Welcome to Green Circle Wheels. This page is where you can find everything there is to know about our car-sharing platform in Costa Rica. You will find out what our car-sharing platform is about, why we only want 100% electrical cars, how you can participate, the story behind it, and how the cars are used. Read on and find out more, or click above to go directly to your topic of interest.
Green Circle Wheels S.A. is a car-sharing platform that contributes to the Green Circle concept.
The Green Circle concept is made of two components:
Together they form the Green Circle. A concept that aims to become known as ‘’the most sustainable experience in the greenest country of the world (UN, 2019, New York City)’’.
This website focuses on Green Circle Wheels, the first (non-profit) company to offer nothing but electric cars and the first one to do that by means of a car-sharing platform. Each car is a fully electric SUV with a minimum ground clearance 16 centimetres or 6 inch and has a minimum range of 350 kilometers or 217 miles.
Is electric mobility the future?
We really don’t know! We DO know it is a step in a direction that is urgently needed. Three years ago, we were the first in Costa Rica to start renting out plug-in hybrid cars. It was just a step. Green Circle Wheels constantly makes new steps. Steps to improve its fleet in terms of sustainability.
For now, we focus on electric cars but who knows, in a couple of years we might oblige our fleet to be self-charging with attached solar panels, or we might even shift towards hydro cars. For now, we are happy being the first in the greenest country of the world, to offer a fully electric (car-sharing) fleet.
Contributing to sustainable mobility with an electric car is one thing, but the fact that our cars are shared leads to even more (positive) environmental impact. An average car is parked some 23 hours per day. If our fleet can double the mileage of each car, we will need half the number of cars we needed before. THAT really makes a difference.
Spending money or making money
Right now, most expats either own a car in Costa Rica, which is parked most of the year. This is because they only spend a couple of months per year in paradise, or they rent a car for the time they spend in Costa Rica. Many Costa Ricans have 2 or 3 cars in their garage. You might as well make money with your car, your property. Just like you do that with your house. Why wouldn’t you do the same with your car?
Why go electric?
And on top of it all, this is what you will get. You will be driving a full-electric SUV that does not contaminate, makes no noise, and has an excellent range to go from A to B, (tourists driving your car can charge at B, a Green Circle Member hotel, upon arrival).
As well you hardly pay any road taxes, electricity is some 10% compared to gasoline/diesel, and you might even install your own solar panels. But there is even more…. You will hardly use your brakes because your car is regenerative when slowing down or going downhill and besides…..
When it comes to maintenance, tires, and suspension will be your major ‘worry’.
The Green Circle consists of two pillars: Green Circle Wheels, aiming at (future) owners of electric SUV’s in Costa Rica, and Green Circle Experience, aiming at travelers from around the globe looking for a unique, mind-changing experience.
Green Circle Wheels our fully transparent, non-profit car-sharing platform, and the Green Circle Experience, are part of Edventure Travel. We started with Green Circle Experience in 2014, our projects will change your way of looking at tourism for good.
Green Circle Experience
So yes, it all started back in 2014 when the Green Circle Experience was launched by 5 outstanding hotels/lodges, together with tour operator Edventure Travel. The hotels that founded the Green Circle Experience were Hotel Grano de Oro, Rancho Margot, Maquenque Ecolodge, Ylang Ylang Beach Resort and Hacienda la Isla.
We received our first recognition with an article in the Costa Rican newspaper, Tico Times, and later on, in 2017, with a cover story in the Dutch version of National Geographic Traveler. Since then, various t.v. channels, newspapers, and other media have covered the Green Circle, especially in 2018, when we became the first to offer plug-in hybrid cars in Costa Rica.
Note: You can only rent an electric car with a full Green Circle Package including hotels.
We were definitely making progress. In the meantime, Costa Rica received the honour to be named ‘’The Greenest country of the world’’ by the United Nations in September 2019. This definitely gave us a boost as well and convinced us that we should support the country we live in even more. We decided that we should aim to become recognized as ‘’the most sustainable experience in the greenest country of the world’’.
