Manual to Vehicle Rental Businesses in Costa Rica

Price Comparisons with regard to 2015

Car leasing in Costa Rica is a chance to explore the actual remote seashores and peaceful corners of the breathtakingly stunning country. Travel with no restrictions arranged by open public transport timetables with freedom more than group excursions. For the actual unprepared tourist; however, car leasing costs as well as services could be a rude shock along with a blow to that particular vacation spending budget.

Renting an automobile for your own vacation will likely be the priciest part of the budget, so knowing the conditions and controlling expectations is essential. The info below isn’t meant to become an thorough manual, however it should arranged you about the path towards the best decision for the car leasing needs within Costa Rica.

Exactly why is car leasing so costly?

Visitors from beyond Costa Rica in many cases are surprised by the price of car leasing. While rooms in hotels, restaurant expenses and excursions are less than the costs paid in your own home, it can happen strange which car rental ought to be more pricey.

There tend to be two simple causes of this higher cost:

All automobiles in Costa Rica tend to be imported along with a tax is actually imposed. For this reason heavy taxation, the price of purchasing an automobile is greater than it might be in additional industrialized nations. There tend to be some vehicle rental providers who lease older vehicles to be able to reduce their own costs.

The price of mandatory insurance coverage (observe below).

Elements that Impact Car Leasing Costs

• Required Insurance

Third-party insurance coverage, which might be known because TPI, PDW (Incomplete Damage Waiver), SLI (Extra Liability Insurance coverage) along with other acronyms, is really a legal necessity. Car leasing operators should charge the client for this particular coverage which might or might not be clear within the quotation received through the customer.

The insurance coverage itself isn’t the concern. After just about all, many additional countries need car renters to pay for a required insurance; such as: New Zealand, Italia and South america, as nicely as many of the U. Utes. states, such as California. The problem that leads to contention within Costa Rica is this cost isn’t always shown clearly about the car leasing operator’s web site or inside a quote. Customers then find the additional cost of the rental on arrival.

The price of mandatory insurance coverage varies through company in order to company and is determined by the vehicle category that’s being rented too. The cost for any small sedan might be less than $12 daily, whereas reasonably limited 4×4 vehicle might be around $25 with regard to insurance daily. This is as well as the rental price.

Credit credit cards in The united states usually offer auto insurance as one more perk towards the credit greeting card holder and thus North Americans particularly, are abandoned to spending for insurance along with rental expenses. However, no charge card will include this insurance coverage requirement.

Do ask when the given quotation includes third-party insurance coverage and check the costs on the vehicle rental operator’s web site.

• Crash Damage Waiver

This isn’t insurance, however a waiver. The fundamental level will have a deductible which varies, but might be around $1, 500. For any higher every day rate, a absolutely no deductible CDW might be purchased to alleviate the tenant of any kind of financial responsibility in the event of damage in order to, or thievery thereof, the automobile.

Many renters may obtain their own CDW via their charge card. However, it’s worth noting how the responsibility to make any insurance coverage claim is about the customer and never with the vehicle rental owner. Some renters might want to purchase extra in-house coverage to prevent having this particular responsibility.

You will see car leasing agencies that hard sell their very own coverage programs through guaranteeing satisfaction, but eventually, this may be the renter’s choice. It may be worth remembering which car leasing company workers, like in other areas of the planet, will occasionally earn fee for insurance coverage sales.

When the customer’s charge card does not really provide CDW, the client will be asked to purchase this particular in-house protection.

Car leasing operators need written proof how the customer’s charge card provides CDW. Ask the vehicle rental operator for that exact information on what they might require and within what type. Some might accept the forwarded email in the credit card issuer, but other people may request a imprinted copy to become presented during the time of rental.

• Down payment

The down payment amount required is determined by whether the client chooses to make use of the vehicle rental operator’s in-house CDW or even takes this particular coverage through credit cards. Expect to pay for a higher deposit when the in-house CDW is actually declined. The deposit could also depend upon car design rented. This particular amount, which is held about the renter’s charge card until the finish of the actual rental time period, can end up being from $750 up up to $3, 500. The down payment should take a maximum of five days to become refunded towards the credit card about the vehicle’s come back. Some vehicle rental agencies need debit credit cards for down payment hold, however the return time with this amount may take weeks.

Do make sure that the down payment is calculated within the vacation budget being an unexpected your hands on a couple of thousand bucks on credit cards could or else severely reduce into holiday spending.

