Guidebook to Motor vehicle Rental Companies in Costa Rica

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

Automobile rental is really a incredibly hot subject for vacationers headed to Costa Rica. Current investigation carried out because of the Costa Rican Institute of Tourism (ICT) signifies that, after accommodations, renting an auto is the biggest expenditure, averaging $702 for an eleven-working day holiday.

The world wide web is buzzing with detrimental reviews discussing overcharging, very poor customer support and mechanical breakdowns. You might have even created one particular yourself!

A normal midsize (three - four Grown ups) 4X4 rental runs between $58 and $65 day by day with 3rd party insurance plan and premiums will vary just as much as 20 % amongst motor vehicle rental organizations, so examining a quick evaluation is going to be time properly invested as you compute the cost savings.

So the issue is; which rental organization delivers the best harmony of reasonable rate, able customer support and reliable automobiles? I have researched all of it for you personally, so Continue reading!

Disclosure: This analysis was performed in Might - July 2013. The following corporations ended up picked mainly because they would be the most generally Utilized in Costa Rica. Some are regional providers; Other people are Intercontinental franchises of acknowledged model names. Comparisons incorporate: customer care, pricing plus the reservation procedure. The companies are stated alphabetically and never based upon private or on-line Choices.
Take into account this facts just before renting:


One of the most important results in for problems is in the stack of unforeseen fees introduced to your renter after standing with the rental firm's counter. Vacationers are typically weary following a lengthy flight and after that are confronted by prices which were not expected, defined or budgeted.

Topping the listing of grievances would be the non-disclosure of charges linked to the necessary third-bash insurance coverage at the time the reservation is designed.

In keeping with Costa Rican legislation, every single driver is needed to hold liability coverage to insure from accidents to 3rd events. Vehicle rental businesses usually chorus from disclosing the cost of this coverage during the quoted rental level to appear much more competitive. Obligatory 3rd-occasion insurance policies can at times be up to double the motor vehicle's rental Price tag. The only assure from insurance coverage confusion is usually to inquire If the estimate includes the 3rd party insurance plan and demand over a composed quotation.

Price of Obligatory Insurance policies (also referred to as 3rd party or SLI)

Expect to pay for involving $12 and $15 everyday for this insurance policies, according to the make and design of your rented car or truck and also the rental automobile company. This is the legal affliction of the rental agreement and is generally not protected by credit cards and can't be waived. It is a reality of leasing an automobile in Costa Rica.

Collision Injury Waiver (CDW)

Because the identify indicates, this isn't insurance, but a waiver, which relieves the renter from any liability for harm to the rental automobile after the deductible is paid out (generally from $750 to $one,500). Some organizations need renters to purchase their CDW plan; therefore negating any credit card method. For an additional price, quite a few organizations do give a zero legal responsibility possibility where by the renter will likely be freed from purchasing any harm to the car. Some companies could set pressure upon renters to get the zero legal responsibility protection; nevertheless, it is fully optional, Except if it really is in the fantastic print of their rental arrangement.

Bank card insurance policy applications may perhaps address the CDW for any rental vehicle. Verify with your picked out rental automobile organization to find which evidence of insurance coverage is needed then request that from a charge card firm ahead of arriving. In the event you make use of your charge card's CDW coverage, be expecting to pay for a better deposit to the motor vehicle; around $one,five hundred to $2000 is popular. The higher deposit makes certain that the charge card holder has enough money reserves to include damages if desired. It is important to take into account that if making use of CDW coverage supplied by a charge card (in lieu of the rent a car operator), all damages are going to be billed into the renter's credit card. The bank card corporation will then reimburse the cardboard holder for damages.

A lot more Coverage

Tires and windshields are hardly ever included in insurance policy policies, Even though additional policies may be taken out for masking these frequently harmed goods. Neither the interior nor the underneath with the automobile might be lined. Usually read through the high-quality print.

Typical Treatment

Your charge card will probably be billed, or simply a 'maintain' put, for the rental car or truck during the time on the rental agreement; i.e. from buying up the rental until eventually you return it. Debit cards are commonly not acceptable.

Additional Prices

Most corporations have surcharges For extra motorists, vehicle seats/boosters, cell phones, coolers, GPS and/or roof racks. The prices differ from enterprise to enterprise, but due to the fact these extras are billed in a every day fee, it can be worthy of examining the total Value -- more alternatives can add up in a short time! A GPS is all over $8 to $ten on a daily basis; nonetheless, some operators may offer you discounted models. Anticipate to pay for around $five day by day for a child seat and a few bucks a day for all another 'niceties'. Vamos is notable for providing A large number of choices and, during some promotions, even the GPS rental complimentarily. Alamo, Funds, Hertz and Countrywide charge the most for these added solutions; Whilst the other firms shown, demand much more sensible rates.


