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Review-Alamo car rental in Liberia

Dominical, Costa...
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59 posts
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Review-Alamo car rental in Liberia

We get a lot of questions on this forum about car rentals, so I thought I'd put this here. If some tech-savvy person wants to move it to the thread that someone started a while back about car rentals, that would be fine too.

Last week we rented from Alamo at LIB for the first time. In the past we've always flown into SJO. We got a small Suzuki subcompact for 6 days, including mandatory insurance but minus extra insurance for around $250. We thought this was a good price. We got in and out of the airport and the rental office quickly and the service was good. I did spend a little extra time there explaining the insurance situation to a couple of American guys who were there for the first time.:)

On our second day, we got clipped on the driver's side by a passing car and our side mirror came loose. We brought the car back to the Tamarindo office of Alamo and they gave us a different car with minimal fuss. On the fourth day, we blew out a back tire, limped to a nearly mechanic who quickly changed the tire for us (and wanted $4 for it-seriously? What a sweetheart. We gave him $20:). Alamo replaced the spare when we got back into town.

Upon returning to LIB, we got the damage report to send to Visa (we had already taken photos of the two incidents), so now we'll see how easy it is to get credit card reimbursement, and probably use that as a guide for whether to pay for the extra insurance next time. We were actually pretty shocked at how cheap the two items were-around $110 for the mirror, and only $50 for the tire. I can guarantee that both of those would have been easily doubled, if not tripled, in the U.S.

So overall, good customer service, good experience. We would recommend them absolutely.:)

Slovenia
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for Costa Rica
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1. Re: Review-Alamo car rental in Liberia

So Alamo charged you the nominal costs of the damage done? That is a really positive approach as too often the rental car companies tend to overcharge for such damages, specially when their CDW is declined. Please keep us updated about the c/c insurance procedure.

Cahuita, Costa Rica
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for Cahuita
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32 reviews
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2. Re: Review-Alamo car rental in Liberia

Car rental reviews are always appreciated as the issue comes up again and again. Thanks for making the effort to write so much detail.

Costa Rica
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25,654 posts
25 reviews
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3. Re: Review-Alamo car rental in Liberia

I agree. Thanks for the great detailed report.

I must say - as a car owner and driver in Costa Rica, my experience has been similar to yours. In fact, I go to a mechanic who argues with me when I try to pay him a little more than he asks for. (What he asks for is way too little....)

London, United...
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4. Re: Review-Alamo car rental in Liberia

Big WARNING for Alamo - they are complete clowns. We reserved a 4x4 and got a compact car instead. Not very useful if you're going to Monteverde, or any place just little bit remote. Alamo then wasted a full day by letting us wait for a 4x4, which they promised to deliver to the hotel. Did they show up - of course not.

Costa Rica
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25 reviews
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5. Re: Review-Alamo car rental in Liberia

Alamo actually has a pretty good reputation here in Costa Rica. Sounds like you just hit them on a bad day, Winni.

Ocean Shores...
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2 posts
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6. Re: Review-Alamo car rental in Liberia

We rented a car for 47 days, from Alamo, We returned the car on March 11th 2014. No problems, they tookm us to the Liberia airport in the shuttle and when we were getting out the driver received a call from the office, we were told to wait on the curb, we had left money in the car. Well, we waited and they quickly returned with a money clip that we thought had been lost or stolen nearly 5 weeks earlier!! We were so amazed to see that money , about $100.00!!! thankyou to an honest person!!!!! Pura Vida

San Francisco...
3 posts
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7. Re: Review-Alamo car rental in Liberia

BEWARE of renting from Alamo in Costa Rica. Our experience renting a car in Liberia this June was a disaster full of hidden fees and deception. We booked our reservation online through the US Alamo site for a 6 day rental for the cheapest car for an estimated total of $123 dollars. Online, we had declined insurance coverage as my credit card and US-based auto insurance provide coverage, but when we got to the counter we were told that insurance coverage was mandatory. We protested, explaining that we already had coverage and our agent (Sylvia) explained that in Costa Rica she had to charge us for insurance and that she would only apply the mandatory minimum coverage that was allowed. This turned out to be $72 for third party coverages and $90 for accident protection. Furthermore our bill also had a $34 airport fee. When all was accounted for, our $123 reservation became $309!!! Since we were taken by shuttle to the off airport Alamo location, there was no opportunity to shop around for other rentals so we grudgingly signed the paperwork (the US Alamo site says the rental counter is at the airport but this is not true).

We then contacted another Alamo Costa Rica employee a few days later and we were informed that it was not true that the $90 accident protection was mandatory and he removed it from our bill. We were infuriated that we had been outright lied to about what was a mandatory charge (I imagine there is a commission system that encourages this deception). We also learned that the $34 airport fee is a percentage of your total rental and the fee is to take the shuttle from the airport to the counter, a ride that took 5 minutes (for 34 &@!% dollars!!!). At no time on the day of the rental were we told we would be (or had been) charged for the ride. We fought these additional fees with Alamo US upon returning and were told that the email confirmation explains that the insurance purchase is mandatory…we looked at the confirmation and this was nowhere to be found (we even shared it with Alamo and they did not address it). I suggested that they must be more transparent with these charges and that lying about insurance coverage should lead to employee discipline, but nothing has been done. They seemed to suggest that all fees but the $90 fee were fair (meaning our $123 estimated reservation should have been $219, fair and square per Alamo). Unfortunately, they have expressed zero interest in reforming the rental process (if any fee is mandatory, perhaps it should show up on an estimated rental total?). They did compensate us with 3 days of free Alamo rental coupons (whoo-hoo) but I am guessing that they are continuing to rip off other customers.

Moreno Valley...
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8. Re: Review-Alamo car rental in Liberia

I booked my rental online with alamo and after taking the mandatory liability and theft insurance the total rental cost for 10 days was $250. I then called their customer service line to make sure that all was legit and i could use my debit/credit card to pay and was told yes, that would be fine. Upon arrival we were told at the office that we needed a credit only card and they could only accept the debit/credit card with permission from the manager and we would have to pay for the full protection plan. we were also told that we should pay the $60 for the fuel up front because if we brought it back with less than a full tank it would cost $80 because gas is so expensive. After all was said and done and they got "permission" from the manager the price had went from $250 to $680! Later on I realised that the extra fuel charge was also a ripoff because the compact car we rented filled up on about $45 bucks. Our visit to costa rica was still amazing but i will definitely NEVER use this company again.

Kingman, Arizona
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24 reviews
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9. Re: Review-Alamo car rental in Liberia

One of the most common complaints about CR is the rental car issue... Thanks to everyone who has shared their experiences ... like any foreign country, things are different from your home country and the best advice is to get a complete with all charges, insurance, extras etc. in a written estimate from the local office here in CR ... it won't always guarantee smooth sailing but it sure gives you a serious basis for challenging credit card charges if the need arises.

pura vida and enjoy,

Randy

3 posts
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10. Re: Review-Alamo car rental in Liberia

I have to agree with the recent posts on Alamo at Liberia. I came on this site just to see if others had the same experience I had and I see two posts within the last 30 days. I too was hit with the additional costs of supposedly mandatory insurance coverage. They amounted to $280 of additional charges for a 11-day rental. Then there was the $91 "airport fee" which has been explained in previous posts as the cost for the shuttle. I doubt that cost to be anywhere legitimate. And finally, there's the agent at the counter who told me I would not need to refill my tank on return because of a "promotion that is currently running". I found out later that I was charged $85 for a "pre-paid fuel charge" which was never explained and for which I never agreed to. As has been said previously, I truly enjoyed my Costa Rica experience but I will never rent from Alamo again.