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Vamos Car Rental

Level Contributor
40 posts
83 reviews
Vamos Car Rental

We just returned from a week-long trip to Costa Rica. We rented a 4 x 4 from Vamos in San Jose. I would not hesitate to rent from them again. Their rate was by far the lowest rate we were able to find on a 4 x 4 for the week and their service was great. We were met promptly at the airport when we arrived and were shuttled to the rental office. There was no one else there and the paperwork went quickly. Once back in San Jose for our return, we were again alone in the rental office and the paperwork was promptly processed and we were then shuttled to the airport. Our 4 x 4 was not brand new but it was certainly more than functional for our needs for the week. All the agents we dealt with at Vamos were friendly and efficient and I would recommend them highly.

208 replies to this topic
Level Contributor
1 post
34 reviews
191. Re: Vamos Car Rental

We rented from Vamos this week from the Liberia airport location. Though we had insurance through our credit card, we opted to just get full insurance, yet we still had to take the time to detail every dent and scratch prior to leaving. I do not understand why. Just as we were about to leave, he informed us we had just a quarter tank of gas and so should bring it back with just a quarter tank. I feel this is quite a scam not only because who on earth can bring it back with exactly a quarter tank, but as well, we were then required to stop tyo fill up before our journey. Nonetheless, we were happy with our car. The day we were to drop it off at a different location, we received an email asking if we could drop it at the originating location and they would drive us the 40 minutes to our destination. We agreed to this and had a very nice driver. Overall we were happy with Vamos except for their poor company policy on not gassing the cars up prior to rentals.

Costa Rica
Level Contributor
45 posts
2 reviews
192. Re: Vamos Car Rental

Hello Jodi G,

My name is Alex Villalobos and I’m the operations manager at Vamos Rent-A-Car. I apologize for my delayed response to your post.

In regards to the vehicle check, my coworkers are instructed to carry out a full check whatever level of coverage has been purchased. This is to ensure that all damages from the previous rental have been registered and that future damage can be clearly indicated. Customers who cause damages to the vehicle through negligence, such as driving through a river or onto the beach, void coverage so it is crucial that the car’s condition is clearly noted on our paperwork for the protection of the customer and ourselves.

Our policy is to provide our vehicles to each customer with a full tank of gas which is much easier for the customer to manage on return, as you have correctly observed. My coworkers are sometimes pressed for time if a client returns a car without a full tank. Most of these cases are due to the previous renter running late as no one likes to be charged for low fuel. Having one, or several, of these late returns in a day consumes the prep sequence for that vehicle as the mechanical check and cleaning cannot be skipped, so to avoid the new client receiving their car later than scheduled; we may rent without a full gas tank. In all cases, the gas level is noted on the rental form. Again, to accurately record each situation.

While I understand your frustration in having to gas up before starting your adventures, we think that getting our clients on the road ASAP is more important than delaying their departure another 30 minutes as a team member makes a round-trip fuel run.

I am pleased that your car rental experience with Vamos was otherwise positive.

Destination Expert
for Costa Rica
Level Contributor
20,488 posts
62 reviews
193. Re: Vamos Car Rental

Hi Alex V! Related to the issue of giving out vehicles that have only 1/2 or less the fuel, wouldn't it be a gesture of good will that in such a case, the vehicle can be returned with any amount of gasoline in the tank?! To counterbalance the extra time lost by the client when looking for the nearest gas station?! Just an idea, of course.

1 post
194. Re: Vamos Car Rental

Thanks for the tips sbflygal!!

Costa Rica
Level Contributor
45 posts
2 reviews
195. Re: Vamos Car Rental

Thank you for your input, Xelas. Apologies for the delayed response.

Receiving less than full gas tanks from a drop-off and whether to pass this onto the next renter or potentially delivering the vehicle to the client later than the reservation time is an ongoing debate with the team at Vamos.

Depending on traffic, counter staff availability, customer scheduled pick up and drop off time, as well as season, we always try to provide our customers with a full fuel tank but sometimes it isn’t possible. For example, when it’s a remote delivery; the staff will arrive with less than a full tank. There’s no way around that.

We are considering how to best tackle this issue and we’ll update the thread as soon as senior management reaches a decision.

Level Contributor
467 posts
6 reviews
196. Re: Vamos Car Rental

The one I just rented in November had 6/8 fuel, and we were instructed to return it the same. I didn't find this to be a major issue personally, even though we did end up spending a few extra liters (we returned it 7/8). In fact, I was glad to be able to fill up upon leaving La Fortuna our last morning versus finding a way to gas up in the easily-confusing road/traffic snarl of the airport area.

I do see, though, where folks might be put off by anything much below half full at pickup.

On the plus side, we were, as you are suggesting, in and out and on our way quite quickly.

