If you are a resident, there are no fees, import taxes or other taxes on a value under $25,000. There could be storage fees while the car waits for your residency. You can do it every four years.

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