Manual to Motor vehicle Rental Companies in Costa Rica 2015

Guidebook to Auto Rental Companies in Costa Rica

Fee Comparisons for 2015

Car rental in Costa Rica is an opportunity to explore the distant seashores and silent corners of this breathtakingly lovely region. Vacation without the limitations established by general public transport timetables and with freedom about team excursions. For that unprepared traveler; however, automobile rental fees and expert services generally is a rude shock and a blow to that getaway spending budget.

Renting a car for your family vacation will probably be the costliest component within your funds, so comprehension the phrases and controlling expectations is essential. The knowledge below isn't intended being an exhaustive manual, but it surely need to established you on the path in the direction of an knowledgeable choice for your car rental requirements in Costa Rica.

Why is motor vehicle rental so highly-priced?

Readers from outside of Costa Rica are frequently stunned by the price of automobile rental. While lodge rooms, restaurant costs and excursions are lessen than the prices paid out in your own home, it may well appear Bizarre that vehicle rental needs to be much more costly.

There are two straightforward causes for this large Price tag:

All vehicles in Costa Rica are imported and a tax is imposed. As a result of this significant taxation, the associated fee of purchasing a vehicle is larger than It will be in other industrialized countries. There are several motor vehicle rental operators who rent older autos to be able to lower their fees.

The expense of necessary insurance plan (see under).
Things that Affect Vehicle Rental Expenditures

• Necessary Insurance policy

3rd-bash insurance policies, which may be often called TPI, PDW (Partial Damage Waiver), SLI (Supplementary Liability Coverage) and various acronyms, can be a authorized requirement. Motor vehicle rental operators must demand The shopper for this protection which may or may not be crystal clear in the quotation been given by the customer.

The insurance itself isn't the challenge. In the end, all kinds of other countries involve vehicle renters to pay a mandatory insurance coverage; which include: New Zealand, Italy and Mexico, in addition to a range of the U.S. states, like California. The problem that triggers competition in Costa Rica is this Expense is not really always exhibited Evidently on the car rental operator's website or in the quote. Consumers then explore the extra Value in their rental upon arrival.

The price of necessary coverage varies from organization to company and can count on the car category that's staying rented also. The expense for a small sedan may be as minor as $twelve each day, Whilst a quality 4x4 car or truck might be as much as $25 for insurance coverage on a daily basis. This is certainly Besides the rental cost.

Charge cards in North The united states usually offer car insurance plan as an additional perk on the charge card holder and so North People in america particularly, are unused to being forced to pay for insurance coverage in addition to rental costs. Nonetheless, no bank card will address this coverage need.

Do inquire Should the provided quotation contains third-get together insurance and check the prices on the vehicle rental operator's Site.

• Collision Destruction Waiver

It's not insurance policy, but a waiver. The fundamental amount will have a deductible that varies, but may very well be about $1,500. For a higher every day price, a zero deductible CDW can be obtained To ease the renter of any money responsibility in the event of harm to, or theft thereof, the car or truck.

Numerous renters will obtain their CDW by their bank card. On the other hand, it really is really worth noting the duty for making any coverage claim is on The shopper rather than Together with the car rental operator. Some renters may pick out to get additional in-home protection in order to avoid possessing this obligation.

There will be car or truck rental businesses which tricky offer their particular protection options via guaranteeing assurance, but eventually, this is the renter's conclusion. It can be truly worth remembering that auto rental business personnel, like in other aspects of the whole world, will occasionally receive Fee for insurance policies product sales.

If The client's bank card does not supply CDW, the customer might be required to acquire this in-household coverage.

Car or truck rental operators require published proof that The shopper's bank card gives CDW. Inquire the car rental operator for the precise facts of what they call for As well as in what kind. Some may take a forwarded e mail within the credit card firm, but Other people may possibly request a printed copy being introduced at enough time of rental.

• Deposit

The deposit volume demanded will rely upon whether The shopper chooses to use the auto rental operator's in-household CDW or can take this protection through a credit card. Anticipate to pay a Significantly better deposit If your in-house CDW is declined. The deposit may additionally rely on auto design rented. This sum, that may be held to the renter's credit card right until the top of the rental period of time, might be from $750 as much as around $three,five hundred. The deposit should get no more than 5 times for being refunded to the credit card on the motor vehicle's return. Some car rental companies will accept debit cards for deposit hold, but the return time for this amount can take weeks.

Do be certain that the deposit is calculated within the family vacation spending plan as an sudden hold of some thousand bucks over a credit card could otherwise seriously Reduce into trip investing.