• Airport terminal Taxes

Customers which rent from the car leasing operator’s counter inside an airport creating are obliged to pay for the airport terminal tax.

Those vehicle rental operators having a counter from San Jose’s Juan Santamaria Airport terminal (SJO) tend to be: Alamo/National, Spending budget, Dollar, Economic climate and Hertz. These businesses will add one more 12% tax towards the rental price.

Those vehicle rental operators having a counter from Daniel Oduber Quiros Airport terminal (LIR) tend to be: Avis, Spending budget and Economic climate. These businesses will add one more 3% tax towards the rental price.

To prevent this taxes, take a good airport shuttle using the car leasing operator for an office located outside the airport reasons.

• Surcharges along with other Taxes

There are numerous of additional obligatory costs that vehicle rental providers may add to the rental price, display on-screen or even show within the quote, or depart undisclosed before customer’s appearance. These possibly hidden costs might seem small whenever viewed separately, but they are typically every day rates, so that they will accumulate fast!

These can sometimes include:

• Permit Plate Charge: Less compared to $2 every day, but varies from organization to organization.

• Environment Tax: Under $1 every day.

• Product sales Tax: All product sales transactions within Costa Rica are put through a 12% government-imposed product sales tax.

• Vehicle Washing Charge: Bring back an exceedingly dirty car and also the cleaning fee might be added onto the ultimate payment. One vehicle rental owner charges $20 with this additional support.

• Energy Charges: If the actual fuel tank isn’t filled towards the same level since it was in the beginning of the actual rental time period, then the vehicle rental organization will cost (usually towards the nearest eighth of the tank). This cost is dictated through the car leasing operator which is not susceptible to the governmentally arranged fuel price that might be found from any gasoline station.

Where Must i Reserve the automobile?

A typical confusion with regard to travelers booking accommodations car may be the discrepancy in between international web sites for vehicle rental operators and also the Costa Rican website for that same manufacturer. Frequently the actual international websites are not aware, or neglect to disclose, insurance policies, taxes as well as surcharges that’ll be charged in the counter. This might be because of the fact that numerous recognized vehicle rental owner brands within Costa Rica aren’t a international branch from the branded vehicle rental owner, but instead really are a franchise procedure. This factor can also be worth considering when it comes to expectations concerning customer support and additional finer particulars. The Costa Rican business office might have their own type of operating, in addition to the same guidelines and guidelines how the customer might have experienced in other areas of the planet.

Understandably after that, an on the internet reservation is better made with the local website and never the worldwide site, whenever we can. A quantity of companies don’t have a nearby website. In this instance, do check the facts with an area staff fellow member via the phone and request written confirmation from the quote. Experience along with live chat about the international websites shows that whereas personnel is educated on conditions and terms governing the primary office (generally U. Utes. A. )#); they realize little from the policies that must definitely be adhered in order to in Costa Rica.

Vehicle Rental Evaluations

In May/June associated with 2013, I in comparison the prices and providers of numerous car leasing operators within Costa Rica as well as published the actual findings. In order to my shock, the article continues to be being plagiarized regularly over the Internet which implies that it’s still useful and thus an revise was needed. The prices with this comparison had been obtained within December 2014 as well as January 2015.

The ICT (Costa Rican Start of Travel and leisure) states that we now have thirty authorized car leasing operators along with eight other people pending authorization. However, there are lots of more companies that lease cars in order to visitors. The vehicle rental providers selected are those that are most often used through travelers:




Spending budget


Economic climate










Crazy Rider

Exemption of Businesses from Last Comparison

Spending budget, Economy, Payless, as well as Toyota had been contacted, but these types of four companies didn’t provide precise online prices. Economy as well as Budget’s web sites have 1 price, whatever the dates joined and customers have to reserve an automobile to ensure that them in order to honor the cost shown. Toyota’s web site was regrettably only working up to March. Past that, the prices displayed $0 for that remainder from the year. Payless offers this disclaimer on the website: “Taxes as well as surcharges aren’t within the control and could change without warning. ”

Sending person inquiries for every time period led to inconsistent outcomes: Budget offered exactly the same price for those three investigated cycles when receiving a contact request, that is highly not likely; Economy replied with various quotes for that same times from various members associated with staff; and Toyota’s e-mailed quotes for cycles past March’s costs indicated online didn’t correspond towards the March prices quoted (probably the emailed estimates contained taxes which were not proven online). Payless can offer quotes by way of email as well as telephone, but weren’t consistent along with pricing with regard to different months.

