Tutorial to Car or truck Rental Companies in Costa Rica

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

Automobile rental is often a scorching matter for vacationers headed to Costa Rica. New analysis executed with the Costa Rican Institute of Tourism (ICT) signifies that, just after accommodations, renting a car or truck is the largest expense, averaging $702 for an eleven-day holiday vacation.

The Internet is buzzing with unfavorable critiques speaking about overcharging, lousy customer service and mechanical breakdowns. You could have even written one particular you!

A standard midsize (3 - 4 Older people) 4X4 rental runs concerning $fifty eight and $65 day by day with third party coverage and charges will vary up to twenty % among automobile rental businesses, so looking at A fast critique might be time perfectly used as soon as you determine the cost savings.

Therefore the dilemma is; which rental corporation offers the ideal stability of fair selling price, capable customer support and reputable vehicles? I have investigated all of it to suit your needs, so keep reading!

Disclosure: This analysis was executed in May well - July 2013. The subsequent providers have been selected mainly because they tend to be the most generally Utilized in Costa Rica. Some are nearby corporations; Many others are Global franchises of identified brand names. Comparisons incorporate: customer service, pricing and also the reservation system. The companies are stated alphabetically and not depending on personalized or online preferences.
Consider this facts prior to leasing:

Insurance coverage

One of the biggest will cause for problems is from your stack of unforeseen costs presented for the renter the moment standing with the rental company's counter. Vacationers are typically tired following a extended flight after which are confronted by costs which were not predicted, described or budgeted.

Topping the listing of grievances would be the non-disclosure of fees linked to the necessary third-social gathering insurance policies at some time the reservation is built.

Based on Costa Rican law, each driver is necessary to hold liability coverage to insure from injuries to 3rd events. Vehicle rental companies typically refrain from disclosing the cost of this coverage from the quoted rental charge to appear much more aggressive. Necessary 3rd-get together insurance policies can occasionally be about double the motor vehicle's rental Price. The only promise versus coverage confusion is usually to inquire In case your estimate contains the third party insurance policy and demand with a published quotation.

Price of Required Insurance (also called 3rd party or SLI)

Be expecting to pay in between $twelve and $15 day by day for this coverage, depending upon the make and design of your rented automobile along with the rental car or truck agency. This can be a legal problem of your rental arrangement and is usually not protected by credit cards and can't be waived. It is a reality of renting a vehicle in Costa Rica.

Collision Hurt Waiver (CDW)

As being the name implies, this isn't insurance plan, but a waiver, which relieves the renter from any legal responsibility for harm to the rental car or truck after the deductible is compensated (usually from $750 to $1,500). Some businesses need renters to get their CDW coverage; therefore negating any charge card method. For an extra fee, several organizations do offer a zero liability option in which the renter is going to be freed from purchasing any harm to the car. Some firms could set stress upon renters to buy the zero legal responsibility protection; even so, it is totally optional, Except if it is actually from the fine print in their rental agreement.

Charge card insurance policies applications may perhaps cover the CDW for your rental car or truck. Test with the chosen rental vehicle business to discover which proof of insurance is necessary and then request that from the bank card business just before arriving. When you use your credit card's CDW policy, expect to pay the next deposit on the car; close to $one,500 to $2000 is widespread. The higher deposit makes certain that the bank card holder has sufficient money reserves to go over damages if wanted. It is vital to take into account that if using CDW protection furnished by a bank card (in lieu of the hire a vehicle operator), all damages are going to be billed towards the renter's charge card. The charge card company will then reimburse the cardboard holder for damages.

Far more Coverage

Tires and windshields are seldom included in insurance procedures, Whilst extra insurance policies might be taken out for covering these commonly destroyed objects. Neither the inside nor the beneath of your motor vehicle may be protected. Often browse the great print.

Typical Treatment

Your bank card is going to be charged, or a 'hold' put, with the rental motor vehicle in the course of the time of your rental arrangement; i.e. from buying up the rental till you come it. Debit playing cards are usually not appropriate.

Extra Fees

Most providers have surcharges For extra motorists, car or truck seats/boosters, mobile phones, coolers, GPS and/or roof racks. The prices differ from company to organization, but due to the fact these extras are billed at a everyday charge, it can be well worth checking the overall cost -- additional choices can add up very quickly! A GPS is close to $8 to $ten each day; nevertheless, some operators may possibly offer discounted units. Hope to pay all over $5 day-to-day for a kid seat and a few bucks a day for all another 'niceties'. Vamos is notable for supplying A large number of selections and, in the course of some promotions, even the GPS rental complimentarily. Alamo, Funds, Hertz and National charge the most for such additional alternatives; Whilst the other organizations mentioned, cost a lot more affordable price ranges.


