Car rental is really a hot topic for vacationers headed to Costa Rica. Recent research conducted by the Costa Rican Institute of Tourism (ICT) indicates that, after accommodations, renting a car is the largest expense, averaging $702 for an eleven-day vacation.
The Internet is buzzing with negative reviews discussing overcharging, poor customer service and mechanical breakdowns. You may have even written one yourself!
An average midsize (3 – 4 adults) 4X4 rental runs between $58 and $65 daily with third party insurance and rates can vary just as much as 20 percent among car rental companies, so reading an instant review will undoubtedly be time well spent as soon as you calculate the savings.
Therefore the question is; which rental company supplies the best balance of fair price, capable customer service and reliable vehicles? I’ve researched it all for you, so keep reading!
Disclosure: This research was conducted in May – July 2013. The next companies were selected because they’re the most widely used in Costa Rica. rentals car near me Some are local companies; others are international franchises of recognized brand names. Comparisons include: customer service, pricing and the reservation process. The firms are listed alphabetically and not predicated on personal or online preferences.
Think about this information before renting:
One of the biggest causes for complaints is from the stack of unforeseen charges presented to the renter once standing at the rental company’s counter. Vacationers are typically tired following a long flight and are confronted by costs which were not anticipated, explained or budgeted.
Topping the set of grievances is the non-disclosure of fees associated with the mandatory third-party insurance at that time the reservation is made.
According to Costa Rican law, every driver is required to carry liability coverage to insure against injuries to third parties. Car rental companies generally avoid disclosing the price of this policy in the quoted rental rate to seem more competitive. Mandatory third-party insurance can sometimes be around double the vehicle’s rental cost. The only real guarantee against insurance confusion is to inquire if your estimate includes the 3rd party insurance and insist upon a written quotation.
Cost of Mandatory Insurance (also known as Third Party or SLI)
Be prepared to pay between $12 and $15 daily because of this insurance, depending on the make and style of the rented vehicle and the rental car agency. That is a legal condition of one’s rental agreement and is generally not covered by credit cards and cannot be waived. It’s a fact of renting a car in Costa Rica.
Collision Damage Waiver (CDW)
As the name suggests, this isn’t insurance, but a waiver, which relieves the renter from any liability for damage to the rental car after the deductible is paid (usually from $750 to $1,500). Some agencies require renters to get their CDW policy; thereby negating any charge card program. For an additional fee, many agencies do offer a zero liability option where in fact the renter will be freed from paying for any damage to the automobile. Some companies may put pressure upon renters to get the zero liability coverage; however, it really is entirely optional, unless it really is in the fine print of these rental agreement.
Charge card insurance programs may cover the CDW for accommodations vehicle. Check with your chosen rental car company to find which proof of insurance is needed and then request that from your own credit card company prior to arriving. If you are using your credit card’s CDW policy, expect to pay an increased deposit on the automobile; around $1,500 to $2000 is common. The bigger deposit ensures that the credit card holder has enough financial reserves to cover damages if needed. You should consider that when using CDW coverage supplied by a credit card (instead of the rent an automobile operator), all damages will be billed to the renter’s credit card. The credit card company will reimburse the card holder for damages.