Guide to Car Rental Companies in Costa Sana

“My time’s restricted… how do We choose? “

Vehicle rental is really a warm topic for vacationers headed to Panama and nicaragua ,. Recent research carried out by the Costa Rican Institute regarding Tourism (ICT) implies that, after hotels, renting a vehicle is the most significant expense, averaging $702 for an eleven-day vacation.

The Web is buzzing together with negative reviews speaking about overcharging, poor buyer service and mechanised breakdowns. You may have even written one yourself!

A new typical midsize (3 – 4 adults) 4X4 rental works between $58 and even $65 daily together with third party insurance policy and rates can vary up to 20 percent among carrental companies, so looking at a quick critique will be time nicely spent once a person calculate the savings.

So the problem is; which leasing company offers the particular best balance associated with fair price, able customer service and trustworthy vehicles? I’ve searched everything for an individual, so continue reading!

Disclosure: This research seemed to be conducted in May instructions July 2013. The following companies had been selected because they will are one of the most commonly used in Panama and nicaragua ,. Some are local companies; others are usually international franchises involving recognized brandnames. Comparisons include: customer satisfaction, costs and the booking process. The service providers are listed alphabetically and not based upon personal or online preferences.
Consider this details before renting:

Insurance policy

One of the particular biggest causes regarding complaints is from the stack regarding unforeseen charges presented to the renter once standing at the rental industry’s counter. Vacationers will be typically tired after a long flight and after that are confronted by charges that were not necessarily anticipated, explained or budgeted.

Topping the particular list of grievances is the non-disclosure of fees associated with the mandatory third-party insurance policy at the time the reservation is made.

According in order to Costa Rican regulation, every driver is required to have liability coverage in order to insure against traumas to 3rd parties. Automobile rental companies normally refrain from disclosing the cost of this policy within the quoted local rental rate to seem more competitive. Imperative third-party insurance can easily sometimes be up to double the vehicle’s rental cost. The only guarantee against insurance confusion is to inquire if your estimate includes the third party insurance coverage and insist about a written offer.

Price of Mandatory Insurance plan (also called 3rd Party or SLI)

Expect to pay between $12 in addition to $15 daily with this insurance, depending about the brand name regarding the rented vehicle and the leasing car agency. This particular is a legitimate condition of your rental agreement and is usually generally not covered by credit greeting cards and cannot always be waived. It has been proven of renting a vehicle inside Costa Rica.

Crash Damage Waiver (CDW)

As the title suggests, this isn’t very insurance, but some sort of waiver, which minimizes the renter through any liability intended for damage to the rental car after the deductible is definitely paid (usually from $750 to $1, 500). Some agencies require renters to be able to purchase their CDW policy; thereby negating any credit credit card program. For an additional fee, a lot of agencies provide the zero liability option where the renter will be freed from purchasing any kind of damage to the vehicle. Some companies may put pressure on renters to order the zero responsibility coverage; nevertheless , this is entirely recommended, unless it is usually within the fine print out of their lease agreement.

Credit credit card insurance programs might cover the CDW for any rental vehicle. Consult with your picked rental car organization to find which usually evidence of insurance is needed then get that out of your credit card company just before arriving. If an individual use your credit card’s CDW policy, anticipate to pay an increased deposit on the vehicle; around $1, 500 to $2000 is common. The increased deposit makes sure that the credit card case has enough economic reserves to cover up damages if necessary. It is important to consider that if using CDW coverage furnished by a credit card (in lieu of typically the rent an automobile operator), all damages can be billed to the renter’s credit cards. The credit credit card company will likely then pay the card holder for damages.

A lot more Insurance

Tires plus windshields are rarely contained in insurance policies, although additional procedures may be removed for covering these kinds of frequently damaged things. Neither the interior nor the underneath with the vehicle may possibly be covered. Always read the fine print.

Standard Method

Your credit greeting card will be charged, or possibly a ‘hold’ located, for your rental car might be the hire agreement; i. at the. from picking back up the rental right up until you return it. Debit cards usually are generally not appropriate.

Additional Charges

Normally have surcharges for more drivers, car seats/boosters, cell phones, refridgerators, GPS and/or roofing racks. The costs vary from business to business, but since these kinds of extras are recharged at the daily level, it truly is worth checking out the total cost — additional alternatives can add way up very quickly! A new GPS is all-around $8 to $12 per day; however , some operators may offer discounted units. Expect to pay around $5 everyday for any child couch as well as dollars some sort of day for the various other ‘niceties’. Vamos is notable for offering most of these kinds of options and, in the course of some promotions, still the GPS local rental complimentarily. Alamo, Budget, Hertz and National charge by far the most intended for such additional alternatives; whereas another organizations listed, charge a lot more reasonable prices.


Most companies put small incremental expenses, for example license plate and environmental costs, to the total tally. Be suspicious of workers who insert these types of additional charges directly into the fine print associated with the rental contract. Vehicles rented primary at the air-port incur airport taxes, which are a monstrous 12% of the rentals cost!

The local rental vehicle ought to be came back with the same amount of fuel, unless normally indicated. If certainly not, companies may fee above gas stop rates for lacking fuel.


At this time there is a debate over the automobiles supplied by rental businesses: Older cars allow the driver to blend in higher than a shiny, new vehicle. Having an more mature model may have typically the indirect benefit of getting less scrutinized by car rental companies for recent grazes and scratches, unlike a newer car. However , a new vehicle could possibly be a lot more roadworthy. This discussion carries on in the different vehicle makes and models. Generally, Costa Rican firms are capable to rent their own vehicles for any decrease rate because their cars are generally about three to five many years old (versus two to three). On the internet reviews would suggest that the local organizations have no a lot more complaints concerning motor vehicle quality than transnational franchises; research about forums, such since TripAdvisor. com, looks to indicate that customers frequently value driving a less-than-new vehicle through typically the wilds of Bahía Rica. The reasons are lots, from road factors towards the notion regarding less-then-new vehicles mixing up in better — a newer vehicle may draw more undesired attention.

The selections of vehicles in Costa Rica are mostly limited to causes and models that maintain an aggressive resale value, are a common brand in the land, and are affordable to keep up. As these kinds of a rent-a-car operator’s fleet tend not to always be as diverse like the United Declares. Toyota, Nissan, Mitsubishi and Hyundai comprise the mainstay companies of most lease fleets.

Sometimes, drivers are charged regarding supposed ‘damages’ in order to the vehicle after return. Once getting the vehicle, renters should meticulously check for pre-existing flaws in addition to compare it along with the vehicle evaluation document employed by typically the rental car representative. Some renters recommend photographing or videoing the vehicle by all angles, to be able to avoid any predicament between pre-existing and even recently damaged items.


Rental car inside Costa Rica are generally pricier compared in order to other countries. Duties on vehicles will be high (as very much as 50% associated with their value! ), parts are costlier and unforgiving path conditions give rise to increased wear and rip, generating higher servicing costs.

The rule is that you simply get just what you pay regarding — additional alternatives than those rental companies listed below, but are not detailed for any good reason. They simply neglect to offer basic customer support and/or a suitable vehicle condition needed for a (nearly) trouble-free vacation.

Whenever comparing rental car charges, it is best to move directly to the Bahía Rican website involving the rental car company, rather than looking to use their cosmopolitan format or a good intermediary (Expedia, Travelocity, Orbitz, Kayak, ou al. ). For the same vehicles and reservation dates, the prices made available from the respective international vs. Costa Rican websites with regard to Alamo, Budget, Hertz and Thrifty differed substantially.

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