Most corporations incorporate tiny incremental expenditures, which include license plate and environmental costs, into the total tally. Be cautious of operators who insert these further fees in the little print in the rental agreement. Cars rented direct within the airport incur airport taxes, which happen to be a whopping 12% of the rental Price!

The rental vehicle needs to be returned Together with the very same amount of gas, Until if not indicated. If not, businesses may possibly charge higher than gas station costs for lacking fuel.


There exists a debate more than the autos provided by rental corporations: Older autos allow the driver to blend in greater than a shiny, new automobile. Obtaining an older model may have the indirect advantage of remaining a lot less scrutinized by car or truck rental businesses for modern nicks and scratches, unlike a more moderen car or truck. However, a newer automobile may very well be far more roadworthy. This debate carries on into different motor vehicle helps make and types. Frequently, Costa Rican firms are able to rent their vehicles for just a decreased amount mainly because their cars are usually 3 to 5 years old (compared to two to a few). Online critiques would propose which the local firms haven't any more problems about car or truck excellent than transnational franchises; exploration on boards, like TripAdvisor.com, would seem to point that consumers usually respect driving a a lot less-than-new automobile from the wilds of Costa Rica. The explanations are loads, from road problems to your notion of considerably less-then-new automobiles blending in better -- a more recent auto may attract extra undesirable awareness.

The possibilities of rental automobiles in Costa Rica are primarily limited to would make and styles that maintain a aggressive resale benefit, are a standard brand name inside the state, and are reasonably priced to keep up. Therefore a lease-a-car operator's fleet are inclined not to be as assorted as America. Toyota, Nissan, Mitsubishi and Hyundai represent the mainstay models of most rental fleets.

At times, motorists are billed for meant 'damages' for the auto upon return. After receiving the automobile, renters must meticulously look for pre-existing flaws and Evaluate it with the auto inspection document utilized by the rental motor vehicle agent. Some renters suggest photographing or videoing the car or truck from all angles, to prevent any disagreement involving pre-current and a short while ago broken things.


Automobile rentals in Costa Rica are pricier when compared with other international locations. Obligations on automobiles are high (about fifty% of their price!), areas are costlier and unforgiving road disorders contribute to increased wear and tear, producing larger servicing expenditures.

The rule is you will get Whatever you purchase -- you can find other options than Those people rental providers mentioned right here, but they don't seem to be stated for a very good rationale. They basically fail to supply basic customer support and/or an appropriate automobile issue essential for your (virtually) hassle-totally free trip.

When evaluating rental car or truck fees, it is best to go on to the Costa Rican website on the rental car corporation, as opposed to looking to use their international format or an middleman (Expedia, Travelocity, Orbitz, Kayak, et al.). For the same automobiles and reservation dates, the premiums made available from the respective Global vs. Costa Rican Sites for Alamo, Funds, Hertz and Thrifty differed considerably.

In order to avoid confusion, print out all correspondence with the auto rental firm with whom you've got reserved a car or truck and bring this into the rental Place of work with the estimate given at the time of reservation.

The next major 10 chart ranks the businesses from greatest priced to most affordable and it consists of the required coverage charge. In the situations of Alamo and Hertz, the determine is made up of their CDW cost as it is one of their rental needs. This selling price comparison is based on weekly's rental of the Daihatsu Bego, the place offered (Dollar offers the Suzuki Vitara) from September 14th - twenty first, however in December to perspective both of those Eco-friendly and High Year prices. The list immediately demonstrates that the cost variation relies upon greatly on the company -- for fundamentally the same services. These costs have been attained in June/July 2013.

Rental Car or truck Companies Rated According to Price tag


ten. Alamo $650.ninety six
nine. Hertz $514.27
8. Adobe $449
seven. Spending plan $455
6. Countrywide $428.01
5. Thrifty $421.05
four. Support $374.forty three
3. Vamos $370.30
two. Dollar $364
one. Wild Rider $350


ten. Alamo $650.96
9. National $597.fifty one
8. Hertz $566.52
seven. Spending budget $555
6. Greenback $532
five. Thrifty $506.58
4. Support $494.forty three
three. Vamos $461.thirty
2. Adobe $459
1. Wild Rider $395

Alamo ranks range ten for the two seasons, rendering it the most expensive company. Funds, Hertz and Nationwide also price minimal on the dimensions for affordable rental solutions.

