Car rental advice requested for CR

Old Sep 1st, 2005, 11:22 AM
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Car rental advice requested for CR

My girlfriend and I plan on an 8 day vacation in November (was there in May... can't get enough). We plan to fly into SJO, visit Arenal (again), then Monteverde on our way to either Tamarindo (probably) or Manuel Antonio (in lieu of Tamarindo), then back to SJO.
Last time, friends of ours rented from Hertz and we split the cost. I thought it was too expensive, and the cars are not right at the airport - a nice convenience... and the insurance requirements in Costa Rica are confusing.
Can anyone...
1. ...recommend a rental company for a small 4X4 SUV?
2. ...explain what is needed/required insurance coverage (I have LDW with my credit card, and no rental insurance with my auto policy).
Thanks in advance for any advice or for sharing your personal experience (good or bad).
GregandNanette is offline  
Old Sep 1st, 2005, 02:24 PM
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In San Jose, as far as I know, there are no rental cars right at the airport. They are all within a very short distance, and the reps will pick you up and take you there (less than 5 minutes). I would suggest Tricolor (pronouced Tree Ca-LOR quickly) because their prices have consistently outdone all the others. We usually rent a small suzuki ignus from them (or a Diahatsu Terios). Dollar is also good, in our experience, but just a little more expensive.

www.tricolorcarrental.com

www.dollarcostarica.com

As for insurance, we always waive the part that our credit card covers and take out the standard amount that is required. There isn't much choice. The agency will know what you need. Seems like it usually runs about $12 per day (maybe a little more) after you deduct the part you waive. The prices you are quoted should be all-inclusive of insurance and taxes. Be sure they are!

Have a great time!
shillmac is offline  
Old Sep 2nd, 2005, 09:16 AM
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Thanks Shillmac! I was also steered toward Poas, so I am requesting quotes from both companies. Appreciate your recommendation.
GregandNanette is offline  
Old Sep 2nd, 2005, 12:38 PM
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G&N, be sure to check with your credit card issuer to see if they cover the CDW portion of the insurance; most gold or platinum cards will and you can decline that portion of the insurance they will encourage you to pay for. Good luck and have fun!
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Old Sep 2nd, 2005, 12:42 PM
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G&N sorry I did not read the bottom of your original posting, but you are on the right track. As Shilmac suggests, get a daily or weekly total rental cost including everything and if possible have them e-mail that to you so you have something in writing and an employee's name attached to it.
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Old Sep 2nd, 2005, 01:02 PM
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I rented from Poas and had a very bad experience. I would not recommend them. When I rented a 4x4 from them, I purchased "complete coverage". When signing the forms it stated "does not cover loss of radio or wheels due to theft."
The 4x4 had two VERY worn tires. I got a flat and was charged for a brand new tire $140. Apparently they believe that a flat is theft. I think this is a scam so they never have to buy new tires for their fleet.
RBCal is offline  
Old Sep 3rd, 2005, 04:44 AM
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There are plenty of car rental agencys right at the airport. You cant miss them as they line the hallway as you leave customs. The downside to renting at the airport is the 12% airport rental tax.

Rent from Tricolor, they have a 1-800 number you can call to make a reservation from the states and they can pick you up at the airport and take you to their facility 5 minutes away
sean420 is offline  
Old Sep 3rd, 2005, 02:30 PM
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Sean,
I could be completely mistaken (certainly wouldn't be the first time!), but even if you use one of the rental agencies with offices there, I THINK you still have to be driven to the off-airport location where the fleets are. At least this was our experience with Dollar. We used them 3 times and, although we checked in at the office in the airport, they would call someone to meet us outside (took about 10 minutes), and we were always driven to their off-airport place just down the highway toward San Jose a short distance. At least Tricolor, Budget, Payless, and some of the others are just right across the highway from the airport--and up the road from the Hampton Inn. I've never been under the impression that any of the agencies keep fleets on airport property. Mapache is across the highway and on the road toward Alajuela. By the way, our daughter rented from them once and had a good experience. Local company.
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