Information to Vehicle Rental Organizations in Costa Rica

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

Car or truck rental is actually a incredibly hot subject for vacationers headed to Costa Rica. Modern investigation carried out because of the Costa Rican Institute of Tourism (ICT) implies that, immediately after accommodations, leasing a car or truck is the biggest expenditure, averaging $702 for an eleven-working day family vacation.

The online market place is buzzing with adverse critiques talking about overcharging, weak customer service and mechanical breakdowns. You could have even created one you!

A standard midsize (3 - 4 Older people) 4X4 rental runs between $fifty eight and $sixty five each day with 3rd party coverage and premiums could vary approximately 20 p.c amongst auto rental corporations, so examining a quick review might be time perfectly put in when you compute the price savings.

And so the problem is; which rental firm provides the most effective harmony of honest cost, capable customer care and trusted automobiles? I've researched all of it for you personally, so keep reading!

Disclosure: This research was conducted in May well - July 2013. The following firms had been picked since they tend to be the most generally Utilized in Costa Rica. Some are local businesses; Many others are Worldwide franchises of regarded brand name names. Comparisons involve: customer service, pricing along with the reservation system. The businesses are shown alphabetically rather than determined by personalized or on the internet Tastes.
Take into account this details before leasing:

Insurance coverage

One of the largest brings about for grievances is with the stack of unexpected charges introduced for the renter at the time standing at the rental firm's counter. Vacationers are generally exhausted following a extensive flight then are confronted by fees that were not anticipated, stated or budgeted.

Topping the list of grievances would be the non-disclosure of charges connected with the required 3rd-party insurance at enough time the reservation is produced.

In keeping with Costa Rican law, every single driver is needed to hold legal responsibility protection to insure versus accidents to third parties. Automobile rental organizations typically chorus from disclosing the expense of this plan inside the quoted rental price to appear far more aggressive. Mandatory 3rd-bash insurance coverage can in some cases be just as much as double the automobile's rental Expense. The one warranty in opposition to coverage confusion is usually to inquire When your estimate incorporates the third party insurance coverage and demand on a written quotation.

Cost of Necessary Insurance policies (also called 3rd party or SLI)

Anticipate to pay among $12 and $fifteen day by day for this insurance plan, depending on the make and design of the rented motor vehicle and also the rental automobile agency. That is a lawful problem of your respective rental settlement and is normally not lined by credit cards and can't be waived. It is a fact of leasing an automobile in Costa Rica.

Collision Damage Waiver (CDW)

As being the title indicates, this isn't insurance policy, but a waiver, which relieves the renter from any liability for damage to the rental car or truck following the deductible is paid out (ordinarily from $750 to $1,500). Some businesses involve renters to buy their CDW coverage; thereby negating any bank card plan. For an additional charge, a lot of agencies do provide a zero legal responsibility selection exactly where the renter will likely be freed from paying for any damage to the car. Some organizations may perhaps place force upon renters to invest in the zero liability protection; nevertheless, it truly is fully optional, Unless of course it's inside the fine print of their rental arrangement.

Charge card insurance plans may well cover the CDW to get a rental car or truck. Verify with your picked rental auto company to discover which evidence of insurance coverage is necessary after which you can ask for that from a credit card business previous to arriving. In case you use your credit card's CDW policy, anticipate to pay a greater deposit around the automobile; all over $one,500 to $2000 is widespread. The higher deposit ensures that the charge card holder has ample financial reserves to include damages if needed. It can be crucial to contemplate that if working with CDW protection furnished by a bank card (in lieu with the hire a vehicle operator), all damages will probably be billed to the renter's credit card. The credit card corporation will then reimburse the card holder for damages.

Additional Insurance

Tires and windshields are rarely included in insurance policy procedures, While added policies could be taken out for masking these often ruined items. Neither the inside nor the beneath on the automobile can be covered. Often read through the good print.

Regular Procedure

Your credit card will likely be billed, or maybe a 'maintain' positioned, for the rental vehicle throughout the time from the rental agreement; i.e. from choosing up the rental till you come back it. Debit cards are frequently not suitable.

Additional Expenses

Most providers have surcharges For extra motorists, vehicle seats/boosters, mobile phones, coolers, GPS and/or roof racks. The prices differ from enterprise to enterprise, but considering that these extras are billed in a day-to-day fee, it truly is worthy of checking the entire Expense -- supplemental possibilities can increase up very quickly! A GPS is around $eight to $10 a day; even so, some operators may possibly give discounted units. Expect to pay for about $five everyday for a child seat and a few pounds on a daily basis for all the other 'niceties'. Vamos is notable for presenting most of these choices and, for the duration of some promotions, even the GPS rental complimentarily. Alamo, Spending plan, Hertz and National cost the most for such added solutions; While one other providers listed, demand much more acceptable rates.


