Information to Automotive Rental Corporations in Costa Rica 2015

Information to Automotive Rental Corporations in Costa Rica 2015

Information to Automotive Rental Corporations in Costa Rica 2015

Information to Automotive Rental Corporations in Costa Rica 2015

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Information to Automotive Rental Corporations in Costa Rica

Price Comparisons for 2015

Automotive rental in Costa Rica is a chance to discover the distant seashores and quiet corners of this breathtakingly stunning nation. Journey with out the restrictions set by public transport timetables and with freedom over group excursions. For the unprepared traveler; nonetheless, automobile rental prices and providers generally is a impolite shock and a blow to that trip price range.

Renting a automobile on your trip will in all probability be the costliest a part of your price range, so understanding the phrases and managing expectations is essential. The knowledge under shouldn’t be meant to be an exhaustive handbook, nevertheless it ought to set you on the trail in the direction of an knowledgeable resolution on your automobile rental wants in Costa Rica.

Why is automobile rental so costly?

Guests from exterior of Costa Rica are sometimes shocked by the price of automobile rental. Whereas resort rooms, restaurant payments and excursions are decrease than the costs paid at residence, it could seem unusual that automobile rental needs to be extra pricey.

There are two easy causes for this excessive price:

  1. All automobiles in Costa Rica are imported and a tax is imposed. Resulting from this heavy taxation, the price of buying a automobile is greater than it might be in different industrialized nations. There are some automobile rental operators who lease older automobiles to be able to scale back their prices.
  2. The price of necessary insurance coverage (see under).

Elements that Have an effect on Automotive Rental Prices

Obligatory Insurance coverage

Third-party insurance coverage, which can be often known as TPI, PDW (Partial Injury Waiver), SLI (Supplementary Legal responsibility Insurance coverage) and different acronyms, is a authorized requirement. Automotive rental operators should cost the shopper for this protection which can or is probably not clear within the citation obtained by the shopper.

The insurance coverage itself shouldn’t be the problem. In any case, many different nations require automobile renters to pay a compulsory insurance coverage; together with: New Zealand, Italy and Mexico, in addition to a variety of the U.S. states, like California. The difficulty that causes rivalry in Costa Rica is that this price shouldn’t be all the time displayed clearly on the automobile rental operator’s web site or in a quote. Prospects then uncover the extra price of their rental upon arrival.

The price of necessary insurance coverage varies from firm to firm and can depend upon the automobile class that’s being rented as nicely. The associated fee for a small sedan could also be as little as $12 per day, whereas a premium 4×4 automobile may very well be as a lot as $25 for insurance coverage per day. That is along with the rental price.

Bank cards in North America normally provide automobile insurance coverage as an extra perk to the bank card holder and so North Individuals particularly, are unused to having to pay for insurance coverage on high of rental prices. Nevertheless, no bank card will cowl this insurance coverage requirement.

Do ask if the given quote contains third-party insurance coverage and test the costs on the automobile rental operator’s web site.

Collision Injury Waiver

This isn’t insurance coverage, however a waiver. The essential stage will include a deductible that varies, however may very well be as a lot as $1,500. For the next each day price, a zero deductible CDW could also be bought to alleviate the renter of any monetary accountability in case of harm to, or theft thereof, the automobile.

Many renters will receive their CDW by their bank card. Nevertheless, it’s price noting that the accountability for making any insurance coverage declare is on the shopper and never with the automobile rental operator. Some renters might select to buy further in-house protection to keep away from having this accountability.

There will likely be automobile rental businesses which onerous promote their very own protection plans by guaranteeing peace of thoughts, however finally, that is the renter’s resolution. It’s price remembering that automobile rental firm staff, like in different elements of the world, will typically earn fee for insurance coverage gross sales.

If the shopper’s bank card doesn’t present CDW, the shopper will likely be required to buy this in-house protection.

Automotive rental operators require written proof that the shopper’s bank card supplies CDW. Ask the automobile rental operator for the precise particulars of what they require and in what kind. Some might settle for a forwarded e-mail from the bank card firm, however others might ask for a printed copy to be offered on the time of rental.


The deposit quantity required will depend upon whether or not the shopper chooses to make use of the automobile rental operator’s in-house CDW or takes this protection by a bank card. Anticipate to pay a a lot greater deposit if the in-house CDW is declined. The deposit may depend upon automobile mannequin rented. This quantity, which will likely be held on the renter’s bank card till the top of the rental interval, might be from $750 as much as as a lot as $3,500. The deposit ought to take not more than 5 days to be refunded to the bank card on the automobile’s return. Some automobile rental businesses will settle for debit playing cards for deposit maintain, however the return time for this quantity can take weeks.

