Tutorial to Motor vehicle Rental Businesses in Costa Rica

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

Motor vehicle rental is really a hot subject matter for vacationers headed to Costa Rica. New exploration done via the Costa Rican Institute of Tourism (ICT) indicates that, immediately after lodging, renting a car is the most important price, averaging $702 for an eleven-working day family vacation.

The web is buzzing with damaging assessments discussing overcharging, weak customer support and mechanical breakdowns. You could have even prepared one by yourself!

A standard midsize (three - four Grown ups) 4X4 rental runs between $58 and $sixty five daily with 3rd party insurance plan and rates can differ up to 20 percent between motor vehicle rental firms, so examining A fast critique will likely be time perfectly invested when you finally work out the personal savings.

Therefore the query is; which rental corporation presents the most beneficial equilibrium of fair rate, able customer support and reputable automobiles? I have researched everything for yourself, so Continue reading!

Disclosure: This investigate was conducted in Could - July 2013. The next providers have been chosen mainly because they will be the most widely Employed in Costa Rica. Some are community corporations; others are Intercontinental franchises of identified manufacturer names. Comparisons consist of: customer service, pricing as well as the reservation process. The companies are mentioned alphabetically instead of determined by particular or on the internet Choices.
Consider this information in advance of leasing:

Insurance policy

Considered one of the greatest triggers for problems is with the stack of unexpected costs offered to the renter at the time standing on the rental company's counter. Vacationers are generally drained following a extensive flight and after that are confronted by prices that were not predicted, defined or budgeted.

Topping the listing of grievances will be the non-disclosure of fees linked to the required 3rd-bash insurance policies at enough time the reservation is manufactured.

According to Costa Rican legislation, every single driver is necessary to carry legal responsibility protection to insure from injuries to third parties. Motor vehicle rental organizations usually chorus from disclosing the cost of this plan within the quoted rental amount to look far more aggressive. Required third-social gathering insurance policies can from time to time be around double the vehicle's rental Charge. The only assure versus insurance coverage confusion will be to inquire In case your estimate involves the 3rd party insurance coverage and insist with a composed quotation.

Cost of Mandatory Insurance plan (also referred to as 3rd party or SLI)

Assume to pay between $12 and $15 each day for this coverage, depending on the make and design of the rented car or truck plus the rental automobile agency. This is the legal ailment of your respective rental agreement and is usually not lined by charge cards and cannot be waived. It is a reality of renting a vehicle in Costa Rica.

Collision Hurt Waiver (CDW)

As being the name suggests, this isn't insurance, but a waiver, which relieves the renter from any legal responsibility for damage to the rental auto once the deductible is paid out (usually from $750 to $1,500). Some agencies have to have renters to get their CDW policy; therefore negating any charge card method. For an additional cost, several businesses do give you a zero liability alternative in which the renter are going to be freed from purchasing any harm to the vehicle. Some organizations may put stress upon renters to acquire the zero liability coverage; nonetheless, it is solely optional, Except it is in the fantastic print in their rental settlement.

Bank card coverage programs might deal with the CDW for a rental auto. Verify with all your preferred rental vehicle enterprise to search out which evidence of insurance coverage is necessary and afterwards request that from your charge card enterprise previous to arriving. For those who use your bank card's CDW policy, count on to pay for a greater deposit around the auto; all over $1,500 to $2000 is widespread. The higher deposit ensures that the charge card holder has enough economical reserves to include damages if needed. It's important to take into account that if applying CDW protection supplied by a bank card (in lieu from the hire an auto operator), all damages will be billed into the renter's bank card. The credit card business will then reimburse the card holder for damages.

Much more Coverage

Tires and windshields are hardly ever A part of insurance coverage insurance policies, Even though further insurance policies may very well be taken out for masking these regularly ruined things. Neither the inside nor the underneath on the car may be included. Usually read the wonderful print.

Regular Process

Your charge card will probably be charged, or maybe a 'maintain' placed, for that rental car throughout the time on the rental agreement; i.e. from picking up the rental right until you come back it. Debit cards are commonly not suitable.

Supplemental Charges

Most organizations have surcharges for additional motorists, car seats/boosters, cell phones, coolers, GPS and/or roof racks. The prices vary from organization to firm, but considering that these extras are billed in a day-to-day level, it truly is really worth examining the whole Expense -- extra solutions can increase up very quickly! A GPS is all-around $8 to $10 per day; nevertheless, some operators may perhaps offer you discounted units. Assume to pay about $five every day for a child seat and a few dollars a day for all the other 'niceties'. Vamos is noteworthy for supplying These types of solutions and, during some promotions, even the GPS rental complimentarily. Alamo, Finances, Hertz and Countrywide cost one of the most for this kind of more alternatives; whereas the other firms mentioned, demand far more fair costs.


