Car rental in Costa Rica is a chance to explore the beaches and the quiet in this beautiful countryside. Travel without restriction of the set of public transport schedules and freedom of group travel. For an unprepared passenger; However, car rental costs and services can be a rude shock and blow to your vacation budget.
Renting a car for your vacation is most likely to be the most expensive part of your budget so understanding the conditions and managing expectations is very important, The information below does not mean an exhaustive manual but you should set it up on your informed decision on the needs of your car rental in Costa Rica.
Visitors outside of Costa Rica are often surprised by the rental price of a car. While hotel rooms, restaurant accounts and tours are lower than the prices paid at home, it may seem strange that renting a car should be more expensive.
All cars in Costa Rica are imported and taxed. Due to heavy taxation, the cost of purchasing vehicles is higher than would be the case in other industrial countries. There are some operators who rent old cars to reduce their costs.
Compulsory insurance cost (see below)
  [InsurancebrokersareresponsibleforprovidingtheTPIPDW(DisclaimerandDisclaimer)), SLI (Additional Liability) and other acronyms, is a legal requirement. Car rental operators must charge the buyer for this coverage that may or may not be clear in the buyer's offer.
Self insurance is not a problem. After all, many other countries require the car rental company to pay compulsory insurance; including: New Zealand, Italy and Mexico, as well as numerous US states such as California. The question posed by Costa Rica is that this cost is not always clearly visible on the Car Rental Operator's website or in the offer. Customers then discover the extra cost of renting on arrival.
The cost of compulsory insurance varies from company to company and will depend on the category of rented car. The cost for a small limo can only be $ 12 a day, while the premium 4×4 vehicle will cost $ 25 per day. That's with the rental price.
Credit cards in North America usually offer car insurance as an additional credit card holder, especially in North America, aside from the cost of renting, however, no credit card will cover this insurance claim.
Ask if the quote includes third-party insurance and check the prices on the car rental site's website.
• Disclaimer of Contraversy 19659002] This is not a security, but a waiver of liability. The basic level comes with a deduction that varies, but may amount to up to $ 1,500. For a higher daily rate, non-resident CDW can be purchased to help the renter with any financial liability in the event of damage or theft of the vehicle.
Many renters will get their CDW through their credit card. However, it should be noted that it is the responsibility to submit a claim for insurance to the buyer, and not to the car rental operator. Some landlords may choose to purchase additional internal coverage to avoid such liability.
There will be rental car agencies that are difficult to sell their own coverage plans to guarantee peace, but ultimately it is the renter's decision. It's important to remember that car rental workers, like in other parts of the world, sometimes earn a commission for insurance sales.
If a client's credit card does not provide CDW, the customer will have to buy this in-house
Car rental operators require written evidence that the client's credit card is provided by the CDW. Ask the car rental operator for details on what to look for and in what form. Some may accept forwarded email from your credit card, but others may request that the printed copy be displayed at the time of the lease.
[Deposit required] Whether a customer chooses to use a car rental CDW or take over this credit card coverage. Expect to pay a much higher deposit if the in-house CDW is denied. The deposit may also depend on the rented car model. This amount, to be held on the charter of the renter by the end of the rental period, may range from $ 750 to $ 3,500. The deposit should not last more than five days to return to the credit card upon returning the vehicle. Some car rental agencies accept debit card holders, but return times for this amount may take weeks.
Checking whether the deposit calculated in your vacation budget as an unexpected retention of several thousand dollars on a credit card could otherwise have a serious adverse effect on your holiday spending
• Air Tariffs
Users Renting a Shuttle car rental operators inside the airport building are required to pay tax at the airport. San Antonio International Airport San Juan San Juan Sanctuary (SJO) operators are: Alamo / National, Budget, Dollar, Economy and Hertz. These companies will add an additional 12% rental tax.
Those car rental operators with a counter at Daniel Oduber Quiros International Airport (LIR) are: Avis, Budget and Economy.
To avoid this tax, take a carriage from the airport with the car rental operator to an office outside the airport ground.
Charges and Rental Costs Other Taxes
There are a number of other mandatory fees that car rental operators can add to the rental price, show on the screen or show in the offer or leave unpublished until the customer arrives. These potentially hidden costs may seem small if viewed individually, but these are usually daily rates, so they will add up quickly.
This may include:
• License Registration Fee : Less than $ 2 a day, but different from company to company.
