Guide to Car Rental Companies in Costa Rica 2015

Manual for Car Rental Companies in Costa Rica 

Rate Comparisons for 2015 

Auto rental in Costa Rica is a chance to investigate the remote shorelines and calm corners of this amazingly excellent nation. Travel without the limitations set by open transport timetables and with opportunity over gathering visits. For the ill-equipped explorer; in any case, auto rental expenses and administrations can be an impolite stun and a hit to that get-away spending plan.

Leasing a vehicle for your get-away will likely be the most costly piece of your financial plan, so understanding the terms and overseeing desires is imperative. The data underneath isn't intended to be a comprehensive manual, yet it should show you the way towards an educated choice for your auto rental needs in Costa Rica.

For what reason is auto rental so costly? 

Guests from outside of Costa Rica are regularly shocked by the expense of auto rental. While inn rooms, eatery bills and visits are lower than the costs paid at home, it might seem interesting that auto rental ought to be all the more exorbitant.

There are two basic purposes behind this staggering expense: 

All vehicles in Costa Rica are foreign and an expense is forced. Because of this substantial tax assessment, the expense of buying a vehicle is higher than it would be in other industrialized nations. There are some auto rental administrators who lease more seasoned vehicles with the end goal to lessen their expenses.

The expense of required protection (see underneath).

Elements that Affect Car Rental Costs

• Mandatory Insurance 

Outsider protection, which might be known as TPI, PDW (Partial Damage Waiver), SLI (Supplementary Liability Insurance) and different acronyms, is a lawful prerequisite. Auto rental administrators must charge the client for this inclusion which could conceivably be clear in the citation gotten by the client.

The protection itself isn't the issue. All things considered, numerous different nations require auto leaseholders to pay a compulsory protection; including: New Zealand, Italy and Mexico, and additionally some of the U.S. states, similar to California. The issue that causes dispute in Costa Rica is that this expense isn't constantly shown plainly on the auto rental administrator's site or in a statement. Clients at that point find the extra expense of their rental upon landing.

The expense of obligatory protection changes from organization to organization and will rely upon the auto classification that is being leased also. The expense for a little car might be as meager as $12 every day, while a premium 4x4 vehicle could be as much as $25 for protection every day. This is notwithstanding the rental expense.

Mastercards in North America typically offer auto protection as an extra liven to the charge card holder thus North Americans specifically, are unused to paying for protection over rental expenses. In any case, no Mastercard will cover this protection prerequisite.

Do inquire as to whether the given statement incorporates outsider protection and check the costs on the auto rental administrator's site.

• Collision Damage Waiver 

This isn't protection, however a waiver. The fundamental level will accompany a deductible that differs, however could be as much as $1,500. For a higher day by day rate, a zero deductible CDW might be acquired to calm the tenant of any money related obligation in the event of harm to, or burglary thereof, the vehicle.

Numerous leaseholders will get their CDW through their charge card. In any case, it is significant that the obligation regarding making any protection guarantee is on the client and not with the auto rental administrator. A few tenants may buy extra in-house inclusion to abstain from having this duty.

There will be auto rental offices which hard offer their very own inclusion designs through ensuring genuine feelings of serenity, in any case, this is the leaseholder's choice. It merits recollecting that auto rental organization representatives, as in different parts of the world, will here and there win commission for protection deals.

In the event that the client's Mastercard does not give CDW, the client will be required to buy this in-house inclusion.

Auto rental administrators require composed verification that the client's charge card gives CDW. Approach the auto rental administrator for the correct points of interest of what they require and in what shape. Some may acknowledge a sent email from the charge card organization, yet others may request a printed duplicate to be exhibited at the season of rental.

• Deposit 

The store sum required will rely upon whether the client utilizes the auto rental administrator's in-house CDW or takes this inclusion through a Mastercard. Hope to pay a significantly higher store if the in-house CDW is declined. The store may likewise rely upon auto display leased. This sum, which will be hung on the leaseholder's charge card until the finish of the rental time frame, can be from $750 up to as much as $3,500. The store should take close to five days to be discounted to the Mastercard on the vehicle's arrival. Some auto rental offices will acknowledge check cards for store hold, yet the arrival time for this sum can take weeks.