This requires some explanation. Of course, it is more sustainable to stay at home and go hiking or biking. But if you decide to come to Costa Rica (preferably with a direct flight on an airplane that has low fuel consumption) Green Circle Experience is a great option if you have decided to:
Using these preconditions, we aim to become recognized as ‘’the most sustainable experience in the greenest country of the world’’. In fact, because we are the first in Costa Rica to offer full-electric SUV’s through our car-sharing platform Green Circle Wheels. Combined with the fact that we have been offering sustainable tours with Green Circle Experience, we dare to say that, we are the most sustainable experience in the greenest county of the world!
Note: You can only rent an electric car with a full Green Circle Package including hotels.
Green Circle Wheels
Green Circle Wheels is a car-sharing platform that rents cars that either belong to Green Circle Wheels, or to anyone out there who would like to earn money with his or her electric SUV.
The company as such will not be subsidized and won’t have any tax benefits besides the ones that apply for electric cars. Green Circle Wheels is a social enterprise that is non-profit and fully transparent that aims to be recognized as a thought leader in sustainable mobility while being profitable without any financial support from the public or any other entities.
Non-profit implies that all profits will not end up in the pockets of the owners. In fact, all profits will be designated to the causes connected to the cars of our fleet or will be used to improve the sustainability of Green Circle Wheels.
An external board that consists of owners of cars that belong to the Green Circle Wheels fleet, will have the final say in the designation of the company’s profits.
Transparency and trust
The only way to make this work is to be fully transparent and trustworthy. These two words are our starting points in everything we do. We comply with all laws and regulations, we pay our taxes, and we inform car owners about each relevant step that we intend to take.
Our work will be made fully transparent for anyone out there, including future competitive initiatives. This will mark quite a change, like salaries and bonuses for employees will also, of course, be transparent.
The fleet of Green Circle Wheels consists of cars that are owned by either the company itself or by private car owners. Especially, car owners who want to contribute to sustainability by sharing the use of their car and simply want to earn something extra. Cars that are part of the Green Circle Wheels platform can only be rented for a minimum period of 10 days and always in combination with at least 50% hotel reservations that are part of the Green Circle Experience. This is the only way to guarantee that we comply with our big dream, aiming to become known as ‘the most sustainable experience in the greenest country of the world’. We will remain faithful to our principles.
What is a Green Circle Wheels car?
Each car that makes part of the Green Circle Wheels Fleet:
It makes no difference which brand or model or make you prefer, as long as your cars meets these 3 requirements.
We have broad experience with most of the models and can provide you with advice on the car that suits your personal requirements, and besides will help you get a nice extra income.
Designing and wrapping your car
We haven’t finished yet. In fact, we are just getting started! Now comes the fun part. What animal, what flower, or which plant represents Costa Rican nature for you? Which one of them reflects your passion? Your choice will personalize your car. Together with our designer, we will turn your car into your perfect reflection of Costa Rican nature.
To create uniformity in the Green Circle Wheels fleet, we do require you to work with our designer, Maite Salinas. Maite has proven to be an excellent car designer and for the concept as such, it is important that all cars will have a similar look and feel. Of course, you can use your own pictures, but she can also help. All pictures need to have a high-definition resolution that meets Maite’s requirements. To see some of Maite’s work, have a look at our Green Circle Wheels fleet.
Finally, your car will be wrapped by David Ortega, without a doubt one of the best car-wrappers in Costa Rica. David has wrapped 3 of our cars so far and Selvita, the first one, still has exactly the same colour as 2 years ago. Excellent quality!
Costs for personalizing your car
Designing and wrapping your car will cost you somewhere between $ 2,000 and $ 3,000. However, prices change frequently in times of Covid-19. But yes, you will have to make an additional investment, but your car will be absolutely unique and will be protected for many years to come. Wrapping definitely has this great advantage. If you’d take off the wrap after a couple of years, you will be looking at a brand-new car!
