Tutorial to Motor vehicle Rental Corporations in Costa Rica

"My time's constrained... how can I select?"

Automobile rental is often a sizzling topic for vacationers headed to Costa Rica. Recent research done with the Costa Rican Institute of Tourism (ICT) indicates that, after accommodations, renting a car or truck is the most important price, averaging $702 for an eleven-working day family vacation.

The web is buzzing with detrimental opinions discussing overcharging, very poor customer service and mechanical breakdowns. You could have even written a person you!

A standard midsize (three - 4 Older people) 4X4 rental runs amongst $fifty eight and $65 everyday with third party insurance coverage and charges can differ as much as 20 % among car or truck rental organizations, so looking through A fast assessment will likely be time effectively used after you determine the savings.

And so the problem is; which rental company delivers the very best harmony of honest price, able customer support and reliable cars? I have researched everything for yourself, so Continue reading!

Disclosure: This research was performed in Might - July 2013. The following providers ended up selected given that they are definitely the most widely Utilized in Costa Rica. Some are community providers; Other people are Worldwide franchises of regarded brand name names. Comparisons consist of: customer support, pricing and the reservation process. The companies are stated alphabetically instead of according to private or on-line preferences.
Consider this info in advance of leasing:

Insurance coverage

Certainly one of the largest causes for problems is from the stack of unforeseen charges offered into the renter as soon as standing in the rental company's counter. Vacationers are usually exhausted following a prolonged flight after which are confronted by expenses which were not anticipated, discussed or budgeted.

Topping the listing of grievances would be the non-disclosure of costs linked to the obligatory 3rd-social gathering insurance plan at the time the reservation is made.

Based on Costa Rican legislation, just about every driver is required to hold liability protection to insure in opposition to accidents to 3rd events. Car or truck rental firms usually refrain from disclosing the expense of this policy inside the quoted rental rate to appear much more competitive. Required 3rd-celebration insurance policy can often be as much as double the motor vehicle's rental Price tag. The sole ensure towards insurance plan confusion should be to inquire Should your estimate contains the 3rd party insurance policy and demand on a created quotation.

Price of Necessary Insurance plan (also known as 3rd party or SLI)

Anticipate to pay for involving $12 and $fifteen every day for this insurance, dependant upon the make and model with the rented automobile along with the rental car or truck company. This is the lawful condition of your rental settlement and is generally not protected by credit cards and can't be waived. It is a fact of renting a car or truck in Costa Rica.

Collision Harm Waiver (CDW)

Given that the name implies, this is not insurance plan, but a waiver, which relieves the renter from any liability for harm to the rental auto after the deductible is paid (commonly from $750 to $one,five hundred). Some businesses require renters to acquire their CDW coverage; thus negating any bank card software. For a further cost, many businesses do provide a zero liability possibility in which the renter are going to be freed from purchasing any damage to the vehicle. Some corporations may well put force upon renters to invest in the zero liability coverage; nevertheless, it is completely optional, unless it is actually inside the wonderful print of their rental agreement.

Credit card coverage courses may well cover the CDW for the rental car or truck. Examine along with your preferred rental auto business to locate which evidence of insurance policies is necessary and then ask for that from the bank card firm before arriving. When you make use of your credit card's CDW policy, assume to pay a higher deposit over the car; close to $one,five hundred to $2000 is popular. The higher deposit makes certain that the charge card holder has plenty of fiscal reserves to go over damages if needed. It is necessary to consider that if employing CDW coverage furnished by a credit card (in lieu in the rent a car operator), all damages are going to be billed on the renter's credit card. The credit card firm will then reimburse the card holder for damages.

More Insurance plan

Tires and windshields are seldom included in insurance policies policies, While further policies may be taken out for masking these frequently damaged goods. Neither the interior nor the underneath on the car could possibly be coated. Often browse the wonderful print.

Regular Course of action

Your credit card might be charged, or perhaps a 'hold' positioned, to the rental auto in the course of the time on the rental agreement; i.e. from choosing up the rental until you come it. Debit playing cards are typically not suitable.

Additional Prices

Most firms have surcharges for additional drivers, auto seats/boosters, mobile phones, coolers, GPS and/or roof racks. The prices differ from business to corporation, but since these extras are billed at a everyday rate, it is worth examining the full Price -- supplemental choices can include up very quickly! A GPS is all-around $eight to $ten on a daily basis; on the other hand, some operators may give discounted units. Anticipate to pay for close to $five daily for a kid seat and some bucks daily for all one other 'niceties'. Vamos is notable for supplying Many of these selections and, all through some promotions, even the GPS rental complimentarily. Alamo, Price range, Hertz and National cost quite possibly the most for these types of supplemental solutions; While one other businesses detailed, charge extra acceptable selling prices.


