Guide to Auto Rental Firms in Costa Rica 2015

Tutorial to Automobile Rental Organizations in Costa Rica

Price Comparisons for 2015

Car rental in Costa Rica is an opportunity to take a look at the distant beach locations and quiet corners of this breathtakingly gorgeous state. Vacation with no restrictions established by general public transportation timetables and with freedom over group tours. For that unprepared traveler; on the other hand, car or truck rental expenditures and expert services is usually a rude shock along with a blow to that holiday funds.

Renting a auto on your holiday will most likely be the most costly section of the spending budget, so comprehending the conditions and handling anticipations is essential. The information below is not meant to get an exhaustive manual, but it really must established you on the path toward an informed selection for your automobile rental demands in Costa Rica.

Why is car rental so expensive?

Readers from beyond Costa Rica in many cases are stunned by the expense of car or truck rental. Although lodge rooms, cafe costs and excursions are decrease than the prices paid at your house, it could appear Weird that motor vehicle rental really should be far more high priced.

There's two uncomplicated explanations for this substantial cost:

All cars in Costa Rica are imported along with a tax is imposed. Due to this significant taxation, the expense of purchasing a auto is greater than It might be in other industrialized nations. Usually there are some vehicle rental operators who lease more mature autos to be able to cut down their expenses.

The price of obligatory insurance plan (see below).
Things that Impact Automobile Rental Fees

• Required Insurance policy

3rd-bash insurance policy, which can be generally known as TPI, PDW (Partial Hurt Waiver), SLI (Supplementary Liability Insurance policies) and also other acronyms, can be a lawful requirement. Automobile rental operators should charge The client for this protection which may or may not be apparent within the quotation been given by the customer.

The insurance coverage by itself isn't the problem. In any case, a number of other nations have to have motor vehicle renters to pay a compulsory insurance policies; together with: New Zealand, Italy and Mexico, in addition to a variety of the U.S. states, like California. The difficulty that causes competition in Costa Rica is this Charge just isn't constantly displayed clearly on the vehicle rental operator's Internet site or in a very quote. Buyers then find the extra Price tag in their rental upon arrival.

The price of mandatory insurance policy differs from business to business and will rely on the vehicle class that is certainly getting rented at the same time. The price for a small sedan could possibly be as minimal as $12 daily, whereas a quality 4x4 motor vehicle might be just as much as $twenty five for insurance coverage on a daily basis. This is often As well as the rental cost.

Credit cards in North The us normally offer automobile insurance policies as an additional perk towards the charge card holder and so North Americans particularly, are unused to being forced to purchase insurance coverage on top of rental expenditures. Nonetheless, no bank card will cover this insurance policies requirement.

Do question if the provided quotation consists of third-social gathering insurance policies and check the prices on the car rental operator's Web page.

• Collision Harm Waiver

It's not insurance coverage, but a waiver. The basic stage will have a deductible that varies, but may be just as much as $one,500. For a better day-to-day rate, a zero deductible CDW can be bought To alleviate the renter of any financial duty in case of damage to, or theft thereof, the car or truck.

Numerous renters will acquire their CDW by way of their credit card. Nonetheless, it is value noting that the responsibility for producing any insurance policies assert is on the customer rather than Along with the auto rental operator. Some renters may perhaps decide on to buy more in-dwelling coverage in order to avoid having this responsibility.

There'll be motor vehicle rental companies which really hard offer their own protection ideas via guaranteeing assurance, but in the long run, Here is the renter's choice. It can be really worth remembering that auto rental business personnel, like in other parts of the planet, will at times generate commission for insurance policies sales.

If The shopper's credit card isn't going to supply CDW, The shopper will probably be needed to acquire this in-residence coverage.

Automobile rental operators call for prepared evidence that The shopper's charge card provides CDW. Question the car rental operator for the precise specifics of the things they call for As well as in what form. Some might settle for a forwarded electronic mail within the bank card corporation, but Other people may perhaps ask for a printed copy to be offered at the time of rental.

• Deposit

The deposit total necessary will depend upon regardless of whether the customer chooses to use the car or truck rental operator's in-residence CDW or usually takes this protection via a bank card. Anticipate to pay a A great deal greater deposit In case the in-house CDW is declined. The deposit may also rely on car model rented. This sum, which can be held within the renter's credit card right up until the top in the rental time period, can be from $750 up to approximately $3,five hundred. The deposit ought to acquire not more than five days for being refunded on the bank card to the auto's return. Some car rental agencies will acknowledge debit playing cards for deposit hold, but the return time for this amount of money may take weeks.

