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Costa Rica Marchamo Will be Lower in 2021 as President Signs New Law

It’s now official – the 2021 marchamo in Costa Rica will be lower.

President Carlos Alvarado signed into law a bill to lower the marchamo (the annual road tax) in Costa Rica. The move will help vehicle owners and companies to lower their expenses at the end of a tough year.

How much marchamo a vehicle owner pays each year depends on the value of the vehicle as deemed by the INS (the state insurance company). You can check online with the INS how much they say your vehicle is worth.

The bill that reached the president’s desk is different from the original proposed by diputados earlier in the pandemic.

Back then, lawmakers proposed the bill during a time when vehicle owners were restricted from driving much of the time. If you weren’t allowed to use the roads, why should you pay the same amount of road tax?

In the original bill, vehicles worth less than 20 million colones (approx. $33,000) got 50% off their marchamo, while those valued between 20 and 50 million (approx. $82,000) colones got 25% off. Any vehicle worth more than 50 million colones got a 5% decrease.

The newly-signed version is less generous to drivers. 

The bill signed into law today decrees that vehicles worth less than 7 million colones (approx. $11,500) will receive a 50% discount. Also receiving 50% off are commercial vehicles worth 15 million colones (approx. $25,000) or less like tourist vans and rental cars.

Vehicles worth between 7 and 10 million colones (approx. $16,500) will get a 25% decrease, and those valued from 10 to 15 million colones a 15% cut.

Anything valued over 15 million colones will pay the full marchamo for 2021.

Motorcyclists won’t need to pay VAT on their marchamo payments.

“This law arrived yesterday afternoon. I immediately signed it to allow time before the collection of the 2021 marchamo begins, and so be able to relieve the pockets of hundreds of thousands of people,” Alvarado said.

James Dyde is the editor of He lives in Escazu, Costa Rica.