Most providers increase smaller incremental expenses, for instance license plate and environmental charges, into the total tally. Be cautious of operators who insert these further prices into your smaller print of your rental deal. Motor vehicles rented immediate for the airport incur airport taxes, which can be a whopping twelve% of your rental Price!

The rental car need to be returned With all the exact quantity of gasoline, unless usually indicated. If not, providers might charge above fuel station charges for lacking fuel.


There's a discussion about the vehicles supplied by rental organizations: More mature cars make it possible for the driver to blend in a lot more than a shiny, new motor vehicle. Owning an older product may perhaps contain the indirect good thing about getting much less scrutinized by vehicle rental companies for recent nicks and scratches, compared with a more moderen motor vehicle. Nevertheless, a more moderen motor vehicle might be extra roadworthy. This debate carries on into the various auto helps make and versions. Generally, Costa Rican corporations will be able to rent their cars for just a decreased charge due to the fact their cars are typically a few to five years outdated (as opposed to two to a few). On the internet opinions would counsel that the regional companies haven't any more complaints concerning vehicle high-quality than transnational franchises; investigate on community forums, which include TripAdvisor.com, seems to indicate that consumers routinely respect driving a much less-than-new motor vehicle with the wilds of Costa Rica. The explanations are a great deal, from street situations for the Idea of less-then-new motor vehicles Mixing in far better -- a more recent automobile may perhaps attract a lot more unwelcome interest.

The decisions of rental autos in Costa Rica are largely limited to can make and products that sustain a aggressive resale value, are a common brand in the place, and are reasonably priced to maintain. As such a hire-a-car operator's fleet tend not to be as varied as The usa. Toyota, Nissan, Mitsubishi and Hyundai constitute the mainstay brands of most rental fleets.

In some cases, motorists are charged for intended 'damages' to your motor vehicle upon return. After acquiring the automobile, renters ought to meticulously check for pre-current flaws and Examine it While using the car or truck inspection document utilized by the rental automobile agent. Some renters recommend photographing or videoing the motor vehicle from all angles, to stop any disagreement amongst pre-current and lately destroyed products.


Motor vehicle rentals in Costa Rica are pricier in comparison with other international locations. Duties on vehicles are high (just as much as 50% of their worth!), pieces are costlier and unforgiving highway conditions add to larger dress in and tear, generating higher routine maintenance expenses.

The rule is you have Whatever you buy -- there are other choices than Those people rental providers mentioned here, but they don't seem to be outlined for an excellent motive. They only fail to supply simple customer care and/or a suitable auto problem needed for just a (almost) issues-cost-free getaway.

When comparing rental vehicle charges, it's best to go on to the Costa Rican website with the rental car or truck organization, as opposed to endeavoring to use their Intercontinental format or an middleman (Expedia, Travelocity, Orbitz, Kayak, et al.). For a similar vehicles and reservation dates, the prices made available from the respective international vs. Costa Rican Web-sites for Alamo, Spending budget, Hertz and Thrifty differed significantly.

To prevent confusion, print out all correspondence Together with the auto rental company with whom you've reserved a motor vehicle and produce this for the rental office Using the quotation offered at time of reservation.

The subsequent top ten chart ranks the businesses from maximum priced to least expensive and it consists of the obligatory insurance coverage charge. While in the cases of Alamo and Hertz, the figure consists of their CDW cost since it is among their rental requirements. This selling price comparison is predicated on each week's rental of a Daihatsu Bego, in which offered (Dollar gives the Suzuki Vitara) from September 14th - twenty first, nonetheless in December to perspective both of those Eco-friendly and Large Time fees. The list immediately demonstrates that the cost variation relies upon tremendously on the corporation -- for mainly exactly the same provider. These charges were being received in June/July 2013.

Rental Motor vehicle Providers Rated In accordance with Selling price


ten. Alamo $650.96
nine. Hertz $514.27
8. Adobe $449
seven. Spending plan $455
6. National $428.01
five. Thrifty $421.05
four. Services $374.43
three. Vamos $370.30
2. Greenback $364
one. Wild Rider $350


ten. Alamo $650.ninety six
nine. Nationwide $597.fifty one
8. Hertz $566.fifty two
seven. Spending plan $555
6. Dollar $532
5. Thrifty $506.fifty eight
4. Company $494.forty three
3. Vamos $461.30
2. Adobe $459
1. Wild Rider $395

Alamo ranks range ten for both seasons, making it the most costly company. Spending budget, Hertz and National also charge small on the size for economical rental possibilities.

