We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

car rental concerns

Atlanta
Level Contributor
62 posts
71 reviews
Save Topic
car rental concerns

Hi all. We are headed down soon for 12 days. We have a car reserved through Avis (in case it makes a difference, my husband is Avis President's Club). We've never been to CR and my husband is a little freaked out about the car rental, as he's read lots of nightmarish experiences with car break-ins, insurance surprises, rental companies claiming damages the renter didn't incur, terrible roads, etc. Now we know the obviousl; leave nothing in the car, take pictures of the car when you rent it, etc... We have young kids, so we aren't going to be 4wheeling through the jungle. Any suggestions to making sure this is a smooth experience where we don't get taken advantage of? We are staying a week in Playa Flamingo at a condo rental, then heading to Arenal for a few days. The owner of the condo said we would need a car.

Thanks for any info and advice. J\

Mentioned in this post
Playa Flamingo
Playa Flamingo
Province of Guanacaste, Costa Rica
Arenal Lodge
Arenal Lodge
892 Reviews
La Fortuna de San Carlos, Costa Rica
Costa Rica
Level Contributor
25,653 posts
25 reviews
Save Reply
1. Re: car rental concerns

It's really nice to have a car for your visit to Costa Rica - it will give you a lot of freedom and flexibility, especially with young kids.

Don't be freaked out! A lot of negative stuff you read about car rentals is just because people didn't do their homework and made a lot of assumptions and didn't make good decisions about leaving stuff in the car.

The biggest problem with people has been the lack of understand about insurance. There is a mandatory BY LAW liability insurance that you must pay for no matter what other insurance you have. Do not let Orbitz or Avis USA or anyone else tell you that you don't have to pay this. The problem comes in where some agencies include it in their quote and some agencies don't.

Car agencies are required by law to provide car seats for your kids.

As for the safety of your stuff: it depends to a great extent on where you are. The more "touristy" a place, the greater the potential for theft. You might consider bringing or buying a blanket and if you leave a few things in your car, you can put them on the floor and cover them with a blanket.

Of course, don't leave anything of value in your car ever. Passports, money, cards, cameras, computers, phones etc should always be kept with you. You could bring a used, nondescript backpack and just stuff everything important in that when you go shopping or go to dinner.

For distances and travel times, this is a good resource: www.yourtravelmap.com

Mentioned in this post
Costa Rica
Costa Rica
Central America
United States
United States
North America
San Jose, Costa Rica
Level Contributor
49,025 posts
35 reviews
Save Reply
2. Re: car rental concerns

Dear Dexter...

Firts Merry xmas...please do not worry...very soon you will see that most of our roads are in great shape...any vehicle in good condition will take you everywhere you are planning to go...

AVIS is a good company...just be sure you check your car in and out...make a note of every scratch...check windows and windshield of any crack if any..upholstery that is in good condition...also spare tire and good general condition of all tires...

Some drama queens will tell you about the terrible condition of our roads...please do not pay any attention....very soon you will see them.

Sorry in advance if you get a negative post by a person that was very vactive here at the forum. Yesterday ..and is not a very nice person...we already report this sad issue to TA moderators.

Just common sense...observe speed limits and driving distances

Just buckle up and enjoy the ride in PARADISE

roadadvisor

Manuel Antonio...
Level Contributor
1,150 posts
74 reviews
Save Reply
3. Re: car rental concerns

Good advice from above.....another note......"elite" status with the car rental companies means very little down here.....expect to take an hour to rent your car.....and close to the same to check it in......no "express' car rental service here......most of the problems occur with the insurance requirements at rental and damages found at check in......I always tell our guests to make sure the company they are renting from has an office in the town they'll be staying in.....if you need assistance.....from car problems to lost keys......having a branch office nearby.....instead of 2-3 hours away.....makes a big difference......(we don't have an Avis office in the Manuel Antonio/Quepos area for instance).....have a fun trip.

Tulemar Dave

Mentioned in this post
Manuel Antonio
Manuel Antonio
Province of Puntarenas, Costa Rica
Quepos
Quepos
Province of Puntarenas, Costa Rica
Tulemar Bungalows & Villas
Tulemar Bungalows...
2,666 Reviews
Manuel Antonio, Costa Rica
Grecia, Costa Rica
Destination Expert
for Province of Alajuela
Level Contributor
8,161 posts
42 reviews
Save Reply
4. Re: car rental concerns

Hey Hattie!!!! Welcome Back!!!

Nothing to add, great answers provided already.

Atlanta
Level Contributor
62 posts
71 reviews
Save Reply
5. Re: car rental concerns

Thanks, guys. We are getting the car. Appreciate the help!

6. Re: car rental concerns

-:- Message from TripAdvisor staff -:-

This topic has been closed to new posts due to inactivity. We hope you'll join the conversation by posting to an open topic or starting a new one.

To review the TripAdvisor Forums Posting Guidelines, please follow this link: http://www.tripadvisor.com/pages/forums_posting_guidelines.html

We remove posts that do not follow our posting guidelines, and we reserve the right to remove any post for any reason.

Removed on: 5:16 am, January 01, 2014