Manual to Vehicle Rental Organizations in Costa Rica

"My time's minimal... how do I select?"

Motor vehicle rental is often a scorching topic for vacationers headed to Costa Rica. The latest research carried out by the Costa Rican Institute of Tourism (ICT) signifies that, just after accommodations, renting an auto is the largest expenditure, averaging $702 for an eleven-working day holiday vacation.

The world wide web is buzzing with detrimental testimonials discussing overcharging, lousy customer support and mechanical breakdowns. You might have even composed just one on your own!

An average midsize (three - four Grownups) 4X4 rental runs between $58 and $sixty five daily with 3rd party insurance coverage and costs will vary approximately twenty per cent amid car rental firms, so reading through A fast assessment are going to be time perfectly expended after you work out the price savings.

And so the problem is; which rental organization delivers the most beneficial equilibrium of truthful price tag, capable customer care and trusted motor vehicles? I've investigated all of it for yourself, so keep reading!

Disclosure: This exploration was executed in May perhaps - July 2013. The next businesses have been picked as they tend to be the most generally Employed in Costa Rica. Some are regional businesses; Other individuals are Intercontinental franchises of identified manufacturer names. Comparisons involve: customer support, pricing as well as the reservation approach. The companies are detailed alphabetically and never determined by particular or on-line Tastes.
Take into account this facts prior to renting:

Insurance policies

Certainly one of the biggest leads to for complaints is within the stack of unexpected expenses presented towards the renter as soon as standing within the rental company's counter. Vacationers are generally worn out following a lengthy flight and afterwards are confronted by expenditures that were not expected, explained or budgeted.

Topping the list of grievances would be the non-disclosure of fees associated with the mandatory 3rd-celebration insurance policies at time the reservation is built.

In line with Costa Rican regulation, every driver is required to hold legal responsibility protection to insure versus accidents to third get-togethers. Vehicle rental businesses normally chorus from disclosing the cost of this coverage during the quoted rental charge to appear a lot more competitive. Necessary third-party coverage can often be around double the vehicle's rental cost. The only real warranty against coverage confusion should be to inquire Should your estimate contains the 3rd party insurance plan and demand over a prepared quotation.

Cost of Required Insurance (also known as 3rd party or SLI)

Count on to pay involving $12 and $15 each day for this insurance policies, according to the make and design of your rented car or truck and the rental automobile agency. This is the lawful condition within your rental settlement and is mostly not included by credit cards and cannot be waived. It is a truth of renting an auto in Costa Rica.

Collision Destruction Waiver (CDW)

As being the name indicates, this is not coverage, but a waiver, which relieves the renter from any liability for harm to the rental car following the deductible is compensated (ordinarily from $750 to $1,five hundred). Some organizations demand renters to purchase their CDW coverage; therefore negating any charge card program. For an extra rate, a lot of agencies do give you a zero legal responsibility alternative the place the renter will probably be freed from paying for any damage to the car. Some companies might put force on renters to get the zero liability coverage; however, it is actually entirely optional, unless it's in the good print in their rental arrangement.

Bank card insurance policy courses might address the CDW to get a rental auto. Examine along with your chosen rental car firm to seek out which proof of coverage is necessary then request that out of your charge card firm just before arriving. If you make use of your charge card's CDW coverage, hope to pay a greater deposit to the car or truck; all-around $one,five hundred to $2000 is typical. The upper deposit makes certain that the bank card holder has adequate monetary reserves to deal with damages if necessary. It is crucial to take into consideration that if working with CDW protection furnished by a charge card (in lieu in the rent a car or truck operator), all damages will probably be billed for the renter's bank card. The credit card company will then reimburse the cardboard holder for damages.

Additional Insurance plan

Tires and windshields are seldom included in insurance guidelines, Despite the fact that more insurance policies may very well be taken out for covering these frequently damaged products. Neither the interior nor the underneath from the auto could be included. Always study the wonderful print.

Standard Technique

Your charge card will be billed, or possibly a 'hold' placed, with the rental car in the time in the rental settlement; i.e. from selecting up the rental until eventually you come it. Debit playing cards are normally not suitable.

More Expenses

Most businesses have surcharges For extra drivers, motor vehicle seats/boosters, cellular phones, coolers, GPS and/or roof racks. The prices vary from enterprise to company, but because these extras are billed in a everyday price, it's value checking the total cost -- added choices can increase up very quickly! A GPS is all around $eight to $ten a day; on the other hand, some operators may well give discounted units. Expect to pay for all-around $5 everyday for a child seat and some dollars on a daily basis for all one other 'niceties'. Vamos is notable for giving A large number of selections and, throughout some promotions, even the GPS rental complimentarily. Alamo, Funds, Hertz and Countrywide cost one of the most for this sort of supplemental alternatives; While the other providers shown, cost more affordable price ranges.


