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Terrible Thifty Car Rental, San Jose, Costa Rica

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Park City, Utah
posts: 2
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Terrible Thifty Car Rental, San Jose, Costa Rica

Do not use Thrifty Car Rental at the San Jose airport in Costa Rica! We had a terrible experience with them over New Year’s week. I hope to save travelers like us from repeating this experience.

73 replies to this topic
Memphis, Tennessee
posts: 1
reviews: 5
41. Re: Terrible Thifty Car Rental, San Jose, Costa Rica

We had a lousy experience too. We flew from ATL and Delta's delay caused us to miss our connection. We sent 2 emails, one in both English and Spanish, to the reservation email address we corresponded with, informing them we would arrive at 8:30 p.m. instead of noon. They had a rep at the airport who took us to the rental office, but when we got there, they claimed that "reservations" had cancelled our reservation and they were not interested in seeing email proof of our notification of our 8 hour delay. They ran us around for 60 minutes on car and price since we no longer "had a reservation". All this despite a having a hard copy with me, and my offer to show them emails that were delivered hours b4 our original flight was supposed to land. Ridiculous circus trying to decline insurance; we basically were told we could have the car we reserved (better mileage SUV) only if we got all the BS insurance. Woman tried to charge us extra for an extra driver; refused repeatedly to honor the original price; basically leveraged a modest language barrier to waste our time and rip us off repeatedly. Singe worst experience in CR by far. Will never rent from Thrifty again, anywhere. Oh, and mini-SUV we ended up getting ran fine, but was infested with ants... discovered that happy affair about 30 minutes after leaving. DON'T RENT FROM THRIFTY. THEY'RE CON-ARTISTS.

posts: 195
reviews: 23
42. Re: Terrible Thifty Car Rental, San Jose, Costa Rica

Just happened by here, but funny to see that Thrifty are still performing the same as when we rented from them in 2010.

They were supposed to fetch our car outside Limon (while we went to Tortoguera) but they never did, so we finally found the car where we left it, except that the café owners had rather wisely moved it into their locked yard, pity nobody told us, it would have saved us a long delay. Handing the car back at San José airport was also an adventure, they had a curious sign that swapped between advertisement for Toyota and Thrifty, so every time we drove past there it was showing Toyota, after several passes we finally turned lucky and the sign was showing Thrifty, but it took a long time and we were late for our flight . The car was fine, but on the whole I wouldn’t recommend Thrifty.


Huntsville, Canada
posts: 322
reviews: 2
43. Re: Terrible Thifty Car Rental, San Jose, Costa Rica

I have never rented a car in CR but have followed the various posts on this topic. I then tought is car renting that much of a problem in CR. I then checked for Triffty Car Rental Toronto Airport on TA. Well it seems that Thriffty Toronto Airport is just as bad as Thriffty in CR. I realize CR problems in the majority seem to do with insurance issues. Its to the point you cant trust anybody in business now a days.

Puerto Viejo de...
Destination Expert
for Puerto Viejo de Talamanca
posts: 1,817
reviews: 8
44. Re: Terrible Thifty Car Rental, San Jose, Costa Rica

Well, because of the negative posts on Thrifty someone just cancelled their reservation with them. let's hope someone in their office looks at TA.

Madrid, Spain
posts: 2
reviews: 1
45. Re: Terrible Thifty Car Rental, San Jose, Costa Rica

just a little comment to add:

Watch carefully the ADVISES on the net, they DONT MENTION THE INSURANCE! for a light SUV they charged 140 $ FOR THE RENTAL and 260 $ for the insurance!!

Be sure the price will DOUBLE FROM WHATS PUBLICITED on their web.

Madrid, Spain
posts: 2
reviews: 1
46. Re: Terrible Thifty Car Rental, San Jose, Costa Rica

just a litle thing:

prices on the web DONT INCLUDE THE INSURANCE, on my experience a light SUV, mandatory in some places, monteverde for example, rises its price from 140 to 340$ just with the minimum covers, and to more than 400 $ with full isurance. so EXPECT THE PRICE AT LEAST TO DOUBLE.

