Guide to Car Rental Companies in Costa Rica

“My time’s limited… how do I choose? ”

Car rental is a hot topic for vacationers going to Costa Rica. New research conducted by the Costa Rican Institute of Tourism (ICT) indicates that, after accommodations, renting a car is the major expense, averaging $702 for an eleven-day vacation.

The Internet is buzzing with negative reviews discussing charging an overpriced fee, poor customer service and mechanical breakdowns. You might have even written one yourself! Wypożyczalnia samochodów Wrocław

A standard midsize (3 – 4 adults) FOUR WHEEL DRIVE rental runs between $58 and $65 daily with third party insurance and rates can vary just as much as 20 percent among car nightly rental companies, so reading a quick review will be time well spent once you calculate the personal savings.

So the question is; which rental company provides the best balance of good price, capable customer service and reliable vehicles? I have researched it all for you, so keep reading!

Disclosure: This research was conducted in May – July 2013. The next companies were selected because they are the most widely used in Playa Rica. Many are local companies; others are international franchises of recognized brand names. Comparisons include: customer support, pricing and the booking process. The companies are listed alphabetically and not based on personal or online preferences.
Look at this information before renting:


A single of the biggest triggers for complaints is from the stack of sudden charges presented to the renter once standing at the rental company’s withstand. Vacationers are usually tired after a long flight and then are faced with costs that were not anticipated, explained or budgeted.

Topping the set of issues is the non-disclosure of fees associated with the mandatory third-party insurance at the time the booking is created.

According to Puerto Rican law, every new driver is needed to carry liability coverage to insure against traumas to third parties. Car rental companies generally stay away from disclosing the expense of this insurance plan in the quoted lease rate to appear more competitive. Mandatory third-party insurance can be as much as double the vehicle’s nightly rental cost. The only warranty against insurance confusion is to inquire if your estimate includes the third party insurance and persist on a written offer.

Cost of Mandatory Insurance (also called Alternative party or SLI)

Expect to pay between $12 and $15 daily for this insurance, depending on make and model of the rented vehicle and the car rental company. This is a legal current condition of your rental agreement and it is generally not covered by charge cards and cannot be waived. It has been proven of renting a car in Costa Natural.

Collision Damage Waiver (CDW)

As the name advises, this isn’t insurance, but a waiver, which alleviates the renter from any liability for damage to the rental car after the deductible is paid (usually from $750 to $1, 500). Some firms require renters to get their CDW policy; thereby putting an end to any credit card program. For an additional cost, many agencies do give a zero liability option where the renter will be freed from investing in any damage to the car. Some companies may put pressure after renters to acquire the zero liability coverage; however, it is totally optional, unless it is in the fine print out with their rental contract.

Credit card insurance programs may cover the CDW for a rental vehicle. Check with your chosen rental car company to find which evidence of insurance is needed and then request that from your own card company prior to arriving. In the event that you use your credit card’s CDW policy, expect to pay a greater first deposit on the vehicle; around $1, 500 to $2000 is common. The higher deposit makes certain that the credit card holder has enough financial reserves to protect harm if needed. It is crucial to consider that if using CDW coverage provided by a credit card (in lieu of the lease a vehicle operator), all destroys will be billed to the renter’s credit cards. The mastercard company will then reimburse the holder for damages.

More Insurance

Tires and windshields are rarely included in insurance policies, although additional guidelines may be studied out for covering these frequently broken items. Neither the inside nor the underneath of the vehicle may be covered. Always read the fine print.

Standard Process

Your credit card will be charged, or a ‘hold’ placed, for the rental vehicle during the time of the local rental agreement; i. e. from picking up the leasing until you return it. Free e cards are generally not acceptable.

Extra Expenses

Most companies have surcharges for added drivers, car seats/boosters, cellular phones, coolers, GPS NAVIGATION and/or roof racks. The costs vary from business to business, but since these extras are charged at a regular rate, it is worth exploring the total cost — additional options can add up rapidly! A GPS is around $8 to $10 every day; nevertheless , some workers may offer discounted products. Expect to pay around $5 daily for a child seat and a few dollars a day for all the other ‘niceties’. Vamos is dominant for offering almost all of these options and, during some promotions, even the GPS NAVIGATION rental complimentarily. Alamo, Finances, Hertz and National demand the most for such additional options; whereas the other companies listed, impose more reasonable prices.