• Airport Taxes

Customers that hire from the car or truck rental operator's counter within just an airport making are obliged to pay for the airport tax.

Those motor vehicle rental operators having a counter at San Jose's Juan Santamaria Intercontinental Airport (SJO) are: Alamo/Countrywide, Funds, Greenback, Economic system and Hertz. These corporations will increase an additional 12% tax to your rental Value.

All those auto rental operators having a counter at Daniel Oduber Quiros Worldwide Airport (LIR) are: Avis, Finances and Economic climate. These companies will increase a further three% tax for the rental Price.

To avoid this tax, choose an airport shuttle Together with the automobile rental operator to an Office environment Found outside of the airport grounds.

• Surcharges and various Taxes

There are a number of other obligatory expenses that motor vehicle rental operators may perhaps include in the rental Expense, display on-display or clearly show within the estimate, or leave undisclosed right until The client's arrival. These likely hidden charges may perhaps seem compact when seen individually, but these are usually day by day prices, so they're going to include up quickly!

These may well incorporate:

• License Plate Rate: Under $two everyday, but differs from enterprise to company.

• Environmental Tax: Fewer than $one everyday.

• Profits Tax: All gross sales transactions in Costa Rica are subjected to some 12% govt-imposed sales tax.

• Auto Washing Charge: Bring back again an extremely dirty motor vehicle along with the cleaning price could possibly be added onto the final payment. One particular auto rental operator costs $20 for this extra company.

• Fuel Rates: In case the gasoline tank isn't crammed to the same stage as it absolutely was At first of your rental interval, then the car rental organization will demand (generally to the closest eighth of the tank). This cost is dictated by the vehicle rental operator and It is far from topic towards the governmentally established fuel selling price that may be located at any gas station.

Where by Should I Reserve the Auto?

A common confusion for vacationers scheduling a rental car or truck is definitely the discrepancy concerning international websites for motor vehicle rental operators as well as Costa Rican Internet site for a similar model. Frequently the Intercontinental Sites are unaware of, or fall short to disclose, insurances, taxes and surcharges that can be billed with the counter. This may be on account of the fact that lots of recognized car or truck rental operator makes in Costa Rica are usually not a foreign department in the branded motor vehicle rental operator, but rather certainly are a franchise operation. This factor is usually well worth looking at with regards to expectations regarding customer care together with other finer specifics. The Costa Rican franchise Office environment could have their own style of operating, other than the same procedures and pointers that The client could have seasoned in other aspects of the globe.

Understandably then, an internet based reservation is most effective designed with the regional website and not the Intercontinental site, where ever achievable. A number of firms do not have a neighborhood Web-site. In this case, do Examine the small print with a local workers member by using the telephone and request published affirmation of your quotation. Expertise with Stay chat on the Global websites suggests that While personnel is properly trained on terms and conditions governing the primary Place of work (normally U.S.A.); they fully grasp minimal with the procedures that have to be adhered to in Costa Rica.

Motor vehicle Rental Comparisons

In May perhaps/June of 2013, I in contrast the pricing and providers of several car or truck rental operators in Costa Rica and revealed the findings. To my surprise, the article is still remaining plagiarized consistently throughout the online world which indicates that it's nevertheless practical and so an update was required. The costs for this comparison had been acquired in December 2014 and January 2015.

The ICT (Costa Rican Institute of Tourism) states that there are thirty registered motor vehicle rental operators with 8 Other folks pending approval. On the other hand, there are many far more companies that rent vehicles to people. The vehicle rental operators picked are those which happen to be most often used by travelers:






Financial state










Wild Rider

Exclusion of Corporations from Final Comparison

Spending plan, Financial system, Payless, and Toyota have been contacted, but these four providers did not offer correct on the net fees. Economic climate and Spending plan's websites have 1 selling price, whatever the dates entered and prospects will need to order a automobile in order for them to honor the worth demonstrated. Toyota's Web-site was regretably only Doing work up right until March. Outside of that, the pricing displayed $0 for the rest with the 12 months. Payless has this disclaimer on their own Web site: "Taxes and surcharges will not be within our Management and could improve all of sudden."

Sending person inquiries for every period of time resulted in inconsistent benefits: Spending plan made available a similar cost for all 3 investigated time periods when receiving an email request, which is very unlikely; Economy responded with distinctive quotes for a similar dates from distinct members of staff members; and Toyota's emailed offers for time durations earlier March's price ranges indicated on line did not correspond into the March costs quoted (perhaps the emailed prices contained taxes that were not shown on the web). Payless can provide estimates by means of e mail and phone, but weren't in step with pricing for different seasons.

