Tutorial to Motor vehicle Rental Providers in Costa Rica

"My time's minimal... how can I choose?"

Vehicle rental is a sizzling subject for vacationers headed to Costa Rica. Recent analysis executed via the Costa Rican Institute of Tourism (ICT) implies that, following accommodations, renting a car or truck is the biggest cost, averaging $702 for an eleven-day getaway.

The Internet is buzzing with damaging opinions talking about overcharging, weak customer service and mechanical breakdowns. You might have even penned one particular you!

A standard midsize (3 - four Older people) 4X4 rental operates amongst $58 and $sixty five each day with 3rd party insurance plan and fees could vary up to 20 per cent amongst auto rental providers, so studying a quick overview will be time very well used as you calculate the discounts.

So the question is; which rental business presents the most beneficial harmony of truthful price tag, able customer support and trusted motor vehicles? I have researched it all to suit your needs, so keep reading!

Disclosure: This research was carried out in Might - July 2013. The next corporations have been selected simply because they are definitely the most widely used in Costa Rica. Some are local organizations; Many others are Global franchises of identified brand names. Comparisons include: customer service, pricing along with the reservation process. The businesses are mentioned alphabetically and never based upon personalized or on the net preferences.
Look at this facts in advance of leasing:


One of the most important leads to for grievances is from the stack of unforeseen rates presented into the renter once standing within the rental company's counter. Vacationers are generally exhausted after a extensive flight then are confronted by prices which were not anticipated, discussed or budgeted.

Topping the listing of grievances would be the non-disclosure of fees connected with the necessary third-bash insurance coverage at some time the reservation is designed.

In line with Costa Rican regulation, every driver is needed to hold legal responsibility coverage to insure against accidents to 3rd parties. Auto rental organizations typically refrain from disclosing the cost of this policy in the quoted rental rate to look far more aggressive. Required third-get together insurance can often be about double the car or truck's rental Price tag. The only real guarantee from insurance plan confusion is usually to inquire In case your estimate contains the third party insurance plan and insist on the created quotation.

Expense of Obligatory Insurance plan (also called Third Party or SLI)

Count on to pay between $twelve and $fifteen every day for this insurance policies, depending on the make and model from the rented automobile as well as rental car or truck agency. This is the authorized issue of your respective rental settlement and is generally not protected by bank cards and can't be waived. It's a truth of leasing an auto in Costa Rica.

Collision Damage Waiver (CDW)

Given that the identify suggests, this is not insurance policy, but a waiver, which relieves the renter from any legal responsibility for damage to the rental auto once the deductible is compensated (usually from $750 to $one,five hundred). Some businesses need renters to buy their CDW coverage; thereby negating any credit card system. For yet another price, many companies do provide a zero liability possibility where by the renter is going to be freed from paying for any harm to the car. Some businesses may place stress upon renters to purchase the zero liability protection; on the other hand, it really is solely optional, unless it truly is in the fine print of their rental settlement.

Bank card insurance policies plans may perhaps go over the CDW for your rental motor vehicle. Verify using your picked out rental car enterprise to find which evidence of insurance policy is required then ask for that from your credit card corporation just before arriving. Should you make use of your charge card's CDW plan, hope to pay a better deposit around the vehicle; all-around $one,five hundred to $2000 is common. The upper deposit makes certain that the charge card holder has adequate fiscal reserves to include damages if needed. It's important to think about that if utilizing CDW coverage supplied by a credit card (in lieu with the rent a car operator), all damages is going to be billed towards the renter's credit card. The charge card enterprise will then reimburse the card holder for damages.

Far more Insurance coverage

Tires and windshields are almost never A part of insurance policies policies, While further guidelines could be taken out for masking these regularly destroyed merchandise. Neither the inside nor the underneath of your automobile could possibly be protected. Generally examine the high-quality print.

Regular Method

Your credit card will be billed, or perhaps a 'maintain' put, to the rental car during the time of the rental agreement; i.e. from choosing up the rental right up until you come back it. Debit playing cards are commonly not appropriate.

Added Prices

Most providers have surcharges for additional drivers, motor vehicle seats/boosters, mobile devices, coolers, GPS and/or roof racks. The prices vary from organization to enterprise, but due to the fact these extras are billed in a daily price, it is value checking the entire Price -- supplemental choices can insert up very quickly! A GPS is all-around $8 to $ten on a daily basis; nevertheless, some operators may possibly present discounted models. Be expecting to pay close to $5 day-to-day for a child seat and some pounds daily for all one other 'niceties'. Vamos is noteworthy for featuring Many of these solutions and, during some promotions, even the GPS rental complimentarily. Alamo, Budget, Hertz and National charge quite possibly the most for these added alternatives; Whilst the opposite providers stated, cost additional reasonable prices.