Most businesses incorporate little incremental charges, including license plate and environmental fees, into the full tally. Be wary of operators who insert these added charges in to the little print in the rental agreement. Vehicles rented direct within the airport incur airport taxes, that happen to be a whopping 12% of your respective rental Charge!

The rental vehicle needs to be returned with the similar volume of fuel, unless in any other case indicated. Otherwise, firms may perhaps demand above fuel station premiums for missing gas.


You will find there's discussion over the cars provided by rental organizations: More mature cars and trucks enable the driver to Mix in a lot more than a shiny, new auto. Acquiring an more mature model may well contain the oblique benefit of remaining considerably less scrutinized by car rental organizations for modern nicks and scratches, unlike a more recent auto. On the other hand, a more moderen motor vehicle can be a lot more roadworthy. This debate carries on into the several auto can make and designs. Typically, Costa Rican corporations have the ability to rent their motor vehicles for any lower amount simply because their vehicles are usually three to 5 years previous (vs . two to a few). On-line testimonials would counsel which the area corporations have no extra issues concerning motor vehicle top quality than transnational franchises; investigation on boards, which include, appears to be to point that prospects usually respect driving a much less-than-new car with the wilds of Costa Rica. The reasons are plenty, from highway ailments on the notion of less-then-new vehicles Mixing in superior -- a more moderen car may well attract additional unwanted interest.

The decisions of rental cars and trucks in Costa Rica are generally limited to will make and styles that retain a competitive resale price, are a standard model inside the nation, and are cheap to maintain. Therefore a rent-a-motor vehicle operator's fleet tend not to be as numerous as America. Toyota, Nissan, Mitsubishi and Hyundai constitute the mainstay brand names of most rental fleets.

Occasionally, drivers are billed for supposed 'damages' into the automobile on return. At the time receiving the automobile, renters really should meticulously check for pre-current flaws and compare it Along with the auto inspection doc utilized by the rental auto representative. Some renters propose photographing or videoing the vehicle from all angles, to stay away from any disagreement between pre-current and not long ago ruined goods.


Car or truck rentals in Costa Rica are pricier compared to other nations around the world. Responsibilities on cars are large (about fifty% of their price!), elements are costlier and unforgiving road conditions contribute to greater have on and tear, making larger maintenance expenditures.

The rule is you get Anything you pay for -- you will find other available choices than All those rental organizations outlined right here, but they are not mentioned for a good explanation. They basically fail to provide fundamental customer care and/or an acceptable motor vehicle issue demanded for any (approximately) hassle-totally free trip.

When comparing rental car or truck fees, it is best to go on to the Costa Rican Web page on the rental vehicle enterprise, instead of seeking to use their international format or an intermediary (Expedia, Travelocity, Orbitz, Kayak, et al.). For the same automobiles and reservation dates, the prices provided by the respective Global vs. Costa Rican Web sites for Alamo, Price range, Hertz and Thrifty differed substantially.

To stay away from confusion, print out all correspondence Using the car or truck rental corporation with whom you might have reserved a vehicle and produce this towards the rental Place of work With all the estimate supplied at enough time of reservation.

The next leading ten chart ranks the companies from greatest priced to most affordable and it incorporates the necessary insurance plan demand. From the cases of Alamo and Hertz, the figure consists of their CDW rate since it is one of their rental needs. This price tag comparison relies on per week's rental of a Daihatsu Bego, wherever readily available (Greenback offers the Suzuki Vitara) from September 14th - twenty first, nevertheless in December to view both Green and Higher Year prices. The list immediately demonstrates that the worth variation is dependent greatly on the corporation -- for generally a similar support. These rates were being obtained in June/July 2013.

Rental Auto Providers Ranked In accordance with Selling price


10. Alamo $650.96
9. Hertz $514.27
eight. Adobe $449
7. Funds $455
6. Nationwide $428.01
five. Thrifty $421.05
4. Provider $374.forty three
three. Vamos $370.thirty
2. Greenback $364
1. Wild Rider $350


ten. Alamo $650.96
nine. Nationwide $597.51
8. Hertz $566.fifty two
seven. Spending plan $555
6. Dollar $532
five. Thrifty $506.fifty eight
4. Assistance $494.forty three
three. Vamos $461.30
two. Adobe $459
1. Wild Rider $395

Alamo ranks number 10 for both equally seasons, rendering it the costliest organization. Budget, Hertz and National also charge low on the size for economical rental choices.