Do make sure that the deposit is calculated during the holiday funds as an unexpected maintain of a few thousand bucks over a credit card could otherwise seriously Slice into family vacation shelling out.

• Airport Taxes

Buyers that rent from a auto rental operator's counter in an airport building are obliged to pay for the airport tax.

Those people auto rental operators which has a counter at San Jose's Juan Santamaria Worldwide Airport (SJO) are: Alamo/Nationwide, Spending budget, Greenback, Overall economy and Hertz. These companies will incorporate an additional 12% tax towards the rental Value.

People car or truck rental operators having a counter at Daniel Oduber Quiros Intercontinental Airport (LIR) are: Avis, Spending budget and Economic system. These organizations will insert an extra 3% tax for the rental Price tag.

In order to avoid this tax, acquire an airport shuttle Together with the car or truck rental operator to an office Situated beyond the airport grounds.

• Surcharges and various Taxes

There are a number of other compulsory charges that auto rental operators may possibly incorporate in the rental Price tag, Screen on-monitor or present from the quote, or depart undisclosed until finally The client's arrival. These likely hidden charges might appear to be little when seen independently, but these are usually day-to-day fees, so they can increase up speedy!

These may possibly contain:

• License Plate Fee: Under $2 each day, but differs from corporation to business.

• Environmental Tax: A lot less than $one each day.

• Sales Tax: All profits transactions in Costa Rica are subjected to some 12% government-imposed profits tax.

• Vehicle Washing Charge: Deliver again an exceptionally soiled car and also the cleansing payment could be extra on to the final payment. One car or truck rental operator costs $20 for this extra support.

• Fuel Charges: Should the gas tank isn't loaded to a similar degree as it was At the beginning of your rental time period, then the vehicle rental firm will charge (usually to the closest eighth of the tank). This charge is dictated by the vehicle rental operator and It's not matter on the governmentally established gas cost that might be located at any gasoline station.

The place Must I Reserve the Motor vehicle?

A standard confusion for travelers booking a rental automobile may be the discrepancy in between Global Internet websites for motor vehicle rental operators along with the Costa Rican Web page for the same manufacturer. Often the international Sites are unaware of, or fail to reveal, insurances, taxes and surcharges that may be charged within the counter. This may be resulting from The point that lots of recognized car rental operator brand names in Costa Rica are certainly not a international department with the branded vehicle rental operator, but alternatively can be a franchise Procedure. This variable is usually worth contemplating regarding anticipations concerning customer service and other finer details. The Costa Rican franchise Workplace could have their own personal variety of working, apart from the exact same guidelines and tips that The client could have knowledgeable in other portions of the globe.

Understandably then, an online reservation is most effective made with the community website and not the Intercontinental web site, where ever feasible. Quite a few companies do not have a local Internet site. In cases like this, do Look at the details with a local staff members member through the phone and request created confirmation of your quotation. Expertise with live chat on the Intercontinental Sites implies that Whilst workers is trained on terms and conditions governing the principle Business office (usually U.S.A.); they fully grasp small on the procedures that should be adhered to in Costa Rica.

Automobile Rental Comparisons

In May well/June of 2013, I in comparison the pricing and services of several automobile rental operators in Costa Rica and posted the conclusions. To my surprise, the report remains currently being plagiarized often throughout the Internet which indicates that it's nonetheless valuable and so an update was necessary. The prices for this comparison have been attained in December 2014 and January 2015.

The ICT (Costa Rican Institute of Tourism) states that there are 30 registered vehicle rental operators with 8 Many others pending approval. Having said that, there are several a lot more companies that rent cars and trucks to readers. The vehicle rental operators selected are These which happen to be most often used by travelers:




Price range


Overall economy










Wild Rider

Exclusion of Companies from Ultimate Comparison

Funds, Financial state, Payless, and Toyota had been contacted, but these four companies did not provide correct on-line costs. Financial state and Spending budget's Web-sites have a single price, whatever the dates entered and consumers need to order a vehicle in order for them to honor the price revealed. Toyota's website was however only Doing work up until eventually March. Over and above that, the pricing exhibited $0 for the remainder from the yr. Payless has this disclaimer on their Web-site: "Taxes and surcharges are certainly not in our Handle and may modify unexpectedly."

Sending specific inquiries for every period of time resulted in inconsistent final results: Price range supplied exactly the same selling price for all three investigated time intervals when acquiring an email ask for, which is highly unlikely; Financial system responded with unique estimates for a similar dates from distinctive users of staff; and Toyota's emailed offers for time periods earlier March's price ranges indicated on the web didn't correspond to the March rates quoted (perhaps the emailed rates contained taxes which were not shown on-line). Payless can provide prices by way of e mail and telephone, but were not in step with pricing for different seasons.