Most businesses insert modest incremental fees, such as license plate and environmental expenses, into the full tally. Be wary of operators who insert these supplemental prices in the small print of the rental agreement. Vehicles rented direct in the airport incur airport taxes, which happen to be a whopping 12% of the rental Value!

The rental auto should be returned Using the identical amount of fuel, Unless of course normally indicated. If not, firms may well charge higher than gasoline station prices for lacking fuel.

Motor vehicles

You will find there's debate over the cars supplied by rental organizations: More mature cars and trucks allow for the driving force to Mix in in excess of a shiny, new vehicle. Acquiring an more mature design might provide the indirect benefit of getting a lot less scrutinized by automobile rental organizations for modern nicks and scratches, contrary to a newer automobile. Nevertheless, a newer car may very well be a lot more roadworthy. This discussion carries on into the various vehicle will make and styles. Normally, Costa Rican corporations will be able to hire their cars for a decreased level mainly because their autos are typically three to 5 years old (vs . two to three). On the web assessments would recommend the local companies haven't any far more grievances regarding motor vehicle good quality than transnational franchises; investigation on boards, for instance, would seem to point that shoppers usually respect driving a much less-than-new car throughout the wilds of Costa Rica. The explanations are a lot, from street problems into the notion of fewer-then-new vehicles Mixing in improved -- a newer car might draw much more unwanted attention.

The choices of rental cars and trucks in Costa Rica are generally restricted to can make and versions that sustain a aggressive resale benefit, are a standard manufacturer from the place, and they are reasonably priced to maintain. Therefore a hire-a-motor vehicle operator's fleet have a tendency never to be as assorted as The usa. Toyota, Nissan, Mitsubishi and Hyundai constitute the mainstay brands of most rental fleets.

In some cases, motorists are billed for supposed 'damages' to the auto upon return. After acquiring the vehicle, renters should really meticulously look for pre-existing flaws and compare it with the vehicle inspection doc utilized by the rental automobile representative. Some renters counsel photographing or videoing the motor vehicle from all angles, to prevent any disagreement between pre-current and lately weakened things.


Car rentals in Costa Rica are pricier when compared to other nations. Duties on autos are higher (about 50% in their worth!), sections are costlier and unforgiving road ailments lead to higher wear and tear, creating bigger servicing expenses.

The rule is you can get Whatever you buy -- you can find other options than All those rental firms listed listed here, but they are not outlined for a good motive. They merely fall short to offer simple customer care and/or a suitable motor vehicle condition demanded for just a (nearly) difficulty-cost-free holiday vacation.

When comparing rental car or truck costs, it's best to go directly to the Costa Rican Internet site with the rental vehicle organization, rather then looking to use their Global structure or an intermediary (Expedia, Travelocity, Orbitz, Kayak, et al.). For the same automobiles and reservation dates, the costs made available from the respective Worldwide vs. Costa Rican Internet websites for Alamo, Spending plan, Hertz and Thrifty differed significantly.

In order to avoid confusion, print out all correspondence While using the vehicle rental firm with whom you have reserved a motor vehicle and convey this towards the rental Business office with the quote presented at the time of reservation.

The next major ten chart ranks the companies from maximum priced to least expensive and it consists of the mandatory coverage demand. Inside the scenarios of Alamo and Hertz, the determine includes their CDW price mainly because it is one of their rental specifications. This price comparison is predicated on weekly's rental of a Daihatsu Bego, where obtainable (Dollar gives the Suzuki Vitara) from September 14th - 21st, nonetheless in December to perspective each Eco-friendly and Significant Time prices. The checklist swiftly demonstrates that the value variation is dependent drastically on the corporate -- for mainly a similar service. These costs have been attained in June/July 2013.

Rental Auto Firms Ranked In line with Value


10. Alamo $650.ninety six
9. Hertz $514.27
8. Adobe $449
seven. Spending plan $455
6. Countrywide $428.01
5. Thrifty $421.05
4. Support $374.43
3. Vamos $370.30
2. Dollar $364
1. Wild Rider $350


10. Alamo $650.ninety six
nine. National $597.fifty one
eight. Hertz $566.fifty two
seven. Spending plan $555
6. Greenback $532
five. Thrifty $506.fifty eight
four. Provider $494.43
three. Vamos $461.thirty
2. Adobe $459
one. Wild Rider $395

Alamo ranks quantity ten for each seasons, making it the costliest company. Funds, Hertz and Nationwide also level minimal on the scale for affordable rental alternatives.

