San José, Costa Rica, since 1956

Marchamo auto circulation permit fees go up for 2012

Obligatory year-end auto insurance will cost 43 percent more this year than in 2010, the Insurance Superintendency announced Tuesday. Fees are charged when motorists pay their annual marchamo, or circulation permit, which is due before Dec. 31.

Insurance Superintendency Director Javier Cascante said in a statement that the average cost for obligatory auto insurance increased from ₡16,509 ($33) to ₡23,650 ($57) this year at the request of the National Insurance Institute (INS).

“Many of the services provided by [INS’s] insurance policies, such as medical services in the case of an accident or death, and repair and collision services, increased in cost this year,” Cascante said. “The cost increase of the obligatory insurance policy was made to match price increases for other services.”

Cascante said the obligatory insurance would continue to cover up to ₡6 million ($12,000) in victims’ accident and medical costs. He said the average cost of the insurance had not increased in three years, while associated services such as medical costs had gone up.

The revenue from marchamo fees charged to some 1 million Costa Rican motorists is estimated at ₡128 billion ($257 million). Of that, 19 percent will be distributed to INS. Marchamos can be paid in person at banks or INS offices, or online at www.ins-cr-com.

To calculate marchamo fees, text the word “marchamo” and your license plate number to 1467 for an instant reply, go to www.ins-cr-com, or call 2243-9999 or 800-MARCHAM.

The cost of a marchamo varies according to a vehicle’s make and year. Newer vehicles carry higher fees.

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