Importing tax-exempt electric vehicles
One of the top questions people have when planning their move to Puerto Rico is whether they want to bring their car from the States or buy new. This can be a difficult decision to make since it feels like there are many unknowns – what is the cost of shipping my current car? How much will the import excise tax be? What are the prices for cars on the island? Is there additional tax to pay for new car purchases on the island?
One thing that may help make your decision easier is to know that all electric and plug-in hybrid cars are exempt from Puerto Rico’s excise tax. A regular car, on the other hand, is taxed when imported to the island and adds to your total cost of shipping. You can estimate what your payment would be based on the make and model using this calculator from www.hacienda.gobierno.pr.
Greener cars for a greener environment
The government of Puerto Rico created Act 81 of 2014 to help support a greener environment and promote more effective conservation of natural resources. Act 81 is a tax exemption on all Electric Vehicles (EVs) and plug-in hybrids and establishes guidelines for more charging stations.
Key details of the law:
- All electric and plug-in hybrid cars are exempt from import tax, whether you are importing a car you bought or the dealer is importing new cars for sale
- This electric car tax exemption remains in effect until 10% of cars imported or produced in Puerto Rico are electric
- Once 5% of the cars registered with DTOP are electric, at least one charging station will be installed in each Tren Urbano parking lot.
- Condominiums are prohibited from limiting the installation of charging stations, within certain HOA regulations.
- There are certain exceptions for those living on Vieques or Culebra
Read the law of Act 81 of 2014 (in Spanish).
Tax benefits for individual and dealerships
This tax incentive is not limited to individuals, meaning that dealerships also avoid paying the excise tax on new EV and plug-in hybrid imports and can pass those savings on to you. There are many dealerships on the island where you can buy EVs and not have to worry about shipping your car from the states or clearing it through customs when it arrives. However, if you prefer certain brands, like Tesla, you’ll need to order from the states and have it shipped to the island.