Guideline to Auto Rental Companies in Costa Rica

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

Car rental is often a warm subject matter for vacationers headed to Costa Rica. Current research done from the Costa Rican Institute of Tourism (ICT) implies that, just after lodging, leasing an auto is the biggest expenditure, averaging $702 for an eleven-working day holiday vacation.

The Internet is buzzing with unfavorable critiques discussing overcharging, poor customer care and mechanical breakdowns. You could have even written one on your own!

An average midsize (3 - four Grownups) 4X4 rental operates amongst $58 and $sixty five everyday with 3rd party insurance policies and fees can differ around twenty p.c among the automobile rental providers, so reading a quick assessment are going to be time perfectly put in when you work out the price savings.

So the dilemma is; which rental organization features the most beneficial harmony of truthful rate, able customer care and reliable motor vehicles? I've researched all of it for you personally, so Continue reading!

Disclosure: This exploration was performed in May well - July 2013. The next organizations were selected given that they are the most widely Employed in Costa Rica. Some are local providers; Other people are international franchises of acknowledged brand name names. Comparisons contain: customer care, pricing as well as the reservation system. The companies are shown alphabetically rather than dependant on own or online Tastes.
Look at this facts right before renting:


Among the most significant results in for issues is from your stack of unforeseen charges introduced towards the renter once standing on the rental company's counter. Vacationers are generally weary after a prolonged flight after which are confronted by charges that were not predicted, explained or budgeted.

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

In line with Costa Rican law, each and every driver is needed to hold liability coverage to insure versus accidents to 3rd events. Car rental providers generally chorus from disclosing the expense of this coverage from the quoted rental rate to look extra aggressive. Obligatory 3rd-party insurance plan can often be about double the vehicle's rental cost. The only real assurance towards insurance plan confusion will be to inquire If the estimate contains the 3rd party insurance policy and demand over a prepared quotation.

Expense of Required Coverage (also known as Third Party or SLI)

Be expecting to pay between $twelve and $fifteen everyday for this coverage, based on the make and model on the rented auto along with the rental vehicle agency. This can be a authorized issue within your rental arrangement and is mostly not protected by bank cards and cannot be waived. It's a simple fact of renting a car in Costa Rica.

Collision Damage Waiver (CDW)

As being the identify suggests, this isn't insurance coverage, but a waiver, which relieves the renter from any liability for harm to the rental auto after the deductible is compensated (normally from $750 to $one,500). Some businesses have to have renters to get their CDW policy; thus negating any bank card plan. For yet another rate, quite a few agencies do offer a zero legal responsibility alternative wherever the renter will likely be freed from purchasing any harm to the car. Some businesses could place pressure on renters to buy the zero legal responsibility protection; nonetheless, it is fully optional, unless it's from the fine print of their rental arrangement.

Credit card insurance coverage courses may include the CDW for the rental automobile. Look at with the chosen rental vehicle firm to find which evidence of coverage is necessary then request that from your credit card business before arriving. For those who use your charge card's CDW policy, anticipate to pay an increased deposit within the car; all around $one,500 to $2000 is typical. The higher deposit makes certain that the credit card holder has ample money reserves to go over damages if wanted. It is important to take into account that if employing CDW protection furnished by a charge card (in lieu in the hire an automobile operator), all damages is going to be billed into the renter's charge card. The bank card company will then reimburse the card holder for damages.

A lot more Insurance plan

Tires and windshields are seldom A part of insurance policy insurance policies, Whilst further policies could possibly be taken out for covering these routinely destroyed objects. Neither the interior nor the beneath of the auto may very well be covered. Normally browse the good print.

Typical Method

Your credit card is going to be billed, or maybe a 'maintain' positioned, for the rental auto throughout the time in the rental agreement; i.e. from picking up the rental until you return it. Debit cards are typically not suitable.

Supplemental Expenses

Most corporations have surcharges For added drivers, car seats/boosters, mobile phones, coolers, GPS and/or roof racks. The prices vary from enterprise to organization, but considering the fact that these extras are billed at a each day level, it really is really worth checking the full Value -- more options can include up in a short time! A GPS is all-around $8 to $ten each day; even so, some operators may perhaps offer you discounted models. Assume to pay close to $five each day for a child seat and a few bucks each day for all the other 'niceties'. Vamos is notable for presenting These types of choices and, throughout some promotions, even the GPS rental complimentarily. Alamo, Funds, Hertz and National demand the most for these types of further selections; While one other companies stated, charge more reasonable rates.