Firm Summaries


Web site is obvious and easy to use, but pricing and in some cases the motor vehicles detailed usually are not similar to All those specified by an Place of work consultant about the cellular phone. Mandatory insurance coverage expenditures are certainly not proven with the list of motor vehicles and rental rates, but They can be Evidently displayed on the next webpage as being a client moves in the direction of reserving a reservation. Combined consumer evaluations on the net. E mail reaction is lower than 24 hrs, but may not present all requested facts.

Toll-totally free U.S.A and Canada telephone number. No Live Chat.
ten places of work nationwide
Required coverage: $19 everyday
Supplemental fees: GPS $nine/day, little one seat $5/working day


Website is dubai exotic car rental evident and simple to use, but price ranges vary against quotations been given above the phone. Necessary coverage expenditures usually are not specified While using the list of motor vehicles and rental costs, but These are Evidently shown on the following page as The shopper moves in the direction of creating a reservation. Blended customer critiques on line. E-mail response is below 24 hours.

No toll-no cost U.S.A and Canada phone number or Live chat
fourteen places of work nationwide
Required insurance policy: $11.95 each day, but will have to also consider their CDW at $12.95 every day
Supplemental fees: GPS $12/working day, little one seat $six/working day

Spending plan

Site is standard, but user friendly. Selling prices on-line differ to the quotations presented by a consultant more than the cellular phone and dependant upon whether or not the Worldwide or Costa Rican Web-site is used. Necessary insurance policy charges are specified along with the list of autos; nevertheless, the opposite costs are certainly not mentioned. Blended shopper testimonials online. E-mail reaction is much more than 24 several hours.

No toll-no cost U.S.A and Canada phone number. No Live Chat on Costa Rican website.
10 places of work nationwide
Mandatory coverage: included in the outlined cost
Additional charges: GPS $10.95/working day, baby seat $twelve/working day (the most expensive of the highest 10)


Web page is obvious and simple to operate. Charges quoted differ if contacting in the U.S. or in Costa Rica. Obligatory insurance policy fees are not supplied Along with the list of cars and rental fees, but They can be Plainly displayed on the next page being a purchaser moves towards a earning a reservation. Combined reviews on the internet, but normally receives favourable opinions. Electronic mail inquiries answered within 24 hrs.

Toll-no cost U.S.A and Canada contact number. No Dwell Chat.
three places of work nationwide
Required insurance coverage: $sixteen day by day
Additional costs: GPS $9/working day, youngster seat $five/day


Web site is evident and user friendly. Required insurance charges usually are not provided In addition to the list of automobiles and rental expenses, but They are really Evidently shown on the following site as The shopper moves in the direction of a booking a reservation. Combined purchaser critiques on line. E-mail reaction fewer than 24 hrs.

Toll-totally free U.S.A and Canada contact number and Reside Chat (although it seems to be forever offline)
7 places of work nationwide
Mandatory insurance plan: $17.forty three every day, but their CDW is usually a necessity
Supplemental fees: GPS $twelve/day, baby seat $two/day


Web site is evident and easy to use. Obligatory insurance policy expenses are not given together with the list of autos and rental rates, but they are clearly exhibited on the subsequent webpage like a buyer moves in the direction of producing a reservation. Combined purchaser reviews on the internet, but far more beneficial than negative. E-mail response below 24 hours.

Toll-no cost U.S.A and Canada telephone number. Live Chat.
22 places of work nationwide
Mandatory coverage: $twenty five each day (the costliest of the very best ten)
Extra prices: GPS $12/day, child seat $six/day


Website is obvious and user friendly with merely a slight confusion in that an online estimate is acquired by clicking on 'Reserve Now' instead of the 'Get a Estimate' option. The reaction to a mobile phone inquiry was to implement the web site. Required insurance costs are offered along with the list of cars and rental fees for your very low period expenses and on the second web site of one other quotation web page. Don't forget is usually a extremely suggested product sales consultant who's described in lots of on the internet evaluations to the large amount of his customer support. Typically on the internet evaluations are optimistic for Services. E-mail response is less than 24 hours, although all information asked for is probably not gained.

