U.S. Embassy auction features used vehicles

This serious Chevy is among those being auctioned.

The U.S. Embassy is auctioning off 14 used vehicles, and the lot seems to include some in good repair and at least one clunker.

This is another one of those quiet auctions conducted though the firm Rematico, which has put photos and descriptions of the vehicles on its Web site.

The online bidding closes Tuesday morning. The auction firm says there are 15 vehicles, but only 14 are displayed on the site.

The vehicles were supposed to be on display Friday and Saturday near the embassy in Pavas.

The prices appear to be competitive, but there is a catch. Successful bidders on most of the vehicles will have to pay an import tax as if the vehicles just came off the boat. The Embassy did not pay this tax because of its diplomatic status.

Still, for most cars, the deal might be a good one. The embassy promises to obtain a vehicle inspection sticker for road-worthy sales. One exception is a 1996 Jeep Cherokee that is being offered only for parts. Biding started at 100,000 colons, about $200. Sunday night the highest bid was 210,000 colons or about $420.

A Toyota Prado with just 22,400 kilometers, about 14,000 miles, appears to be the pick of the liter, despite a bad battery. There were four bids by Sunday night with the top one being 5,450,000 colons or about $10,900. The auction house estimates that the holder of the winning bid will have to pay about 1,800,000 colons more in fees and taxes, some $3,600.

Rematico does not advertise the auctions widely, but the embassy has a short notice of the sale on its Facebook page. There have been 67 bids.

Only two of the 14 vehicles displayed on the Web site are diesel. The rest are powered by gasoline.

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