Do guarantee that the store is computed in the excursion spending plan as a startling hold of a couple of thousand dollars on a charge card could some way or another extremely cut into get-away spending.

• Airport Taxes 

Clients that lease from an auto rental administrator's counter inside an airplane terminal building are obliged to settle the air terminal government expense.

Those auto rental administrators with a counter at San Jose's Juan Santamaria International Airport (SJO) are: Alamo/National, Budget, Dollar, Economy and Hertz. These organizations will add an extra 12% assessment to the rental expense.

Those auto rental administrators with a counter at Daniel Oduber Quiros International Airport (LIR) are: Avis, Budget and Economy. These organizations will add an extra 3% assessment to the rental expense.

To keep away from this duty, take an air terminal transport with the auto rental administrator to an office situated outside of the airplane terminal grounds.

• Surcharges and Other Taxes 

There are various other compulsory expenses that auto rental administrators may include into the rental cost, show on-screen or show in the statement, or leave undisclosed until the client's landing. These possibly concealed expenses may appear to be little when seen separately, yet these are normally day by day rates, so they will include quick!

These may include: 

• License Plate Fee: Less than $2 every day, except contrasts from organization to organization.

• Environmental Tax: Less than $1 every day.

• Sales Tax: All business exchanges in Costa Rica are subjected to a 12% government-forced deals assess.

• Car Washing Fee: Bring back an uncommonly messy auto and the cleaning charge might be included onto the last installment. One auto rental administrator charges $20 for this extra administration.

• Fuel Charges: If the fuel tank isn't filled to indistinguishable level from it was toward the beginning of the rental time frame, at that point the auto rental organization will charge (as a rule to the closest eighth of a tank). This charge is directed by the auto rental administrator and it isn't liable to the administratively set fuel value that would be found at any service station.

Where Should I Reserve the Vehicle?

A typical disarray for voyagers booking a rental auto is the inconsistency between worldwide sites for auto rental administrators and the Costa Rican site for a similar brand. Every now and again the worldwide sites are unconscious of, or neglect to reveal, protections, expenses and extra charges that will be charged at the counter. This might be because of the way that many perceived auto rental administrator marks in Costa Rica are not a remote part of the marked auto rental administrator, yet rather are an establishment activity. This factor is additionally worth considering as far as desires concerning client benefit and other better points of interest. The Costa Rican establishment office may have their own style of working, aside from similar arrangements and rules that the client may have encountered in different parts of the world.

Naturally at that point, an online reservation is best made through the nearby site and not the global website, wherever conceivable. Various organizations don't have a neighborhood site. For this situation, do check the points of interest with a neighborhood staff part by means of the phone and request composed affirmation of the statement. Involvement with live visit on the worldwide sites recommends that though staff is prepared on terms and conditions overseeing the fundamental office (generally U.S.A.); they see little of the arrangements that must be clung to in Costa Rica.

Auto Rental Comparisons

In May/June of 2013, I analyzed the valuing and administrations of various auto rental administrators in Costa Rica and distributed the discoveries. Amazingly, the article is as yet being copied frequently over the Internet which proposes that it is as yet valuable thus a refresh was required. The costs for this examination were gotten in December 2014 and January 2015.

The ICT (Costa Rican Institute of Tourism) expresses that there are thirty enrolled auto rental administrators with eight others pending endorsement. In any case, there are numerous more offices that lease autos to guests. The auto rental administrators chose are those which are most as often as possible utilized by voyagers:




Financial plan












Wild Rider

Avoidance of Companies from Final Comparison

Financial plan, Economy, Payless, and Toyota were reached, however these four organizations did not give exact online rates. Economy and Budget's sites have one value, paying little respect to the dates entered and clients need to save a vehicle with the end goal for them to respect the cost appeared. Toyota's site was sadly just working up until March. Past that, the valuing showed $0 for the rest of the year. Payless has this disclaimer on their site: "Expenses and additional charges are not inside our control and may change without notice."

Sending singular request for each day and age brought about conflicting outcomes: Budget offered a similar cost for every one of the three examined eras while getting an email ask for, or, in other words; Economy reacted with various statements for similar dates from various individuals from staff; and Toyota's messaged statements for eras past March's costs demonstrated online did not compare to the March rates cited (maybe the messaged statements contained duties that were not indicated on the web). Payless can give cites through email and phone, however were not reliable with evaluating for various seasons.

