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Best Car Rental in Costa Rica?

Chicago, IL
Level Contributor
6 posts
15 reviews
5 helpful votes
Best Car Rental in Costa Rica?

We're arriving in San Jose, leaving out of Liberia. Looking for a solid, well-maintained 4WD vehicle, no hidden fees, good value for 9 day rental. Anyone have anyone I should/should NOT consider?? Thanks!

113 replies to this topic
Amarillo, Texas
Level Contributor
6 posts
37 reviews
26 helpful votes
101. Re: Best Car Rental in Costa Rica?

We rented our car from Vamos Rental cars in October 2018. Found pricing and service very good. We were picked up at the airport in San Jose and taken to the nearby Vamos facility. Easy transactions and good clean car. (Korando). Sure 4 wheel drive cars available,.

Lisbon, Portugal
Level Contributor
41 posts
10 reviews
2 helpful votes
102. Re: Best Car Rental in Costa Rica?

Do everybody bought a basic insurance or whe insurance against everything?

Slovenia
Destination Expert
for Costa Rica
Level Contributor
20,689 posts
62 reviews
51 helpful votes
103. Re: Best Car Rental in Costa Rica?

If you will buy only basic CDW then do buy a separate coverage because paying for a car repair in Costa Rica can be an expensive experience (at least up to your excess/deductible amount). Be careful with those parts that are usually not covered by basic CDW coverage: underbody, roof, tires, windows.

Millington, New...
Level Contributor
1 post
16 reviews
3 helpful votes
104. Re: Best Car Rental in Costa Rica?

We will be travelling as a family of 7. We will be needing transportation from San Jose to Monteverde Country Lodge. How much does a shuttle cost for our family of 7 from San Jose to Monteverde? Please help...thanks

Pasadena, California
Level Contributor
687 posts
43 reviews
51 helpful votes
105. Re: Best Car Rental in Costa Rica?

Hi Xelas,

Underbody, roof, tires windows ..... these are not covered? We'd be renting the entire automobile, right? Or do we need to add on (add'l cost) insurance for different PARTS of the car? I understand about the 3 items in CDW. Well, it's our first time, and this is hiw the car rental game is played I guess. SIgh ....

So, for 11 nights rental Standard SUV r/t from SJU in late August 2019, what is the "fair price". I looked and got a Rate of $909 but just the 3 things in CDW. It was an American car rental at the San Juan Airport. If I booked via Marriott's web site with Hertz "discount" it was around $1,800.

That's my limited research so far. $900 apart, without the Window, Tires, Underbody, Roof add on. Which is what?? $100, $200, ++++++. ?????

Thank you,

🚙🚙 Bobbi

Slovenia
Destination Expert
for Costa Rica
Level Contributor
20,689 posts
62 reviews
51 helpful votes
106. Re: Best Car Rental in Costa Rica?

Not enough info, Bobbi, and some info that might be typo ... or not. The airport code is SJO, the capital city is San Jose. So, lets pretend you will be flying to SJO - San Jose - Costa Rica.

The "fair" price that includes the mandatory TPL and basic CDW for a standard SUV should cost you around 50 USD/day. Those $900 (??USD) are superinflated, orelse that will be for a large SUV with full insurance (zero CDW). For "fair" prices look at this provider: www.wild-rider.com . Also Vamos Rent-A-Car https://vamosrentacar.com/ is a good provider to tell you about how much the "fair" (=average) price should be.

What is covered and what is not covered under the CDW coverage depends on each company; do read their T&C's carefully, specially small prints.

Martinsburg...
Level Contributor
469 posts
6 reviews
6 helpful votes
107. Re: Best Car Rental in Costa Rica?

Bobbi,

I think the main point is that one needs to take the time to read the coverages of whichever agency they are going to rent from, just to understand what is covered and not covered for any given 'level' of coverage. And yes, other than some companies "super-platinum-mega-protection-pack" types of top level coverages, most basic and mid-level CDW offerings won't include damage to tires, glass, underbody, etc unless those damages are incurred in a collision accident; nor do they cover theft. (After all, CDW actually stands for "C"ollision "D"amage Waiver.)

And yeah, if you're talking Puerto Rico you're in the wrong place to get the best advice... I would have thought it a typo if not for the fact that you typed it twice, in two different ways.

Pasadena, California
Level Contributor
687 posts
43 reviews
51 helpful votes
108. Re: Best Car Rental in Costa Rica?

Oops .... we have vacationed in Puerto Rico the last 2 summer vacations in late August. Hence the SJU over the correct SJO. Look, I got the $900 price from the SJO Airport car rental. No, not fully loaded. Just a mid sized SUV. Here at home I drive a Ford Escape, so something in that size range.

What I come away with, from reading Twotanfeet Blog, and here on T.A. --- rent from a local agency ---- NOT one of the Big one's i.e. Budget, Enterprise, Alamo the ones I'd normally go to in the U.S. And in Puerto Rico.

So, VAMOS is the site I'll restart my search with...

Thank you guys,

Bobbi

Nowhere
Destination Expert
for Playa Samara
Level Contributor
4,980 posts
111 reviews
47 helpful votes
109. Re: Best Car Rental in Costa Rica?

I would not endorse this conclusion. It's not that simple as saying local = good, big corporate = bad.

There is nothing wrong with renting from some of the big companies. Alamo, Budget, Dollar, for example. are well respected, transparent, and generally get good reviews.

On the other hand, some smaller local agencies get horrible reviews and are known to be iffy if not outright fraudulent.

Sure, the two "best" companies are local: WildRider and Vamos, but the company that gets the most complaints (by far) is also local: Economy.

Edited: 4:50 am, October 30, 2018
Washington DC
Level Contributor
1 post
12 reviews
7 helpful votes
110. Re: Best Car Rental in Costa Rica?

DO NOT rent from HERTZ at Juan Santamaria airport.

The manager attempted to charge us $1500 for a 18-day stay. The price we had been quoted when we made our reservation was $802. It was the high season, and we made our rental very late when a CR friend bailed on loaning us a car. By the time we looked, Hertz SJO was the only place left with a car. There is probably a reason for this - we subsequently discovered lots of complaints on TripAdvisor.

When we arrived after our long flight, the manager at this office saw two tired Americans with no other options and pushed a piece of paper at us with $1500 written on it. When we made it clear we would not pay, and after over an hour of angry negotiating, he revised it down to $1100 which is still $300 higher than what we were quoted. About half of that was the mandatory liability insurance which was NOT written down anywhere - not in the contract, not in the terms, nowhere. The other half was collision, which is covered by our US company but the manager said he would not accept.

Go anywhere else, but do not deal with this terrible office.

We did call Hertz International Customer Service to complain and they said that office is just licensing their name and they have no control over them. This seems absurd - they are surely getting franchise fees, so the franchisee MUST have some standards to adhere to. Shame on Hertz. Avoid them.

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