Most companies add tiny incremental fees, like license plate and environmental costs, into the whole tally. Be cautious of operators who insert these further expenses in the modest print in the rental contract. Cars rented immediate for the airport incur airport taxes, which might be a whopping 12% of your respective rental Value!

The rental automobile really should be returned Together with the similar amount of gas, Unless of course if not indicated. Otherwise, providers may well demand previously mentioned gas station costs for missing gasoline.


You will find there's debate over the cars provided by rental organizations: More mature cars allow the driving force to blend in a lot more than a shiny, new auto. Having an older model may possibly provide the indirect advantage of getting considerably less scrutinized by vehicle rental agencies for modern nicks and scratches, not like a more recent auto. On the other hand, a more moderen vehicle may very well be far more roadworthy. This debate carries on into the several car will make and models. Typically, Costa Rican companies have the ability to rent their autos to get a decrease rate since their cars are generally three to 5 years outdated (compared to two to 3). On the internet reviews would counsel which the regional firms don't have any more issues about car or truck high quality than transnational franchises; exploration on community forums, such as TripAdvisor.com, appears to be to point that prospects commonly take pleasure in driving a considerably less-than-new auto with the wilds of Costa Rica. The reasons are lots, from highway conditions on the notion of fewer-then-new motor vehicles blending in superior -- a more recent auto might draw a lot more undesirable consideration.

The selections of rental cars and trucks in Costa Rica are mostly limited to can make and styles that manage a aggressive resale price, are a common model during the country, and therefore are affordable to keep up. Therefore a rent-a-motor vehicle operator's fleet tend not to be as various as America. Toyota, Nissan, Mitsubishi and Hyundai represent the mainstay manufacturers of most rental fleets.

In some cases, motorists are billed for meant 'damages' into the motor vehicle upon return. After obtaining the car or truck, renters should meticulously check for pre-current Illinois to New York Car Transporters flaws and Review it Using the car inspection document employed by the rental auto representative. Some renters suggest photographing or videoing the motor vehicle from all angles, to prevent any disagreement amongst pre-existing and recently harmed objects.


Car rentals in Costa Rica are pricier when compared to other nations around the world. Responsibilities on automobiles are large (approximately 50% in their benefit!), components are costlier and unforgiving road problems add to larger don and tear, generating better maintenance expenses.

The rule is you will get what you pay for -- you'll find other choices than All those rental organizations mentioned listed here, but they aren't outlined for an excellent purpose. They simply fall short to supply primary customer care and/or an acceptable auto affliction expected for the (nearly) difficulty-free vacation.

When comparing rental motor vehicle expenses, it's best to go straight to the Costa Rican Web page in the rental motor vehicle company, in lieu of wanting to use their international structure or an intermediary (Expedia, Travelocity, Orbitz, Kayak, et al.). For a similar vehicles and reservation dates, the premiums made available from the respective Worldwide vs. Costa Rican websites for Alamo, Budget, Hertz and Thrifty differed significantly.

To prevent confusion, print out all correspondence With all the motor vehicle rental corporation with whom you have reserved a motor vehicle and bring this towards the rental Business Together with the quote offered at time of reservation.

The following prime 10 chart ranks the companies from highest priced to cheapest and it consists of the mandatory insurance cost. From the instances of Alamo and Hertz, the figure includes their CDW cost since it is among their rental needs. This rate comparison is predicated on weekly's rental of a Daihatsu Bego, wherever readily available (Greenback offers the Suzuki Vitara) from September 14th - twenty first, nonetheless in December to check out both of those Environmentally friendly and High Year rates. The checklist immediately demonstrates that the price variation depends drastically on the corporate -- for generally precisely the same provider. These charges have been obtained in June/July 2013.

Rental Car Businesses Rated In keeping with Selling price


ten. Alamo $650.ninety six
9. Hertz $514.27
8. Adobe $449
seven. Finances $455
six. Countrywide $428.01
5. Thrifty $421.05
4. Services $374.forty three
3. Vamos $370.thirty
two. Greenback $364
1. Wild Rider $350


10. Alamo $650.96
nine. Countrywide $597.51
8. Hertz $566.52
7. Budget $555
six. Dollar $532
5. Thrifty $506.58
4. Assistance $494.forty three
3. Vamos $461.thirty
2. Adobe $459
one. Wild Rider $395

Alamo ranks selection ten for the two seasons, making it the most costly firm. Finances, Hertz and National also charge minimal on the scale for inexpensive rental solutions.