Name of your car
Your car must have a name that reflects either your passion, the cause connected to your car, or the image you used for wrapping. It is fully up to you. An attractive and creative name will, of course, help to rent out your car. Consider it to be the name on your car’s business card!
The cause connected to your car
Each car is connected to your personal cause. In other words, you as a car owner decide upon the social or environmental cause in Costa Rica you’d like to support. Future clients, or travelers using your car, might choose it because of the cause you are supporting. We are talking quite a lot of money here, 10% of your net rental fee will be donated to the cause that is connected to your car. Please go to ´Projects´for more information.
On top of that, Green Circle Wheels is a fully transparent, non-profit social enterprise. That means that car owners, together with the board of Green Circle Wheels, will decide each year upon the destination of the profits of the company. Here are the options:
Insurance and legal issues
Each car that makes part of the Green Circle Wheels fleet, has full-cover insurance, including insurance for rental purposes and insurance for the wrap of your car. We work with an excellent insurance agent Mrs. Jurema Prado. but of course you are free to organize it yourself.
Car owners will sign a contract with Green Circle Wheels that stipulates all details regarding liability and any other legal issue that will enhance tranquillity for you as a car owner and Green Circle Wheels. A draft contract will be sent to you upon request.
We developed a tool to calculate your yearly, monthly, and daily costs for your electric SUV here in Costa Rica. You will be surprised. Costa Rica has a very attractive and proactive approach towards sustainable mobility. Income makes part of this tool as well; we couldn’t make it easier for you to calculate your breakeven point or even the money you will gain by owning an electric car. All costs have been included in this tool, also tires and cleaning costs.
Costs for electric cars in Costa Rica
Electric cars are still more expensive than similar cars equipped with combustion engines. However, that fact is changing rapidly. It is expected that by the year 2023 – 2024, market prices will be the same, even without considering tax exemptions for electric cars. Let’s start with that!
Electric cars are in Costa Rica exempted from taxes. However, there are scales. The more expensive your car, the more taxes you pay. Details on this can be found here. It is likely that this governmental policy will be extended, in a slightly different way, until the year 2034!
Marchamo or road taxes
Road taxes (marchamo) are not fully exempted, but the first year of ownership of a new car you pay 0%. The second-year you pay 20% over the fiscal value, the third year 40% until you reach the sixth year, and your road taxes will be the same as any other car.
Access to capital
Your investment will of course heavily depend on your access to capital. Can you buy your car without a loan, or will you need a loan from any financial institute, and if so, against which interest rates? The calculation tool will help you with all such issues and doubts.
Electricity costs and consumption
You pay far less electricity than cars with a combustion engine, electricity is dirt cheap, especially when you charge your car at night (CNFL) or with your own solar panels. But even without solar panels, after two years of experience with fully electric cars, we can conclude that we use less than 10 percent of the costs we used to be spending on similar cars with a combustion engine.
Finally, maintenance is of course much lower than for cars with a combustion engine. On average, cars with a combustion engine have some 2,000 parts that move or rotate, electric cars have 20. This implies that your car has far fewer parts that need to be replaced once in a while. Besides, electric cars hardly use any liquids. And breaking is something you will do once in a while, but far less, due to the regenerative breaking of your electric engine. By doing that, you will also be charging your battery!
Tires and suspension will be your main ‘worry’ when it comes to maintenance.
To wrap up the costs!
You can also use this tool to compare your future electric car to the car you are actually driving with a regular combustion engine. You will find different tabs in this spreadsheet that will give you an overall picture of the financials regarding your car (electric or combustion, you can even compare them to each other). But there is more…. You can also use the tool to figure out what is required to even make a profit with your own electric car!
