Tutorial to Car Rental Firms in Costa Rica

"My time's constrained... how can I select?"

Vehicle rental is usually a scorching subject matter for vacationers headed to Costa Rica. Current investigate performed because of the Costa Rican Institute of Tourism (ICT) signifies that, after accommodations, leasing an automobile is the most important expenditure, averaging $702 for an eleven-day getaway.

The online market place is buzzing with adverse assessments talking about overcharging, poor customer support and mechanical breakdowns. You could have even written a person on your own!

A normal midsize (three - 4 Grown ups) 4X4 rental operates among $58 and $65 every day with 3rd party insurance policy and prices can vary approximately 20 per cent amid vehicle rental providers, so looking through A fast evaluation might be time effectively used once you compute the discounts.

And so the concern is; which rental business features the most effective stability of truthful price, able customer care and reputable autos? I have researched all of it to suit your needs, so keep reading!

Disclosure: This analysis was performed in May well - July 2013. The next providers have been picked mainly because they tend to be the most generally used in Costa Rica. Some are area providers; Many others are Worldwide franchises of recognized brand names. Comparisons include things like: customer care, pricing as well as the reservation approach. The businesses are shown alphabetically and never depending on personalized or on the web Tastes.
Take into account this information and facts before leasing:

Insurance coverage

Amongst the most significant results in for issues is through the stack of unexpected costs presented to the renter at the time standing on the rental firm's counter. Vacationers are generally exhausted following a long flight then are confronted by prices that were not expected, explained or budgeted.

Topping the list of grievances could be the non-disclosure of fees linked to the necessary 3rd-get together coverage at time the reservation is created.

In keeping with Costa Rican legislation, each and every driver is necessary to carry legal responsibility coverage to insure in opposition to injuries to 3rd events. Vehicle rental businesses typically refrain from disclosing the expense of this coverage within the quoted rental fee to look extra aggressive. Mandatory third-party insurance coverage can in some cases be as much as double the automobile's rental Price tag. The sole guarantee against insurance policy confusion will be to inquire In the event your estimate involves the 3rd party insurance plan and insist on a published quotation.

Price of Required Insurance (also referred to as Third Party or SLI)

Expect to pay in between $twelve and $fifteen day-to-day for this insurance plan, based on the make and design from the rented automobile as well as rental car or truck agency. This is a legal ailment of your respective rental agreement and is generally not lined by bank cards and can't be waived. It's a truth of leasing a vehicle in Costa Rica.

Collision Problems Waiver (CDW)

Because the identify implies, this is not insurance plan, but a waiver, which relieves the renter from any liability for damage to the rental motor vehicle following the deductible is paid (typically from $750 to $1,five hundred). Some companies require renters to buy their CDW policy; thus negating any credit card plan. For an additional price, several organizations do offer a zero legal responsibility solution the place the renter might be freed from paying for any damage to the car. Some corporations may place tension upon renters to invest in the zero legal responsibility coverage; having said that, it's completely optional, Except if it is while in the good print of their rental settlement.

Charge card insurance plan programs may include the CDW for your rental auto. Verify along with your decided on rental car organization to discover which evidence of coverage is required then ask for that from your bank card organization before arriving. When you make use of your bank card's CDW policy, expect to pay a better deposit on the automobile; around $one,500 to $2000 is frequent. The upper deposit makes certain that the charge card holder has enough fiscal reserves to protect damages if wanted. It is necessary to contemplate that if employing CDW coverage supplied by a charge card (in lieu of your hire a vehicle operator), all damages are going to be billed for the renter's charge card. The credit card enterprise will then reimburse the card holder for damages.

Much more Insurance policy

Tires and windshields are seldom included in insurance policy guidelines, Whilst additional guidelines could possibly be taken out for masking these usually broken goods. Neither the interior nor the beneath from the automobile might be covered. Usually examine the fine print.

Conventional Technique

Your charge card are going to be charged, or possibly a 'maintain' put, for your rental car throughout the time of the rental settlement; i.e. from buying up the rental until you return it. Debit cards are frequently not suitable.

Additional Rates

Most organizations have surcharges For added drivers, car seats/boosters, cell phones, coolers, GPS and/or roof racks. The costs differ from enterprise to business, but given that these extras are billed at a each day price, it can be worthy of examining the total Price -- added solutions can insert up in a short time! A GPS is all over $8 to $10 every day; on the other hand, some operators may provide discounted models. Assume to pay all-around $5 everyday for a kid seat and a few dollars every day for all another 'niceties'. Vamos is notable for providing These types of solutions and, throughout some promotions, even the GPS rental complimentarily. Alamo, Spending budget, Hertz and National demand essentially the most for this kind of more selections; Whilst one other firms detailed, cost extra acceptable selling prices.


Most organizations insert tiny incremental prices, like license plate and environmental charges, into the full tally. Be wary of operators who insert these more fees to the modest print with the rental deal. Motor vehicles rented immediate for the airport incur airport taxes, which might be a whopping 12% of your rental Charge!

The rental motor vehicle really should be returned Along with the same amount of fuel, Until or else indicated. Otherwise, corporations could charge higher than fuel station premiums for lacking gas.


You will find a debate about the cars provided by rental organizations: Older cars make it possible for the motive force to Mix in more than a shiny, new vehicle. Getting an more mature product may possibly hold the oblique good thing about staying significantly less scrutinized by motor vehicle rental businesses for current nicks and scratches, not like a more recent car. On the other hand, a more recent car or truck could possibly be additional roadworthy. This debate carries on into different car or truck tends to make and versions. Usually, Costa Rican corporations can easily rent their motor vehicles for any decrease amount because their cars and trucks are typically three to five years outdated (versus two to three). On the web assessments would advise that the area companies don't have any a lot more problems relating to vehicle quality than transnational franchises; investigation on discussion boards, for example TripAdvisor.com, would seem to indicate that clients commonly appreciate driving a fewer-than-new vehicle from the wilds of Costa Rica. The reasons are a good deal, from road problems to your Idea of fewer-then-new vehicles blending in far better -- a newer auto might attract a lot more unwanted awareness.

The selections of rental automobiles in Costa Rica are generally limited to tends to make and products that sustain a competitive resale price, are a standard manufacturer within the state, and they are inexpensive to maintain. As a result a hire-a-automobile operator's fleet are inclined to not be as various as The us. Toyota, Nissan, Mitsubishi and Hyundai represent the mainstay makes of most rental fleets.

From time to time, motorists are billed for supposed 'damages' to your motor vehicle upon return. Once acquiring the automobile, renters really should meticulously look for pre-current flaws and Assess it While using the automobile inspection doc utilized by the rental auto representative. Some renters recommend photographing or videoing the car from all angles, to avoid any disagreement involving pre-current and lately harmed merchandise.


Vehicle rentals in Costa Rica are pricier in comparison with other countries. Obligations on autos are substantial (just as much as fifty% of their benefit!), components are costlier and unforgiving street ailments lead to larger wear and tear, making greater maintenance fees.

The rule is you can get That which you purchase -- you will discover other available choices than These rental companies detailed right here, but they don't seem to be shown for an excellent reason. They simply just fail to provide simple customer care and/or a suitable car condition expected for just a (almost) problems-free holiday.

When comparing rental auto expenses, it's best to go straight to the Costa Rican Web site of the rental auto company, as an alternative to trying to use their Intercontinental format or an middleman (Expedia, Travelocity, Orbitz, Kayak, et al.). For the same autos and reservation dates, the fees provided by the respective Intercontinental vs. Costa Rican Web-sites for Alamo, Spending budget, Hertz and Thrifty differed considerably.

To avoid confusion, print out all correspondence With all the motor vehicle rental organization with whom you have reserved a auto and convey this into the rental Business office with the quotation presented at enough time of reservation.

The following prime ten chart ranks the businesses from best priced to lowest and it consists of the obligatory coverage cost. Inside the instances of Alamo and Hertz, the figure has their CDW fee since it is among their rental necessities. This cost comparison is based on each week's rental of a Daihatsu Bego, where by available (Greenback delivers the Suzuki Vitara) from September 14th - 21st, on the other hand in December to check out both equally Green and Substantial Period fees. The checklist quickly demonstrates that the cost variation is dependent enormously on the company -- for basically exactly the same support. These selling prices ended up attained in June/July 2013.

Rental Car or truck Organizations Ranked In accordance with Value


ten. Alamo $650.96
nine. Hertz $514.27
eight. Adobe $449
7. Finances $455
six. National $428.01
five. Thrifty $421.05
4. Service $374.forty three
3. Vamos $370.30
two. Greenback $364
1. Wild Rider $350


ten. Alamo $650.96
nine. National $597.51
8. Hertz $566.fifty two
seven. Spending plan $555
6. Greenback $532
5. Thrifty $506.58
four. Services $494.43
three. Vamos $461.30
two. Adobe $459
1. Wild Rider $395

Alamo ranks selection ten for both seasons, making it the costliest business. Finances, Hertz and Countrywide also rate very low on the scale for economical rental options.

Business Summaries


Site is clear and convenient to use, but pricing and perhaps the motor vehicles listed are usually not similar to These supplied by an Business office representative around the phone. Obligatory coverage expenses are certainly not proven with the list of vehicles and rental fees, but These are Evidently shown on the next website page like a customer moves toward booking a reservation. Blended consumer evaluations on the web. Email response is a lot less than 24 hours, but might not give all asked for information.

Toll-totally free U.S.A and Canada contact number. No Stay Chat.
ten workplaces nationwide
Obligatory insurance: $19 day by day
Supplemental prices: GPS $9/working day, boy or girl seat $five/day


Site is clear and convenient to use, but prices vary versus quotes received about the cellphone. Necessary insurance plan expenses are certainly not presented While using the listing of vehicles and rental costs, but They are really Evidently shown on the following site as The client moves towards building a reservation. Mixed consumer critiques on line. Email reaction is under 24 hrs.

No toll-cost-free U.S.A and Canada cell phone number or Are living chat
14 places of work nationwide
Obligatory insurance policy: $eleven.ninety five every day, but have to also just take their CDW at $12.ninety five every day
Further fees: GPS $12/day, youngster seat $six/working day


Web page is fundamental, but easy to use. Charges on line differ on the quotations presented by a consultant in excess of the phone and determined by whether the international or Costa Rican Internet site is utilized. Necessary insurance expenditures are presented combined with the listing of motor vehicles; nevertheless, the other rates are not stated. Combined buyer assessments on line. E mail reaction is a lot more than 24 hours.

No toll-totally free U.S.A and Canada phone number. No Are living Chat on Costa Rican Site.
ten workplaces nationwide
Necessary insurance policy: A part of the stated selling price
Added charges: GPS $ten.ninety five/working day, baby seat $twelve/working day (the most expensive of the highest 10)


Web-site is obvious and easy to use. Costs quoted differ if contacting through the U.S. or in Costa Rica. Necessary insurance coverage charges are usually not presented with the listing of autos and rental costs, but They may be Plainly shown on the subsequent web page as being a buyer moves towards a earning a reservation. Blended opinions on-line, but commonly gets constructive responses. E mail inquiries answered inside 24 several hours.

Toll-totally free U.S.A and Canada cell phone number. No Stay Chat.
3 workplaces nationwide
Mandatory insurance policy: $sixteen each day
Further prices: GPS $9/day, baby seat $5/working day


Web site is evident and simple to operate. Mandatory insurance coverage prices aren't offered Moreover the list of motor vehicles and rental charges, but They are really Obviously shown on the subsequent site as the customer moves toward a scheduling a reservation. Mixed shopper reviews on the internet. E-mail reaction less than 24 several hours.

Toll-no cost U.S.A and Canada cell phone number and Are living Chat (even though it seems to be forever offline)
seven workplaces nationwide
Necessary insurance policy: $17.43 every day, but their CDW can be a requirement
Added costs: GPS $twelve/day, kid seat $two/day


Website is evident and convenient to use. Obligatory insurance policy costs are certainly not given along with the listing of vehicles and rental prices, but They are really Plainly exhibited on the following page being a customer moves in the direction of producing a reservation. Mixed buyer reviews on line, but more good than adverse. E-mail reaction less than 24 hrs.

Toll-free of charge U.S.A and Canada phone number. Reside Chat.
22 places of work nationwide
Obligatory insurance: $twenty five every day (the costliest of the best ten)
More fees: GPS $12/working day, child seat $six/working day


Web-site is evident and person pleasant with only a slight confusion in that an online estimate is attained by clicking on 'Reserve Now' instead of the 'Have a Estimate' possibility. The reaction to your cellphone inquiry was to utilize the web site. Necessary coverage expenditures are presented together with the listing of cars and rental fees for the small time costs and on the 2nd webpage of one other quotation page. Try to remember is often a highly suggested income consultant that is stated in lots of on line reviews with the superior level of his customer support. Normally online evaluations are beneficial for Support. E mail response is less than 24 hrs, Even though all details asked for might not be acquired.

U.S.A contact number, although not toll-cost-free. No Dwell Chat.
5 offices nationwide
Necessary insurance coverage: $fifteen day by day
More rates: GPS $5.99/working day, little one seat $2.ninety nine/working day


Costa Rican Variation of the website is difficult to implement and you also are questioned to sign-up for the person name and password. Required coverage charges are usually not supplied together with the listing of motor vehicles and rental expenses. A buyer needs to click on "Protection Choices" around the U.S. Web page and choose the required insurance policies by clicking on it -- implying that it is optional and never a necessary Price tag. Thrifty have a tendency to acquire blended assessments on the web. E mail reaction is more than 24 hours.

Toll-free of charge U.S.A and Canada telephone number. No Dwell Chat.
4 offices nationwide
Necessary coverage: $19.ninety nine day-to-day
Added costs: GPS $10/working day, boy or girl seat $5/day


Web-site is obvious and easy to use. Necessary insurance plan fees aren't presented alongside facet the list of vehicles and rental expenses, but are Evidently displayed on the subsequent page as Illinois to New York Can Shipping The client moves towards booking a reservation. Anibal, a consultant, is frequently mentioned in on the net testimonials for his significant level of customer support skills. Normal Supervisor, George Schwarzenbach is thought on Journey Advisor for his upfront and trustworthy responses to prospects' posts.

Lately, Vamos has acquired extremely constructive assessments online. Email response is lower than 24 hours. Live Chat has immediate reaction the perfect time to inquiries.

Toll-cost-free U.S.A and Canada telephone number. Live Chat.
three offices nationwide
Mandatory coverage: $eleven.95 everyday
Added rates: GPS $8/day, baby seat cost-free

Wild Rider

Site is evident and user friendly. Necessary insurance policy prices are provided next to the listing of automobiles. Wild Rider is the only real vehicle rental organization in Costa Rica without any noticeable poor evaluations on line. Owner, Thorsten, is usually praised for his performance and customer service, despite the extremely minimal assets the corporate has at hand. E-mails acquire quite prompt and detailed responses in a lot less than twelve hrs.

No toll-absolutely free contact number or Live Chat
one Place of work -- no Liberia airport Workplace
Mandatory insurance coverage: included
More costs: GPS $eight/day, little one seat $5/working day

Comparison Assessment

Customer Service

Vamos and Wild Rider answer rapidly and competently to email or live chat inquiries. Adobe, Alamo, Dollar, Hertz, Nationwide, and Service reply to electronic mail inquiries in a lot less than 24 hrs, but Adobe and Service didn't provide all the knowledge requested (possibly a language barrier). Budget provides a free of charge telephone provider, but it appears to be often occupied. Hertz's Stay chat appears to be continuously offline. In the course of the previous yr, clients who posted to on the internet assessment internet sites expressed a particular satisfaction Together with the customer support supplied by Support, Vamos and Wild Rider.


Adobe, Alamo and Finances have various rental price ranges posted on their own Web sites than All those quoted above the cellular phone. Phone prices were reduce than that quoted on the web site from the situations of Adobe and Alamo, but still better in the case of Spending plan. Adobe also provides diverse motor vehicle products over the cellular phone in comparison with their Web page. Worldwide car rental companies with both equally a Costa Rican and Global Web page look to have pricing distinctions amongst the two web sites.

Budget and Wild Rider consist of the mandatory insurance plan in their rental rates, but Price range states that 'other rates' which is able to be introduced for the counter inside the little print on their Web site. Rental costs for auto seating had to be verified about the telephone as they're not stated to the Price range Web-site.

All other providers except Thrifty (a U.S. Web site), Evidently exhibit the required coverage Value Together with the quotation offered. Thrifty's Costa Rican Web page is just unusable.


Provider, Vamos and Wild Rider consistently offer you the top premiums for the two Inexperienced and Significant seasons, although Dollar has certainly one of the lowest Inexperienced time charges accessible, even though Adobe has a cheaper Significant year rate. Vamos supply the most effective "all inclusive" charges, on condition that most alternatives are supplied without spending a dime.

Adobe, Dollar, Support, Thrifty and Wild Rider keep on being aggressive with their pricing of things such as child seats. Alamo, Hertz and Countrywide are the costliest providers to hire from and their added selection fees are more expensive.

"So, what is actually your rental advice?"

Total, the Costa Rican corporations manage to trump the multi-nationals with far better pricing, provider and clarity.
Provider offers a generally superior-level of customer support and fairly aggressive pricing at the two Global airports.
Vamos can offer successful booking and ongoing higher-degree of customer care with competitive pricing, along with free of charge more possibilities at both equally SJO and LIR airports.
Wild Rider is quite extremely rated for your rental with crystal clear and inexpensive pricing and outstanding customer support, but They're only in San Jose.

"Now you happen to be all set to reserve your rental auto soon after seeing how the Levels of competition compares. Fantastic luck and pleased travels!"

Leave a Reply

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