Do be sure that the deposit is calculated within the trip price range as an sudden maintain of some thousand {dollars} on a bank card might in any other case severely minimize into trip spending.

Airport Taxes

Prospects that lease from a automobile rental operator’s counter inside an airport constructing are obliged to pay the airport tax.

These automobile rental operators with a counter at San Jose’s Juan Santamaria Worldwide Airport (SJO) are: Alamo/Nationwide, Funds, Greenback, Financial system and Hertz. These firms will add an extra 12% tax to the rental price.

These automobile rental operators with a counter at Daniel Oduber Quiros Worldwide Airport (LIR) are: Avis, Funds and Financial system. These firms will add an extra 3% tax to the rental price.

To keep away from this tax, take an airport shuttle with the automobile rental operator to an workplace positioned exterior of the airport grounds.

Surcharges and Different Taxes

There are a selection of different compulsory charges that automobile rental operators might add into the rental price, show on-screen or present within the quote, or go away undisclosed till the shopper’s arrival. These doubtlessly hidden prices could appear small when seen individually, however these are usually each day charges, so they are going to add up quick!

These might embody:

License Plate Price: Lower than $2 each day, however differs from firm to firm.

Environmental Tax: Lower than $1 each day.

Gross sales Tax: All gross sales transactions in Costa Rica are subjected to a 12% government-imposed gross sales tax.

Automotive Washing Price: Carry again an exceptionally soiled automobile and the cleansing price could also be added onto the ultimate fee. One automobile rental operator fees $20 for this extra service.

Gas Prices: If the gasoline tank shouldn’t be crammed to the identical stage because it was at first of the rental interval, then the automobile rental firm will cost (normally to the closest eighth of a tank). This cost is dictated by the automobile rental operator and it isn’t topic to the governmentally set gasoline worth that will be discovered at any fuel station.

The place Ought to I Reserve the Car?

A typical confusion for vacationers reserving a rental automobile is the discrepancy between worldwide web sites for automobile rental operators and the Costa Rican web site for a similar model. Regularly the worldwide web sites are unaware of, or fail to reveal, insurances, taxes and surcharges that will likely be charged on the counter. This can be resulting from the truth that many acknowledged automobile rental operator manufacturers in Costa Rica usually are not a international department of the branded automobile rental operator, however as an alternative are a franchise operation. This issue can also be price contemplating when it comes to expectations regarding customer support and different finer particulars. The Costa Rican franchise workplace might have their very own type of working, other than the identical insurance policies and pointers that the shopper might have skilled in different elements of the world.

Understandably then, an internet reservation is greatest made by the native web site and never the worldwide website, wherever attainable. Quite a lot of firms don’t have a neighborhood web site. On this case, do test the small print with a neighborhood workers member through the phone and ask for written affirmation of the quote. Expertise with reside chat on the worldwide web sites means that whereas workers is educated on phrases and situations governing the primary workplace (normally U.S.A.); they perceive little of the insurance policies that have to be adhered to in Costa Rica.

Automotive Rental Comparisons

In Could/June of 2013, I in contrast the pricing and providers of a variety of automobile rental operators in Costa Rica and printed the findings. To my shock, the article remains to be being plagiarized commonly throughout the Web which means that it’s nonetheless helpful and so an replace was required. The costs for this comparability had been obtained in December 2014 and January 2015.

The ICT (Costa Rican Institute of Tourism) states that there are thirty registered automobile rental operators with eight others pending approval. Nevertheless, there are various extra businesses that lease automobiles to guests. The automobile rental operators chosen are these that are most steadily utilized by vacationers:






Financial system










Wild Rider

Exclusion of Corporations from Remaining Comparability

Funds, Financial system, Payless, and Toyota had been contacted, however these 4 firms didn’t present correct on-line charges. Financial system and Funds’s web sites have one worth, whatever the dates entered and prospects want to order a automobile to ensure that them to honor the worth proven. Toyota’s web site was sadly solely working up till March. Past that, the pricing displayed $0 for the rest of the yr. Payless has this disclaimer on their web site: “Taxes and surcharges usually are not inside our management and should change with out discover.”