Most providers add compact incremental fees, for instance license plate and environmental charges, into the full tally. Be cautious of operators who insert these further rates into the small print from the rental agreement. Autos rented direct within the airport incur airport taxes, that are a whopping twelve% of one's rental cost!

The rental auto should be returned Along with the exact same level of gas, Except in any other case indicated. Otherwise, organizations could charge earlier mentioned gasoline station prices for missing gasoline.

Motor vehicles

There's a debate over the motor vehicles supplied by rental businesses: More mature vehicles let the driving force to blend in more than a shiny, new auto. Acquiring an more mature model may have the indirect advantage of remaining considerably less scrutinized by auto rental agencies for latest nicks and scratches, compared with a more recent automobile. Nevertheless, a more recent vehicle might be more roadworthy. This discussion carries on into the various motor vehicle can make and models. Typically, Costa Rican firms can hire their autos for just a reduced charge due to the fact their automobiles are usually 3 to five years outdated (compared to two to three). On-line opinions would suggest the local companies haven't any additional problems regarding vehicle high-quality than transnational franchises; analysis on boards, for instance, would seem to point that consumers commonly recognize driving a significantly less-than-new vehicle from the wilds of Costa Rica. The reasons are a lot, from street disorders to the Idea of a lot less-then-new motor vehicles Mixing in improved -- a newer automobile may attract a lot more undesirable attention.

The choices of rental cars and trucks in Costa Rica are typically restricted to can make and styles that keep a aggressive resale price, are a typical manufacturer inside the state, and they are inexpensive to keep up. As such a hire-a-auto operator's fleet are likely never to be as various as The usa. Toyota, Nissan, Mitsubishi and Hyundai constitute the mainstay brand names of most rental fleets.

In some cases, motorists are billed for meant 'damages' on the car upon return. After obtaining the car, renters should meticulously check for pre-present flaws and compare it Using the car or truck inspection doc employed by the rental car or truck agent. Some renters recommend photographing or videoing the vehicle from all angles, to avoid any disagreement amongst pre-existing and not too long ago harmed goods.


Car rentals in Costa Rica are pricier in comparison to other nations. Responsibilities on cars are superior (up to 50% in their benefit!), parts are costlier and unforgiving road problems add to greater dress in and tear, making better servicing charges.

The rule is you receive Whatever you pay for -- you will find other available choices than These rental businesses detailed listed here, but they're not listed for a superb rationale. They only fall short to supply essential customer service and/or a suitable automobile issue necessary for just a (almost) difficulties-no cost family vacation.

When evaluating rental automobile rates, it is best to go directly to the Costa Rican website in the rental car organization, rather than endeavoring to use their Worldwide structure or an middleman (Expedia, Travelocity, Orbitz, Kayak, et al.). For a similar automobiles and reservation dates, the premiums supplied by the respective Global vs. Costa Rican Sites for Alamo, Spending plan, Hertz and Thrifty differed significantly.

To stay away from confusion, print out all correspondence with the auto rental corporation with whom you might have reserved a auto and produce this to the rental office Together with the quote provided at time of reservation.

The next top ten chart ranks the businesses from highest priced to most affordable and it incorporates the necessary insurance plan cost. From the conditions of Alamo and Hertz, the determine contains their CDW charge mainly because it is one of their rental requirements. This price comparison relies on every week's rental of the Daihatsu Bego, exactly where out there (Dollar delivers the Suzuki Vitara) from September 14th - 21st, nonetheless in December to check out both Inexperienced and Substantial Period rates. The listing promptly demonstrates that the worth variation relies upon drastically on the company -- for in essence the same company. These charges had been received in June/July 2013.

Rental Car or truck Corporations Rated In line with Price tag


ten. Alamo $650.96
9. Hertz $514.27
eight. Adobe $449
seven. Funds $455
six. National $428.01
five. Thrifty $421.05
four. Assistance $374.43
3. Vamos $370.thirty
2. Greenback $364
1. Wild Rider $350


10. Alamo $650.ninety six
nine. National $597.fifty one
eight. Hertz $566.fifty two
seven. Price range $555
six. Greenback $532
5. Thrifty $506.58
four. Assistance $494.43
three. Vamos $461.30
2. Adobe $459
1. Wild Rider $395

Alamo ranks variety ten for both seasons, rendering it the most costly corporation. Price range, Hertz and Countrywide also rate low on the size for inexpensive rental options.