U.S.A cell phone number, although not toll-absolutely free. No Stay Chat.
five workplaces nationwide
Obligatory insurance plan: $fifteen day-to-day
Added fees: GPS $5.99/day, child seat $two.ninety nine/working day


Costa Rican Model of the website is unattainable to make use of and also you are asked to sign up for just a person identify and password. Obligatory insurance policy fees aren't offered along with the listing of motor vehicles and rental prices. A buyer must click on "Protection Solutions" to the U.S. Web page and select the mandatory insurance by clicking on it -- implying that it's optional instead of a essential Value. Thrifty are inclined to obtain combined critiques online. Email reaction is in excess of 24 hrs.

Toll-totally free U.S.A and Canada phone number. No Are living Chat.
four workplaces nationwide
Necessary insurance coverage: $19.ninety nine each day
Added costs: GPS $10/working day, little one seat $five/day


Web site is clear and easy to use. Required coverage prices are usually not given together aspect the list of autos and rental fees, but are Obviously exhibited on the next web page as the customer moves toward reserving a reservation. Anibal, a representative, is commonly mentioned in online assessments for his superior degree of customer support capabilities. Typical Manager, George Schwarzenbach is understood on Excursion Advisor for his upfront and trustworthy responses to buyers' posts.

In recent times, Vamos has obtained very positive assessments on the net. E mail response is lower than 24 hours. Are living Chat has fast reaction time for you to inquiries.

Toll-totally free U.S.A and Canada phone number. Are living Chat.
three workplaces nationwide
Necessary insurance coverage: $11.ninety five each day
Added fees: GPS $8/day, boy or girl seat no cost

Wild Rider

Web page is obvious and convenient to use. Required insurance prices are supplied close to the list of motor vehicles. Wild Rider is the one automobile rental company in Costa Rica with no obvious terrible testimonials on the internet. Owner, Thorsten, is commonly praised for his effectiveness and customer service, Regardless of the quite restricted sources the corporation has at hand. E-mails obtain very prompt and in-depth responses in below 12 several hours.

No toll-absolutely free telephone number or Live Chat
one Business office -- no Liberia airport Place of work
Mandatory coverage: incorporated
Supplemental expenses: GPS $eight/day, baby seat $5/working day

Comparison Evaluation

Customer care

Vamos and Wild Rider respond speedily and efficiently to e mail or live chat inquiries. Adobe, Alamo, Greenback, Hertz, Countrywide, and Service reply to e-mail inquiries in a lot less than 24 hours, but Adobe and repair did not give all the information requested (quite possibly a language barrier). Spending budget provides a free mobile phone service, nonetheless it seems for being generally hectic. Hertz's Stay chat appears to get constantly offline. In the course of the earlier year, buyers who posted to online assessment web-sites expressed a particular fulfillment While using the customer service supplied by Company, Vamos and Wild Rider.


Adobe, Alamo and Price range have unique rental costs posted on their own 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 provides distinctive car types around the cellphone compared to their Web site. Global car or truck rental firms with each a Costa Rican and Worldwide Web-site appear to get pricing variances concerning the two web sites.

Funds and Wild Rider involve the mandatory insurance policy inside their rental price ranges, but Spending budget states that 'other expenses' that can be introduced in the counter while in the smaller print on their own Web site. Rental rates for auto seating needed to be confirmed on the cellphone as they're not stated over the Budget website.

All other organizations except Thrifty (a U.S. Web page), Evidently clearly show the mandatory insurance policy Value While using the quotation given. Thrifty's Costa Rican Web site is just unusable.


Provider, Vamos and Wild Rider persistently present the most beneficial fees for both Green and Higher seasons, Even though Greenback has one of the lowest Green period charges obtainable, even though Adobe has a less expensive Significant year amount. Vamos present the ideal "all inclusive" fees, on condition that most solutions are offered at no cost.

Adobe, Dollar, Services, Thrifty and Wild Rider stay competitive with their pricing of items like kid seats. Alamo, Hertz and Nationwide are the most expensive businesses to rent from and their extra alternative expenses may also be more expensive.

"So, what's your rental suggestion?"

All round, the Costa Rican organizations seem to trump the multi-nationals with far better pricing, support and clarity.
Provider offers a typically large-degree of customer service and fairly competitive pricing at both Intercontinental airports.
Vamos can give economical reserving and continued higher-level of customer service with aggressive pricing, together with absolutely free more selections at equally SJO and LIR airports.
Wild Rider is incredibly very rated to get a rental with distinct and economical pricing and fantastic customer care, but These are only in San Jose.

"Now you happen to be willing to e-book your rental vehicle after seeing how the Level of competition compares. Fantastic luck and content travels!"

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