Most providers increase tiny incremental expenditures, for example license plate and environmental costs, into the whole tally. Be cautious of operators who insert these supplemental expenses into the modest print with the rental agreement. Automobiles rented immediate at the airport incur airport taxes, that happen to be a whopping twelve% within your rental Price tag!

The rental automobile need to be returned Using the similar number of gasoline, Except otherwise indicated. Otherwise, companies might demand higher than fuel station premiums for missing gasoline.


You will find a debate about the cars provided by rental providers: Older autos permit the driving force to Mix in much more than a shiny, new automobile. Obtaining an older design may contain the indirect benefit of currently being a lot less scrutinized by car or truck rental agencies for latest nicks and scratches, compared with a newer motor vehicle. Having said that, a newer car or truck can be more roadworthy. This debate carries on into different auto would make and types. Frequently, Costa Rican corporations can easily hire their autos for any lower fee simply because their cars and trucks are typically three to five years outdated (compared to two to a few). On-line opinions would recommend which the area companies haven't any much more grievances about auto high quality than transnational franchises; investigation on message boards, such as TripAdvisor.com, would seem to indicate that prospects routinely appreciate driving a much less-than-new car through the wilds of Costa Rica. The explanations are a good deal, from street problems to the notion of a lot less-then-new motor vehicles Mixing in improved -- a more moderen car may possibly draw much more undesirable interest.

The choices of rental vehicles in Costa Rica are typically limited to helps make and designs that manage a competitive resale benefit, are a common manufacturer inside the place, and therefore are inexpensive to take care of. As such a lease-a-automobile operator's fleet are inclined to not be as various as America. Toyota, Nissan, Mitsubishi Illinois to New York Can Shipping and Hyundai constitute the mainstay models of most rental fleets.

Often, drivers are charged for intended 'damages' to your vehicle upon return. When getting the car, renters should meticulously check for pre-present flaws and compare it While using the car or truck inspection doc utilized by the rental car consultant. Some renters advise photographing or videoing the auto from all angles, to avoid any disagreement involving pre-present and just lately weakened goods.


Car or truck rentals in Costa Rica are pricier when compared with other international locations. Duties on motor vehicles are substantial (just as much as fifty% in their worth!), areas are costlier and unforgiving road problems lead to increased dress in and tear, producing better routine maintenance expenses.

The rule is you will get Whatever you purchase -- you will discover other choices than People rental businesses listed here, but they aren't detailed for an excellent explanation. They simply just fail to offer basic customer support and/or an appropriate car affliction required for any (virtually) problems-free of charge vacation.

When evaluating rental motor vehicle costs, it's best to go on to the Costa Rican Site with the rental motor vehicle business, as opposed to seeking to use their Intercontinental structure or an intermediary (Expedia, Travelocity, Orbitz, Kayak, et al.). For the same cars and reservation dates, the fees offered by the respective Worldwide vs. Costa Rican Web sites for Alamo, Finances, Hertz and Thrifty differed considerably.

To stop confusion, print out all correspondence While using the vehicle rental enterprise with whom you have got reserved a car and produce this to your rental Place of work With all the estimate presented at time of reservation.

The next prime ten chart ranks the companies from optimum priced to least expensive and it features the obligatory insurance policies demand. Within the cases of Alamo and Hertz, the figure includes their CDW price since it is one of their rental needs. This cost comparison is predicated on a week's rental of a Daihatsu Bego, in which available (Dollar gives the Suzuki Vitara) from September 14th - 21st, nonetheless in December to look at both of those Inexperienced and Substantial Year prices. The checklist promptly demonstrates that the worth variation depends tremendously on the corporate -- for essentially the identical service. These rates had been acquired in June/July 2013.

Rental Automobile Businesses Ranked In keeping with Value


ten. Alamo $650.96
9. Hertz $514.27
8. Adobe $449
7. Spending plan $455
six. National $428.01
five. Thrifty $421.05
4. Support $374.43
three. Vamos $370.30
2. Greenback $364
one. Wild Rider $350


10. Alamo $650.ninety six
nine. Countrywide $597.51
8. Hertz $566.fifty two
seven. Finances $555
six. Greenback $532
5. Thrifty $506.58
4. Provider $494.forty three
3. Vamos $461.30
two. Adobe $459
one. Wild Rider $395

Alamo ranks number ten for each seasons, rendering it the most costly firm. Funds, Hertz and Countrywide also fee very low on the size for affordable rental possibilities.