Avis is barely excluded from the price comparison, as they do not have an intermediate SUV category within their fleet.

Comparison Information

Auto rental fee, all taxes and surcharges, and third-party insurance coverage expenditures are (supposedly) calculated and ranked accordingly down below based on the week's rental of the BeGo or related intermediate 4x4 from the San Jose/Alajuela place (not through the airport).

Rates are calculated on the weekly foundation and divided by 7 to deliver a day-to-day Expense which can be additional conveniently similar. As not all pricing is totally transparent, the prices are as exact as you can determined by the information furnished in the motor vehicle rental operators' Internet sites, mobile phone phone calls, and/or email messages. Airport taxes usually are not A part of these figures.

Shoulder Period (Quotation for July thirteen by means of twenty)

1. USave $43.37

2. Service $fifty four.92

three. Fox $55.64

4. Hertz $fifty eight.17

5. Adobe $sixty.thirteen

6. Alamo $sixty.ninety nine

7. Wild Rider $sixty two.86

8. Dollar $63.35

nine. Vamos $64.fifteen

ten. National $sixty seven.04

eleven. Thrifty $74.39

Minimal Year (Quotation for May possibly 13 by way of twenty)

one. National $37.04

2. USave $forty three.37

three. Dollar $forty six.forty nine

4. Adobe $fifty two.57

5. Vamos $53.15

6. Service $53.49

7. Hertz $fifty four.59

8. Fox $55.sixty four

9. Wild Rider $fifty five.seventy one

10. Alamo $sixty.99

eleven. Thrifty $seventy four.39

Higher Year (Quotation for March 13 by way of 20)

one. Dollar $fifty five.ninety two

2. USave $56.22

three. Hertz $56.37

4. Fox $fifty nine.36

5. Thrifty $64.sixty nine

six. Support $66.sixty three

seven. Vamos $67.14

8. Alamo $69.fifty six

nine. Wild Rider $70.00

ten. Adobe $70.sixty three

11. Countrywide $73.ninety

Summary of Comparison

Apparently, there is not just one obvious high priced or inexpensive corporation from those in contrast. The variation in ranking among seasons is marked and shoppers ought to contemplate their trip dates when choosing the vehicle rental operator. One example is, Thrifty appears because the costliest for equally low and shoulder period, but are only in fourth place inside the rankings for High Season.

Additionally it is sizeable that pricing will not be in step with position with auto rental operators in other car classes. For instance, Vamos' pricing is The most cost effective to get a top quality vehicle within the shoulder year; Even though they don't seem to be very first in any rankings for that intermediate class and Adobe which seems aggressive are the costliest for this period of time and car or truck classification.

Information on Car or truck Rental Operators

Adobe Hire-A-Auto is an area car or truck rental operator that has eleven places of work across the country. The web site is simple and easy to use without any apparent concealed charges. The necessary insurance cost is shown as Component of the online quote. The corporation receives combined critiques on the internet, but additional good than unfavorable feedback are made. E-mails get a reply inside 24 hrs, but might not absolutely answer the questions questioned.

Toll-Cost-free Phone Number: one-855-861-1250

Baby Seat: $three/day

Booster: $1/day

Further Driver: $three/working day

GPS Process: $9/day

Alamo will work in partnership with Nationwide and it has 13 workplaces across the country. As with several major names, Alamo Costa Rica can be a franchise and not a department of Alamo itself. Third-bash insurance and primary CDW are included in the online quotation, although the CDW may be refused upon presentation of proof of coverage by means of The shopper's credit card. This makes the pricing feel high on 1st look, specially when, as opposed to other motor vehicle rental operators, Alamo contains airport taxes inside their online quotation and so their pricing is sincere, but appears A lot bigger than other providers Subsequently. Pricing is different to the Intercontinental website of the corporate, although the stipulations do point out the charges that should be compensated on arrival. This pricing discrepancy may be the lead reason for damaging assessments for this company. E-mails are responded to within 24 hrs.

Toll-Free Cell phone number: 1-855-533-1196

Kid Seat: $three/day

Extra Driver: $six/day

GPS System: $twelve/working day

Avis' Web page obliges just one to choose an automobile protection option, but it surely fails to Show a closing quotation whole or value for the protection selected on the net right until an emailed quotation is sent. Protection expenditures may be acquired by clicking on the option 'Protections Discussed' at The underside with the screen.