Sending particular person inquiries for every time interval resulted in inconsistent outcomes: Funds supplied the identical worth for all three investigated time intervals when receiving an e-mail request, which is extremely unlikely; Financial system responded with totally different quotes for a similar dates from totally different members of workers; and Toyota’s emailed quotes for time intervals previous March’s costs indicated on-line didn’t correspond to the March charges quoted (maybe the emailed quotes contained taxes that weren’t proven on-line). Payless can present quotes through e-mail and phone, however weren’t in line with pricing for various seasons.

Avis is just excluded from the worth comparability, as they don’t have an intermediate SUV class of their fleet.

Comparability Info

Automotive rental price, all taxes and surcharges, and third-party insurance coverage prices are (supposedly) calculated and ranked accordingly under primarily based on the week’s rental of a BeGo or comparable intermediate 4×4 from a San Jose/Alajuela location (not from the airport).

Charges are calculated on a weekly foundation and divided by seven to supply a each day price which is extra simply comparable. As not all pricing is totally clear, the costs are as correct as attainable primarily based on the data offered from the automobile rental operators’ web sites, cellphone calls, and/or emails. Airport taxes usually are not included in these figures.

Shoulder Season (Quote for July 13 by 20)

1. USave $43.37

2. Service $54.92

3. Fox $55.64

4. Hertz $58.17

5. Adobe $60.13

6. Alamo $60.99

7. Wild Rider $62.86

8. Greenback $63.35

9. Vamos $64.15

10. Nationwide $67.04

11. Thrifty $74.39

Low Season (Quote for Could 13 by 20)

1. Nationwide $37.04

2. USave $43.37

3. Greenback $46.49

4. Adobe $52.57

5. Vamos $53.15

6. Service $53.49

7. Hertz $54.59

8. Fox $55.64

9. Wild Rider $55.71

10. Alamo $60.99

11. Thrifty $74.39

Excessive Season (Quote for March 13 by 20)

1. Greenback $55.92

2. USave $56.22

3. Hertz $56.37

4. Fox $59.36

5. Thrifty $64.69

6. Service $66.63

7. Vamos $67.14

8. Alamo $69.56

9. Wild Rider $70.00

10. Adobe $70.63

11. Nationwide $73.90

Abstract of Comparability

Curiously, there may be not one clear costly or low cost firm from these in contrast. The variation in rating between seasons is marked and prospects ought to contemplate their trip dates when selecting the automobile rental operator. For instance, Thrifty seems as the costliest for each low and shoulder season, however are solely in fourth place within the rankings for Excessive Season.

It is usually vital that pricing shouldn’t be in line with rating with automobile rental operators in different automobile classes. For instance, Vamos’ pricing is the most cost effective for a premium automobile within the shoulder season; though they aren’t first in any rankings for the intermediate class and Adobe which seems aggressive are the costliest for this time interval and automobile class.

Info on Automotive Rental Operators

Adobe Lease-A-Automotive is a neighborhood automobile rental operator that has eleven workplaces throughout the nation. The web site is easy and simple to make use of with no obvious hidden prices. The necessary insurance coverage price is displayed as a part of the web quote. The corporate receives blended opinions on-line, however extra optimistic than damaging feedback are made. Emails obtain a reply inside 24 hours, however might not absolutely reply the questions requested.

Toll-Free Telephone Quantity: 1-855-861-1250

Baby Seat: $3/day

Booster: $1/day

Further Driver: $3/day

GPS System: $9/day

Alamo works in partnership with Nationwide and has 13 workplaces throughout the nation. As with many large names, Alamo Costa Rica is a franchise and never a department of Alamo itself. Third-party insurance coverage and primary CDW are included within the on-line citation, though the CDW could also be refused upon presentation of proof of protection by the shopper’s bank card. This makes the pricing appear excessive on first look, particularly when, in contrast to different automobile rental operators, Alamo contains airport taxes of their on-line citation and so their pricing is sincere, however seems a lot greater than different firms consequently. Pricing is totally different on the worldwide web site of the corporate, though the phrases and situations do state the charges that will likely be paid on arrival. This pricing discrepancy is the lead explanation for damaging opinions for this firm. Emails are responded to inside 24 hours.

Toll-Free Telephone Quantity: 1-855-533-1196

Baby Seat: $3/day

Further Driver: $6/day

GPS System: $12/day

Avis’ web site obliges one to pick out a automobile safety possibility, nevertheless it fails to show a closing citation whole or worth for the protection chosen on-line till an emailed quote is distributed. Protection prices could also be obtained by clicking on the choice ‘Protections Defined’ on the backside of the display screen.

