Information to Car Rental Firms in Costa Rica

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

Vehicle rental is usually a scorching subject for vacationers headed to Costa Rica. New study carried out with the Costa Rican Institute of Tourism (ICT) suggests that, after lodging, leasing a car or truck is the most important expenditure, averaging $702 for an eleven-working day family vacation.

The Internet is buzzing with unfavorable evaluations discussing overcharging, bad customer service and mechanical breakdowns. You could have even penned a person you!

A normal midsize (3 - 4 Older people) 4X4 rental runs among $58 and $sixty five everyday with 3rd party coverage and fees could vary about 20 % between motor vehicle rental businesses, so looking through a quick critique will be time perfectly spent as you compute the savings.

And so the dilemma is; which rental enterprise delivers the most beneficial stability of fair selling price, capable customer support and trustworthy cars? I have investigated everything to suit your needs, so Continue reading!

Disclosure: This analysis was conducted in May - July 2013. The next organizations were being picked given that they are classified as the most generally Utilized in Costa Rica. Some are regional corporations; Other people are international franchises of acknowledged brand name names. Comparisons consist of: customer support, pricing as well as the reservation process. The businesses are listed alphabetically and never based on particular or on the net Choices.
Think about this details just before leasing:

Insurance plan

Certainly one of the most significant results in for problems is through the stack of unforeseen costs introduced to the renter as soon as standing for the rental company's counter. Vacationers are typically fatigued after a extensive flight and then are confronted by charges which were not predicted, spelled out or budgeted.

Topping the listing of grievances would be the non-disclosure of expenses associated with the obligatory third-get together insurance policies at time the reservation is manufactured.

As outlined by Costa Rican legislation, just about every driver is needed to carry liability protection to insure versus injuries to third get-togethers. Vehicle rental businesses commonly chorus from disclosing the cost of this coverage in the quoted rental charge to appear extra aggressive. Obligatory third-occasion insurance plan can at times be as much as double the vehicle's rental Charge. The one assure against coverage confusion is to inquire In case your estimate incorporates the 3rd party insurance policy and insist on a written quotation.

Expense of Required Insurance coverage (also called Third Party or SLI)

Assume to pay among $twelve and $15 day by day for this insurance plan, depending on the make and product on the rented car along with the rental automobile agency. This can be a authorized issue within your rental arrangement and is usually not lined by bank cards and cannot be waived. It's a reality of renting a car in Costa Rica.

Collision Hurt Waiver (CDW)

Since the name suggests, this is not coverage, but a waiver, which relieves the renter from any legal responsibility for damage to the rental vehicle after the deductible is paid (ordinarily from $750 to $1,500). Some organizations need renters to purchase their CDW policy; therefore negating any charge card software. For an additional fee, many organizations do give you a zero legal responsibility selection in which the renter will likely be freed from purchasing any damage to the vehicle. Some firms could set strain upon renters to acquire the zero liability coverage; however, it is actually totally optional, Except it truly is within the high-quality print of their rental arrangement.

Charge card insurance coverage courses could address the CDW to get a rental car or truck. Verify with the picked rental motor vehicle business to search out which evidence of insurance coverage is required and afterwards ask for that from your credit card organization previous to arriving. For those who make use of your charge card's CDW plan, anticipate to pay a greater deposit about the car or truck; all-around $one,five hundred to $2000 is popular. The upper deposit makes certain that the charge card holder has more than enough financial reserves to cover damages if required. It is vital to take into consideration that if applying CDW protection supplied by a credit card (in lieu from the rent a car operator), all damages will be billed to the renter's charge card. The bank card organization will then reimburse the card holder for damages.

Extra Coverage

Tires and windshields are not often included in insurance coverage policies, Even though additional insurance policies could possibly be taken out for covering these routinely harmed things. Neither the inside nor the underneath of the auto could possibly be covered. Normally read through the good print.

Typical Method

Your charge card is going to be billed, or perhaps a 'maintain' placed, for your rental car throughout the time from the rental arrangement; i.e. from selecting up the rental until finally you come it. Debit cards are generally not satisfactory.

Extra Fees

Most businesses have surcharges For extra motorists, car seats/boosters, mobile devices, coolers, GPS and/or roof racks. The prices differ from company to organization, but given that these extras are billed at a day by day charge, it is worth checking the full Expense -- extra solutions can incorporate up in a short time! A GPS is all around $8 to $ten each day; even so, some operators may perhaps give discounted units. Be expecting to pay for close to $five day by day for a kid seat and a few dollars each day for all one other 'niceties'. Vamos is notable for offering These types of solutions and, during some promotions, even the GPS rental complimentarily. Alamo, Spending budget, Hertz and Countrywide charge by far the most for these further selections; whereas one other corporations shown, charge additional realistic costs.


