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Car Rental from Rentalcars.com

1 post
Car Rental from Rentalcars.com

I'm planning a trip to Costa Rica in a week andI've tried to limit the amount of time I'd need to renta a car as I've heard some rather unpleasant tales. However, I've found a very affordable rate for a car on rentalcars.com that supposedly includes:

Collision Damage Waiver (CDW)

Third-Party Liability (TPL)

Theft Protection (TP)

Airport Surcharge

Local Taxes

Premium Location Surcharge

Unlimited kilometres

Not included is any equipment extras, licensing fees and road side assistance. The rental is ultimately through Thrifty. I'm trying to figure out if there are any additional costs related to this rental that I should expect besides what I've stated. If anyone could help clarify or let me know if they've used this type of rental it would be appreciated.

Thank you

16 replies to this topic
Chicago, Illinois
Destination Expert
for Costa Rica
Level Contributor
11,211 posts
23 reviews
1. Re: Car Rental from Rentalcars.com

Using rentalcars.com or any 3rd party search engine is an invitation to misery. Often they sell you insurance that isn't valid in Costa Rica so you'll end up paying more. Do a search on this forum and you'll find lots of horror stories, mostly by folks that did not book directly with a Costa Rica based agency. Get quotes directly from Vamos, Adobe, Alamo, Toyota and Solid and make sure they include 3rd party liability.

Slovenia
Destination Expert
for Costa Rica
Level Contributor
20,482 posts
62 reviews
2. Re: Car Rental from Rentalcars.com

It is very easy answer. Make the same booking (not finalised) through Thrifty Costa Rica, and through several websites of companies mentioned above. If the total amounts are within +/- 15%, then you will be OK. If not, well, at least you will know the real costs in advance.

San Jose, Costa Rica
Level Contributor
53,034 posts
119 reviews
3. Re: Car Rental from Rentalcars.com

Is correct…using a middle person can and will be MISERY…deal direct with rent a cars….the web site you mentioned and as many more middle people…they just look for a commission…if you have a problem…they re great to disappear and blame the rent a car…stay as far as you can from ECONOMY and or THIFTY just check reviews./...

roadadvisor

Berlin, Germany
Level Contributor
1 post
27 reviews
4. Re: Car Rental from Rentalcars.com

Hello Joseph,

may I ask what experiences you had with your car rental in Costa Rica? Who did you book with in the end. I appreciate your feedback. Regards Jean

5. Re: Car Rental from Rentalcars.com

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London, United...
2 posts
6. Re: Car Rental from Rentalcars.com

Hi,

According to the following blog post it looks like the rentalcars.com insurance is valid (depending on the agency)?

https://www.twowanderingsoles.com/blog/ultim…

I have made a booking via rentalcars.com and also have a very cheap rate including CDW, TPL, TP and SLI. I'm booking from Europe where credit cards typically don't offer the same rental car insurance perks.

Anyone have any other experiences that confirm that the insurance included in an online booking (e.g. via rentalcars.com) is sufficient? I regularly book via these platforms at least 50% cheaper than the price quoted directly by the rental agencies so unfortunately I don't think this is a good way to compare what is included.

Cheers

Martinsburg...
Level Contributor
467 posts
6 reviews
7. Re: Car Rental from Rentalcars.com

I looked at rentalcars.com to compare a specific rental I have reserved for this November. I am finding $676 from them for my same vehicle, through Dollar, and it indicates that it includes Costa Rica TPL. Dollar website for the same vehicle and timeframe is $1087. My Vamos reservation is $1003. So, at least in the case of my vehicle, it is not such an insane difference that I would tell you the .com price is impossible. But it isn't something I'm going to try, personally, either. (Though I may email Vamos, mention this price I found, and see if they have any "coupon" or somesuch they can apply to my reservation to knock a few dollars off. Never hurts to ask!)

The consistent advice from regulars here is to avoid booking CR rentals via third parties. That advice is given out due to seeing, almost daily, people whose trips started out terribly from doing so. Sticker shock at the counter, and/or them not having the car you thought was reserved, are common.

That said, if you put in enough research to decide you want to try this out, that decision is ultimately yours to make. All I would ask is that if you book that way, please do stop back after your trip and share your experience - be it good or not so good. Tripadvisor works best when it is functioning as a source for collecting and aggregating real people's real experiences. As I said, third parties are currently strongly discouraged for car rentals for just that reason - a preponderance of bad experiences, shared over and over in these pages. If certain providers become better at using this model, which is certainly possible as time and progress march on, we will only know it by people coming back after the fact and giving the scoop.