No Toll-Free Telephone Quantity

Baby Seat: $5/day

Further Driver: $5/day

GPS System: $9.99/day

Funds has a web site that’s straightforward to make use of, however the pricing given is as the identical for all seasons, suggesting that it isn’t right. Electronic mail responses had been usually quick, however some had been left unanswered. Emailed quotes confirmed the identical pricing for all seasons as the web site did. Obligatory insurance coverage shouldn’t be included on the web quote, however the small print states that that is payable on the counter. Funds receives blended on-line opinions.

No Toll-Free Telephone Quantity, however Reside Chat is obtainable

Baby Seat: $5/day

Further Driver: $5/day

GPS System: $14.99/day

Greenback seems to have very aggressive charges, however airport taxes will likely be utilized if the automobile is being collected from the airport’s counters. One might discover this of their phrases and situations, however not of their on-line quotes. Automotive washing cost is enforced for very soiled automobiles. There are 4 workplaces in Liberia and San Jose. Electronic mail response is inside 24 hours. Greenback receives blended opinions from on-line journey boards.

Toll-Free Telephone Quantity: 1-877-767-8651

Baby Seat: $5/day

Further Driver: $5/day

GPS System: $9/day

Financial system has twelve workplaces across the nation. They don’t have any Costa Rican web site. Scroll down on their web page to search out and click on on insurance coverage prices. Airport taxes usually are not included within the quote. Emails obtain both a fast response or no response in any respect. Financial system has the worst on-line repute of any large identify automobile rental operator in Costa Rica.

Toll-Free Telephone Quantity: 1-877-326-7368

Baby Seat: $10/day

Further Driver: $10/day

GPS System: $15/day

Fox works in partnership with USave. Workplaces are positioned at each worldwide airports. Emails obtain a response inside 24 hours. On-line opinions are usually poor.

Toll-Free Telephone Quantity: 1-800-225-4369

Baby Seat: $5/day

Further Driver: $10/day (until partner)

GPS System: $9.99/day

Hertz has six workplaces within the nation. Reservations could also be made by a Costa Rican web site. Preliminary on-line quote doesn’t embody gross sales taxes, nevertheless it does embody the CDW — though CDW could also be waived with proof of bank card protection. Emails obtain a response inside 24 hours. Mediocre opinions on journey boards.

No Toll-Free Telephone Quantity

Baby Seat: $5/day

Further Driver: $13/day

GPS System: $12/day

Nationwide works in partnership with Alamo and has thirty workplaces in operation throughout the nation. The corporate has a Central American web site, in addition to the worldwide website, which clearly exhibits the breakdown of pricing. CDW is included within the on-line quote, however it could be unchecked to get a quote with simply the necessary insurance coverage. Word that the airport tax is included within the on-line quote as nicely. Instantaneous responses to questions can be found by Reside Chat on their web site. Opinions are blended, however there are extra optimistic than damaging.

Free Telephone Name Possibility Through Web site

Baby Seat: $6/day

Booster: $6/day

Further Driver: $5/day

GPS System: $12/day

Payless is a part of the worldwide automobile rental firm and has no Costa Rican web site. On-line quotes don’t embody third-party insurance coverage, though the data on this can be discovered by studying the insurance policies for the San Jose location. Emails obtain a response in lower than 24 hours, however are inclined to refer again to the web site, slightly than new info. Opinions are extra damaging than optimistic.

Toll-Free Telephone Quantity: 1-800-PAYLESS

Baby Seat: $5/day

Booster: $5/day

Further Driver: $10/day

GPS System: $9.95/day

Service is a neighborhood firm with 5 workplaces within the nation. On an in any other case clear web site, click on on ‘Reserve Now’ and never ‘Get a Quote’ for an internet worth test. Rember is the workers member talked about in opinions on journey discussion board for his useful customer support and the corporate usually will get good opinions. Emails are answered inside 24 hours and usually present requested info.

U.S. Telephone Quantity: 1-305-897-3718

Baby Seat: $3.50/day

Further Driver: $3/day

GPS System: $7.50/day

Thrifty doesn’t have a neighborhood web site, thus info is thru the worldwide web site. Protection choices or info relating to third-party insurance coverage shouldn’t be offered on the reservation webpage till one clicks ‘Safety Info’. Emails obtain a response inside 24 hours, however might not reply location-specific questions. Opinions are steadily damaging resulting from pricing complaints.

Toll-Free Telephone Quantity: 1-800-344-1705

Baby Seat: $5/day

Booster: $5/day

Further Driver: $12/day

GPS System: $11.99/day

Toyota is an enormous identify; nonetheless, despite the fact that their web site seems skilled at first look, it merely doesn’t work, or at the least it was not functioning to be able to receive quotations later than March 2015. Their on-line quotes don’t embody gross sales taxes. Emails obtain quick responses, however quotes for various seasons gave the impression to be contradictory. Nevertheless, Toyota has a superb repute on journey boards. Eight workplaces are positioned throughout the nation.