Firm Summaries


Site is obvious and easy to use, but pricing and even the motor vehicles listed are not similar to Those people offered by an Business representative around the cellphone. Obligatory insurance policy charges usually are not demonstrated With all the list of cars and rental costs, but They may be Obviously exhibited on the next web site as being a buyer moves to scheduling a reservation. Combined customer reviews on the web. Email reaction is fewer than 24 hrs, but may not give all requested information and facts.

Toll-free U.S.A and Canada cell phone number. No Dwell Chat.
10 workplaces nationwide
Obligatory coverage: $19 each day
Added costs: GPS $nine/working day, little one seat $5/day


Web-site is evident and user friendly, but rates vary towards quotes obtained around the telephone. Necessary insurance policy expenses are not provided with the listing of motor vehicles and rental rates, but These are Obviously displayed on the following page as The shopper moves in direction of producing a reservation. Blended customer opinions on-line. Email response is a lot less than 24 hrs.

No toll-totally free U.S.A and Canada contact number or Reside chat
fourteen workplaces nationwide
Obligatory coverage: $11.95 day by day, but ought to also get their CDW at $twelve.95 daily
Further rates: GPS $twelve/day, baby seat $6/working day

Price range

Web page is standard, but user friendly. Costs on the net vary on the quotations given by a consultant more than the cell phone and based upon if the Worldwide or Costa Rican Web page is employed. Necessary coverage expenses are offered along with the list of cars; even so, the other prices are usually not listed. Blended client assessments on-line. E mail response is much more than 24 several hours.

No toll-no cost U.S.A and Canada cell phone number. No Dwell Chat on Costa Rican Web-site.
10 places of work nationwide
Mandatory insurance policy: included in the mentioned price
Supplemental expenses: GPS $ten.95/day, boy or girl seat $twelve/day (the costliest of the very best 10)


Web site is clear and simple to use. Prices quoted differ if contacting with the U.S. or in Costa Rica. Obligatory insurance coverage prices are certainly not provided Along with the list of automobiles and rental rates, but They're clearly displayed on the next website page to be a shopper moves to a building a reservation. Mixed assessments on the web, but frequently receives good feedback. Electronic mail inquiries answered in just 24 several hours.

Toll-free of charge U.S.A and Canada telephone number. No Reside Chat.
three offices nationwide
Required insurance coverage: $sixteen everyday
Further costs: GPS $9/day, youngster seat $5/day


Internet site is evident and easy to use. Required insurance coverage expenditures are usually Illinois to New York Car Transporters not provided In addition to the listing of automobiles and rental prices, but they are Obviously shown on the subsequent web site as The shopper moves in direction of a scheduling a reservation. Mixed shopper evaluations on line. E-mail reaction less than 24 hrs.

Toll-absolutely free U.S.A and Canada contact number and Are living Chat (even though it is apparently completely offline)
seven workplaces nationwide
Necessary insurance plan: $17.43 day by day, but their CDW is usually a prerequisite
Extra fees: GPS $twelve/day, little one seat $two/working day


Web-site is clear and user friendly. Obligatory insurance plan costs will not be presented combined with the listing of vehicles and rental rates, but They can be Evidently exhibited on the subsequent webpage as being a shopper moves toward building a reservation. Combined customer critiques online, but extra positive than adverse. Electronic mail response fewer than 24 hours.

Toll-absolutely free U.S.A and Canada cell phone number. Live Chat.
22 places of work nationwide
Necessary insurance policy: $25 day by day (the most expensive of the very best ten)
Supplemental expenses: GPS $12/working day, child seat $six/day


Internet site is evident and user welcoming with merely a slight confusion in that an on-line quotation is attained by clicking on 'Reserve Now' and not the 'Receive a Estimate' option. The response into a cellphone inquiry was to use the website. Obligatory insurance coverage prices are given combined with the listing of vehicles and rental costs for your lower season charges and on the next webpage of the opposite quotation page. Bear in mind is a highly advised sales consultant that's pointed out in lots of on the internet reviews for that significant degree of his customer service. Frequently on line assessments are positive for Company. E mail response is below 24 hrs, While all facts asked for might not be gained.

U.S.A cell phone number, although not toll-cost-free. No Reside Chat.
five workplaces nationwide
Obligatory insurance: $fifteen everyday
Additional rates: GPS $five.ninety nine/day, kid seat $two.ninety nine/day


Costa Rican version of the web site is extremely hard to make use of and you also are requested to sign up for just a user name and password. Obligatory insurance policy expenditures will not be presented along with the listing of vehicles and rental costs. A customer should click "Safety Alternatives" to the U.S. Web page and select the necessary coverage by clicking on it -- implying that it is optional instead of a expected cost. Thrifty usually receive blended reviews on line. Electronic mail response is greater than 24 hrs.

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