Avis is just excluded in the price assessment, as they don’t have a good intermediate VEHICLE category within their fleet.

Assessment Information

Vehicle rental price, all taxation’s and surcharges, and third-party insurance charges are (allegedly) determined and rated accordingly below in line with the week’s rental of the BeGo or even similar advanced 4×4 from the San Jose/Alajuela area (not in the airport).

Rates tend to be calculated on the weekly foundation and split by seven to supply a every day cost that is more very easily comparable. As not every pricing is totally transparent, the costs are because accurate as you possibly can in line with the information provided in the car leasing operators’ web sites, phone phone calls, and/or e-mail. Airport taxes aren’t included within these numbers.

Shoulder Period (Quotation for This summer 13 via 20)

1. USave $43. thirty seven

2. Support $54. 80

3. Sibel $55. sixty four

4. Hertz $58. seventeen

5. Adobe $60. 13

6. Alamo $60. 99

7. Crazy Rider $62. eighty six

8. Buck $63. thirty-five

9. Vamos $64. 15

10. Nationwide $67. ’04

11. Cash conscious $74. 39

Reduced Season (Quotation for Might 13 via 20)

1. Nationwide $37. ’04

2. USave $43. thirty seven

3. Buck $46. forty-nine

4. Adobe $52. 57

5. Vamos $53. 15

6. Support $53. forty-nine

7. Hertz $54. fifty nine

8. Sibel $55. sixty four

9. Crazy Rider $55. 71

10. Alamo $60. 99

11. Cash conscious $74. 39

Higher Season (Quotation for 03 13 via 20)

1. Buck $55. 80

2. USave $56. twenty two

3. Hertz $56. thirty seven

4. Sibel $59. thirty six

5. Cash conscious $64. 69

6. Support $66. 63

7. Vamos $67. fourteen

8. Alamo $69. 56

9. Crazy Rider $70. 00

10. Adobe $70. 63

11. Nationwide $73. ninety

Summary associated with Comparison

Oddly enough, there isn’t one obvious expensive or even cheap organization from individuals compared. The variance in position between months is designated and customers should think about their holiday dates whenever choosing the vehicle rental owner. For instance, Thrifty appears since the most pricey for each low as well as shoulder period, but are just in 4th position within the rankings with regard to High Period.

It can also be significant which pricing isn’t consistent along with ranking along with car leasing operators within other vehicle categories. For instance, Vamos’ pricing may be the cheapest for any premium vehicle within the shoulder period; although they’re not first in a rankings for that intermediate class and Adobe that appears competitive would be the most expensive with this time time period and vehicle category.

Home elevators Car Leasing Operators

Adobe Rent-A-Car is really a local vehicle rental operator which has eleven offices in the united states. The web site is easy and simple to use without any apparent concealed costs. The required insurance price is displayed included in the online quotation. The organization receives combined reviews on the internet, but much more positive compared to negative comments are created. Emails get a reply within twenty four hours, but might not fully solution the queries asked.

Toll-Free Telephone number: 1-855-861-1250

Kid Seat: $3/day

Enhancer: $1/day

Extra Driver: $3/day

Global positioning system: $9/day

Alamo works together with National and it has thirteen offices in the united states. As along with many large names, Alamo Costa Rica is really a franchise and never a department of Alamo by itself. Third-party insurance coverage and fundamental CDW are contained in the online quote, although the actual CDW might be refused on presentation of evidence of coverage with the customer’s charge card. This can make the prices seem at the top of first look, especially whenever, unlike additional car leasing operators, Alamo consists of airport taxes within their online quotation and thus their prices is truthful, but appears higher than others consequently. Pricing differs on the actual international website from the company, although the conditions and terms do condition the fees that’ll be paid upon arrival. This prices discrepancy may be the lead reason for negative reviews with this company. Emails are taken care of immediately within twenty four hours.

Toll-Free Telephone number: 1-855-533-1196

Kid Seat: $3/day

Extra Driver: $6/day

Global positioning system: $12/day

Avis’ web site obliges someone to select an automobile protection choice, but it does not display your final quotation complete or price for that coverage chosen online till an e-mailed quote is actually sent. Coverage costs might be obtained by hitting the choice ‘Protections Explained’ at the end of the actual screen.