San Francisco...
1 post
197. Re: Vamos Car Rental

This is NOT a safe or a professional company to rent your car from. If you look for them in here you will see that they do not have a profile in Tripadvisor. I Just had a very bad experience with them (Nov 2018) and I would not recommend this company. Because they don't have a profile here, they make it very hard to post a review. Probably on purpose.

Edited: 2:07 pm, December 12, 2018
Level Contributor
467 posts
6 reviews
198. Re: Vamos Car Rental

I don't know, Anton... Are there Tripadvisor profiles in which one can post reviews for any car rental companies in Costa Rica? I don't know, tbh. I know they are there for hotels, restaurants, but I haven't seen for car rentals.

Perhaps you could post the details of your very bad experience here, at least, so others can benefit from it?

Many of us here are repeat clients who choose to go back to Vamos even versus going elsewhere, but every company can have a bad day I suppose.

Edited: 2:24 pm, December 12, 2018
Costa Rica
Level Contributor
45 posts
2 reviews
199. Re: Vamos Car Rental

Thank you for your feedback, Anton.

My name is Alex Villalobos and I’m the operations manager at Vamos Rent-A-Car. Allow me to address the two main points brought up in your comment.

Purposefully having a lack of a profile:

We'd love to have a profile if only TripAdvisor would fulfill its promise to open this option to car rental agencies. There are options for accommodation, attractions and restaurants profiles only at present. If you see a way to create a page from here (tripadvisor.com/GetListedNew), please let me know. I have seen some car rentals creating a profile page under "Transportation - Shuttles and Taxis" and even under "Vacation Rentals" as a work around, but we would rather wait to do it right. If you would kindly notice, Budget, National, Alamo, Adobe, and others also do not have a profile page on TA… Should we assume that they too are not trustworthy based solely on that?

I will admit that there are several 'Vamos' type threads on TA, most using our name incorrectly (Vamos Car Rentals), so knowing where to post is not as clear as it could be — and hence why we’ve pushed for a 'car rental' classification with TA.

Not a safe or professional company:

Now to address the elephant in the room concerning your 'bad experience'. My coworkers provided a detailed report to me on the day of your rental return. Despite the damage on your rental vehicle being absent from both our paperwork and the smartphone video that you took as part of the 'walk-around’ prior to your rental, I understand that you did not want to pay for this new damage. As you have witnessed, we are meticulous in recording pre-exisiting scratches, dents and scrapes to avoid such issues arising. Both an experienced member of the counter staff and the fleet manager explained the situation respectfully even though they were met with bad language and shouting. I also understand that you returned the vehicle late and claimed you could not wait to close the rental agreement without missing your flight which is when my coworker noticed the new damages. Prior you had called the office to see whether a 4:00am drop off would be an option. I like to give people the benefit of the doubt, but it may appear to some that there were reasons behind what is normally an easy drop-off process.

Like all businesses, we have to accept that not all our customers will be satisfied but our reviews on this forum show that we do go above and beyond in our attempt to achieve 100% client satisfaction. However, as a business entity, we will proceed as our contract clearly states to claim for damages caused during the rental period. I do not believe that this makes Vamos either unsafe or unprofessional. Quite the contrary.

If you feel that there are further aspects of your rental experience to discuss, I'd be happy to do so.

2 posts
2 reviews
200. Re: Vamos Car Rental


We made our reservation with Vamos Rent-A-Car on September 27, 2018. At the time of the reservation we mentioned that we were a bit concerned about our arrival time, and clearing immigrations and customs on time to get our car. Both Mr. Luis Diego Sanchez, and Mr. Allen Vega, assured us that someone from Vamos Rent-A-Car would be waiting for us till 11:00pm, for an extra charge of $20.00. ( I was willing to offer more money in order to assure having a car).

I contacted the company on December 17th, 2018, in order to verify our reservation. Mr. Luis Diego Sanchez assured me that there was nothing to be worried about, that someone would be waiting for us.

We were very grateful when we were able to go through immigrations and customs, and have 1/2 hour to look for our car rental company.

My husband and I exited the doors right away and started looking for someone holding a sign with our name, or the Vamos Rent-A-Car sign. Soon, the last four adults in our party joined us in the search, together with two local Costa Rican men. So, we had eight adults looking for someone from Vamos Rent-A-Car, there was no one waiting for us.

We wanted to drive that same night to our final destination in Jaco, 1 1/2 hours away.

We tried to call the company multiple times, few locals also volunteered to call the company, but of course the company was CLOSED. There was no one to call at that time.

They left a group of six adults stranded at the San José airport. The next day I got an e-mail asking if we still needed a vehicle. - NO we did not need the anymore, and would not even consider doing business with them at that point.

I sent three e-mails, saying that we were waiting, and did not get a reply until the next day. All they had to say was: "do you still want the car?"

We were lucky to find a gentleman from SAFE CAR RENTAL, who waited with us, until a vehicle from his company was delivered to us at the airport. The brought all the required paper work needed, and we were able to finalize a rental at the airport, and be on our way to Jaco that evening.

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