In any case, best travels!

Edited: 12:49 pm, August 18, 2018
Slovenia
Destination Expert
for Costa Rica
Level Contributor
20,482 posts
62 reviews
8. Re: Car Rental from Rentalcars.com

I remember 1 case when the person posted that the Thrid Party Liability insurance offered by "middle man" company (forgot which one) was actually accepted by the provider of the car in Costa Rica. And dozens if not more that it was not accepted. So like Oliverbenny also myself I am booking my vehicle directly with a provider, even if that means the quotation through them is higher.

What DJJ530 could do is to book the vehicle through rentalcars.com but bring an extra amount of cca. 15$ per day to pay for the TPL if that of rentalcars.com will not be accepted at the counter. Plus about $5000 available as deposit on c/c, if also the CDW will not be accepted. Just in case.And when back, please report about your experience.

Slovenia
Destination Expert
for Costa Rica
Level Contributor
20,482 posts
62 reviews
9. Re: Car Rental from Rentalcars.com

And do read what the Two Wandering Soles have actually written in their blog! The first quote from Alamo was 69$ per day. They have used on-line and book their vehicle for 24$, and that was accepted by the same agent

next day. That was in June, and in Jaco; most of the folks get off the plane and are shuttled straight into the rental car office/depot outside of the airport, and believe me, the agent there would not even discuss the 24$ rate with you, being there at their mercy most of the time.

While the blog has some or many useful informations on renting and driving a car in Costa Rica, it does not mention the difference between TPL and CDW, and discuss only CDW. But what people cannot use their other coverages is for the TPL. Why this was not mentioned?! Probably because they were just too happy with the deal to enter into details.

So, I disagree with their statement that using on-line aggregator is the best way to rent a car in Costa Rica. It might work, like in their case, but mostly, it is the best way to start your travel with problems, and with anger.

As for so many blogs where people have been visiting a country for 2 weeks and are already experts about in-and-outs of that country, well, judging by the number of advertising insertions it must be a nice way how to supplement your (theirs) travel budget. Good for blogger but not that good for people reading the blog, and believing everything that is written there. Just my 2 cents. Should be a blogger myself, instead of DE on TA.

Martinsburg...
Level Contributor
467 posts
6 reviews
10. Re: Car Rental from Rentalcars.com

DJJ530, if you are still around, some further information for what it's worth....

Background: I have a rental for 16 days, late November, with Vamos, quoted $1003 including only the TPL coverage (7 passenger SUV). The best rate I have found elsewhere for the same dates, vehicle, and TPL direct from a provider has been Enterprise at $820.

I did some research with this 'rentalcars.com', and decided they are at least a legitimate business, and they offer free cancellation on rentals, so I went ahead and booked a 7 passenger SUV from them to find out what is really the deal. Research, for the sake of science (and Tripadvisor readers!). Figured if anything seemed not to my liking, I could just cancel.

I was booked by rentalcars.com at $506 for the same vehicle class and dates, through Avis. So, about half of Vamos cost, and a legit rental company. So far so good. Contacted Avis with my Avis confirmation number I received from rentalcars.com... Avis rep did indeed show the reservation in their system, for the right car, and said it did include liability coverage. Looking better by the minute! However, upon asking further questions about any required extra charges or coverages I would be required at the time of pickup, they pointed me to their website where they require an "ALI" ("Additional Liability") coverage if you are using credit card CDW instead of their products. No exceptions, no way around it, according to AVIS. This would be $19/day, or an extra $304, bringing my total to $810. I don't know if this is just their way of making up the $$ for people who use their own CDW, or what, but it changed the math on the whole thing. Now the rentalcars.com cost is within shouting distance of Vamos, and almost identical to direct-booking with Enterprise. Extra layers, extra things to go wrong, little savings. So, needless to say, the rentalcars.com one is promptly canceled.

Seems to be the normal case with 'something for nothing'; one is most likely to be getting a different 'something' than they expect, or to be paying in the end more 'nothing' than they thought. It may be possible to save a few dollars (emphasis on the 'few' part) via this rentalcars.com arrangement, but more likely it will end with a traveler starting day one of what should be a relaxing and enjoyable trip with frustration of one sort or another.

Edited: 9:15 pm, August 20, 2018
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