No Toll-Free Telephone number

Child Chair: $5/day

Extra Driver: $5/day

Global positioning system: $9. 99/day

Budget includes a website that’s simple to use, but the actual pricing given is really as the same for those seasons, suggesting that it’s not proper. Email reactions were usually fast, however, many were remaining unanswered. Emailed estimates showed exactly the same pricing for those seasons since the website do. Mandatory insurance isn’t included about the online quotation, but all the facts states this is payable in the counter. Spending budget receives combined online evaluations.

No Toll-Free Telephone number, but Reside Chat emerges

Child Chair: $5/day

Extra Driver: $5/day

Global positioning system: $14. 99/day

Dollar seems to have really competitive prices, but airport terminal taxes is going to be applied when the vehicle has been collected in the airport’s counter tops. One could find this within their conditions and terms, but not within their online estimates. Car cleaning charge is actually enforced with regard to very filthy vehicles. You will find four workplaces in Liberia as well as San Jose. Email response is at 24 several hours. Dollar gets mixed evaluations from on the internet travel discussion boards.

Toll-Free Telephone number: 1-877-767-8651

Kid Seat: $5/day

Extra Driver: $5/day

Global positioning system: $9/day

Economy offers twelve offices round the country. They’ve no Costa Rican web site. Scroll down on the page to locate and click insurance expenses. Airport taxes aren’t contained in the quote. Emails receive whether quick reaction or absolutely no response whatsoever. Economy has got the worst online trustworthiness of any large name vehicle rental owner in Costa Rica.

Toll-Free Telephone number: 1-877-326-7368

Kid Seat: $10/day

Extra Driver: $10/day

Global positioning system: $15/day

Fox works together with USave. Offices can be found at both air-ports. Emails get a response within twenty four hours. Online reviews are usually poor.

Toll-Free Telephone number: 1-800-225-4369

Kid Seat: $5/day

Extra Driver: $10/day (unless of course spouse)

Global positioning system: $9. 99/day

Hertz offers six offices in the united kingdom. Reservations might be made via a Costa Rican web site. Initial on the internet quote doesn’t include product sales taxes, however it does range from the CDW — even though CDW might be waived with evidence of credit greeting card coverage. Emails get a response within twenty four hours. Mediocre evaluations on journey forums.

No Toll-Free Telephone number

Child Chair: $5/day

Extra Driver: $13/day

Global positioning system: $12/day

National works together with Alamo and it has thirty offices functioning in the united states. The company includes a Central United states website, along with the international website, which obviously shows the actual breakdown associated with pricing. CDW is contained in the online quotation, but it might be unchecked to obtain a quote along with just the required insurance. Note how the airport taxes is contained in the online quote too. Instant reactions to questions can be found through Reside Chat on the website. Evaluations are combined, but you will find more good than damaging.

Free Telephone call Option By way of Website

Kid Seat: $6/day

Enhancer: $6/day

Extra Driver: $5/day

Global positioning system: $12/day

Payless is the main international vehicle rental company and it has no Costa Rican web site. Online quotes don’t include third-party insurance coverage, although the info on this can be found through reading the actual policies for that San Jose area. Emails get a response in under 24 several hours, but often refer to the web site, rather compared to new info. Reviews tend to be more negative compared to positive.

Toll-Free Telephone number: 1-800-PAYLESS

Kid Seat: $5/day

Enhancer: $5/day

Extra Driver: $10/day

Global positioning system: $9. 95/day

Service is really a local organization with 5 offices in the united kingdom. On a good otherwise obvious website, click ‘Reserve Now’ and never ‘Get the Quote’ to have an online cost check. Rember may be the staff fellow member mentioned within reviews upon travel discussion board for their helpful customer support and the organization generally will get good evaluations. Emails tend to be answered within twenty four hours and usually provide asked for information.

Ough. S. Telephone number: 1-305-897-3718

Kid Seat: $3. 50/day

Extra Driver: $3/day

Global positioning system: $7. 50/day

Thrifty doesn’t have a nearby website, thus info is with the international web site. Coverage choices or info regarding third-party insurance isn’t provided about the reservation web page until 1 clicks ‘Protection Information’. Emails get a response within twenty four hours, but might not answer location-specific queries. Reviews are often negative because of pricing issues.