Corporation Summaries


Web page is clear and easy to use, but pricing as well as the autos detailed are not the same as People presented by an Workplace representative around the telephone. Required insurance coverage charges are not revealed While using the listing of cars and rental rates, but They may be Plainly displayed on the subsequent webpage like a purchaser moves in the direction of scheduling a reservation. Combined shopper evaluations on line. E-mail reaction is lower than 24 hours, but may well not deliver all requested information.

Toll-no cost U.S.A and Canada cell phone number. No Dwell Chat.
10 workplaces nationwide
Required insurance: $19 each day
Supplemental rates: GPS $nine/day, boy or girl seat $5/day


Website is obvious and user friendly, but prices differ in opposition to estimates acquired over the phone. Obligatory insurance policies prices are not provided Together with the list of vehicles and rental rates, but They're Evidently exhibited on the following webpage as The shopper moves towards creating a reservation. Combined shopper testimonials on the web. Email response is below 24 hours.

No toll-totally free U.S.A and Canada telephone number or Live chat
fourteen places of work nationwide
Mandatory insurance policy: $11.ninety five every day, but should also consider their CDW at $twelve.ninety five daily
Supplemental prices: GPS $12/day, kid seat $6/working day

Spending plan

Web page is essential, but simple to operate. Price ranges on-line differ for the quotations specified by a representative more than the cellphone and based on whether or not the international or Costa Rican Internet site is utilised. Mandatory insurance plan fees are provided combined with the list of autos; nevertheless, another prices aren't detailed. Combined client evaluations online. E mail response is much more than 24 hours.

No toll-free U.S.A and Canada cell phone number. No Stay Chat on Costa Rican Internet site.
10 offices nationwide
Mandatory coverage: included in the listed selling price
Added fees: GPS $10.95/working day, boy or girl seat $12/working day (the most costly of the top 10)


Web page is obvious and simple to operate. Costs quoted differ if contacting within the U.S. or in Costa Rica. Obligatory coverage prices are usually not presented Using the listing of cars and rental prices, but They can be Plainly exhibited on the next site as being a buyer moves in direction of a building a reservation. Mixed critiques on the internet, but typically gets favourable opinions. Electronic mail inquiries answered in 24 hrs.

Toll-totally free U.S.A and Canada cell phone number. No Stay Chat.
three offices nationwide
Obligatory insurance plan: $sixteen everyday
Further expenses: GPS $nine/day, boy or girl seat $5/working day


Web page is clear and simple to operate. Obligatory insurance fees are usually not supplied In addition to the list of vehicles and rental costs, but They're Plainly shown on the subsequent page as the customer moves in the direction of a reserving a reservation. Combined client evaluations online. Electronic mail response fewer than 24 hours.

Toll-cost-free U.S.A and Canada phone number and Stay Chat (even though it is apparently permanently offline)
seven offices nationwide
Mandatory insurance: $seventeen.43 day by day, but their CDW can be a necessity
Extra expenses: GPS $12/day, boy or girl seat $2/day


Web page is evident and user friendly. Obligatory coverage charges will not be specified combined with the list of motor vehicles and rental rates, but They are really Obviously shown on the next website page being a purchaser moves in direction of creating a reservation. Blended customer testimonials on line, but much more good than negative. E mail reaction a lot less than 24 hrs.

Toll-cost-free U.S.A and Canada telephone number. Reside Chat.
22 places of work nationwide
Mandatory insurance: $twenty five each day (the most costly of the best 10)
Additional expenses: GPS $12/day, little one seat $6/working day


Website is obvious and person helpful with simply a slight confusion in that an internet based quotation is received by clicking on 'Reserve Now' instead of the 'Obtain a Quotation' possibility. The response to some telephone inquiry was to employ the website. Mandatory insurance plan fees are specified combined with the listing of automobiles and rental rates for that reduced year fees and on the 2nd site of the other quotation site. Keep in mind can be a really advised profits consultant who is stated in many online testimonials for your large volume of his customer support. Normally on the web testimonials are favourable for Company. E-mail response is below 24 several hours, Whilst all information requested might not be acquired.

U.S.A phone number, although not toll-free. No Dwell Chat.
five workplaces nationwide
Required insurance policy: $fifteen everyday
Added charges: GPS $5.ninety nine/day, little one seat $two.ninety nine/working day


Costa Rican version of the website is unattainable to use and you also are asked to register for just a person name and password. Necessary insurance policies costs are usually not specified together with the listing of automobiles and rental costs. A client needs to click "Defense Solutions" about the U.S. Web-site and choose the mandatory insurance coverage by clicking on it -- implying that it's optional instead of a expected Expense. Thrifty often get mixed reviews on line. Email reaction is a lot more than 24 hours.

