Information to Auto Rental Businesses in Costa Rica

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

Car rental is a warm matter for vacationers headed to Costa Rica. New research executed with the Costa Rican Institute of Tourism (ICT) signifies that, soon after accommodations, leasing an automobile is the largest expense, averaging $702 for an eleven-working day vacation.

The world wide web is buzzing with unfavorable evaluations speaking about overcharging, lousy customer support and mechanical breakdowns. You might have even written a person your self!

A typical midsize (3 - 4 adults) 4X4 rental runs amongst $58 and $sixty five day by day with 3rd party insurance and premiums could vary just as much as 20 % between motor vehicle rental businesses, so looking at A fast evaluation are going to be time nicely expended once you estimate the cost savings.

And so the concern is; which rental firm offers the most beneficial harmony of reasonable price tag, capable customer support and trustworthy automobiles? I've researched it all in your case, so Continue reading!

Disclosure: This study was carried out in May well - July 2013. The next companies were selected as they tend to be the most generally used in Costa Rica. Some are community firms; Other individuals are international franchises of regarded model names. Comparisons involve: customer service, pricing as well as reservation process. The companies are listed alphabetically and never based on personal or on the net preferences.
Take into consideration this details in advance of leasing:


Among the most important brings about for grievances is within the stack of unforeseen expenses introduced into the renter after standing on the rental company's counter. Vacationers are typically weary after a very long flight then are confronted by costs that were not anticipated, stated or budgeted.

Topping the listing of grievances may be the non-disclosure of expenses connected to the mandatory 3rd-get together insurance policy at time the reservation is manufactured.

In line with Costa Rican regulation, just about every driver is needed to hold liability coverage to insure against accidents to 3rd get-togethers. Automobile rental providers usually refrain from disclosing the price of this policy inside the quoted rental level to appear a lot more aggressive. Required 3rd-get together insurance coverage can sometimes be about double the car's rental Value. The only real guarantee towards insurance confusion would be to inquire In the event your estimate includes the 3rd party insurance and insist over a prepared quotation.

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

Expect to pay for between $12 and $fifteen daily for this insurance policy, according to the make and product of your rented car or truck along with the rental auto company. This is the authorized condition of one's rental settlement and is generally not protected by charge cards and can't be waived. It's a reality of leasing a car or truck in Costa Rica.

Collision Harm Waiver (CDW)

Since the identify implies, this isn't insurance policies, but a waiver, which relieves the renter from any legal responsibility for damage to the rental auto after the deductible is paid (normally from $750 to $one,500). Some agencies need renters to purchase their CDW plan; thereby negating any charge card program. For an extra price, many companies do offer a zero liability solution in which the renter will likely be freed from purchasing any damage to the vehicle. Some organizations could set pressure on renters to purchase the zero liability coverage; however, it really is entirely optional, Except if it is actually inside the wonderful print of their rental agreement.

Charge card coverage systems might go over the CDW for the rental auto. Test with all your picked rental car or truck corporation to locate which proof of insurance policy is needed after which you can request that out of your bank card company before arriving. In the event you use your bank card's CDW coverage, anticipate to pay an increased deposit to the car; all over $one,five hundred to $2000 is frequent. The upper deposit makes certain that the credit card holder has enough money reserves to address damages if necessary. It is necessary to consider that if using CDW protection furnished by a charge card (in lieu on the hire a vehicle operator), all damages will be billed on the renter's bank card. The bank card organization will then reimburse the card holder for damages.

More Coverage

Tires and windshields are rarely A part of coverage insurance policies, While further policies could possibly be taken out for covering these regularly damaged goods. Neither the inside nor the beneath on the car or truck can be covered. Constantly browse the fantastic print.

Typical Procedure

Your credit card will be billed, or even a 'hold' put, for that rental vehicle through the time of the rental settlement; i.e. from buying up the rental until you return it. Debit cards are typically not appropriate.

Further Rates

Most firms have surcharges For extra motorists, motor vehicle seats/boosters, mobile phones, coolers, GPS and/or roof racks. The costs vary from organization to firm, but considering that these extras are billed in a everyday charge, it's worth examining the overall Expense -- extra alternatives can insert up in a short time! A GPS is all around $8 to $ten each day; having said that, some operators might present discounted models. Expect to pay for all over $5 day by day for a child seat and a few bucks per day for all one other 'niceties'. Vamos is noteworthy for presenting These types of solutions and, throughout some promotions, even the GPS rental complimentarily. Alamo, Spending budget, Hertz and Countrywide cost one of the most for these types of added options; While one other businesses listed, demand much more acceptable costs.


