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matt109 Apr 24th, 2005 01:33 PM

car rental
I need to rent a car when i am costa rica, but i have no idea what company to use. I have heard good things about dollar and i was wondering are there any other good companys to use? Thanks for any help you can provide

shillmac Apr 24th, 2005 04:34 PM

Adobe, Tricolor, Poas,
Mapache--all have gotten good reviews on this board.

TurtleWoman Apr 24th, 2005 08:48 PM

My husband and I always use Poas now. We tried Payless once. They should be called Paymore!! I have also heard Tricolor is good. Poas hs an office across from the airport. I believe Tricolor does also.

Latlinda Apr 25th, 2005 10:35 AM

We rented a car through Thrifty and had no problems with them. Good price, too.

RBCal Apr 25th, 2005 11:39 AM

Do not rent from Poas. Their "Complete" coverage does not cover "partial theft of wheels or radio".

The 4x4 I rented from them had extremely worn tires. I found out that they consider a flat tire to be partial theft and they charged me $150 for a new tire.

RBCal Apr 25th, 2005 11:41 AM

Also, regarding Poas, their 24 hour emergency phone number is an answering service. If you have a problem after 5 pm no one will return your call until the next day.

tranquilo Apr 25th, 2005 02:03 PM

I just got back from the CR a week ago. I rented my car through Thrifty. I paid $215.00 for 9 days and $15 a day for SLI insurance. Your visa should cover you for CDI (insurance). Call them to find out how. This was the cheapest I found. I rented a Daihatsu Terios which was excellent for two people. I reserved the car about two months in advance.

This is the best part. Costa Rica is notorious for not having your car when you show up. I called thrifty has ask them if they could guarantee that my car will be there, and I got this in writing:

In the event that a customer has an active reservation for Thrifty that was booked through headquarters (800# or online), we will guarantee that the vehicle will be there for 2 hours past your scheduled time to pick up or until close which ever comes first. In the event that the vehicle we promised is not available for the customer, our first move would be to upgrade the customer into a different vehicle at the same cost that was quoted for the vehicle that was confirmed. If there is no vehicle available, the customer may go to one of our competitors and contact us with the receipts when the rental is complete. The normal procedure when this happens is; a case will opened, researched, and when the information is confirmed, the customer will receive the difference back between the rate quoted in the reservation and what was actually charged in the form of a charge back.

Patricia Jones
GDS/Internet Support
Thrifty Rental Car

Remember you have to book through thrifty.

Have fun on your trip.

oldermom Apr 25th, 2005 04:23 PM

HI! I also rented from Thrifty. We were very pleased. My husband accidently backed into a tree which did no damage to the bumper but the rear window of the terios shattered. We were in Manuel Antonio (31/2 hours away). They delivered a new car to us in 4 hours. We used premium American Express cdw insurance and reported it to them. American Express told me they would cover the accident with zero deductible. We have not yet received a bill but the clerk at the checkout desk said they do not charge for loss of use or delivery fee. We made our reservations on line and got a good rate.

Boleslav May 1st, 2005 01:01 PM

We rented from Mapache, they even have 800 phone number to call form the USA. First I sent them an email but since I have not heard back in a week I called. There's nothing better than to talk to someone in person as they gave me a very good quote for Toyota 4 Runner (it was approx. by $140/week cheaper then Dollar). They were polite, timely and pleasure to deal with.

TravelBill Sep 12th, 2005 02:35 PM

I recently rented a car from Mapache Rent-a-Car in Costa Rica. The experience was TERRIBLE, I would not recommend them in any way. Despite any apparent savings they may provide, the inconveniences you'll experience will likely not make up for the few dollars you'll save.

1. The Mapache website uses an unsecured connection to take your credit card reservation. You should NEVER submit your credit card number to a website beginning with HTTP, always look for HTTPS (particularly internationally). Basically, it is easy for thieves to steal your credit card number. They are also not using real time credit card validation, which means print-outs, phone calls, and many other opportunities for your number for fall into the wrong hands.

2. They did not have an agent waiting at the airport. Several of us were waiting for some time, before finally an agent from Adventure rentals was kind enough to call on his cell phone. This was followed by another fairly long wait before a van rolled up. There are a number of rental agencies that don't have presence in the airport, but they all had agents waiting to assist you outside the airport.

3. Mapache does not have the capability to verify a credit card in their office. They read your number over a 2-way radio to some other location. This is another security risk for your credit card to be stolen, and takes up unnecessary time.

4. They do not gas up the vehicle for you. We were given a car with half a tank, leaving us looking for a gas station before we even got out of San Jose. You are also expected to return the car with the same amount of gas, an annoyance with came back to bite us later.

5. They apparently rely on some tourism agency to provide maps, which they were out of when we arrived. These are promised as part of their rental package. I don't know about you, but they last thing I want is to arrive in a new city, and be pointed out at the road with no idea how to even get to a highway. The staff was extremely un-sympathetic about this situation, with a half hearted "just go that way", and "maybe you can get a map at a gas station". BTW, gas station stores are often closed early and on weekends, we drove for an hour before we were able to buy one.

6. They were inordinately slow in getting our paperwork completed, and getting you in your car. It took about 30-45 minutes to deal with 2 customers they had in front of us. We arrived at 12:30, and got out car about 2:15 including the pickup delays and their general lack of efficiency in the office. That's a lot of lost time.

7. Finally, and most frustrating.. remember that they don't fill up the tank? As I mentioned, when we picked up out car, it had about half a tank, they agent said, "its about half, maybe a little more, just bring it back with half a tank". When we returned the car, other agents were working, who looked at the form, which said "4/8 +" and out half full tank, and said "You'll half to go add more gas, or we'll have to charge you $28 USD". We were furious, and I was already exploding at them when one with at least a little common sense decided it would be ok if they drove us to the airport, and we stopped at the gas station along the way and added 2,000 colonies to the tank.

What exactly is "4/8 +" of a tank anyway? I hope you guess right, or you'll be hassled by a whole raft of agents with apparently nothing to do but give you problems. Maybe they could go greet people at the airport, or locate some maps instead?

Anyway, use this fly-by-night at your risk to your time and credit card information. I hope they are not worth as much to you as the few dollars you may save with this operation.

Happy travels!


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