Toll-Free Telephone number: 1-800-344-1705

Kid Seat: $5/day

Enhancer: $5/day

Extra Driver: $12/day

Global positioning system: $11. 99/day

Toyota is really a big title; however, even although their web site appears professional initially, it simply can not work, or a minimum of it wasn’t functioning to be able to obtain estimates later compared to March 2015. Their on the internet quotes don’t include product sales taxes. E-mail receive quick responses, but estimates for various seasons seemed to be contradictory. Nevertheless, Toyota includes a good status on journey forums. Eight offices can be found in the united states.

Free Telephone call Option By way of Website

Kid Seat: $5/day

Chillier: $1. 50/day

Extra Driver: $3/day

Global positioning system: $10/day

USave works together with Fox and it has three workplace locations. Insurance choices are shown for that online quotation, but it should be selected as well as ‘recalculate’ pushed, before it’s contained in the pricing. Emails get a response within twenty four hours. The organization receive general poor evaluations, although there are several positive remarks made upon travel discussion boards.

Toll-Free Telephone number: 1-800-467-3659

Kid Seat: $5/day

Extra Driver: $10/day

Global positioning system: $9. 95/day

Vamos is really a local company that’s a popular option for Journey Advisor as well as Lonely Earth experts for their customer support and prices. The web site is simple to use with itemized costs clearly shown. The Reside Chat choice enables immediate personalized estimates and solutions from English-speaking personnel. The organization has 3 offices.

Toll-Free Telephone number: 1-800-950-8426

Kid Seat: free of charge

Booster: free of charge

Additional Car owner: free

Global positioning system: $8/day

Wild Rider is really a small, nearby company situated only within San Jose. The website is straightforward with third-party insurance contained in the pricing. In the beginning of this particular research, the pricing wasn’t current, but it’s since already been remedied. This vehicle rental operator sticks out by getting only reviews that are positive and therefore is recommended by journey forum customers. Owner, Thorsten, replies inside the hour in order to inquiries throughout office several hours.

U. Utes. Phone Quantity: 1-917-477-7712

Kid Seat: $5/day

Global positioning system: $8/day

General Summary


Adobe, Alamo, Nationwide, Service, Vamos, and Crazy Rider supply clear as well as complete rates on the websites. Another car leasing operators had been less clear with surcharges or even taxes, for example airport taxation’s or product sales taxes. Pricing upon additional extras weren’t always simple to find, and Avis, Thrifty as well as Toyota needed to be contacted for these records.


Amounts of communication possess improved because the first assessment, although it might seem a good idea to request an area number as well as confirm answers using the Costa Rica office from the international vehicle rental providers, as worldwide chat providers or individuals replying in order to emails, don’t always appear 100% assured about nearby policies and could even provide incorrect info.

Be ready to exchange numerous emails to get full solutions to queries with numerous companies: Budget as well as Economy had been particularly vulnerable to this — requesting lots of information to be able to give the quotation. It’s not unreasonable which members associated with staff employed in a 2nd language might miss facets of an e-mail, so existing questions within clear as well as simple vocabulary.

Live Speak on both Budget as well as Vamos web sites mean information could be provided instantly and it is still recorded, unlike a telephone call.


The assessment above implies that the prices between businesses depends heavily about the season as well as car class being regarded as, rather than the usual clear reduce choice between pretty much expensive leasing rates.

Customers have to consider the actual pricing associated with other products, such because additional motorists or Global positioning system, and families may wish to compare child car seat rental prices. Wild Rider provides the first extra driver free of charge, Vamos don’t charge for just about any extras, other than the GPS NAVIGATION, and generally, the worldwide firms possess higher costs for these types of extras compared to local businesses.

So Who Will i Rent Through?

It is actually clear how the local vehicle rental operators continue to be trumping the actual big names within their transparency and customer support when evaluating their web sites and on the internet reviews. The difference in the previous price comparison from a few years ago is how the pricing is becoming more hard to associate.

Adobe, Alamo, and National appear to rate nicely as worldwide car leasing operators. It’s worth observing that National may be the most costly in higher season for that intermediate class, yet the least expensive in reduced season. Adobe as well as Alamo tend to be middle-ranked with regard to pricing.

Crazy Rider is actually exceptional within having absolutely no bad evaluations, but is just based within San Jose and it has a a lot smaller navy of automobiles. Of another local companies, Service as well as Vamos emerge well as well as Vamos’ free of charge additional extra supplies will attract budget-minded vacationers and households with young kids. Service offers these extra supplies at reduced daily prices.