Most providers incorporate tiny incremental expenses, for example license plate and environmental service fees, into the entire tally. Be wary of operators who insert these further rates into the modest print of the rental agreement. Autos rented direct with the airport incur airport taxes, which might be a whopping 12% within your rental Expense!

The rental car or truck ought to be returned While using the same quantity of gas, Until normally indicated. Otherwise, companies may perhaps charge previously mentioned gasoline station rates for lacking gasoline.


There is a debate around the autos supplied by rental providers: Older automobiles permit the driver to blend in much more than a shiny, new car or truck. Possessing an older product may provide the indirect good thing about currently being considerably less scrutinized by motor vehicle rental businesses for recent nicks and scratches, contrary to a more recent car. Nonetheless, a more moderen auto could possibly be a lot more roadworthy. This debate carries on into the various automobile makes and designs. Usually, Costa Rican companies can rent their automobiles for your reduce level because their cars are usually 3 to five years outdated (versus two to a few). Online critiques would advise which the regional firms have no more complaints about automobile good quality than transnational franchises; investigation on message boards, such as, would seem to point that clients usually appreciate driving a considerably less-than-new motor vehicle in the wilds of Costa Rica. The reasons are a great deal, from street ailments to the notion of a lot less-then-new vehicles blending in superior -- a more recent automobile may perhaps attract much more undesirable notice.

The decisions of rental vehicles in Costa Rica are primarily limited to tends to make and types that manage a aggressive resale benefit, are a common model in the place, and are reasonably priced to take care of. As a result a lease-a-automobile operator's fleet are likely never to be as various as The us. Toyota, Nissan, Mitsubishi and Hyundai constitute the mainstay models of most rental fleets.

At times, drivers are billed for intended 'damages' on the automobile upon return. As soon as acquiring the car, renters need to meticulously look for pre-current flaws and Examine it Using the vehicle inspection doc used by the rental automobile consultant. Some renters suggest photographing or videoing the vehicle from all angles, to stay away from any disagreement involving pre-existing and not long ago weakened things.


Vehicle rentals in Costa Rica are pricier in comparison with other countries. Obligations on vehicles are significant (as much as 50% of their benefit!), elements are costlier and unforgiving street conditions contribute to larger wear and tear, producing increased servicing charges.

The rule is you get what you purchase -- there are actually other choices than Individuals rental providers mentioned listed here, but they're not stated for an excellent motive. They simply are unsuccessful to provide essential customer care and/or a suitable automobile affliction essential for the (almost) hassle-cost-free vacation.

When comparing rental auto expenses, it's best to go straight to the Costa Rican Site with the rental motor vehicle business, in lieu of seeking to use their Global format or an middleman (Expedia, Travelocity, Orbitz, Kayak, et al.). For a similar autos and reservation dates, the charges made available from the respective Intercontinental vs. Costa Rican Internet sites for Alamo, Spending budget, Hertz and Thrifty differed significantly.

To stop confusion, print out all correspondence With all the car or truck rental business with whom you have got reserved a car and produce this towards the rental Place of work with the quote supplied at some time of reservation.

The next leading ten chart ranks the businesses from best priced to least expensive and it includes the obligatory coverage charge. During the situations of Alamo and Hertz, the determine incorporates their CDW rate because it is one of their rental prerequisites. This value comparison relies on weekly's rental of the Daihatsu Bego, where accessible (Dollar delivers the Suzuki Vitara) from September 14th - twenty first, nevertheless in December to see the two Environmentally friendly and Superior Time rates. The listing immediately demonstrates that the value variation is dependent significantly on the business -- for mainly the exact same assistance. These prices were obtained in June/July 2013.

Rental Vehicle Corporations Rated According to Price


10. Alamo $650.ninety six
nine. Hertz $514.27
8. Adobe $449
7. Spending budget $455
6. National $428.01
five. Thrifty $421.05
four. Company $374.forty three
three. Vamos $370.thirty
two. Greenback $364
1. Wild Rider $350


10. Alamo $650.96
9. Countrywide $597.fifty one
eight. Hertz $566.52
7. Budget $555
six. Dollar $532
five. Thrifty $506.fifty eight
4. Support $494.forty three
three. Vamos $461.30
2. Adobe $459
1. Wild Rider $395

Alamo ranks variety 10 for equally seasons, making it the most costly organization. Finances, Hertz and Countrywide also charge small on the size for affordable rental choices.