Organization Summaries


Website is clear and simple to operate, but pricing and perhaps the autos outlined usually are not the same as Individuals offered by an Business office representative over the telephone. Required insurance policies expenses are not demonstrated Together with the list of cars and rental expenses, but They're Evidently displayed on the following website page for a purchaser moves in direction of reserving a reservation. Mixed buyer critiques online. Email response is a lot less than 24 several hours, but may well not give all requested data.

Toll-absolutely free U.S.A and Canada telephone number. No Are living Chat.
10 places of work nationwide
Obligatory insurance plan: $19 everyday
More prices: GPS $nine/day, youngster seat $5/working day


Web site is evident and user friendly, but rates vary towards estimates gained more than the cell phone. Required insurance policy expenses usually are not supplied With all the listing of vehicles and rental rates, but they are Plainly shown on the next site as The shopper moves in direction of earning a reservation. Combined purchaser reviews online. Email response is less than 24 hrs.

No toll-free U.S.A and Canada contact number or Reside chat
fourteen offices nationwide
Necessary insurance coverage: $11.95 every day, but have to also acquire their CDW at $12.95 day by day
More charges: GPS $twelve/working day, boy or girl seat $six/day


Web page is essential, but convenient to use. Costs on the net Illinois to New York Car Transporters differ for the quotations provided by a representative over the telephone and depending on whether the Global or Costa Rican Web site is applied. Necessary insurance prices are specified together with the listing of automobiles; even so, the other fees are not detailed. Blended client assessments on-line. Email response is much more than 24 several hours.

No toll-free of charge U.S.A and Canada contact number. No Dwell Chat on Costa Rican Site.
ten places of work nationwide
Obligatory coverage: included in the outlined cost
Added fees: GPS $ten.ninety five/day, child seat $twelve/working day (the most expensive of the top 10)


Web page is clear and convenient to use. Rates quoted vary if calling from your U.S. or in Costa Rica. Mandatory coverage fees aren't specified Using the list of autos and rental expenses, but These are Obviously exhibited on the next website page as being a customer moves in the direction of a generating a reservation. Mixed assessments on the internet, but commonly receives beneficial suggestions. E-mail inquiries answered within just 24 several hours.

Toll-totally free U.S.A and Canada contact number. No Dwell Chat.
three offices nationwide
Required coverage: $sixteen daily
Added expenses: GPS $9/day, boy or girl seat $five/working day


Web site is evident and easy to use. Necessary insurance policies expenses are not offered Apart from the listing of vehicles and rental expenses, but They're Evidently displayed on the next web page as The client moves towards a booking a reservation. Combined shopper testimonials on-line. E mail response less than 24 several hours.

Toll-absolutely free U.S.A and Canada contact number and Dwell Chat (even though it is apparently forever offline)
7 places of work nationwide
Obligatory insurance plan: $seventeen.43 daily, but their CDW is likewise a requirement
Added costs: GPS $12/day, youngster seat $2/working day


Web page is obvious and user friendly. Necessary insurance coverage charges aren't given along with the list of autos and rental prices, but They're Plainly displayed on the next website page like a customer moves in the direction of generating a reservation. Combined client testimonials on the internet, but more constructive than negative. Email response less than 24 hrs.

Toll-totally free U.S.A and Canada phone number. Stay Chat.
22 offices nationwide
Necessary insurance: $twenty five each day (the costliest of the best ten)
Further fees: GPS $twelve/day, little one seat $6/day


Site is evident and person pleasant with merely a slight confusion in that an internet based estimate is received by clicking on 'Reserve Now' instead of the 'Obtain a Estimate' possibility. The reaction to the cellular phone inquiry was to make use of the website. Obligatory insurance coverage costs are given along with the list of vehicles and rental costs for your minimal time prices and on the next web page of the other quotation site. Recall is often a hugely proposed income representative that is outlined in several on-line critiques to the significant volume of his customer care. Frequently on the net assessments are favourable for Service. Electronic mail reaction is a lot less than 24 several hours, While all information and facts requested is probably not been given.

U.S.A cell phone number, but not toll-cost-free. No Live Chat.
5 offices nationwide
Required insurance plan: $15 every day
Further prices: GPS $five.99/day, kid seat $2.99/day


Costa Rican version of the web site is impossible to utilize so you are questioned to sign up for your consumer identify and password. Obligatory insurance policies costs usually are not provided combined with the listing of automobiles and rental rates. A buyer has got to click "Safety Solutions" around the U.S. Web-site and choose the mandatory coverage by clicking on it -- implying that it's optional and not a expected Price tag. Thrifty often obtain blended opinions on-line. Electronic mail response is much more than 24 several hours.

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