Avis is barely excluded from the price comparison, as they do not have an intermediate SUV group of their fleet.

Comparison Facts

Car or truck rental fee, all taxes and surcharges, and third-bash insurance coverage expenses are (supposedly) calculated and ranked appropriately down below based on the week's rental of a BeGo or comparable intermediate 4x4 from a San Jose/Alajuela locale (not in the airport).

Premiums are calculated on a weekly basis and divided by 7 to supply a each day Price that is more simply similar. As not all pricing is completely clear, the costs are as correct as possible dependant on the information provided through the automobile rental operators' Web-sites, cell phone calls, and/or e-mail. Airport taxes are not included in these figures.

Shoulder Year (Quotation for July thirteen as a result of twenty)

1. USave $forty three.37

two. Services $54.ninety two

3. Fox $fifty five.sixty four

4. Hertz $58.seventeen

5. Adobe $sixty.13

six. Alamo $60.99

seven. Wild Rider $sixty two.86

eight. Dollar $sixty three.35

nine. Vamos $sixty four.15

10. Illinois to New York Can Shipping Countrywide $sixty seven.04

11. Thrifty $seventy four.39

Very low Season (Quotation for Might thirteen by twenty)

one. Countrywide $37.04

2. USave $43.37

3. Dollar $forty six.49

4. Adobe $fifty two.57

5. Vamos $53.fifteen

6. Assistance $fifty three.forty nine

7. Hertz $54.59

8. Fox $fifty five.sixty four

9. Wild Rider $55.71

10. Alamo $60.99

eleven. Thrifty $seventy four.39

Superior Year (Quotation for March thirteen as a result of twenty)

one. Dollar $55.ninety two

two. USave $56.22

three. Hertz $fifty six.37

4. Fox $fifty nine.36

5. Thrifty $64.69

six. Support $sixty six.63

seven. Vamos $sixty seven.fourteen

8. Alamo $69.fifty six

9. Wild Rider $70.00

10. Adobe $70.63

eleven. National $seventy three.90

Summary of Comparison

Interestingly, You can find not one clear high-priced or affordable corporation from People when compared. The variation in ranking among seasons is marked and prospects really should take into consideration their holiday vacation dates When picking the vehicle rental operator. For instance, Thrifty appears given that the most expensive for both equally small and shoulder period, but are only in fourth posture from the rankings for prime Period.

It is usually considerable that pricing isn't according to rating with car or truck rental operators in other vehicle classes. One example is, Vamos' pricing is The most cost effective for your premium car inside the shoulder year; Even though they are not initially in almost any rankings with the intermediate class and Adobe which appears aggressive are the most costly for this period of time and car class.

Info on Automobile Rental Operators

Adobe Lease-A-Car is a local car or truck rental operator which has eleven workplaces across the nation. The web site is straightforward and convenient to use without having apparent hidden costs. The required insurance plan cost is exhibited as A part of the online estimate. The organization receives mixed critiques on the internet, but additional favourable than unfavorable opinions are made. E-mails receive a reply inside 24 hours, but may not completely solution the issues requested.

Toll-Totally free Contact number: one-855-861-1250

Child Seat: $3/day

Booster: $1/working day

More Driver: $three/day

GPS Program: $nine/working day

Alamo functions in partnership with Nationwide and it has 13 workplaces across the nation. Just like several large names, Alamo Costa Rica is really a franchise instead of a branch of Alamo itself. Third-get together insurance coverage and primary CDW are included in the online quotation, Even though the CDW might be refused on presentation of evidence of protection by way of the customer's credit card. This will make the pricing appear to be higher on very first glance, particularly when, unlike other vehicle rental operators, Alamo contains airport taxes of their online quotation and so their pricing is genuine, but seems A lot bigger than other businesses Due to this fact. Pricing differs on the Intercontinental Site of the corporate, although the conditions and terms do state the fees that will be compensated on arrival. This pricing discrepancy is definitely the guide reason for unfavorable testimonials for this business. Email messages are responded to inside 24 several hours.

Toll-Cost-free Phone Number: 1-855-533-1196

Youngster Seat: $3/day

Added Driver: $six/day

GPS Process: $twelve/day

Avis' Site obliges 1 to select an automobile security alternative, nevertheless it fails to Exhibit a closing quotation whole or value to the coverage picked on the web till an emailed quote is shipped. Protection expenditures could possibly be obtained by clicking on the choice 'Protections Defined' at the bottom of your screen.

