Out with the old and in with the new. After 20 years of doing vehicle inspections for Costa Rica, the Spanish company Riteve will be replaced by DEKRA, a German company.
Every year all vehicles (cars, trucks, motorcycles, golf carts, atvs etc) must pass an annual inspection in order to be legally driven on the roads here in Costa Rica. This annual inspection tests the safety of your vehicle such as the breaks, headlights, windows, windshield wipers, seat belts, suspension and so on. As well as the pollution levels coming from the exhaust. The month that your inspection is due corresponds with the last number of your license plate.
Riteve had signed a contract in 2002 for an initial term of 10 years and only one possibility of extending it with an equal period. So on July 15th, 2022 at 4PM Riteve stopped providing their services and handed the land, stations, and equipment back to the government. The Costa Rican government now had to quickly close contracts with Riteve and decide on a new operator to provide the vehicle inspection service.
Costa Rica’s goal was to find a company who would agree to lower the price of the vehicle inspection yet maintain the inspection quality. On August 24th, the government announced that DEKRA would be taking over the operation for the next 2 years. DEKRA promises to offer inspections at half the price as well as not charging for re-inspections for minor defects. The new rates will be between ¢7,318 – ¢8,125 (+IVA) for light passenger vehicles and between ¢4,822 – ¢5,354 (+IVA) for motorcycles.
DEKRA hopes to be operational by the end of October. This is especially important since the Marchamo payment collection starts November 1st. (Marchamo is the vehicle registration or right of movement permit which is identified by a sticker that is placed on the windshield of your vehicle) But Marchamo can only be paid IF you pass your vehicle inspection.
Due to the fact Riteve has not been operational since the middle of July, many vehicles have not been able to receive an inspection. To accommodate this, INS is granting amnesty to the following plate numbers (6, 7, 8, 9 and 0). INS confirmed that those plate numbers will be able to pay the 2023 Marchamo and get a sticker even though they did not pass a vehicle inspection.
Once DEKRA becomes operational, MOPT has outlined a specific time frame for accomplishing your vehicle inspection. For example plate numbers 5 & 6 will have one month after the restart of the service to schedule and pass the inspection. Vehicles with plates ending 7 & 8 will have two months, and three months for 9 & 0.
Already off to a great start by lowering the cost of inspection, let’s hope DEKRA is also able to ease the anxiety of this annual chore. Please feel free to reach out to me if you have any additional questions! I would be happy to assist you.