• Environmental Tax : Less than $ 1 a day.
• Turnover tax : All sales transactions in Costa Rica are subject to 12 state-owned tax sales tax
• Car Repair Fee : Replace the Excessly Dirty Vehicle and Fee for cleaning can be added to the final payment. One car hire operator charges $ 20 for this additional service.
• Fuel Costs : If the fuel tank is not filled to the same level as at the beginning of the rental period, then the rental car will be charged by the company (usually at the nearest container). It charges the car rental service provider and is not subject to the government's fuel price at any gas station.
Where should I book a vehicle?
The confusion for passengers who book car rentals is a disparity between the international car rental operators website and the Costa Rican website for the same brand. Often international websites are unaware, or do not reveal, insurance, taxes and add-ons that will be charged at the counter. This may be due to the fact that many renowned caravan operators in Costa Rica are not the overseas branches of car rental companies, but are franchisees. This factor is also worth considering in terms of customer service expectations and other subtle details. The Costa Rican Franciscan Office can have its own style of work, with the exception of the same policies and guidelines the client may have experienced in other parts of the world.
So, it is understandable that online booking is best through a local website and not internationally, wherever possible. The number of companies does not have a local website. In that case, check the details of the local staff by phone and ask for a written confirmation quote. Experience with live chat on international websites suggests that while staff training under terms and conditions governed by the head office (usually U.S.A.); they understand little about the policies that must be respected in Costa Rica.
In May / June 2013 I compared the prices and services of numerous car rental providers to Costa Rica and published the results. To my surprise, the article regularly plagiarizes over the Internet, suggesting it is still useful and it needs updating. The prices for this comparison were obtained in December 2014 and January 2015.
ICT (Costa Rican Tourism Institute) states that it has thirty registered car rental operators with eight others in anticipation of approval. However, there are many more agencies that rent cars to visitors.
Budget, Economy, Payless and Toyota were were contacted but these four companies did not provide the correct Internet tariffs. Economic and budget websites have one price, regardless of the dates entered, and buyers must book a vehicle to honor the displayed price. The Toyota website unfortunately did its work only by March. In addition, prices show $ 0 for the rest of the year. Payless has this Disclaimer statement on his website: "Taxes and surcharges are not in our control and can be changed without notice."
Sending individual queries for each time period resulted in inconsistent results: The budget offered the same price for all three explored time periods when receiving email requests, which is unlikely; The economy responded to various statements about the same dates from different staff members; and Toyota's e-mail quotes for the time period in relation to the prices quoted in March did not match the stated prices in March (they might have emailed taxes that were not shown online).
Avis is excluded from the price comparison since they do not have the category of SUVs in their fleet
Avis is excluded from price comparison, 19659002] Car rent rates, all taxes and contributions and costs Third party insurance (allegedly) is calculated and ranked down based on weekly rentals of BeGo or similar 4×4 interchange from San Jose / Alajuela (not from airport
) Prices are calculated on a weekly basis and divided by seven to provide daily The cost is as accurate as possible on the basis of the information provided by the car rental, telephone and / or e-mail carriers website, but the charges are not included in these figures. 19659002] Hand Season (Quote from 13 to 20 July)
1. US $ 43.37
2. Service 54.92 USD
3. Fox $ 55.64  4. Hertz $ 58.17
5. Adobe $ 60.13
6. Alamo $ 60.99
7. Wild Rider $ 62.86
8. Dollar $ 63.35
9. Vamos $ 64.15
10. National $ 67.04
11. Thrifty $ 74.39
Low Season (Quote May 13 to May 20)
1. National $ 37.04
2. US $ 43.37
3. Dollar 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. High Season (Quotations 13 to 20 March)
1. Dollar $ 55.92
2. US $ 56.22
3. Hertz $ 56.37
4. Fox $ 59.36
5. Affordable $ 64.69
6. Service $ 66.63
7. Vamos $ 67.14
8. Alamo 69.56 $
9. Wild Horse $ 70.00
10. Adobe $ 70.63
11. National $ 73.90
Interestingly, there is not a single expensive or inexpensive company compared to those comparable. A change of ranking between the seasons is marked and buyers should consider their vacation dates when choosing a car rental operator. For example, Thrifty appears to be the most expensive for the low and shoulder season, but it is only fourth in the ranking for the high season.