Income derived from your car being part of the Green Circle Wheels car-sharing platform
If you put your car on the Green Circle Wheels car-sharing platform, you intend to make money with it. In fact, you decide for yourself what your daily net income should be, using different rates for the low season, the high season, and the top season.
Additional costs for Green Circle Experience clients / tourists
Based on your daily rental fee, we will add a total of 50% to cover all costs. Here is your breakdown.
Let’s just assume that you’d like to earn $100 per day:
Net rental fee: $100 (ex. IVA / VAT)
Edventure (20%) $20
GCW (20%, non-profit) $20
Cause connected to your car (10%) $10
Fee to be charged to the client, $150 (ex. IVA / VAT)
The calculation tool will allow you to fill in your average net daily income or fee. Average means that you will have to make an average of your rental in low, high, and top season. Next to that fee, you can fill in your estimated number of days per month that you’d like to rent it out. What is realistic, and what fits your own agenda? When do you want to use your car yourself?
Based on all this, the tool will show all your costs and your income for the period that you intend to possess your car, but also the costs and income per year, per month, per day, and per kilometer. This enables you to figure out when you will reach your breakeven point. If you manage to reach breakeven, you will drive your own car for free for the rest of the year.
Edventure started out in 2006 and has always aimed to offer sustainable and inspirational tourism. The Green Circle was developed in 2014 and received its first recognition with an article in the Costa Rican newspaper, Tico Times, and later on, in 2017, with a cover story in the Dutch version of National Geographic Traveler. Since then, various t.v. channels, newspapers, and other media have covered the Green Circle, especially in 2018, when we became the first to offer plug-in hybrid cars in Costa Rica.
The ambition of Edventure is best reflected by the Green Circle Experience. Aiming to become known as THE most sustainable experience in THE greenest country in the world. Please take a deeper look at our concept to learn more about it.
With regular car rental companies, tour operators like Edventure agree upon a commission of some 30 – 35%. In fact, Green Circle Wheels should be treated in the same way, but we decided that 20% will be the fixed commission to be charged by Edventure for any car of Green Circle Wheels, all year round.
Green Circle Wheels (20% – non-profit)
Green Circle Wheels acts like a car-sharing platform and is, therefore, a social enterprise. It makes sure that your car will be delivered to your clients with a full battery, a cellphone with all kinds of useful apps, and free internet. Green Circle Wheels will charge a fixed commission of 20% for the services of Edventure.
In case Green Circle Wheels makes a profit, that profit will either be used for the causes connected to the cars or for the further sustainable development of The Green Circle. You as the owner of an electric car that makes part of the Green Circle Wheels platform will have a say in this, in case we do make a profit.
Cause connected to your car (10%)
10% of the rental fee goes to the cause of your car. You find more information below.
Each car will have its own cause connected to your car. In other words, you decide what social or environmental cause you’d like to support in Costa Rica.
It is important to point this out. You are fully entitled to choose your own cause. But, in case you choose a cause that is in whatever way related to religion, politics or any other topic that might lead to controversy, we will kindly ask you to come up with a more neutral cause. One that helps Costa Rica forward in a social or environmental way.
The contribution to your cause will be 10% of your net rental fee (not including VAT / IVA) and will be transferred to your cause on a yearly basis. Green Circle Wheels will transfer this amount, including a breakdown of this total amount, to the bank account of your cause. That means that your cause needs to be formally registered and capable of sending digital invoices to us. Green Circle Experience donates directly to the cause, never to your personal bank account. We stand for full transparency, so of course, you will receive a copy of that bank receipt.
If you’d like to earn money with your (future) electric SUV with a minimum range of 350 kilometers or 217 miles, here is what you do after acquiring it±
If you want to contact us to learn more about the possibilities to become part of the Green Circle Wheels platform don’t hesitate to contact us.
Please fill out our Contact Form below or click on the Whatsapp icon to start a conversation with us, send us a Chat message in the widget or send an email to: firstname.lastname@example.org
We speak English, Dutch and Spanish.