Company Summaries


Site is evident and user friendly, but pricing and in many cases the vehicles outlined usually are not similar to Individuals given by an Business agent above the cellphone. Mandatory insurance coverage charges are certainly not demonstrated With all the listing of cars and rental rates, but These are Evidently shown on the subsequent web page for a shopper moves in direction of reserving a reservation. Mixed consumer critiques on the net. E-mail reaction is a lot less than 24 hrs, but may not offer all requested information and facts.

Toll-no cost U.S.A and Canada cell phone number. No Live Chat.
10 places of work nationwide
Mandatory insurance policy: $19 everyday
More charges: GPS $nine/working day, baby seat $five/working day


Web page is clear and simple to operate, but charges differ towards quotations acquired over the cell phone. Mandatory insurance plan charges usually are not presented With all the listing of autos and rental expenses, but They can be clearly displayed on the next web site as The client moves in direction of producing a reservation. Blended client assessments on-line. E mail reaction is under 24 several hours.

No toll-absolutely free U.S.A and Canada cell phone number or Reside chat
fourteen offices nationwide
Necessary insurance: $11.95 day by day, but ought to also just take their CDW at $twelve.ninety five everyday
Further charges: GPS $12/day, kid seat $6/day


Site is primary, but convenient to use. Charges on-line vary for the quotations specified by a agent in excess of the phone and based on if the Global or Costa Rican Web-site is applied. Obligatory insurance policies costs are offered combined with the listing of automobiles; having said that, the opposite prices usually are not outlined. Blended buyer critiques on the web. E-mail response is in excess of 24 hrs.

No toll-free of charge U.S.A and Canada telephone number. No Reside Chat on Costa Rican Web page.
10 offices nationwide
Necessary coverage: A part of the stated price tag
Supplemental prices: GPS $ten.95/day, little one seat $twelve/working day (the costliest of the very best ten)


Website is obvious and easy to use. Charges quoted vary if contacting in the U.S. or in Costa Rica. Necessary insurance policy fees are not specified with the list of motor vehicles and rental charges, but they are Obviously exhibited on the subsequent web page for a customer moves to a producing a reservation. Mixed assessments on the web, but usually gets good feedback. Electronic mail inquiries answered within 24 hours.

Toll-cost-free U.S.A and Canada telephone number. No Are living Chat.
3 places of work nationwide
Obligatory coverage: $sixteen everyday
Extra costs: GPS $9/working day, little one seat $5/day


Web page is clear and convenient to use. Mandatory insurance policy prices are certainly not specified Other than the listing of automobiles and rental rates, but They may be Evidently displayed on the next page as The client moves to a booking a reservation. Combined consumer opinions on the internet. E-mail response a lot less than 24 hrs.

Toll-totally free U.S.A and Canada contact number and Live Chat (although it seems to be completely offline)
seven offices nationwide
Necessary insurance plan: $17.43 day-to-day, but their CDW can be a need
Additional rates: GPS $twelve/working day, baby seat $two/working day


Web-site is evident and convenient to use. Mandatory insurance expenditures will not be given along with the listing of autos and rental prices, but These are clearly shown on the next webpage like a shopper moves in direction of generating a reservation. Blended purchaser reviews on the internet, but additional optimistic than detrimental. Email response below 24 hours.

Toll-totally free U.S.A and Canada telephone number. Stay Chat.
22 offices nationwide
Obligatory coverage: $twenty five everyday (the most expensive of the top ten)
Extra costs: GPS $twelve/day, boy or girl seat $six/working day


Internet site is evident and person pleasant with simply a slight confusion in that a web based quotation is received by clicking on 'Reserve Now' and never the 'Receive a Estimate' option. The response to some cell phone inquiry was to use the website. Mandatory insurance policy fees are presented combined with the listing of automobiles and rental fees to the low year prices and on the next website page of one other quotation website page. Recall can be a hugely proposed gross sales agent who's described in many on the internet reviews with the superior degree of his customer service. Generally on-line opinions are beneficial for Provider. E mail reaction is fewer than 24 hrs, Though all details requested may not be obtained.

U.S.A telephone number, although not toll-totally free. No Dwell Chat.
five offices nationwide
Required coverage: $15 everyday
Extra rates: GPS $five.ninety nine/working day, kid seat $two.99/working day


Costa Rican version of the web site is extremely hard to use and also you are questioned to sign up for a person title and password. Necessary insurance coverage charges aren't specified combined with the listing of automobiles and rental rates. A purchaser has to click "Protection Selections" on the U.S. Internet site and select the necessary insurance policy by clicking on it -- implying that it's optional rather than a needed Expense. Thrifty are inclined to acquire mixed reviews on the web. E mail response is a lot more than 24 hrs.

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