Most organizations incorporate compact incremental expenditures, including license plate and environmental costs, into the overall tally. Be cautious of operators who insert these supplemental charges in the compact print of your rental deal. Motor vehicles rented immediate on the airport incur airport taxes, which can be a whopping twelve% within your rental Expense!

The rental automobile ought to be returned Using the identical volume of gasoline, Except if not indicated. If not, businesses may perhaps cost higher than gas station rates for missing fuel.

Motor vehicles

You will find there's discussion about the automobiles provided by rental companies: Older automobiles permit the driving force to blend in in excess of a shiny, new car. Obtaining an older model may possibly provide the indirect advantage of getting a lot less scrutinized by car rental companies for latest nicks and scratches, contrary to a more moderen car. Nonetheless, a newer automobile could possibly be more roadworthy. This discussion carries on into the several automobile will make and products. Usually, Costa Rican companies will be able to lease their motor vehicles for any decreased amount because their cars are typically a few to 5 years old (compared to two to 3). On the web assessments would recommend that the regional companies have no more problems about motor vehicle excellent than transnational franchises; exploration on message boards, for example, would seem to point that prospects frequently value driving a considerably less-than-new motor vehicle in the wilds of Costa Rica. The explanations are a great deal, from road conditions on the notion of considerably less-then-new cars blending in improved -- a more moderen car may perhaps attract much more undesirable focus.

The choices of rental cars in Costa Rica are typically limited to would make and types that sustain a competitive resale benefit, are a common brand in the state, and so are low-cost to maintain. As such a rent-a-car or truck operator's fleet are inclined to not be as varied as the United States. Toyota, Nissan, Mitsubishi and Hyundai constitute the mainstay makes of most rental fleets.

In some cases, drivers are billed for supposed 'damages' on the car or truck upon return. When acquiring the auto, renters should meticulously look for pre-current flaws and Review it While using the motor vehicle inspection document utilized by the rental automobile agent. Some renters advise photographing or videoing the car or truck from all angles, to avoid any disagreement involving pre-existing and recently damaged items.


Automobile rentals in Costa Rica are pricier as compared to other nations. Obligations on motor vehicles are high (approximately fifty% of their value!), parts are costlier and unforgiving road ailments add to higher dress in and tear, building increased maintenance charges.

The rule is you receive Anything you buy -- you'll find other choices than All those rental businesses detailed listed here, but they aren't listed for an excellent motive. They basically fail to supply standard customer service and/or a suitable auto affliction expected for any (practically) trouble-absolutely free holiday.

When comparing rental auto fees, it's best to go on to the Costa Rican Web page of the rental auto organization, as an alternative to wanting to use their international structure or an middleman (Expedia, Travelocity, Orbitz, Kayak, et al.). For the same autos and reservation dates, the fees made available from the respective Intercontinental vs. Costa Rican Internet sites for Alamo, Spending budget, Hertz and Thrifty differed substantially.

To stop confusion, print out all correspondence While using the car rental enterprise with whom you've reserved a car or truck and bring this on the rental Office environment with the estimate specified at the time of reservation.

The subsequent top rated 10 chart ranks the companies from optimum priced to most affordable and it involves the required insurance plan cost. Inside the instances of Alamo and Hertz, the figure incorporates their CDW price because it is among their rental demands. This value comparison is predicated on every week's rental of the Daihatsu Bego, wherever obtainable (Greenback gives the Suzuki Vitara) from September 14th - twenty first, however in December to perspective equally Green and Significant Season premiums. The list promptly demonstrates that the price variation is dependent greatly on the business -- for basically the exact same service. These charges were being obtained in June/July 2013.

Rental Car or truck Companies Ranked In line with Rate


10. Alamo $650.96
9. Hertz $514.27
8. Adobe $449
7. Price range $455
six. Countrywide $428.01
five. Thrifty $421.05
four. Company $374.forty three
three. Vamos $370.thirty
two. Greenback $364
one. Wild Rider $350


ten. Alamo $650.ninety six
nine. Nationwide $597.fifty one
8. Hertz $566.52
7. Funds $555
6. Dollar $532
5. Thrifty $506.58
four. Company $494.forty three
three. Vamos $461.thirty
2. Adobe $459
1. Wild Rider $395

Alamo ranks amount ten for equally seasons, which makes it the costliest corporation. Spending plan, Hertz and Countrywide also level low on the dimensions for inexpensive rental solutions.

