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The Price of Gasoline in Costa Rica

August 6th, 2007

Occasionally I get word from my kids in the states about how high the price of gasoline has become. While I sympathize of course, I can’t really get too empathetic as I watch almost weekly as gas prices here just get higher and higher, now reaching over $4.50 per gallon for super.

Yup… super is now selling at 620 colones per liter and that translates to $4.51 per gallon at service stations throughout Costa Rica. All service stations here must sell at the same price. Regular gasoline is now at 584 colons per liter or about $4.25 a U.S. gallon. Not much difference. Sadly, I use super. Ugh.

I am seriously considering selling my car for something that uses diesel as it is a lot cheaper at 424 per liter or about $3.10 a U.S. gallon. That saves me about $24.00 per tank, and as I fill up twice per month, that comes to a whopping $576.00 per year.

I have never owned a car or SUV with a diesel engine, so I only know they seem a lot louder when next to them in traffic. I need to do some investigating, but $576.00 per year is not peanuts.

Those of you planning to live here might want to take that into consideration when choosing your mode of transportation. I think it is also worthwhile noting if you plan to bring your car from your home country… generally not a great idea as discussed here. Obviously this affects tourism as well and I know of no car rental company that offers diesel vehicles.

I wonder why?

7 Responses to “The Price of Gasoline in Costa Rica”

  1. Saratica on August 9, 2007 7:37 am

    We converted our car to propane which is about $20/gallon cheaper to run, cost $1300 to convert our Rav4. And is clean to run. Makes Hal all warm and fuzzy inside…

  2. Tim on August 9, 2007 11:02 am

    Now THAT is interesting.


    I presume you mean $20 per tank?

    Where does the propane tank go?

    Where and how do you fill it?

    What happens in an accident?

    Who did the work?

  3. April Dawn on August 12, 2007 3:59 pm

    However, everything else in the States is much higher. My water bill for a family of 4 for one month is over a $100. We won’t discuss our electric bill!

    Propane huh? I’m interested in the answers too!

  4. Tim on August 14, 2007 9:21 am

    I am doing some research on this. I’ll blog about it when I get accurate details.

  5. Chris on August 25, 2007 4:54 pm


    I presume you mean $20 per tank?
    Propane in Costa Rica is about 350 colones per liter. Converting you car to propane will save you about 40%.

    Where does the propane tank go?
    The tank usually goes in the trunk of the car or the back area of an SUV.

    Where and how do you fill it? There are about 40 service stations in Costa Rica, most in San Jose. Go to http://www.romanoautogascr.com for a list of service stations.

    What happens in an accident? A propane tank, in theory could blow up if it was in a crash and hit hard enough.

    I have not converted my RAV4 yet but am considering it and found this company. http://www.romanoautogascr.com
    They convert the car to propane but it can also be run on normal gasoline, you can switch back and forth. Would anyone like to post who has mad the switch to propane and let us know the negatives if there are any. Thanks

  6. Kilon on August 28, 2007 6:57 am

    Avis rents diesel Kia’s.

  7. John on October 9, 2007 9:53 am

    That is a pretty good price to do a duel fuel and a modern vehicle. I decided in Jan of this year to convert several Land Cruisers to propane with the soaring gas prices in the states. I did a lot of research and have gathered quite a bit of knowledge regarding the systems and how they work. The easiest vehicles to convert are older non-computer controlled ignition systems. I chose the 1985 Toyota FJ60 and I bought 3 of them to convert. Two of them only had 100k miles and have a ton of life left. I contacted AmeriGas and had them put in an above ground 250 gallon tank be the side of my house. I paid $1.60/ gallon to fill it and now I fill my cruisers myself at home. If you go with a dedicated LPG setup you can expect no loss in horsepower or gas mileage. AND your engine life will increase because propane is very clean burning. So the spark plugs never foul and there is no carbon build up in the engine which in turn means your oil even stays far cleaner. In the states it is very common to use certified forklift tanks as your tank in the vehicle. Two fit easily in the back of the cruisers. They are widely available on ebay and have a number of safety features such as pressure relief and overfill protection devices. They also have to be recertified every twelve years. The actual parts two do a dedicated LPG conversion are under $500 dollars and it is really quite simple to do once you understand the principal. As far as safety is concerned I do not think that risk on exploding in an accident is any greater than having 18 gallons of super on board. In fact gasoline spilling all over in an accident is far more volatile as it does not vaporize like propane. You can find many conversion kits and information from gotpropane.com or just hit ebay and look for “impco”. Impco is the major supplier of LPG and CNG carburators. The parts all always available because there are so many forklifts that run on propane……

    Hope that helps!