No Toll-Free of charge Contact number

Kid Seat: $five/working day

Extra Driver: $five/day

GPS Technique: $9.99/working day

Budget has an internet site that is convenient to use, although the pricing provided is as the identical for all seasons, suggesting that it's not correct. Email responses were being normally speedy, but some have been left unanswered. Emailed rates showed exactly the same pricing for all seasons as the website did. Required insurance coverage is just not incorporated on the web estimate, even so the compact print states that this is payable on the counter. Finances receives mixed on the internet reviews.

No Toll-Free of charge Telephone number, but Live Chat is obtainable

Boy or girl Seat: $five/working day

Supplemental Driver: $five/day

GPS Program: $14.ninety nine/working day

Dollar seems to have very aggressive charges, but airport taxes will probably be used In case the car is getting gathered in the airport's counters. 1 may locate this inside their terms and conditions, although not of their on line quotations. Automobile washing cost is enforced for extremely filthy autos. You can find four workplaces in Liberia and San Jose. Email reaction is inside 24 hours. Greenback receives blended assessments from on the net travel community forums.

Toll-Free of charge Cell phone number: 1-877-767-8651

Boy or girl Seat: $5/working day

Additional Driver: $five/working day

GPS Program: $nine/day

Economy has twelve offices within the country. They may have no Costa Rican Site. Scroll down on their own site to search out and click on on insurance policies charges. Airport taxes are not A part of the estimate. E-mail receive both A fast reaction or no response at all. Economic system has the worst on-line popularity of any major name auto rental operator in Costa Rica.

Toll-No cost Contact number: one-877-326-7368

Little one Seat: $ten/day

Extra Driver: $10/day

GPS Technique: $15/day

Fox functions in partnership with USave. Workplaces are located at each international airports. Emails get a reaction within 24 hours. On line assessments are generally inadequate.

Toll-Free Phone Number: one-800-225-4369

Child Seat: $five/working day

Added Driver: $ten/day (Until spouse)

GPS Process: $9.ninety nine/day

Hertz has 6 places of work from the nation. Reservations may very well be designed through a Costa Rican Web page. Initial on the internet quote isn't going to involve profits taxes, but it does include things like the CDW -- Even though CDW may very well be waived with proof of charge card protection. Email messages get a reaction inside 24 hrs. Mediocre critiques on vacation boards.

No Toll-Free of charge Contact number

Baby Seat: $five/day

Extra Driver: $thirteen/working day

GPS Method: $12/working day

Nationwide will work in partnership with Alamo and it has thirty workplaces in Procedure across the country. The corporate features a Central American Web site, as well as the Worldwide internet site, which Obviously exhibits the breakdown of pricing. CDW is included in the web quotation, but it might be unchecked to acquire a quotation with just the obligatory insurance policy. Be aware which the airport tax is A part of the online quotation too. Quick responses to issues are offered through Are living Chat on their own Internet site. Opinions are blended, but there are actually additional beneficial than unfavorable.

Absolutely free Cellular phone Connect with Possibility By way of Web page

Kid Seat: $6/working day

Booster: $6/day

More Driver: $5/working day

GPS Process: $12/day

Payless is a component with the Worldwide car or truck rental company and has no Costa Rican Web site. On the net quotations do not incorporate 3rd-occasion insurance plan, although the knowledge on this may be located by examining the insurance policies with the San Jose location. Email messages get a response in a lot less than 24 several hours, but often refer again to the web site, as opposed to new info. Evaluations are more unfavorable than positive.

Toll-Cost-free Telephone number: 1-800-PAYLESS

Child Seat: $5/working day

Booster: $5/working day

Further Driver: $ten/working day

GPS Procedure: $nine.ninety five/day

Assistance is a local organization with 5 workplaces during the region. On an usually crystal clear Web-site, click on 'Reserve Now' rather than 'Have a Estimate' for an internet cost Test. Rember may be the workers member described in critiques on journey Discussion board for his practical customer service and the company usually gets superior assessments. E-mails are answered inside 24 hours and Commonly deliver requested info.

U.S. Cell phone number: 1-305-897-3718

Boy or girl Seat: $3.fifty/working day

Supplemental Driver: $three/working day

GPS Program: $7.fifty/day

Thrifty does not have an area Web page, thus details is through the international Web page. Protection choices or information pertaining to 3rd-occasion coverage isn't furnished over the reservation webpage till 1 clicks 'Security Information and facts'. Email messages get a response in just 24 hrs, but may not remedy location-particular inquiries. Evaluations are often unfavorable on account of pricing issues.