No Toll-Free of charge Phone Number

Youngster Seat: $five/working day

Further Driver: $five/day

GPS Technique: $nine.99/day

Finances has an internet site that may be convenient to use, even so the pricing given is as precisely the same for all seasons, suggesting that it is not appropriate. Electronic mail responses ended up Generally rapid, but some were still left unanswered. Emailed rates showed the identical pricing for all seasons as the website did. Necessary insurance coverage is just not provided on the web quote, nevertheless the tiny print states this is payable with the counter. Spending plan gets combined on line reviews.

No Toll-Free of charge Cell phone number, but Live Chat is offered

Kid Seat: $five/working day

More Driver: $5/day

GPS System: $fourteen.ninety nine/working day

Dollar seems to possess pretty aggressive fees, but airport taxes will likely be utilized In case the vehicle is remaining gathered through the airport's counters. Just one may possibly obtain this of their conditions and terms, although not of their on the net prices. Motor vehicle washing charge is enforced for incredibly dirty cars. You will discover four workplaces in Liberia and San Jose. E-mail reaction is inside of 24 hours. Greenback gets blended opinions from on line travel message boards.

Toll-Absolutely free Contact number: one-877-767-8651

Child Seat: $5/working day

Extra Driver: $five/day

GPS Technique: $9/day

Economy has twelve offices across the country. They have got no Costa Rican website. Scroll down on their web page to seek out and click on insurance plan prices. Airport taxes are not A part of the quotation. Email messages get either a quick reaction or no response whatsoever. Economic climate has the worst on the internet name of any massive title auto rental operator in Costa Rica.

Toll-Free of charge Contact number: one-877-326-7368

Child Seat: $ten/day

More Driver: $10/working day

GPS System: $15/working day

Fox is effective in partnership with USave. Offices can be found at the two international airports. E-mails get a reaction in 24 hrs. On the internet opinions are generally lousy.

Toll-No cost Phone Number: 1-800-225-4369

Kid Seat: $5/day

More Driver: $10/working day (Until husband or wife)

GPS Program: $9.99/day

Hertz has 6 places of work within the country. Reservations could possibly be produced through a Costa Rican Web site. Preliminary on line estimate does not involve sales taxes, but it does involve the CDW -- Despite the fact that CDW can be waived with evidence of credit card protection. Emails get a reaction in 24 several hours. Mediocre critiques on journey discussion boards.

No Toll-Free of charge Telephone number

Baby Seat: $5/day

Added Driver: $thirteen/day

GPS Technique: $12/working day

Nationwide functions in partnership with Alamo and has 30 places of work in Procedure across the country. The corporation provides a Central American Web-site, plus the Global website, which Evidently demonstrates the breakdown of pricing. CDW is A part of the online estimate, but it could be unchecked to acquire a quotation with just the mandatory insurance policy. Notice that the airport tax is A part of the web estimate also. Instant responses to thoughts are available by Stay Chat on their Web site. Assessments are mixed, but you'll find far more good than destructive.

Free Phone Call Possibility By means of Web-site

Boy or girl Seat: $six/day

Booster: $six/working day

Added Driver: $5/working day

GPS System: $12/working day

Payless is a component from the international car rental organization and it has no Costa Rican Web page. On-line estimates will not incorporate third-bash coverage, Whilst the data on This can be identified by looking at the guidelines to the San Jose spot. E-mails get a response in a lot less than 24 hours, but tend to refer again to the web site, as an alternative to new data. Testimonials are more negative than positive.

Toll-Free of charge Telephone number: 1-800-PAYLESS

Youngster Seat: $five/day

Booster: $5/working day

Further Driver: $10/working day

GPS Technique: $9.95/working day

Support is a neighborhood firm with five places of work during the country. On an usually distinct Web site, click on 'Reserve Now' and not 'Receive a Estimate' for a web-based price tag Verify. Rember will be the personnel member talked about in reviews on journey Discussion board for his useful customer care and the corporation normally gets superior testimonials. E-mails are answered in 24 hrs and Typically offer requested facts.

U.S. Phone Number: one-305-897-3718

Boy or girl Seat: $three.50/day

Further Driver: $three/day

GPS Procedure: $seven.50/working day

Thrifty doesn't have an area Web page, Consequently details is in the Worldwide Site. Protection options or information about third-get together coverage is just not supplied on the reservation webpage until a single clicks 'Protection Information'. E-mail receive a reaction within 24 several hours, but might not answer site-distinct thoughts. Assessments are routinely adverse as a consequence of pricing complaints.