New York City, New...
posts: 1
47. Re: Terrible Thifty Car Rental, San Jose, Costa Rica

After reading this post and already booking a car thru Expedia for Thrifty Car Rental, San Jose, Costa Rica I was scared as.. when I arrive in San Jose. I followed the advice of all the posts. I did not have any problems renting in Costa Rica thru Thrifty. My credit card hold was $300 b/c I booked thru internet. I took all the insurances.. Cost of one week rental was $113.70 The insurance coverage for the week was around $250 so the total was around $363 for the week. No bad. The rep tried to get me to pre-pay the gas and said I had to buy super unleaded fuel which was not true. This would have cost me around $400 + for the week. I refused and at the end the gas only costed me $40 usd (regular unleaded)

I would rent with them again b/c my credit card had a limit of only $500 but they do accept debit cards. So she put a hold for $300 on my credit card (which is still on there 4 days after I returned the car smh) and I paid the balance $350 + on my debit card.

If u take the insurance the credit card hold is cheaper $300 vs $1250. DON'T PRE PAY THE GAS. WE ONLY USED HALF A TANK FOR THE WHOLE WEEK :)

posts: 1
reviews: 5
48. Re: Terrible Thifty Car Rental, San Jose, Costa Rica

I rented from the Thrifty airport location, San Jose Costa Rica. I can not begin to describe how horrid the experience was, but will attempt to do it as succinctly as possible. I had heard the horror stories regarding the upsale of insurance and gps. So I was proactive and called Thrifty before I left and said give me everything possible and my $324 weekly rate went to $548. Fine, at least I knew the maximum I was in form and wanted to avoid the hassle on my vacation. Boy was I wrong, each tourist took 45 minutes to get their car and each local was in and out in less than 10. I understand why, we all made the same argument that we had pre-arranged everything, but in the end we all left between $300 to $400 lighter than expected. If you did not accept the agency price they would not let you have the car. What am I going to do with two kids and wife dead tired after 8 hours of flights and a 3 hour drive ahead of us? Ultimately my bill came to $910 and I have been dealing with Thrifty for two months and the only answer I get is it is not a company store, but a licensee. It was absolutely extortion and there was nothing any of us could do about it. AVOID AT ALL COST!

posts: 1
49. Re: Terrible Thifty Car Rental, San Jose, Costa Rica

Unfortunately we can only report the same bad news . We walked into Thrifty expecting to pay $287 for a weeks rental of a Suzuki Jimmy....... The amount quoted on line. By the time they added the "required " insurance , we walked out with a $595 bill !!! They had the cheek to tell us that this was the "cheaper" rate and that if I elected not to refuel the car the charge would have been $648 !!!!!

Thrifty should disclose all costs including mandatory insurances and taxes UP FRONT when booking on line..... As a point of reference National car rental does this . We will be returning to Costa Rica in April and will be renting from National and not "rip off" Thrifty.

Prague, Czech...
posts: 1
reviews: 9
50. Re: Terrible Thifty Car Rental, San Jose, Costa Rica

Thrifty car rental at the airport was the worst experience from our Costa Rica trip.

We were there for fro two weeks in Nov 2013 and for the whole period we rented a car. The small Jimny is just perfect for CostaRica but don!t rent it from Thrifty.

It took us almost 90 minutes to get the car. At the counter I was forced and manipulated to pay 200 USD for extra insurance with the words that for what I have payed online is not covering enough. I would rather expect professional advise not manipulation.

Car was clean but very used, with lots of dents and scratches and it broke down the last day of our trip. Fortunately one local helped us to deal with Thrifty and arranged the replacement car for us. It was just few before our return flight and we were in a hurry. Fortunately we made it but we had to skip last part of our trip. When we got back to the office too return the car I expected at least apology for inconvenience or some symbolical reimbursement like cab or so. None of that happened - communication with staff was very unprofessional and unpleasant.

Do not rent there!

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