Company Summaries


Website is evident and easy to use, but pricing and even the vehicles listed are not similar to All those presented by an Business office representative over the phone. Required coverage expenditures will not be shown with the listing of automobiles and rental charges, but These are Obviously exhibited on the next web page to be a buyer moves in the direction of scheduling a reservation. Mixed shopper testimonials online. E mail response is less than 24 hrs, but may well not supply all asked for info.

Toll-no cost U.S.A and Canada telephone number. No Are living Chat.
10 workplaces nationwide
Obligatory insurance coverage: $19 each day
Extra prices: GPS $9/working day, child seat $5/day


Internet site is evident and simple to use, but charges vary against offers gained above the mobile phone. Obligatory coverage charges will not be offered While using the listing of autos and rental expenses, but they are Plainly exhibited on the following website page as the customer moves to earning a reservation. Mixed purchaser testimonials on line. Electronic mail reaction is less than 24 several hours.

No toll-totally free U.S.A and Canada phone number or Live chat
fourteen offices nationwide
Required insurance policy: $eleven.ninety five daily, but need to also acquire their CDW at $12.95 daily
Extra expenses: GPS $12/working day, little one seat $6/day

Spending budget

Site is essential, but convenient to use. Charges on the net vary into the quotations provided by a agent around the mobile phone and based on if the Worldwide or Costa Rican Web site is employed. Mandatory insurance coverage charges are presented along with the list of autos; having said that, one other rates aren't mentioned. Mixed customer reviews on the internet. E mail response is over 24 several hours.

No toll-absolutely free U.S.A and Canada contact number. No Reside Chat on Costa Rican Web page.
ten offices nationwide
Necessary insurance plan: A part of the listed value
More charges: GPS $10.95/working day, youngster seat $12/day (the costliest of the highest ten)


Site is evident and simple to operate. Prices quoted vary if calling from your U.S. or in Costa Rica. Necessary coverage fees are usually not specified Together with the listing of autos and rental prices, but They are really Plainly displayed on the subsequent web site being a purchaser moves in the direction of a creating a reservation. Combined evaluations on the web, but commonly receives good suggestions. Electronic mail inquiries answered in 24 hours.

Toll-no cost U.S.A and Canada phone number. No Reside Chat.
3 offices nationwide
Necessary coverage: $sixteen everyday
Extra charges: GPS $nine/working day, baby seat $5/working day


Web site is evident and user friendly. Mandatory insurance plan fees aren't supplied Apart from the listing of automobiles and rental prices, but They may be Evidently displayed on the next page as The client moves to a booking a reservation. Combined purchaser critiques on the net. Electronic mail response below 24 several hours.

Toll-totally free U.S.A and Canada cell phone number and Are living Chat (even though it seems to be permanently offline)
7 workplaces nationwide
Obligatory coverage: $17.43 every day, but their CDW can be a prerequisite
Supplemental costs: GPS $12/day, youngster seat $2/day


Site is obvious and user friendly. Obligatory insurance plan prices are not provided together with the listing of autos and rental fees, but They can be Plainly shown on the following web page as being a consumer moves towards making a reservation. Blended purchaser opinions on the net, but far more optimistic than damaging. E-mail reaction a lot less than 24 hrs.

Toll-totally free U.S.A and Canada contact number. Stay Chat.
22 offices nationwide
Required insurance plan: $25 day by day (the costliest of the top 10)
Extra rates: GPS $12/working day, youngster seat $six/day


Site is evident and user welcoming with only a slight confusion in that an on-line estimate is attained by clicking on 'Reserve Now' and not the 'Have a Quote' selection. The reaction to some cellular phone inquiry was to utilize the web site. Mandatory insurance policies costs are presented together with the listing of automobiles and rental prices for the minimal year charges and on the next page of the opposite quotation page. Keep in mind can be a very recommended revenue representative that is outlined in many on line testimonials for the significant standard of his customer care. Typically online assessments are optimistic for Assistance. E mail reaction is less than 24 hours, Even though all info requested might not be obtained.

U.S.A contact number, but not toll-free. No Stay Chat.
five offices nationwide
Mandatory insurance coverage: $fifteen everyday
More prices: GPS $five.99/working day, kid seat $two.ninety nine/working day


Costa Rican Variation of the web site is impossible to work with and you are asked to sign-up for your person title and password. Mandatory insurance plan expenses are certainly not provided combined with the list of motor vehicles and rental fees. A customer must click Car Rental Dar es salaam on "Protection Choices" over the U.S. Internet site and select the obligatory insurance plan by clicking on it -- implying that it's optional and never a required Value. Thrifty are inclined to receive blended critiques on line. E-mail response is over 24 several hours.

