TICO BULL – Today, Monday, the 2016 annual circulation permit, known as the “marchamo”, the Instituto Nacional de Seguros (INS) – National Insurance – putting online the cost each of the 1.344.836 vehicles registered in the country.
The marchamo is a combination of various items that includes the mandatory third-party liability insurance (by INS) and series of taxes, including property tax. In total, the INS expected to collect more than ¢200 billion colones.
Five vehicle owners will contribute a total of ¢37.394.100 colones, with the highest single payment for 2016 going to the owner of a 2012 Lexus LFA with a fiscal (tax) valued at ¢278.100.000 colones (US$525,000 dollars). The car has a v10 engine, that can accellerate from 0 a 100 km/h in 3.7 seconds and maximum speed of 325 km/h. (It is a criminal offence in Costa Rica to drive over 150 km/h)
The owner of this vehicle will be paying ¢9.688.720 colones or US$18,000 dollars at the current exchange rate, for the privilege of driving on Costa Rica’s roads.
Of the other four, two are Ferrari and Mercedes-Benz.
One of the Ferrari (the second highest marchamo) is a 2015 model Ferrari 458 Spider with a tax value of ¢267.000.000, of which the 2016 marchamo comes to ¢9.300.220. This car is equipped with a 570-hp, 4.5-liter V-8 engine and 7-speed auto-shift manual w/OD and auto-manual transmission and go from 0-100 km/h in 3.4 seconds. Specs say it gas performance is 13 miles per gallon in city driving and 17 on the highway.
The other Ferrari is also a 458 Spider, but an older model, a 2013, is the third most expensive marchamo, is a 2013 model with a tax value of ¢218.160.000, with a marchamo of ¢7.590.820.
Fourth for the most to pay in the 2016 marchamo is the owner of a 2014 Mercedes Benz SLS GT AMG, with a tax value of ¢160.980.000 and ¢5.589.520 payable in marchamo.
This car sports a V8 engine and an automatic transmission. It won’t beat the Ferrari in accelleration, needs 3.8 seconds to go from 0-100 km/h, but matches up pretty well with the Ferrari’s standing still on the Ruta 27 Escazu traffic.
The fifth is a 2013 Mercedes Benz SL65 AMG with a tax value of ¢150.560.000 and a marchamo of ¢5.224.820.
In complete contrast, my 2016 marchamo on my Mercedes-Benz 300SE, a 1986 model, is only ¢74.550 colones.
The names of the owners and the license plates have been omitted to protect their privacy. But the next time you see a Mercedes, Lexus or Ferrari, just think of the astronomical marchamo that is being paid by its owner for the privilege of driving on the same great roads you and I drive on. Potholes and all.