Avis is just avoided from the value correlation, as they don't have a middle of the road SUV class in their armada.

Examination Information

Auto rental rate, all charges and additional charges, and outsider protection costs are (apparently) computed and positioned in like manner underneath dependent on the week's rental of a BeGo or comparable halfway 4x4 from a San Jose/Alajuela area (not from the air terminal).

Rates are figured on a week by week premise and partitioned by seven to give an every day cost which is all the more effortlessly practically identical. As not all evaluating is totally straightforward, the costs are as exact as conceivable dependent on the data gave from the auto rental administrators' sites, telephone calls, or potentially messages. Airplane terminal assessments are excluded in these figures.

Shoulder Season (Quote for July 13 through 20)

1. USave $43.37

2. Administration $54.92

3. Fox $55.64

4. Hertz $58.17

5. Adobe $60.13

6. Alamo $60.99

7. Wild Rider $62.86

8. Dollar $63.35

9. Vamos $64.15

10. National $67.04

11. Thrifty $74.39

Low Season (Quote for May 13 through 20)

1. National $37.04

2. USave $43.37

3. Dollar $46.49

4. Adobe $52.57

5. Vamos $53.15

6. Administration $53.49

7. Hertz $54.59

8. Fox $55.64

9. Wild Rider $55.71

10. Alamo $60.99

11. Thrifty $74.39

High Season (Quote for March 13 through 20)

1. Dollar $55.92

2. USave $56.22

3. Hertz $56.37

4. Fox $59.36

5. Thrifty $64.69

6. Administration $66.63

7. Vamos $67.14

8. Alamo $69.56

9. Wild Rider $70.00

10. Adobe $70.63

11. National $73.90

Outline of Comparison

Strangely, there isn't one clear costly or shoddy organization from those looked at. The variety in positioning between seasons is stamped and clients ought to consider their get-away dates while picking the auto rental administrator. For instance, Thrifty shows up as the most expensive for both low and shoulder season, however are just in fourth position in the rankings for High Season.

It is likewise critical that valuing isn't steady with positioning with auto rental administrators in other auto classifications. For instance, Vamos' valuing is the least expensive for a top notch vehicle in the shoulder season; despite the fact that they are not first in any rankings for the middle of the road classification and Adobe which seems aggressive are the most costly for this era and auto classification.

Data on Car Rental Operators

Adobe Rent-A-Car is a nearby auto rental administrator that has eleven workplaces the nation over. The site is basic and simple to use with no clear shrouded expenses. The required protection cost is shown as a feature of the online statement. The organization gets blended surveys on the web, however more positive than negative remarks are made. Messages get an answer inside 24 hours, however may not completely answer the inquiries inquired.

Toll-Free Phone Number: 1-855-861-1250

Youngster Seat: $3/day

Promoter: $1/day

Extra Driver: $3/day

GPS System: $9/day

Alamo works in association with National and has thirteen workplaces the nation over. Similarly as with numerous enormous names, Alamo Costa Rica is an establishment and not a part of Alamo itself. Outsider protection and essential CDW are incorporated into the online citation, in spite of the fact that the CDW might be endless supply of verification of inclusion through the client's Visa. This influences the estimating to appear to be high on first look, particularly when, in contrast to other auto rental administrators, Alamo incorporates air terminal duties in their online citation thus their evaluating is straightforward, however seems substantially higher than different organizations therefore. Evaluating is distinctive on the worldwide site of the organization, in spite of the fact that the terms and conditions do express the charges that will be paid on entry. This estimating disparity is the lead reason for negative audits for this organization. Messages are reacted to inside 24 hours.

Toll-Free Phone Number: 1-855-533-1196

GPS System: $12/day

Extra Driver: $5/day

GPS System: $9.99/day

Financial plan has a site that is anything but difficult to utilize, however the evaluating given is as the equivalent for all seasons, proposing that it isn't right. Email reactions were typically quick, however some were left unanswered. Messaged cites demonstrated indistinguishable evaluating for all seasons from the site did. Obligatory protection is excluded on the online statement, yet the little print expresses this is payable at the counter. Financial plan gets blended online surveys.