Firm Summaries


Site is evident and simple to operate, but pricing as well as the cars listed will not be the same as Those people specified by an Business office representative over the cell phone. Necessary insurance policies charges will not be shown with the list of autos and rental rates, but They can be Plainly displayed on the next web page for a purchaser moves toward booking a reservation. Combined buyer testimonials on the net. E mail response is fewer than 24 several hours, but might not offer all asked for facts.

Toll-free U.S.A and Canada contact number. No Live Chat.
ten workplaces nationwide
Obligatory coverage: $19 every day
Extra prices: GPS $9/day, kid seat $five/day


Web page is evident and simple to use, but prices vary in opposition to offers obtained about the cellphone. Mandatory insurance policies fees usually are not specified Using the listing of cars and rental charges, but They can be Evidently displayed on the next web site as The shopper moves towards making a reservation. Blended customer reviews on line. Electronic mail response is a lot less than 24 hours.

No toll-cost-free U.S.A and Canada contact number or Dwell chat
fourteen places of work nationwide
Necessary insurance plan: $11.ninety five daily, but need to also take their CDW at $12.ninety five day by day
More costs: GPS $12/day, boy or girl seat $six/day


Site is fundamental, but simple to operate. Price ranges on the internet vary for the quotations presented by a representative above the cellphone and depending on if the international or Costa Rican Web site is used. Mandatory insurance coverage prices are provided together with the listing of vehicles; having said that, one other prices are not stated. Mixed buyer assessments on the net. E-mail reaction is much more than 24 hours.

No toll-no cost U.S.A and Canada telephone number. No Stay Chat on Costa Rican Web page.
10 places of work nationwide
Mandatory insurance coverage: included in the mentioned selling price
Supplemental prices: GPS $ten.ninety five/day, boy or girl seat $12/day (the costliest of the highest ten)


Web page is evident and user friendly. Charges quoted vary if calling through the U.S. or in Costa Rica. Obligatory insurance policies fees usually are not provided While using the list of motor vehicles and rental prices, but They can be Obviously exhibited on the next page to be a buyer moves towards a producing a reservation. Combined evaluations on the internet, but typically gets favourable feed-back. Electronic mail inquiries answered in 24 hours.

Toll-free of charge U.S.A and Canada cell phone number. No Dwell Chat.
3 offices nationwide
Required coverage: $16 everyday
More fees: GPS $nine/working day, boy or girl seat $5/day


Web page is obvious and user friendly. Necessary insurance expenditures usually are not presented besides the listing of motor vehicles and rental costs, but They are really Evidently exhibited on the next page as The shopper moves towards a reserving a reservation. Mixed shopper testimonials on line. E mail reaction a lot less than 24 hrs.

Toll-free of charge U.S.A and Canada telephone number and Are living Chat (although it appears to be completely offline)
seven workplaces nationwide
Necessary insurance coverage: $17.forty three each day, but their CDW can also be a necessity
Extra prices: GPS $12/day, baby seat $2/working day


Site is evident and Illinois to New York Car Transporters simple to operate. Mandatory insurance policies prices are certainly not provided combined with the listing of vehicles and rental costs, but These are Obviously exhibited on the subsequent page as a purchaser moves towards generating a reservation. Mixed shopper assessments on the web, but far more positive than destructive. E-mail response fewer than 24 hrs.

Toll-absolutely free U.S.A and Canada telephone number. Stay Chat.
22 places of work nationwide
Mandatory insurance: $25 daily (the most costly of the highest ten)
Further fees: GPS $12/day, kid seat $6/working day


Website is obvious and consumer welcoming with just a slight confusion in that a web-based quotation is acquired by clicking on 'Reserve Now' and never the 'Get yourself a Quote' selection. The reaction to some phone inquiry was to make use of the web site. Mandatory insurance coverage costs are presented combined with the list of cars and rental charges for your reduced period charges and on the second webpage of the opposite quotation page. Don't forget is often a highly suggested gross sales agent that's stated in lots of on-line assessments with the high volume of his customer support. Typically on the net assessments are good for Assistance. Email response is fewer than 24 hours, While all data asked for may not be obtained.

U.S.A contact number, but not toll-absolutely free. No Are living Chat.
5 workplaces nationwide
Necessary insurance: $fifteen day by day
Further fees: GPS $five.ninety nine/working day, youngster seat $2.ninety nine/day


Costa Rican Model of the website is extremely hard to utilize and you are questioned to sign up to get a person name and password. Required insurance coverage prices will not be supplied together with the list of autos and rental rates. A client needs to click "Safety Possibilities" about the U.S. Internet site and select the obligatory insurance coverage by clicking on it -- implying that it's optional and not a needed cost. Thrifty have a tendency to get combined assessments on line. Electronic mail response is more than 24 hrs.

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