Toll-totally free U.S.A and Canada telephone number. No Dwell Chat.
4 offices nationwide
Necessary insurance plan: $19.99 day-to-day
Supplemental rates: GPS $ten/working day, kid seat $five/working day


Site is evident and easy to use. Obligatory insurance coverage costs are not specified together facet the list of automobiles and rental costs, but are Plainly displayed on the subsequent site as The client moves toward reserving a reservation. Anibal, a representative, is often pointed out in on the internet evaluations for his large degree of customer care techniques. Standard Supervisor, George Schwarzenbach is thought on Vacation Advisor for his upfront and honest responses to customers' posts.

Recently, Vamos has been given incredibly favourable opinions on the web. E mail response is a lot less than 24 hrs. Stay Chat has fast response time for you to inquiries.

Toll-cost-free U.S.A and Canada cell phone number. Stay Chat.
three workplaces nationwide
Required insurance coverage: $11.95 every day
Added rates: GPS $eight/day, little one seat no cost

Wild Rider

Website is evident and user friendly. Required insurance policy expenditures are given beside the list of cars. Wild Rider is the only auto rental firm in Costa Rica without any seen bad testimonials on line. Owner, Thorsten, is usually praised for his performance and customer care, despite the really minimal means the organization has at hand. Email messages get incredibly prompt and detailed responses in under 12 hrs.

No toll-absolutely free contact number or Live Chat
1 Workplace -- no Liberia airport Business office
Obligatory insurance plan: bundled
Additional charges: GPS $eight/working day, boy or girl seat $five/day

Comparison Overview

Customer support

Vamos and Wild Rider react swiftly and effectively to e-mail or live chat inquiries. Adobe, Alamo, Greenback, Hertz, Countrywide, and Service respond to electronic mail inquiries in fewer than 24 several hours, but Adobe and Service did not provide all the data requested (perhaps a language barrier). Price range provides a absolutely free cell phone provider, nevertheless it appears to generally be constantly hectic. Hertz's live chat seems for being continuously offline. In the previous year, prospects who posted to on the web evaluation web pages expressed a specific gratification Along with the customer service supplied by Services, Vamos and Wild Rider.


Adobe, Alamo and Spending plan have distinct rental price ranges posted on their Internet websites than Individuals quoted around the cellphone. Phone prices have been lessen than that quoted on the website while in the conditions of Adobe and Alamo, but but better in the situation of Spending budget. Adobe also offers unique vehicle versions in excess of the cellular phone as compared with their Web-site. International automobile rental companies with equally a Costa Rican and Global Web-site appear to possess pricing distinctions amongst the two internet sites.

Finances and Wild Rider involve the required coverage of their rental price ranges, but Spending plan states that 'other charges' which will be introduced for the counter from the smaller print on their Site. Rental costs for vehicle seating needed to be confirmed within the telephone as they are not mentioned to the Funds Site.

All other businesses with the exception of Thrifty (a U.S. Web-site), Obviously display the required insurance policies Price with the quotation supplied. Thrifty's Costa Rican Site is solely unusable.


Provider, Vamos and Wild Rider regularly present the most effective rates for equally Green and Substantial seasons, Even though Dollar has amongst the lowest Inexperienced time prices readily available, whilst Adobe has a cheaper Superior season rate. Vamos present the very best "all inclusive" costs, on condition that most choices are presented without spending a dime.

Adobe, Dollar, Services, Thrifty and Wild Rider continue to be aggressive with their pricing of things for instance child seats. Alamo, Hertz and National are the costliest organizations to hire from as well as their more possibility costs may also be more expensive.

"So, what's your rental advice?"

Overall, the Costa Rican businesses seem to trump the multi-nationals with much better pricing, services and clarity.
Services offers a frequently superior-volume of customer care and rather aggressive pricing at equally Worldwide airports.
Vamos can provide efficient scheduling and ongoing large-degree of customer service with aggressive pricing, and also free of charge further possibilities at the two SJO and LIR airports.
Wild Rider is extremely highly rated for just a rental with obvious and cost-effective pricing and excellent customer care, but They may be only in San Jose.

"Now you're all set to ebook your rental vehicle just after viewing how the Competitors compares. Superior luck and satisfied travels!"

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