Most corporations include modest incremental expenses, which include license plate and environmental charges, into the overall tally. Be cautious of operators who insert these additional charges into your modest print of your rental agreement. Automobiles rented direct for the airport incur airport taxes, which happen to be a whopping twelve% of one's rental Price!

The rental car or truck needs to be returned While using the exact same number of fuel, Except in any other case indicated. If not, corporations may charge above gasoline station premiums for lacking gasoline.


You will find a debate more than the automobiles provided by rental corporations: More mature cars and trucks enable the driving force to blend in much more than a shiny, new automobile. Possessing an older model may possibly have the oblique good thing about staying fewer scrutinized by vehicle rental organizations for current nicks and scratches, unlike a more recent car or truck. Nevertheless, a newer vehicle could be additional roadworthy. This debate carries on into the several vehicle can make and types. Generally, Costa Rican firms are able to lease their motor vehicles for your lower rate since their cars are generally three to 5 years aged (vs . two to 3). On the web assessments would advise which the area corporations have no much more issues relating to vehicle good quality than transnational franchises; investigate on community forums, like, appears to point that shoppers often enjoy driving a much less-than-new vehicle from the wilds of Costa Rica. The reasons are a good deal, from street problems to the notion of much less-then-new automobiles blending in far better -- a more moderen car or truck might attract much more undesirable interest.

The possibilities of rental cars and trucks in Costa Rica are primarily restricted to can make and designs that sustain a aggressive resale value, are a typical brand name inside the country, and so are cheap to maintain. Therefore a hire-a-automobile operator's fleet have a tendency never to be as diverse as The usa. Toyota, Nissan, Mitsubishi and Hyundai represent the mainstay makes of most rental fleets.

At times, drivers are billed for intended 'damages' towards the car or truck upon return. Once receiving the car or truck, renters must meticulously look for pre-current flaws and Look at it Along with the vehicle inspection document utilized by the rental vehicle consultant. Some renters propose photographing or videoing the motor vehicle from all angles, in order to avoid any disagreement amongst pre-current and just lately damaged products.


Car rentals in Costa Rica are pricier as compared to other nations. Obligations on autos are significant (around fifty% of their value!), pieces are costlier and unforgiving road situations contribute to larger dress in and tear, making higher routine maintenance expenses.

The rule is you get Everything you buy -- you can find other options than People rental providers mentioned below, but they don't seem to be outlined for a superb explanation. They simply just fail to supply basic customer support and/or a suitable automobile affliction demanded for any (just about) hassle-no cost holiday vacation.

When evaluating rental car fees, it is best to go directly to the Costa Rican Web-site of the rental car business, rather than wanting to use their Global format or an middleman (Expedia, Travelocity, Orbitz, Kayak, et al.). For a similar automobiles and reservation dates, the charges supplied by the respective Global vs. Costa Rican Internet sites for Alamo, Budget, Hertz and Thrifty differed significantly.

To stay away from confusion, print out all correspondence Using the vehicle rental enterprise with whom you may have reserved a vehicle and convey this to your rental office Along with the quote supplied at enough time of reservation.

The next major ten chart ranks the companies from highest priced to cheapest and it consists of the mandatory coverage demand. Within the cases of Alamo and Hertz, the figure consists of their CDW fee mainly because it is among their rental prerequisites. This selling price comparison is based on a week's rental of the Daihatsu Bego, wherever out there (Dollar presents the Suzuki Vitara) from September 14th - 21st, nevertheless in December to look at both equally Green and Significant Time charges. The list speedily demonstrates that the worth variation depends greatly on the company -- for basically a similar support. These charges had been received in June/July 2013.

Rental Auto Companies Rated In keeping with Value


10. Alamo $650.96
nine. Hertz $514.27
eight. Adobe $449
7. Price range $455
six. National $428.01
five. Thrifty $421.05
four. Provider $374.forty three
three. Vamos $370.thirty
two. Dollar $364
1. Wild Rider $350


10. Alamo $650.ninety six
nine. National $597.51
8. Hertz $566.fifty two
seven. Finances $555
6. Greenback $532
5. Thrifty $506.fifty eight
4. Support $494.43
three. Vamos $461.30
2. Adobe $459
1. Wild Rider $395

Alamo ranks number 10 for each seasons, making it the most costly company. Funds, Hertz and Countrywide also level low on the scale for inexpensive rental choices.