Business Summaries


Site is clear and convenient to use, but pricing and also the cars listed are usually not the same as Individuals specified by an Office environment consultant in excess of the cellular phone. Obligatory coverage costs are usually not shown With all the listing of cars and rental charges, but They are really Obviously shown on the following web page as a client moves towards booking a reservation. Mixed shopper evaluations on the web. E-mail reaction is below 24 hours, but may not supply all requested info.

Toll-totally free U.S.A and Canada cell phone number. No Dwell Chat.
10 offices nationwide
Obligatory coverage: $19 everyday
Additional costs: GPS $nine/day, youngster seat $5/working day


Website is evident and simple to operate, but price ranges vary against prices gained in excess of the cellphone. Necessary insurance policy charges are not specified While using the listing of motor vehicles and rental charges, but They may be Obviously displayed on the following web site as the customer moves in the direction of building a reservation. Combined client critiques on line. E mail response is fewer than 24 hours.

No toll-free of charge U.S.A and Canada contact number or Live chat
fourteen places of work nationwide
Obligatory insurance plan: $11.ninety five every day, but should also consider their CDW at $12.ninety five daily
Added prices: GPS $12/day, youngster seat $six/day

Spending plan

Website is essential, but convenient to use. Prices on-line vary towards the quotations offered by a consultant in excess of the cellular phone and dependant upon whether or not the Intercontinental or Costa Rican Web page is utilized. Required insurance policy fees are offered combined with the list of automobiles; nevertheless, the opposite rates aren't stated. Mixed consumer evaluations on-line. E-mail response is a lot more than 24 hours.

No toll-absolutely free U.S.A and Canada cell phone number. No Are living Chat on Costa Rican Web-site.
ten offices nationwide
Required insurance plan: included in the detailed price tag
Supplemental expenses: GPS $10.95/working day, youngster seat $12/working day (the most expensive of the best 10)


Web site is clear and convenient to use. Charges quoted vary if calling within the U.S. or in Costa Rica. Necessary insurance policy expenses usually are not supplied Together with the list of cars and rental expenses, but They may be clearly displayed on the next webpage as being a customer moves toward a producing a reservation. Blended critiques on the net, but usually receives constructive opinions. E-mail inquiries answered inside 24 hrs.

Toll-absolutely free U.S.A and Canada telephone number. No Dwell Chat.
three offices nationwide
Mandatory insurance: $sixteen day by day
Extra prices: GPS $nine/working day, kid seat $5/working day


Website is clear and simple to use. Obligatory insurance fees usually are not provided Aside from the Illinois to New York Can Shipping list of automobiles and rental rates, but These are clearly displayed on the subsequent site as The client moves towards a reserving a reservation. Combined shopper evaluations on the web. E-mail reaction less than 24 hrs.

Toll-free U.S.A and Canada phone number and Dwell Chat (although it is apparently permanently offline)
7 workplaces nationwide
Required insurance plan: $17.forty three each day, but their CDW is also a requirement
Added prices: GPS $12/working day, baby seat $2/working day


Web-site is obvious and easy to use. Required insurance policies charges are not supplied combined with the list of vehicles and rental charges, but They're Obviously exhibited on the next site as a customer moves to making a reservation. Combined shopper testimonials on line, but far more constructive than negative. Electronic mail reaction lower than 24 hrs.

Toll-no cost U.S.A and Canada cell phone number. Are living Chat.
22 workplaces nationwide
Mandatory insurance coverage: $25 daily (the most expensive of the very best 10)
Further charges: GPS $twelve/working day, baby seat $six/day


Internet site is obvious and user pleasant with just a slight confusion in that an online quote is acquired by clicking on 'Reserve Now' and not the 'Get a Quotation' solution. The reaction to a phone inquiry was to employ the web site. Necessary insurance expenses are offered along with the listing of vehicles and rental prices to the reduced period charges and on the 2nd page of one other quotation page. Try to remember is often a really recommended sales consultant that's mentioned in lots of on line opinions to the superior volume of his customer care. Usually online testimonials are positive for Service. E mail reaction is a lot less than 24 hours, Despite the fact that all data requested will not be obtained.

U.S.A contact number, but not toll-no cost. No Dwell Chat.
5 offices nationwide
Necessary coverage: $fifteen day-to-day
Supplemental charges: GPS $five.99/working day, baby seat $two.99/day


Costa Rican version of the website is not possible to make use of and you are asked to sign-up for the user title and password. Mandatory coverage costs usually are not supplied together with the listing of motor vehicles and rental rates. A client needs to click "Defense Options" to the U.S. Web page and select the mandatory coverage by clicking on it -- implying that it's optional and not a demanded Expense. Thrifty are inclined to receive blended critiques on the web. E mail reaction is over 24 hrs.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *