Costa Rica Car Rental Company Guide

“My time is limited… How do I choose?”
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Car rental is a hot topic for holidaymakers visiting Costa Rica. A recent study by the Costa Rican Tourism Authority (ICT) showed that car rental is the biggest expense after accommodation, with an average of $702 for an average of 11 days.
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The Internet creaks, negative comments discuss overcharging, poor customer service and mechanical failure. You may even have written one yourself!
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A typical medium-sized (3-4 adult) 4X4 rent runs $58 to $65 a day, and third-party insurance and car rental companies can have rates as high as 20%, so once you’ve calculated the savings, read it quickly.
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So the question is; which leasing company offers the best balance of fair prices, competent customer service and reliable vehicles? I have studied all of this for you, so keep reading!
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Disclosure: This study was conducted from May to July 2013. The following companies were chosen as they are the most widely used companies in Costa Rica. Some are local companies; others are international franchises for well-known brands. The comparison includes: customer service, pricing and booking processes. These companies are listed in alphabetical order, not based on personal or online preferences.
Consider this information before renting a house:
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Insurance

One of the biggest reasons for complaints is that once you stand at the counter of the rental company, there will be a pile of unforeseen expenses. Holidaymakers often feel tired after a long flight and then get confused about unanticipated, explained or substantial costs.
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The most important list of complaints is that the fees associated with mandatory third-party insurance are not disclosed at the time of booking.
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According to Costa Rican law, every driver must be covered by liability insurance to ensure that third parties are not harmed. Car rental companies generally do not disclose the cost of this policy at the rental rate quoted to appear to be more competitive. Mandatory third-party insurance can sometimes be twice the cost of a car rental. The only guarantee of insurance confusion is to ask if your estimate includes written quotations from third-party insurance and insurance companies.
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Compulsory insurance fees (also known as third parties or SLI)

This insurance pays $12 to $15 per day, depending on the brand and model of the rental vehicle and rental car company. This is a legal condition for your rental agreement and is usually not credit card and cannot be waived. This is the fact of renting a car in Costa Rica.
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Collision Damage Exemption (CDW)

As the name implies, this is not an insurance, but an exemption, exempting the lessee from liability for damage to the rental car after deducting the deductible (usually from $750 to $1,500). Some agencies require renters to purchase their CDW policies;
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by negating any credit card program. For additional fees, many agents do offer a zero-responsibility option and tenants will be exempt from paying for any damaged car. Some companies may put pressure on renters to purchase zero-liability insurance; however, it is completely optional unless it is the fine of their lease agreement.
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A credit card insurance plan may cover the CDW of a rental vehicle. Please contact the rental car company of your choice to find out which insurance certificate you need and then ask your credit card company before you arrive. If you use a credit card CDW policy, you are expected to pay a higher deposit on the vehicle; approximately $1,500 to $2,000 is common. A higher deposit ensures that the credit card holder has sufficient financial reserves to pay damages. It is important to consider that if you use a CDW insurance provided by a credit card (instead of the car operator’s rent), all losses will be paid by the lessee’s credit card. The credit card company will refund the cardholder’s damages.
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More insurance

Tires and windshields are rarely included in insurance policies, but other policies may be adopted to cover these often damaged items. The inside and the bottom of the vehicle will not be covered. Always read the rules.
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Standard procedure

Your credit card will be charged, or “reserved” #39; placed for rental vehicles during the lease agreement; from rent collection to return. Debit cards are usually unacceptable.
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Additional fees

Most companies have additional drivers, car seats/boosters, cell phones, coolers, GPS and/or roof rack surcharges. Costs vary from company to company, but since these extra costs are calculated at the daily rate, it’s worth checking the total cost – extra options can add up very quickly! GPS is about $8 to $10 a day; however, some operators may offer discount units.

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Child seats are expected to pay approximately $5 per day, while all other child seats pay a few dollars per day. Vamos is known for providing most of these options, and even during some promotions, even GPS rental supplements. Alamo, Budget, Hertz, and National charge the highest for such additional options; while other companies go public, they charge a more reasonable price.

Surcharge
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Most companies add small incremental costs (such as license plates and environmental fees) to the total count. Beware of the operator’s inclusion of these additional costs in the small word of the lease contract. Vehicles rented directly at the airport will generate an airport tax, which is up to 12% of your rental fee!
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Rental vehicles should return the same amount of fuel, but not otherwise stated. If not, the company may charge more fuel than the gas station.

Vehicles
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There is a dispute about vehicles provided by rental companies: older vehicles allow drivers to integrate more than just shiny new cars. Unlike newer vehicles, having an older model may have the indirect benefit of a lesser review of recent scratches and scratches by car rental companies. However, newer vehicles may be more suitable for road driving. This debate continues with different vehicle manufacturing and models. Often, Costa Rican companies can rent their vehicles at a lower rate because their cars are usually three to five years (compared to two to three years). Online reviews indicate that local companies have no more complaints about vehicle quality than multinational franchises; research on forums such as TripAdvisor.com seems to indicate that customers often like to drive a less-new car in the wild in Costa Rica. There are many reasons, from road conditions to vehicles that are not too new to be better integrated – newer vehicles may attract more unnecessary attention.
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Costa Rica’s rental car selection is mainly limited to brands and models that maintain competitive resale value, is a common brand in the country, and has low maintenance costs. As a result, the fleet of rental car operators is often not as diverse as the US. Toyota, Nissan, Mitsubishi and Hyundai measure the major brands of most rental fleets.

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Sometimes, the driver will be sued for the promised loss ['thevehicleatthetimeofreturnOncethevehicleisreceivedtherentershouldcarefullyexaminethepre-existingdefectsandcomparethemtothevehicleinspectiondocumentsusedbytherentalrepresentativeSometenantsrecommendtakingorrecordingvehiclesfromallanglestoavoidanydifferencesbetweenpre-existingandrecentlydamageditems

Price
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Costa Rica’s car rental is more expensive than in other countries. Vehicle tariffs are high (up to 50% of their value!), parts are expensive, and unacceptable road conditions can lead to higher wear and tear, resulting in higher maintenance costs.

The rule is that you get the fees you pay – there are other options besides the rental companies listed here, but they are not listed for good reason. They simply cannot provide basic customer service and/or suitable vehicle conditions for a (nearly) trouble-free vacation.
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When comparing car rental fees, it is best to go directly to the car rental company’s Costa Rica website instead of trying to use their international format or temporary (Expedia, Travelocity, Orbitz, Kayak, etc.). For the same vehicle and booking date, the rates offered by Alamo, Budget, Hertz and Thrifty are quite different from those of the International and Costa Rican websites.

To avoid confusion, please print out all correspondence with the car rental company, keep the vehicle you booked, take it to the rental office, and provide a quote at the time of booking.
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The following ten charts rank companies from the highest price to the lowest price, including mandatory insurance fees. In the case of Alamo and Hertz, this number includes their CDW fee as this is one of their rental requirements. This price comparison is based on a week of Daihatsu Bego Leasing (Suzuki Vitara is offered by the US dollar from September 14 to 21) and then the green and peak season prices are again reviewed in December. The list quickly proves that price changes depend to a large extent on the company – basically the same service. These prices were obtained in June/July 2013.

Car rental company ranked according to the price

September

10. Alamo $ 650.96
9. Hertz $ 514.27
8. Adob ​​e $ 449
7. Budget $ 455
6. National $ 428.01
5. Thrifty $ 421.05
4 Service $ 374.43
3. Vamos $ 370.30
2. Dollar $ 364
1. Wild Rider $ 350

December

10. Alamo $ 650.96
9. National $ 597.51
8. Hertz $ 566.52
7. Budget $ 555
6. $ 532
5. Savings $ 506.58
4. Service $ 494.43
3. Vamos $ 461.30
2. Adob ​​e $ 459
1. Wild Rider $ 395

Alamo ranked tenth in two seasons, making it the most expensive company. The budget, Hertz and the country’s economic leasing options are also very low.

Company Summary

The Adob ​​e

website is clear and easy to use, but the pricing and even the listed vehicles are different from the vehicles provided by the office representatives by telephone. Compulsory insurance fees are not shown along with the vehicle list and rental fees, but as the customer turns to the booking, they will be clearly displayed on the next page. Mix customer reviews online. Emails are replied to less than 24 hours, but may not provide all required information.

Charge US and Canadian phone numbers. No online chat.
10 offices nationwide
Compulsory insurance: 19 US dollars per day
Additional cost: GPS 9 US dollars per day, children’s seat 5 US dollars / day

Alamo

website is clear and easy to use, but the price It is different from the quote received by phone. There is no mandatory insurance fee for vehicle listings and rental fees, but these fees are clearly shown on the next page as customers book. Mix customer reviews online. Email reply is less than 24 hours.

No free US and Canadian phone numbers or live chat
National 14 offices
Compulsory insurance: $11.95 per day, but also must be $12.95 per day for CDW
Extra cost: GPS $12 / Day, child seat $6 / day

budget

The website is basic but easy to use. The online price is different from the quote offered by the representative by phone, depending on whether the international or Costa Rican website is used. Compulsory insurance fees are provided with the vehicle list; however, other fees are not listed. Mix customer reviews online. Email reply for more than 24 hours.

There are no free US and Canadian phone numbers. There is no live chat on the Costa Rica website.
10 offices nationwide
compulsory insurance: included in the listing price
additional cost: GPS $ 10.95 / day, child seat 12 US dollars / day (the top ten of the most expensive)

[19659002]] The website is clear and easy to use. If you call from the US or Costa Rica, the quotation will be different. There is no mandatory insurance fee for the vehicle list and rental fees, but as the customer turns to the booking, they will be clearly displayed on the next page. Online reviews are mixed, but usually receive positive feedback. Email inquiries reply within 24 hours.

Charge US and Canadian phone numbers. No online chat.
Three offices nationwide
Compulsory insurance: $16 per day
Additional cost: GPS $9/day, child seat $5/day

Hertz

The website is clear and easy to use. Compulsory insurance fees are not listed in both the vehicle list and the rental fee, but as the customer turns to the booking, they will be clearly displayed on the next page. Mix customer reviews online. Email reply is less than 24 hours.

US and Canada free phone numbers and live chat (although it seems to be permanently offline)
National 7 offices
mandatory insurance: $17.43 per day, but their CDW is also a requirement
Cost: GPS $12 / day, child seat $ 2 / day

National

The website is clear and easy to use. Compulsory insurance fees are not provided with the vehicle list and rental fees, but as the customer turns to the booking, they will be clearly displayed on the next page. Mix customer reviews online, but positive rather than negative. Email reply is less than 24 hours.

Charge US and Canadian phone numbers. Live chat.
22 offices nationwide
Compulsory insurance: $25 per day (the most expensive of the top ten)
Additional fees: GPS $12 per day, child seat $6/day

service

The site is clear and user friendly, just a bit confusing, because clicking “Book Now” will get an online quote. Instead of ' get the quote ' option. The response to the phone inquiry is to use the website. The mandatory insurance fee is given together with the vehicle list and rental fee for the off-season fee and the second page of another quotation page. Remember to be a highly recommended sales representative who mentioned his high level of customer service in many online reviews. In general, online reviews are good for the service. Emails are replied to less than 24 hours, but may not receive all requested information.