No Toll-Free Phone Number, yet Live Chat is advertised

Youngster Seat: $5/day

Extra Driver: $5/day

GPS System: $14.99/day

Dollar seems to have exceptionally aggressive rates, yet airplane terminal duties will be connected if the vehicle is being gathered from the air terminal's counters. One may discover this in their terms and conditions, however not in their online statements. Auto washing charge is authorized for extremely filthy vehicles. There are four workplaces in Liberia and San Jose. Email reaction is inside 24 hours. Dollar gets blended audits from online travel gatherings.

Toll-Free Phone Number: 1-877-767-8651

Youngster Seat: $5/day

Extra Driver: $5/day

GPS System: $9/day

Economy has twelve workplaces around the nation. They have no Costa Rican site. Look down on their page to discover and tap on protection costs. Airplane terminal duties are excluded in the statement. Messages get either a fast reaction or no reaction by any means. Economy has the most noticeably awful online notoriety of any enormous name auto rental administrator in Costa Rica.

Toll-Free Phone Number: 1-877-326-7368

Tyke Seat: $10/day

Extra Driver: $10/day

GPS System: $15/day

Fox works in organization with USave. Workplaces are situated at both worldwide air terminals. Messages get a reaction inside 24 hours. Online audits are for the most part poor.

Toll-Free Phone Number: 1-800-225-4369

Tyke Seat: $5/day

Extra Driver: $10/day (except if life partner)

GPS System: $9.99/day

Hertz has six workplaces in the nation. Reservations might be made through a Costa Rican site. Introductory online statement does exclude deals charges, but rather it includes the CDW - in spite of the fact that CDW might be postponed with evidence of Mastercard inclusion. Messages get a reaction inside 24 hours. Fair surveys on movement discussions.

No Toll-Free Phone Number

Tyke Seat: $5/day

Extra Driver: $13/day

GPS System: $12/day

National works in organization with Alamo and has thirty workplaces in task the nation over. The organization has a Central American site, and in addition the worldwide site, which unmistakably demonstrates the breakdown of evaluating. CDW is incorporated into the online statement, however it might be unchecked to get a statement with simply the compulsory protection. Note that the air terminal expense is incorporated into the online statement too. Moment reactions to questions are accessible through Live Chat on their site. Audits are blended, yet there are more positive than negative.

Free Phone Call Option Via Website

Youngster Seat: $6/day

Promoter: $6/day

Extra Driver: $5/day

GPS System: $12/day

Payless is a piece of the universal auto rental organization and has no Costa Rican site. Online statements do exclude outsider protection, despite the fact that the data on this might be found by perusing the arrangements for the San Jose area. Messages get a reaction in under 24 hours, yet have a tendency to allude back to the site, instead of new data. Surveys are more negative than positive.

Toll-Free Phone Number: 1-800-PAYLESS

Youngster Seat: $5/day

Promoter: $5/day

Extra Driver: $10/day

GPS System: $9.95/day

Administration is a nearby organization with five workplaces in the nation. On a generally clear site, tap on 'Save Now' and not 'Get a Quote' at an online cost check. Rember is the staff part made reference to in audits on movement discussion for his accommodating client benefit and the organization for the most part gets great surveys. Messages are replied inside 24 hours and regularly give asked for data.

U.S. Telephone Number: 1-305-897-3718

Kid Seat: $3.50/day

Extra Driver: $3/day

GPS System: $7.50/day

Thrifty does not have a nearby site, along these lines data is through the universal site. Inclusion alternatives or data with respect to outsider protection isn't given on the reservation page until one ticks 'Security Information'. Messages get a reaction inside 24 hours, yet may not answer area particular inquiries. Audits are as often as possible negative because of valuing protests.

Toll-Free Phone Number: 1-800-344-1705

Kid Seat: $5/day

Supporter: $5/day

Extra Driver: $12/day

GPS System: $11.99/day

Toyota is a major name; be that as it may, despite the fact that their site seems proficient at first look, it basically does not work, or if nothing else it was not working with the end goal to acquire citations later than March 2015. Their online statements do exclude deals charges. Messages get quick reactions, however cites for various seasons seemed, by all accounts, to be conflicting. Be that as it may, Toyota has a decent notoriety on movement gatherings. Eight workplaces are situated the nation over.