Toll-totally free U.S.A and Canada contact number. No Dwell Chat.
four places of work nationwide
Mandatory insurance policy: $19.ninety nine each day
More charges: GPS $10/working day, boy or girl seat $five/day


Internet site is evident and convenient to use. Obligatory coverage fees aren't presented alongside side the listing of cars and rental costs, but are Evidently displayed on the following page as The shopper moves in direction of reserving a reservation. Anibal, a representative, is commonly described in on the net evaluations for his significant amount of customer care skills. Typical Manager, George Schwarzenbach is known on Excursion Advisor for his upfront and honest responses to customers' posts.

In recent times, Vamos has acquired extremely favourable testimonials on-line. E-mail response is less than 24 several hours. Are living Chat has prompt response the perfect time to inquiries.

Toll-free U.S.A and Canada cell phone number. Live Chat.
three offices nationwide
Obligatory insurance policies: $eleven.95 day by day
Further charges: GPS $8/working day, baby seat free

Wild Rider

Web site is evident and simple to use. Obligatory insurance coverage expenditures are presented beside the listing of vehicles. Wild Rider is the only real vehicle rental business in Costa Rica without obvious lousy assessments on the web. Operator, Thorsten, is often praised for his efficiency and customer support, despite the quite confined means the organization has at hand. E-mail acquire extremely prompt and in depth responses in less than twelve hrs.

No toll-absolutely free telephone number or Stay Chat
one Business office -- no Liberia airport Business office
Mandatory insurance policy: incorporated
Further fees: GPS $eight/working day, boy or girl seat $five/working day

Comparison Evaluation

Customer support

Vamos and Wild Rider reply promptly and effectively to electronic mail or live chat inquiries. Adobe, Alamo, Dollar, Hertz, National, and repair reply to electronic mail inquiries in below 24 hrs, but Adobe and Service didn't deliver all the data requested (quite possibly a language barrier). Finances provides a absolutely free cellular phone provider, nevertheless it appears for being often hectic. Hertz's Are living chat seems for being regularly offline. Over the earlier 12 months, clients who posted to on line assessment web-sites expressed a selected fulfillment With all the customer service offered by Services, Vamos and Wild Rider.


Adobe, Alamo and Price range have different rental price ranges posted Illinois to New York Car Transporters on their Sites than These quoted above the telephone. Telephone costs were being decrease than that quoted on the website within the conditions of Adobe and Alamo, but however greater in the situation of Budget. Adobe also provides various car designs over the phone as compared with their Web-site. Worldwide car rental firms with both of those a Costa Rican and Global Internet site surface to acquire pricing distinctions between The 2 web sites.

Finances and Wild Rider consist of the obligatory insurance of their rental price ranges, but Spending budget states that 'other rates' which is able to be presented with the counter within the smaller print on their Web page. Rental prices for motor vehicle seating had to be verified to the cellular phone as they're not listed on the Spending plan Web site.

All other firms except for Thrifty (a U.S. Internet site), Evidently clearly show the required insurance coverage Expense With all the quotation given. Thrifty's Costa Rican Web-site is actually unusable.


Assistance, Vamos and Wild Rider persistently give the top rates for both of those Environmentally friendly and Superior seasons, Whilst Dollar has considered one of the bottom Inexperienced year prices offered, whilst Adobe has a less expensive Significant season charge. Vamos present the very best "all inclusive" premiums, provided that most choices are available without cost.

Adobe, Dollar, Service, Thrifty and Wild Rider keep on being aggressive with their pricing of things like youngster seats. Alamo, Hertz and National are the most costly businesses to hire from as well as their extra possibility charges also are dearer.

"So, what is your rental advice?"

Total, the Costa Rican businesses manage to trump the multi-nationals with better pricing, service and clarity.
Company offers a frequently substantial-standard of customer service and pretty aggressive pricing at both equally Intercontinental airports.
Vamos can give effective reserving and continued high-amount of customer service with competitive pricing, together with cost-free extra selections at both of those SJO and LIR airports.
Wild Rider is quite really rated for the rental with distinct and economical pricing and outstanding customer service, but They can be only in San Jose.

"Now you might be all set to ebook your rental vehicle just after seeing how the Competitors compares. Very good luck and content travels!"

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