Toll-Totally free Cell phone number: one-800-344-1705

Baby Seat: $5/working day

Booster: $five/day

Supplemental Driver: $12/day

GPS Technique: $11.ninety nine/day

Toyota is a big identify; however, Though their Web page appears Skilled at first look, it just isn't going to work, or not less than it was not working so that you can acquire quotations later on than March 2015. Their on the internet quotes tend not to contain product sales taxes. Emails acquire rapidly responses, but prices for various seasons gave the impression to be contradictory. However, Toyota has an excellent popularity on vacation discussion boards. 8 places of work are located across the country.

Free of charge Mobile phone Phone Alternative Through Website

Kid Seat: $5/working day

Cooler: $1.fifty/day

Supplemental Driver: $3/day

GPS Procedure: $10/working day

USave operates in partnership with Fox and it has three Business office spots. Insurance plan solutions are shown for the web quotation, however it need to be selected and 'recalculate' pressed, in advance of it's A part of the pricing. E-mail receive a response within 24 hrs. The corporation acquire Total very poor assessments, Though there are numerous beneficial opinions produced on vacation message boards.

Toll-Totally free Contact number: one-800-467-3659

Child Seat: $5/working day

Added Driver: $10/working day

GPS System: $9.ninety five/day

Vamos is a local business that is a popular choice for Trip Advisor and Lonely Planet professionals due to their customer care and pricing. The web site is easy to use with itemized charges Obviously shown. The Stay Chat alternative allows prompt personalised prices and solutions from English-speaking personnel. The corporation has 3 places of work.

Toll-Totally free Cell phone number: 1-800-950-8426

Youngster Seat: absolutely free

Booster: totally free

More Driver: cost-free

GPS Program: $8/day

Wild Rider is a little, neighborhood business located only in San Jose. The website is straightforward with third-occasion insurance policy included in the pricing. Initially of this analysis, the pricing was not up-to-date, but this has since been remedied. This vehicle rental operator stands out by obtaining only beneficial opinions and so is very advisable by journey forum users. Operator, Thorsten, replies inside the hour to inquiries during Business hrs.

U.S. Phone Number: 1-917-477-7712

Child Seat: $5/day

GPS Technique: $8/working day

Overall Summary


Adobe, Alamo, Countrywide, Services, Vamos, and Wild Rider give very clear and entire premiums on their Web sites. One other car or truck rental operators were much less clear with surcharges or taxes, for example airport taxes or income taxes. Pricing on more extras were not generally easy to discover, and Avis, Thrifty and Toyota had to be contacted for these facts.


Levels of communication have improved because the initial comparison, even though it would appear smart to ask for a neighborhood range and make sure responses with the Costa Rica office in the international motor vehicle rental operators, as international chat operators or All those replying to emails, will not generally appear 100% confident about area guidelines and may even give incorrect info.

Be ready to exchange several e-mails so that you can get entire answers to questions with quite a few firms: Price range and Financial system had been particularly prone to this -- requesting lots of information as a way to provide a quotation. It is not unreasonable that members of staff members Doing the job in a second language might miss out on facets of an e-mail, so present issues in clear and simple language.

Reside Chat on the two the Spending budget and Vamos Web-sites indicate information is often presented instantaneously and is still documented, compared with a telephone connect with.


The comparison previously mentioned reveals that the pricing involving firms is dependent heavily over the time and motor vehicle group being regarded as, in lieu of a clear Lower choice among additional or less expensive rental premiums.

Customers need to consider the pricing of other products, like added drivers or GPS process, and families will want to compare auto seat rental pricing. Wild Rider features the initial extra driver at no cost, Vamos will not demand for just about any extras, apart from the GPS, and on the whole, the Global firms have larger expenses for these extras compared to the regional providers.

So Who Do I Hire From?

It is obvious that the local auto rental operators remain trumping the big names inside their transparency and customer service when comparing their Web-sites and on the web opinions. The main difference from the former charge comparison from a couple of several years back would be that the pricing happens to be more difficult to equate.

Adobe, Alamo, and Nationwide seem to fee nicely as Global automobile rental operators. It's worthy of noting that Nationwide is the most expensive in large period to the intermediate category, nevertheless The most cost effective in small time. Adobe and Alamo are middle-rated for pricing.

Wild Rider is exceptional in getting zero bad assessments, but is barely situated in San Jose and it has a Substantially scaled-down fleet of cars. Of the opposite local companies, Provider and Vamos arrive out nicely and Vamos' absolutely free supplemental extras will appeal to spending budget-minded vacationers and family members with young Illinois to New York Can Shipping small children. Assistance also offers these extras at minimal daily fees.

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