American phone number, but not a toll-free number. No online chat.
5 offices nationwide
Compulsory insurance: 15 US dollars per day
Additional cost: GPS 5.99 USD / day, child seat 2.99 USD / day

Thrifty

Costa Rica version of the website is not available You are required to register a username and password. Compulsory insurance fees do not include vehicle lists and rental fees. Customers must click on the “Protection Options” on the US website and then select Compulsory Insurance by clicking – claiming that it is optional and not a required cost. Thrifty tends to receive mixed reviews online. Email reply for more than 24 hours.

Charge US and Canadian phone numbers. No online chat.
4 offices nationwide
Compulsory insurance: $19.99 per day
Additional cost: GPS $10/day, child seat $5/day

Vamos

The website is clear and easy to use. There is no mandatory insurance fee next to the vehicle list and rental fees, but will be clearly displayed on the next page as the customer booked the reservation. Anibal is a representative who often mentions his high level of customer service skills in online reviews. General Manager George Schwarzenbach is known for his forward-looking and honest response to his clients. Post.

In recent years, Vamos has received very positive comments on the Internet. Email reply is less than 24 hours. Online chat can respond to queries immediately.

Charge US and Canadian phone numbers. Live chat.
Three offices nationwide
Compulsory insurance: $11.95 per day
Additional cost: GPS $8/day, free seat for children

Wild Rider

The website is clear and easy to use. A mandatory insurance fee is given next to the vehicle list. Wild Rider is the only car rental company in Costa Rica and there are no visible bad reviews online. Although the company has very limited resources at hand, Thorsten bosses are often praised for their efficiency and customer service. Email received a very quick and detailed response in less than 12 hours.

No free phone number or online chat
1 office – no Liberia airport office
Mandatory insurance: including
extra cost: GPS $8 / day, child seat $ 5 / day

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Customer Service

Vamos and Wild Rider respond to emails or live chat queries quickly and efficiently. Adobe, Alamo, Dollar, Hertz, National, and Service replied to email in less than 24 hours, but Adobe and the service did not provide all the required information (probably a language barrier). Budget offers a free phone service, but it always seems very busy. Hertz’s live chats seem to be offline often. In the past year, customers who posted to the online review site were particularly pleased with the customer service provided by Service, Vamos and Wild Rider.

Clarity

Adob ​​e, Alamo and Budget posted a different rental price on their website than the price quoted by telephone. In the case of Adobe and Alamo, the phone price is lower than the price quoted on the website, but it is higher in the budget. Compared with websites, Adobe also offers different models through mobile phones. International car rental companies with both Costa Rica and international websites seem to have price differences between the two sites.

Budget and Wild Rider include compulsory insurance in their rental price, but Budget pointed out that other fees ' will be presented on the counter in small fonts on their website. Car rental prices must be verified on the phone as they are not listed on the budget website.

With the exception of Thrifty (US website), all other companies clearly show the mandatory insurance fees for a given offer. Thrifty’s Costa Rica website is simply not available.

Pricing

Service, Vamos and Wild Rider always offer the best price for green and high season, although the dollar is one of the lowest prices in the green season, while Adobe’s peak season price is lower. Since most of the options are provided free of charge, Vamos offers the best “all inclusive” rates.

Adob ​​e, Dollar, Service, Thrifty and Wild Rider remain competitive in the pricing of items such as child seats. Alamo, Hertz and National are the most expensive companies, and their extra options are more expensive.

“So, what is your rental recommendation?”

Overall, Costa Rica seems to outperform multinational companies with better pricing, service and clarity.
The service provides a generally high level of customer service and a very competitive price at two international airports.
Vamos can provide effective bookings and ongoing high levels of customer service at competitive prices, as well as free add-on options for SJO and LIR airports.
Wild Rider’s rent is very high, the price is clear, the economy is affordable, and the customer service is excellent, but only in San Jose.

“Now, you are ready to book your rental car after seeing a comparison of competitors. Good luck and a pleasant trip!”

Source by Sara P Ford