Guide to Car Rental Companies in Costa Rica

“My time’s limited… how do I choose? ”

Car rental is a hot topic for vacationers went to Costa Rica. Latest research conducted by the Costa Rican Institute of Tourism (ICT) indicates that, after accommodations, renting a car is the most significant expense, averaging $702 for an eleven-day vacation. rent a car Split

The Internet is buzzing with negative reviews discussing charging an overpriced fee, poor customer service and mechanical breakdowns. You might have even written one yourself! 

A standard midsize (3 – 4 adults) 4 WHEEL DRIVE rental runs between $58 and $65 daily with third party insurance and rates can vary just as much as 20 percent among car rentals companies, so reading a quick review will be time well spent once you calculate the cost savings.

So the question is; which rental company supplies the best balance of good price, capable customer service and reliable vehicles? We have researched it all for you, so keep reading!

Disclosure: This research was conducted in May – July 2013. The subsequent companies were selected because they are the most widely used in Bahía Rica. Many are local companies; others are international franchises of recognized brand names. Comparisons include: customer satisfaction, pricing and the booking process. The companies are listed alphabetically and not based on personal or online preferences.
Consider this to be information before renting:


1 of the biggest triggers for complaints is from the stack of unexpected charges presented to the renter once standing at the rental company’s table. Vacationers are usually tired after a long flight and then are faced with costs that were not anticipated, explained or budgeted.

Topping the set of issues is the non-disclosure of fees associated with the mandatory third-party insurance at the time the booking is created.

According to Puerto Rican law, every new driver is necessary to carry liability coverage to insure against traumas to third parties. Car rental companies generally stay away from disclosing the price tag on this coverage in the quoted local rental rate to appear more competitive. Mandatory third-party insurance can often be as much as double the vehicle’s rentals cost. The only assurance against insurance confusion is to inquire if your estimate includes the third party insurance and firmly insist on a written estimate.

Cost of Mandatory Insurance (also called Alternative party or SLI)

Expect to pay between $12 and $15 daily for this insurance, depending on make and model of the rented vehicle and the car hire organization. This is a legal current condition of your rental agreement and is also generally not covered by bank cards and cannot be waived. It goes without saying of renting a car in Costa Sana.

Collision Damage Waiver (CDW)

As the name advises, this isn’t insurance, but a waiver, which reduces the renter from any liability for damage to the rental car after the deductible is paid (usually from $750 to $1, 500). Some organizations require renters to acquire their CDW policy; thereby killing any credit card program. For an additional charge, many agencies do give a zero liability option where the renter will be freed from spending money on any damage to the car. Some companies may put pressure after renters to acquire the zero liability coverage; however, it is totally optional, unless it is in the fine produce with their rental contract.

Credit card insurance programs may cover the CDW for a rental vehicle. Check with your chosen rental car company to find which evidence of insurance is needed and then request that from your own card company prior to arriving. If perhaps you use your credit card’s CDW policy, expect to pay an increased put in on the vehicle; around $1, 500 to $2000 is common. The higher deposit makes certain that the credit card holder has enough financial reserves to pay harm if needed. It is necessary to consider that if using CDW coverage provided by a credit card (in lieu of the hire a vehicle operator), all destroys will be billed to the renter’s credit greeting card. The mastercard company will then reimburse the holder for damages.