It is also significant that the price does not match the ranking of car rental operators in other categories of cars. For example, Vamos's price is the cheapest for a premium vehicle in the shoulder season; although they are not the first in all middle class rankings, and Adobe that appears to be competing is the most expensive for this time period and car category.
Car Rental Operators Information
Adobe Rent-A-Car is a local car operator who has eleven offices around the country. The site is simple and easy to use without any hidden hidden costs. Obligatory insurance costs are shown as part of the online offer. The company gets mixed reviews online but are more positive than negative comments. Emails receive an answer within 24 hours, but they do not have to respond fully to the questions asked.
Phone Number Unpaid: 1-855-861-1250
Child Seat: $ 3 / day
Booster $ 1 / day
Additional Driver $ 3 / Day
GPS System: $ 9 / day
Alamo works in partnership with the national and has thirteen offices across the country. Like many big names, Alamo Costa Rica is a franchise, not Alamo itself. Third party insurance and basic CDW are included in the online offer, although CDW may refuse to provide proof of coverage through the credit card of the client. This makes prices the first, especially when, unlike other car rental operators, Alamo includes airport taxes in their online offer and therefore their price is honest, but it seems much larger than the other companies as a result. Rates vary on the international website of the company, although the terms and conditions do not include any fees payable upon arrival. This price differentiation is the main cause of negative ratings for this company. E-mails are answered within 24 hours.
Free Phone Number: 1-855-533-1196
Child Seat: $ 3 / day
Additional Driver: $ 6 / Day
GPS System: $ 12 / day
Website Avisa commits one to choose a car security option, but does not show the final cache or the coverage price selected on the network until it is sent by email. Coverage costs can be obtained by clicking on the "Protection Explained" option at the bottom of the screen.
No free phone number
$ 5 / day
Additional driver: $ 5 / day  GPS system: $ 9.99 / day
Budget has a website that is simple for use, but price determination is the same for all seasons, which suggests it is not correct. Answering by email was usually fast, but some were left unanswered. Quotations by e-mail showed the same price for all seasons as well as the web site. Compulsory insurance is not included in the online quote, but the small print material claims it is possible to pay it on the counter.
There is no free phone number but Live Chat is offered
It seems that the dollar has very competitive prices but charges for the airport will be applied if the vehicle is collected from the airport counters. Someone can find it in their terms and conditions, but not in their online quotes. The car's fee is charged for a very dirty vehicle. There are four offices in Liberia and San Jose. The email response is within 24 hours.
Toll-free phone number: 1-877-767-8651
Child seat: $ 5 / day
Additional driver: $ 5 / day
GPS system: $ 9 / day
Economy has twelve offices across the country. There are no Costa Rica websites. Scroll down to their page to find and click on the insurance costs. Air fares are not included in the offer. E-mails receive either a quick response or no response.
Free Phone Number: 1-877-326-7368
Child Seat: $ 10 / day
Additional Driver: $ 10 / day
GPS System: $ 15 / day
cooperation with USave. The offices are located at both international airports. E-mails receive an answer within 24 hours.
Phone number: 1-800-225-4369
Child seat: $ 5 / day
Additional driver: $ 10 / day (except spouse)
GPS system: $ 9.99 / day
Hertz has six offices in the country. Reservations can be made via the Costa Rica website. The initial online quote does not include sales taxes, but includes CDW – although CDW can give up credit card proofs. E-mails receive an answer within 24 hours.
No free phone number
Child seat: $ 5 / day
Additional driver: $ 13 / day
GPS system: $ 12 / day
National Works in collaboration with Alamo and has thirty branch offices throughout the country. The company has a Middle East internet site as well as an international site, which clearly indicates a price breakdown. CDW is included in an online quote, but can be undiscovered to get a quote with only compulsory insurance. Please note that the airport tax is also included in the online offer. Current answers to questions are available through Live Chat on their website.
Child's seat: $ 6 / day
Incentive: $ 6 / day
Additional Driver: $ 5 / day
Additional Driver: $ 5 / day
12 / day
Payless is part of an international car rental company and has no Costa Rican website. Online quotes do not include third-party insurance, although information can be found by reading the San Jose location rules. Emails receive an answer in less than 24 hours, but usually refer to a website rather than new information. Reviews are more negative than positive.
