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Full CDW car insurance with Vamos : yes or no?

Ontario
Level Contributor
332 posts
1 review
1 helpful vote
Full CDW car insurance with Vamos : yes or no?
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We’ve rented a SUV with Vamos. They are charging me for the 3rd party liability (which i understand is mandatory) and they have received and accepted a letter from my credit card company for the CDW Insurance. However I am debating wether or not to pay the CDW insurance through Vamos regardless. I have read many comments about Vamos not giving renters a hard time with the credit card insurance. But for an extra 110$ for 5 days I am wondering if it is worth the hassle in the event that there is damage to the car or if we were in a accident. Would appreciate comments especially from posters that had the unfortunate experience of damaging the rental.

Thank you!

Nowhere
Destination Expert
for Playa Samara
Level Contributor
5,691 posts
115 reviews
50 helpful votes
1. Re: Full CDW car insurance with Vamos : yes or no?
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It's really completely up to you. I'll try to help with a run-down:

If you use your credit card:

1.) Your deposit will be high.

2.) If you damage the car, you are personally liable and will be charged 100% of the cost - and that includes theft of the vehicle.

3.) You will have to get reimbursed by your credit card issuer.

4.) You will have to deal with all the paperwork.

5.) You need to be aware of your credit card's terms - if you violate them, they will not reimburse you. This may or may not include things like driving the vehicle on "unpaved roads."

6.) Your liability insurance will have a 20% deductible!

If you use Vamos:

1.) Your deposit will be much lower.

2.) If you damage the car, you are only liable up to the deductible (Basic CDW). However, your credit card will NOT pick up the difference.

3.) You deal directly with Vamos and no other party is involved.

4.) Your liability insurance deductible will be zero.

5.) To lower your CDW deductible to zero, you must purchase FULL CDW at additional cost. (which you said you'd do).

Edited: 2 years ago
Level Contributor
106 posts
7 reviews
2. Re: Full CDW car insurance with Vamos : yes or no?
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There are pros and cons for each side of this decision, and every time we rent there, we revisit the decision. But we always end up just paying for the insurances. That way- everything is covered, and I don’t have to worry about dealing with my credit card after I get home from my awesome vacation should something happen to the vehicle. Tires routinely take a beating there.

Also- check your credit card’s fine print. Some will void coverage if driving on unpaved roads— and unpaved roads are abundant in CR.

Have a great trip!

Slovenia
Destination Expert
for Costa Rica
Level Contributor
24,566 posts
61 reviews
50 helpful votes
3. Re: Full CDW car insurance with Vamos : yes or no?
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There is only 1 cons against buying FULL CDW from the rental car company - its cost. There are only 2 cons against buying a BASIC CDW from a rental car company - its cost and the excess amount. There are multiple cons declining the rental car company CDW. Decision is very personal one.

Tampa, Florida
Level Contributor
8,099 posts
58 reviews
13 helpful votes
4. Re: Full CDW car insurance with Vamos : yes or no?
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I have enjoyed the peace of mind associated with full coverage during our last few trips. We already spend so much on our trips that the difference to Vamos is hard to notice.

Ontario
Level Contributor
332 posts
1 review
1 helpful vote
5. Re: Full CDW car insurance with Vamos : yes or no?
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I have opted for peace of mind! I just don’t want to have to worry about the rental. Thank you to all posters!

Toronto
Level Contributor
2 posts
4 reviews
4 helpful votes
6. Re: Full CDW car insurance with Vamos : yes or no?
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Renting cars is about the most frustrating thing in Costa Rica. It feels like a scam, but with some additional info I think the challenges can be avoided.

TPL [aka Supplemental Liability Insurance (SLI)] - There is no way around this. It's mandatory, regardless of what coverage your credit cards provide or other personal insurance you have. Most online rental agencies leave this number out of their prices, whether that's Expedia or directly from the big rental car company site (Budget, Alamo, etc.). They'll use some generalized version of 'additional local charges may apply'.

I used Booking dot com (branded Rentalcars dot com) and rented from Avis because they included TPL in the final price. I had to dig into the details to determine that. If your contract includes TPL, bring a hard copy of the invoice that indicates such. The only way to find out what the TPL charge would be if they are not included, would be to contact the local office of whatever company you've rented from and get the rates.

CDW (Collision Damage Waiver) - No rental car companies include the CDW in the fees you see online. Your credit cards may have coverage to take care of the CDW the local agents say is mandatory, but you need to bring a hard copy letter from your credit card company stating that you have coverage. You may get away with providing the credit card company's generic policy statement that says rental car insurance is included, but a letter is better. The letter should have the name of the credit card company on it. Local agents will tell you that one of the major credit card companies name's has to be there because this is the only additional insurance they accept.

Please note, personal 3rd party liability insurance, which should give you the ability to decline all rental car coverage was not applicable. Even if your coverage is from a company like Chubb (the biggest insurance company in the world), they will not accept it. It needs to be from a credit card company. See above.

I watched a couple get dinged for $300 in unexpected charges at the time of rental. What an awful way to star a vacation.

Side note. Rent a 4x4. The roads here get rough sometimes, so if you're going further than Tamarindo, like Nosara or Santa Teresa you might prefer something larger. You could get by with the cheapest 4x4s they offer (Begos, Terios), but going slightly larger to something like a Nissan X-Trail will make you more comfortable.

7. Re: Full CDW car insurance with Vamos : yes or no?

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