Business Summaries


Web page is evident and user friendly, but pricing and even the autos detailed aren't similar to Those people presented by an Business consultant over the phone. Obligatory insurance policy fees are certainly not shown Together with the list of cars and rental expenses, but they are Plainly exhibited on the subsequent web site as a consumer moves to scheduling a reservation. Combined consumer critiques on the web. Email reaction is under 24 hrs, but may not offer all asked for facts.

Toll-free U.S.A and Canada telephone number. No Are living Chat.
ten workplaces nationwide
Required insurance: $19 every day
Further fees: GPS $nine/working day, child seat $5/day


Web-site is evident and simple to operate, but price ranges differ versus prices obtained above the mobile phone. Necessary insurance policies expenditures are certainly not presented with the listing of vehicles and rental rates, but They may be Obviously shown on the subsequent web page as The shopper moves to earning a reservation. Mixed buyer critiques on-line. Email reaction is lower than 24 several hours.

No toll-totally free U.S.A and Canada cell phone number or Dwell chat
14 offices nationwide
Mandatory insurance policy: $eleven.95 day-to-day, but will have to also consider their CDW at $12.ninety five each day
Further costs: GPS $12/day, baby seat $6/day


Web page is essential, but user friendly. Price ranges on the internet differ towards the quotations presented by a representative in excess of the cell phone Illinois to New York Car Transporters and determined by if the Intercontinental or Costa Rican Web site is utilized. Necessary insurance prices are offered combined with the listing of vehicles; however, the opposite expenses will not be outlined. Combined purchaser critiques online. Electronic mail reaction is much more than 24 several hours.

No toll-absolutely free U.S.A and Canada telephone number. No Stay Chat on Costa Rican Web site.
ten workplaces nationwide
Obligatory insurance policy: A part of the shown price tag
Additional costs: GPS $ten.ninety five/day, child seat $twelve/day (the costliest of the highest 10)


Website is clear and user friendly. Prices quoted vary if contacting in the U.S. or in Costa Rica. Obligatory insurance policy costs are not offered with the list of cars and rental charges, but They are really Obviously displayed on the next web site as a shopper moves in the direction of a earning a reservation. Mixed critiques on line, but frequently gets constructive comments. Email inquiries answered within just 24 hrs.

Toll-free of charge U.S.A and Canada cell phone number. No Are living Chat.
three places of work nationwide
Mandatory insurance: $16 every day
Added fees: GPS $nine/day, youngster seat $5/day


Web page is clear and simple to operate. Necessary insurance costs are not presented Other than the listing of autos and rental costs, but They may be Plainly shown on the following webpage as The shopper moves to a booking a reservation. Blended shopper critiques online. E mail response below 24 hours.

Toll-free of charge U.S.A and Canada phone number and Reside Chat (although it is apparently permanently offline)
seven workplaces nationwide
Mandatory insurance policy: $17.43 day-to-day, but their CDW is usually a need
Additional charges: GPS $twelve/day, youngster seat $two/working day


Site is evident and simple to use. Necessary coverage expenditures are not specified along with the list of cars and rental fees, but They may be Obviously displayed on the next site being a consumer moves toward building a reservation. Combined shopper critiques on the internet, but more favourable than destructive. Email response below 24 several hours.

Toll-absolutely free U.S.A and Canada telephone number. Dwell Chat.
22 places of work nationwide
Necessary insurance plan: $25 day by day (the most expensive of the very best ten)
More fees: GPS $12/working day, boy or girl seat $6/working day


Internet site is clear and user welcoming with merely a slight confusion in that an on-line quote is attained by clicking on 'Reserve Now' and never the 'Get yourself a Quotation' choice. The reaction to the mobile phone inquiry was to implement the website. Necessary coverage expenses are provided combined with the list of autos and rental charges to the very low period charges and on the second page of the other quotation site. Remember can be a remarkably recommended profits representative who is described in several on the internet testimonials for your higher standard of his customer service. Typically on the net opinions are beneficial for Support. E-mail response is below 24 hrs, Whilst all information asked for may not be gained.

U.S.A cell phone number, but not toll-totally free. No Live Chat.
five offices nationwide
Mandatory insurance policy: $15 day-to-day
Further charges: GPS $5.99/day, youngster seat $two.99/working day


Costa Rican Variation of the website is unattainable to work with therefore you are asked to sign up to get a consumer title and password. Obligatory insurance policies costs are certainly not supplied combined with the list of cars and rental rates. A shopper must click on "Safety Selections" about the U.S. Site and select the required insurance policy by clicking on it -- implying that it's optional and never a demanded Value. Thrifty have a tendency to get combined testimonials on the net. E mail response is much more than 24 hours.

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