Free Telephone Name Possibility Through Web site

Baby Seat: $5/day

Cooler: $1.50/day

Further Driver: $3/day

GPS System: $10/day

USave works in partnership with Fox and has three workplace areas. Insurance coverage choices are proven for the web quote, nevertheless it have to be chosen and ‘recalculate’ pressed, earlier than it’s included within the pricing. Emails obtain a response inside 24 hours. The corporate obtain general poor opinions, though there are some optimistic feedback made on journey boards.

Toll-Free Telephone Quantity: 1-800-467-3659

Baby Seat: $5/day

Further Driver: $10/day

GPS System: $9.95/day

Vamos is a neighborhood firm that could be a standard alternative for Journey Advisor and Lonely Planet consultants due to their customer support and pricing. The web site is straightforward to make use of with itemized fees clearly displayed. The Reside Chat possibility permits instantaneous customized quotes and solutions from English-speaking workers. The corporate has three workplaces.

Toll-Free Telephone Quantity: 1-800-950-8426

Baby Seat: free

Booster: free

Further Driver: free

GPS System: $8/day

Wild Rider is a small, native firm positioned solely in San Jose. The web site is easy with third-party insurance coverage included within the pricing. Initially of this analysis, the pricing was not updated, however this has since been remedied. This automobile rental operator stands out by having solely optimistic opinions and so is extremely really useful by journey discussion board customers. Proprietor, Thorsten, replies throughout the hour to inquiries throughout workplace hours.

U.S. Telephone Quantity: 1-917-477-7712

Baby Seat: $5/day

GPS System: $8/day

General Abstract


Adobe, Alamo, Nationwide, Service, Vamos, and Wild Rider present clear and full charges on their web sites. The opposite automobile rental operators had been much less clear with surcharges or taxes, corresponding to airport taxes or gross sales taxes. Pricing on further extras weren’t all the time straightforward to search out, and Avis, Thrifty and Toyota needed to be contacted for these particulars.


Ranges of communication have improved for the reason that first comparability, though it might appear clever to request a neighborhood quantity and make sure solutions with the Costa Rica workplace of the worldwide automobile rental operators, as worldwide chat operators or these replying to emails, don’t all the time appear 100% assured about native insurance policies and should even give incorrect info.

Be ready to change a variety of emails to be able to get full solutions to questions with a variety of firms: Funds and Financial system had been significantly vulnerable to this — requesting quite a lot of info to be able to give a citation. It isn’t unreasonable that members of workers working in a second language might miss facets of an e-mail, so current questions in clear and easy language.

Reside Chat on each the Funds and Vamos web sites imply info might be offered immediately and remains to be documented, in contrast to a cellphone name.


The comparability above exhibits that the pricing between firms relies upon closely on the season and automobile class being thought-about, slightly than a transparent minimize alternative between roughly costly rental charges.

Prospects want to contemplate the pricing of different gadgets, corresponding to further drivers or GPS system, and households will need to examine automobile seat rental pricing. Wild Rider presents the primary further driver totally free, Vamos don’t cost for any extras, besides the GPS, and on the whole, the worldwide companies have greater fees for these extras than the native firms.

So Who Do I Lease From?

It’s clear that the native automobile rental operators are nonetheless trumping the massive names of their transparency and customer support when evaluating their web sites and on-line opinions. The distinction from the earlier price comparability from a few years in the past is that the pricing has change into harder to equate.

Adobe, Alamo, and Nationwide appear to price nicely as worldwide automobile rental operators. It’s price noting that Nationwide is the costliest in excessive season for the intermediate class, but the most cost effective in off-season. Adobe and Alamo are middle-ranked for pricing.

Wild Rider is phenomenal in having zero unhealthy opinions, however is just primarily based in San Jose and has a a lot smaller fleet of automobiles. Of the opposite native companies, Service and Vamos come out nicely and Vamos’ free further extras will enchantment to budget-minded vacationers and households with younger youngsters. Service additionally presents these extras at low each day charges.

Final however Definitely not Least…

You probably have made it throughout this text, then you are ready to start your analysis into your trip automobile rental, armed with info and able to acknowledge these costs which might be simply too good to be true! Have an exquisite (and inexpensive) trip in stunning Costa Rica!

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