Free Phone Call Option Via Website

Kid Seat: $5/day

Cooler: $1.50/day

Extra Driver: $3/day

GPS System: $10/day

USave works in association with Fox and has three office areas. Protection choices are appeared for the online statement, yet it must be chosen and 'recalculate' squeezed, before it is incorporated into the estimating. Messages get a reaction inside 24 hours. The organization get by and large poor surveys, despite the fact that there are some positive remarks made on movement discussions.

Toll-Free Phone Number: 1-800-467-3659

Tyke Seat: $5/day

Extra Driver: $10/day

GPS System: $9.95/day

Vamos is a neighborhood organization that is a mainstream decision for Trip Advisor and Lonely Planet specialists as a result of their client administration and evaluating. The site is anything but difficult to use with ordered charges obviously showed. The Live Chat choice empowers moment customized statements and answers from English-talking staff. The organization has three workplaces.

Toll-Free Phone Number: 1-800-950-8426

Youngster Seat: free

Promoter: free

Extra Driver: free

GPS System: $8/day

Wild Rider is a little, neighborhood organization found just in San Jose. The site is basic with outsider protection incorporated into the valuing. Toward the beginning of this examination, the valuing was not a la mode, but rather this has since been cured. This auto rental administrator emerges by having just positive surveys as is exceptionally prescribed by movement gathering clients. Proprietor, Thorsten, answers inside the hour to request amid available time.

U.S. Telephone Number: 1-917-477-7712

Youngster Seat: $5/day

GPS System: $8/day

By and large Summary


Adobe, Alamo, National, Service, Vamos, and Wild Rider give clear and finish rates on their sites. The other auto rental administrators were less straightforward with additional charges or expenses, for example, airplane terminal duties or deals charges. Valuing on extra additional items were not in every case simple to discover, and Avis, Thrifty and Toyota must be reached for these points of interest.


Levels of correspondence have enhanced since the main examination, despite the fact that it would appear to be insightful to ask for a neighborhood number and affirm answers with the Costa Rica office of the worldwide auto rental administrators, as universal visit administrators or those answering to messages, don't generally appear to be 100% certain about nearby strategies and may even give mistaken data.

Be set up to trade various messages with the end goal to find full solutions to inquiries with various organizations: Budget and Economy were especially inclined to this - asking for a ton of data with the end goal to give a citation. It isn't preposterous that individuals from staff working in a second dialect may miss parts of an email, so present inquiries in clear and straightforward dialect.

Live Chat on both the Budget and Vamos sites mean data can be given in a split second is as yet recorded, not at all like a telephone call.


The correlation above demonstrates that the valuing between organizations depends intensely on the season and auto classification being considered, as opposed to an obvious decision between pretty much costly rental rates.

Clients need to think about the valuing of different things, for example, extra drivers or GPS framework, and families will need to look at auto situate rental estimating. Wild Rider offers the primary extra driver for nothing, Vamos don't charge for any additional items, aside from the GPS, and as a rule, the global firms have higher charges for these additional items than the neighborhood organizations.

So Who Do I Rent From?

Plainly the neighborhood auto rental administrators are as yet besting the huge names in their straightforwardness and client benefit when contrasting their sites and online audits. The distinction from the past rate correlation from two or three years prior is that the estimating has turned out to be more hard to liken.

Adobe, Alamo, and National appear to rate well as global auto rental administrators. It is significant that National is the most costly in high season for the middle of the road class, yet the least expensive in low season. Adobe and Alamo are center positioned for evaluating.

Wild Rider is extraordinary in having zero terrible surveys, however is just situated in San Jose and has a considerably littler armada of vehicles. Of the other neighborhood firms, Service and Vamos turn out well and Vamos' free extra additional items will interest spending plan disapproved of explorers and families with youthful youngsters. Administration additionally offers these additional items at low day by day rates.

Last however Certainly not Least...

On the off chance that you have made it completely through this article, at that point you are set up to start your examination into your get-away auto rental, furnished with actualities and prepared to perceive those costs that are simply pipe dream! Have a magnificent (and reasonable) get-away in delightful Costa Rica!

Presently you know everything, what are you sitting tight for? Get booking your rental vehicle for a life-changing get-away that you'll recall for all the correct reasons.

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