Toll-free phone number: 1-800-PAYLESS
Child seat: $ 5 / day
Enhancer: $ 5 / day
Additional driver: $ 10 / GPS system $ 9.95 / 19659002] Service is a local company with five offices in the country. On an otherwise clear site, click "Book now" instead of "Docs" to check the price on the web. Rember is a staff member mentioned in the forum reviews for his helpful customer service and the company generally gets good reviews. The emails are answered within 24 hours and usually provide the information requested.
U.S. Additional Driver: $ 3 / day
GPS System: $ 7.50 / day
Thrifty has no local website so the information is via an international website. Coverage options or third party insurance information are not available on the booking website until you click "Security Information". Emails receive an answer within 24 hours but can not answer location-specific questions.
Free Phone Number: 1-800-344-1705
Baby Chair: $ 5 / day
Booster $ 5 / day
Additional Driver $ 12 / Day
11.99 / day
Toyota is a big name; However, although their website is professional at first glance, it simply does not work or at least did not work to get a quote later than March 2015. Their online quotes do not include sales taxes. E-mails receive quick answers, but quotes for different seasons seemed contradictory. However, Toyota has a good reputation in tourist forums.
Child's seat: $ 5 / day
Cooler: $ 1.50 / day
Additional Driver: $ 3 / day
GPS System: $ 10 / day
partnership with Fox and has three office locations. Insurance options are shown for an online offer, but must be selected and discontinued "conversion" before they are included in the price. E-mails receive an answer within 24 hours. The company gets all the bad reviews, although there are some positive comments on tourist forums.
Toll-free phone number: 1-800-467-3659
Child seat: $ 5 / day
Additional driver: $ 10 / day
GPS system: $ 9.95 / day
Vamos is local a company that is a popular choice for travel consultants and Lonely Planet for its customer service and pricing. The site is easy to use with clearly displayed detailed charges. The Live Chat option provides instant personalized quotes and answers from the English language employee. The company has three offices
Free Phone Number: 1-800-950-8426
Child Seats: Free
Additional Driver: Free GPS System: $ 8 / day
Wild Rider is a small, local company located just in San Jose. The website is simple with third party insurance included in the price. At the beginning of the research, the price had not been updated, but it has since been repaired. This car rental operator points out that it has only positive reviews and is therefore recommended to users of tourist boards. The owner, Thorsten, responds to queries during office hours within an hour.
U.S. Phone number: 1-917-477-7712
GPS: 8 $ / day
Adobe, Alamo, and Wild Rider provide clear and complete rates on your web site. Other car rental operators were less transparent with additional fees or taxes, such as airport taxes or sales taxes. The price for additional accessories was not always easy to find, and details were to be contacted by Avis, Thrifty and Toyota.
Communication levels improved from the first comparison, although it would be wise to request a local number and confirm responses to the Costa Rican office of international car leasing providers, as international chat operators or those who responded to email, they always look 100% safe in local policy and may even give inaccurate information.
Be prepared to share numerous emails to get full answers to questions from many companies: Budget and Economy were particularly prone to doing so – seeking a lot of information to get a quote. It is not unreasonable for staff members who work in another language to miss out on aspects of emails by asking questions in a clear and simple language.
Live Chat on Budget and Vamos sites means that information can be instantly given and still documented, unlike a phone call.
A previous comparison shows that the price between a company largely depends on the season and category of car being considered, not about a clear choice between more or less expensive rental prices.  Customers should consider the cost of other items, such as additional drivers or GPS systems, and families will want to compare car rental rates. Wild Rider offers the first additional driver free of charge, Vamos does not charge any accessories except the GPS, and in general, international companies have higher costs for these accessories than local businesses.
So who can rent?
It is clear that local car rental operators are still hiding big names in their transparency and customer service when comparing their websites and online reviews. The difference compared to the previous comparison rate of a few years ago is that price determination has become more difficult to equalize.
Adobe, Alamo, and National appear to be well rated as international car rental operators. It is worth noting that the national is the most expensive in the middleweight season, and yet the cheapest in the low season. Adobe and Alamo are middle-ranked for pricing.
Wild Rider is remarkable that he has zero bad reviews but has only a base in San Jose and has a much lower fare. Of the other local companies, the services and Vamos go out well, and Vamos's free additional facilities will attract future travelers and families with young children.
The last, but certainly not the least …
If you've been able to go through this article, then you're ready to start exploring your rental car, armed with facts and ready to recognize those prices that are just too good to be true! Have a wonderful (and affordable) vacation in beautiful Costa Rica!