Business Summaries


Web page is evident and easy to use, but pricing and in many cases the autos mentioned will not be the same as All those offered by an office consultant in excess of the cellular phone. Necessary insurance plan expenditures are certainly not proven with the list of motor vehicles and rental fees, but They can be clearly displayed on the following website page like a consumer moves to reserving a reservation. Combined purchaser critiques on the web. E mail reaction is below 24 hours, but might not give all asked for info.

Toll-absolutely free U.S.A and Canada phone number. No Dwell Chat.
10 workplaces nationwide
Mandatory insurance: $19 daily
Supplemental expenses: GPS $9/day, baby seat $5/working day


Web site is clear and simple to use, but rates vary from prices acquired in excess of the cell phone. Obligatory insurance policies expenses are certainly not supplied Together with the listing of motor vehicles and rental costs, but they are Evidently shown on the following webpage as the customer moves to earning a reservation. Combined shopper critiques online. E-mail response is lower than 24 hrs.

No toll-free U.S.A and Canada contact number or Live chat
14 places of work nationwide
Obligatory insurance: $eleven.95 day-to-day, but must also consider their CDW at $12.95 daily
Further rates: GPS $12/working day, kid seat $6/day


Web-site is essential, but simple to operate. Price ranges on-line differ to your quotations presented by a representative about the cellphone and based on whether the Worldwide or Costa Rican Site is utilized. Required insurance policy charges are given along with the list of motor vehicles; having said that, another rates are not shown. Blended shopper critiques on line. Electronic mail response is over 24 hrs.

No toll-totally free U.S.A and Canada contact number. No Reside Chat on Costa Rican Web page.
ten workplaces nationwide
Mandatory insurance: included in the listed price
Supplemental costs: GPS $10.ninety five/day, kid seat $12/working day (the most costly of the highest 10)


Site is clear and simple to use. Costs quoted vary if calling within the U.S. or in Costa Rica. Mandatory coverage expenses usually are not offered Together with the list of autos and rental costs, but They can be Obviously shown on the following webpage as being a customer moves to a producing a reservation. Mixed testimonials on the web, but normally gets favourable responses. E-mail inquiries answered in just 24 hrs.

Toll-free U.S.A and Canada phone number. No Reside Chat.
3 workplaces nationwide
Necessary insurance: $16 everyday
Additional expenses: GPS $nine/day, little one seat $five/working day


Site is evident and simple to operate. Obligatory insurance policies expenditures are usually not supplied Moreover the listing of motor vehicles and rental expenses, but They may be Evidently exhibited on the following webpage as the customer moves in direction of a reserving a reservation. Blended shopper opinions online. Email response fewer than 24 hours.

Toll-totally free U.S.A and Canada phone number and Stay Chat (although it seems to be completely offline)
7 places of work nationwide
Obligatory insurance policy: $17.forty three each day, but their CDW is likewise a need
Additional costs: GPS $twelve/day, little one seat $2/day


Web page is clear and simple to use. Required insurance policy charges are not given together with the listing of autos and rental fees, but These are Plainly exhibited on the next site to be a customer moves to generating a reservation. Mixed buyer reviews on-line, but far more beneficial than detrimental. E-mail response fewer than 24 several hours.

Toll-free of charge U.S.A and Canada phone number. Dwell Chat.
22 workplaces nationwide
Required insurance plan: $twenty five day by day (the most expensive of the highest 10)
Added rates: GPS $twelve/day, kid seat $6/working day


Site is clear and consumer pleasant with just a slight confusion in that an internet estimate is received by clicking on 'Reserve Now' and never the 'Get a Quotation' selection. The response to your cellphone inquiry was to employ the web site. Required insurance coverage expenditures are provided together with the listing of vehicles and rental rates to the reduced time rates and on the next webpage of one other quotation page. Recall is actually a really encouraged profits representative who is outlined in lots of on-line evaluations to the significant level of his customer care. Frequently on-line testimonials are positive for Company. Electronic mail response is fewer than 24 hours, although all information requested will not be obtained.

U.S.A cell phone number, although not toll-no cost. No Live Chat.
five workplaces nationwide
Required insurance policies: $fifteen day-to-day
Additional fees: GPS $5.99/working day, kid seat $two.ninety nine/day


Costa Rican Edition of the web site is difficult to work with and also you are requested to sign up for a consumer identify and password. Necessary insurance coverage costs will not be presented combined with the list of automobiles and rental expenses. A purchaser has got to click on "Protection Selections" about the U.S. Web page and choose the obligatory insurance plan by clicking on it -- implying that it's optional instead of a demanded Charge. Thrifty have a tendency to acquire blended testimonials on the net. E mail reaction is over 24 hours.

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