Mobility Portal, Spain
Date: June 11, 2024
Angeles Fonti
By Angeles Fonti
Latin America

Which countries support a used EV market in Latin America?

Used electric vehicles are emerging as a more accessible and sustainable option in the market. Each country has its own regulations, standards, and platforms.
Countries support a used electric vehicle market in Latin America

The market for used electric vehicles is gaining traction in Latin America. It is positioned as an affordable alternative to the high prices of new zero-emission vehicles.

Depending on the year of registration, mileage, and specific features of each vehicle, regulations vary by country. In some cases, there are no regulations at all.

Mobility Portal Latin America provides an overview of the landscape across different regions.

Costa Rica

In Costa Rica, used electric vehicles enjoy the same tax benefits as new ones.

The reform of the Electric Transportation Incentives and Promotion Law, signed in 2022, leveled the incentives and spurred growth in the second-hand market, with dealerships and online platforms becoming popular options for buying and selling these vehicles.

With the modification, the exemption period for electric vehicles, related spare parts, electric vehicle batteries, and charging stations was extended.

Thus, it was established that economic incentives will also apply to used electric vehicles, up to five years old.

Additionally, the importation of used electric vehicles is allowed in the country. In 2023, Costa Rica reported a total of 19,974 imported vehicle units, of which 81 were 100% electric.

El Salvador

In El Salvador, the proximity to the United States and the deeply rooted tradition of importing used vehicles, especially of American origin, has contributed to the development of the used electric vehicle market.

Although the regulatory process still needs to be more explicit, approximately 15% of vehicles in the country are locally acquired, while the remaining 85% come from imports.


Guatemala faces challenges in regulating used electric vehicles, with a lack of specific regulations for those over five years old or declared as total losses.

Despite the lack of regulation in vehicle importation in general, several companies and dealerships are venturing into the sale of electric vehicles.

This has its downside, as a lot of scrap enters the country and ages the vehicle fleet.


In the country, a resolution is in force that includes electric vehicles, plug-in hybrids, and other qualified zero-emission vehicles in the table of normal useful life and accelerated depreciation.

Thus, the normal useful life of these vehicles, which was previously set at 7 years, decreased to 3 years, and the accelerated depreciation, which was 2 years, decreased to 1 year.

Despite these conditions, the purchase and sale of used electric vehicles are very popular on online platforms, including ChileAutos and MercadoLibre.


Colombia prohibits the importation of used vehicles according to the Complementary Agreement in the Automotive Sector.

It establishes specific guidelines regarding the importation of vehicles, especially concerning safety, environmental protection, consumer defense, and industrial property.

It also specifies that only the importation of new and unreconstructed or reconditioned components, parts, and pieces will be allowed.

However, the domestic market for second-hand electric vehicles is diverse, with platforms like Mercado Libre and Tu Carro offering a wide range of prices and models.


In Mexico, there are no restrictions on the origin and age of the units to be imported. There is no control over the lifespan of vehicles or their batteries.

The importation of used electric vehicles includes a 15% duty, compared to the general tariff for used vehicles, which is 50%.

This has turned certain border areas into points of interest for the acquisition of used electric vehicles from the United States.

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