Toll-Totally free Cell phone number: 1-800-344-1705

Baby Seat: $five/working day

Booster: $five/working day

More Driver: $12/day

GPS Technique: $11.ninety nine/working day

Toyota is a big identify; having said that, Though their Internet site seems Experienced at first glance, it simply does not do the job, or at the very least it was not working as a way to get hold of quotations later than March 2015. Their on the web quotes tend not to involve profits taxes. E-mails get speedy responses, but prices for different seasons appeared to be contradictory. Having said that, Toyota has a fantastic status on vacation message boards. Eight places of work are located across the nation.

Absolutely free Phone Contact Selection Through Web page

Kid Seat: $5/working day

Cooler: $1.fifty/day

Further Driver: $3/working day

GPS Program: $10/working day

USave performs in partnership with Fox and has 3 Place of work places. Insurance alternatives are revealed for the net quote, but it really needs to be selected and 'recalculate' pressed, right before it can be included in the pricing. Email messages receive a response within just 24 hours. The corporation obtain Total bad critiques, Though there are numerous positive feedback designed on travel forums.

Toll-Cost-free Contact number: 1-800-467-3659

Youngster Seat: $five/day

Added Driver: $10/day

GPS Technique: $9.95/day

Vamos is a neighborhood business that is a well-liked choice for Excursion Advisor and Lonely Earth industry experts due to their customer support and pricing. The website is user friendly with itemized prices clearly shown. The Are living Chat choice enables quick personalized estimates and responses from English-speaking team. The company has a few workplaces.

Toll-Free of charge Cell phone number: one-800-950-8426

Baby Seat: no cost

Booster: no cost

More Driver: absolutely free

GPS Procedure: $8/working day

Wild Rider is a small, neighborhood enterprise Situated only in San Jose. The website is straightforward with third-party insurance plan A part of the pricing. At first of this investigate, the pricing wasn't up to date, but this has considering that been remedied. This motor vehicle rental operator stands out by possessing only constructive critiques and so is highly advisable by travel forum people. Owner, Thorsten, replies throughout the hour to inquiries all through Workplace hours.

U.S. Telephone number: one-917-477-7712

Youngster Seat: $5/working day

GPS Procedure: $eight/working day

Over-all Summary


Adobe, Alamo, National, Provider, Vamos, and Wild Rider offer obvious and entire charges on their own Sites. One other car or truck rental operators have been significantly less transparent with surcharges or taxes, which include airport taxes or profits taxes. Pricing on supplemental extras weren't usually straightforward to locate, and Avis, Thrifty and Toyota had to be contacted for these details.


Amounts of communication have enhanced since the main comparison, even though it would appear a good idea to ask for a local quantity and confirm responses with the Costa Rica Office environment of your Worldwide car rental operators, as Intercontinental chat operators or People replying to e-mails, will not always feel one hundred% confident about area guidelines and should even give incorrect details.

Be ready to exchange many emails in an effort to get entire responses to issues with numerous providers: Funds and Economic system had been notably vulnerable to this -- requesting quite a bit of information in order to provide a quotation. It isn't unreasonable that customers of staff members Performing in the second language might pass up areas of an e mail, so existing thoughts in apparent and straightforward language.

Dwell Chat on the two the Spending plan and Vamos Internet websites imply information can be delivered quickly and remains to be documented, not like a cellular phone get in touch with.


The comparison previously mentioned reveals that the pricing amongst providers relies upon seriously over the year and automobile class currently being regarded, rather then a clear Lower preference in between much more or less expensive rental rates.

Prospects have to evaluate the pricing of other products, like supplemental drivers or GPS technique, and family members will want to check car seat rental pricing. Wild Rider offers the main additional driver without cost, Vamos don't demand for just about any extras, except the GPS, and on the whole, the Worldwide corporations have greater costs for these extras in comparison to the neighborhood firms.

So Who Do I Hire From?

It is clear that the local vehicle rental operators remain trumping the big names within their transparency and customer support when evaluating their Internet websites and on the web opinions. The difference from the prior price comparison from a handful of yrs in the past would be that the pricing is now harder to equate.

Adobe, Alamo, and Nationwide appear to charge very well as international car or truck rental operators. It's worth noting that Countrywide is the costliest in high time for that intermediate category, nonetheless The most affordable in minimal year. Adobe and Alamo are middle-rated for pricing.

Wild Rider is exceptional in acquiring zero negative testimonials, but is just located in San Jose and has a A great deal smaller sized fleet of motor vehicles. Of another nearby companies, Provider and Vamos come out very well and Vamos' free of charge extra extras will attract budget-minded tourists and families with younger little ones. Services also offers these extras at reduced day by day costs.

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