Car Rental in Costa Rica

Old Apr 4th, 2007, 12:35 PM
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Car Rental in Costa Rica

Any suggestions or comments on car rental in Costa Rica. Currently we have a reservation through Expedia for a mid-size SUV with Europcar. Looking at rental rates in general for Costa Rica it looks like we got "too good of a deal" through Expedia and now I'm wondering if we will have "issues" when we pick up the rental car at the airport. Any thoughts? By the way, I wish I would have know about this Forum before I booked a bunch of stuff.
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Old Apr 4th, 2007, 01:01 PM
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vt girl,

I went through the rental car hunt and found the biggest issue is making sure they quoted you the rate with the mandatory insurance and any other insurance you need and other fees. Depending on the car and the type of insurance you go with, it can almost double the price.

I can't recall if Expedia was one of the sites that didn't have all that included. If you do a search on the latin america page for costa rica rental cars, (or some variation of that) you should come up with several posts on the subject. I seem to remember one of them mentioned Expedia.

I do remember that in doing my research via the individual rental companies, Europcar was far from the cheapest. I'd definitely check the fine print in whatever you got from Expedia to see what's included in the price.

And yes, this is a great site. The people here have been invaluable in my planning process.

Have a great trip.

Fran

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Old Apr 4th, 2007, 01:44 PM
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Lots of folks recommend Tricolor on this board, but for my upcoming trip to CR, I reserved a 2007 Mitsubishi Montero Sport using Dollar's Costa Rica website. Although Tricolor quoted me a price that was $20 lower for a comparable SUV, I liked the fact that I was able to reserve a brand-new SUV model with Dollar (Dollar lists the model years of their various vehicles). I'm hoping that by reserving a 2007 model, we minimize our chances of receiving a rickety vehicle with bald tires and mechanical problems. Good luck!
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Old Apr 4th, 2007, 03:16 PM
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We booked a rate through Expedia for a "too good to be true rate" for around $166 for 10 days when all the others were several hundred. It was just too tempting, but when we got there, the prices changed, this was not included, that was not included. They said we had changed our reservation, all kinds of stuff. Of course we arrived on a Saturday and there was no one to reach for verification. Ended up costing us over $700 USD for what we expeced to be $200....I'd go w/Tricolor...they have lots of fans for a reason.
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Old Apr 4th, 2007, 03:24 PM
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By the way, I forgot to mention that I made sure Dollar e-mailed me a confirmation stating that all taxes, insurance and other fees were included in the price quote. That way I have it in writing. They were actually very nice to deal with on the phone, and were responsive to e-mails as well. Tricolor was also responsive and friendly, and their e-mail quote indicated it included insurance, taxes and fees.
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Old Apr 4th, 2007, 04:01 PM
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I have used TriColor and when planning the trip I asked several times about the total costs and maximum insurance costs and I was still surprised at the total cost when I returned the vehicle, however this was mostly my fault. I had added a couple days to my trip while out enjoying Costa Rica so much! plus there was an extra drop off charge renting in Liberia and returning in San Jose, (which I knew about before my trip). Also the taxes add up fast too. TriColor was good about explaining the costs upfront and I would definitely use them again.
I am interested to see what year and make haydencat receives upon arrival and if the costs are unexpected or not. haydencat, please write us back after your trip and let us know. Last time I got a the small 4x4 and it got me around fine but you can travel the rougher roads faster in the bigger vehicles.
Also, one of many good pieces of advice I got on a Monteverdeinfo website is, when renting a car in Costa Rica (or anywhere where roads can be rough) to purchase one of those Flat Tire Repair in a can as soon as you get there. It seals and inflates the tire enough to get you to a station. If you do not need to use it you can give it to someone as a gift before you leave. I bought mine at the auto parts store just at the edge of town (on the road to the airport) between TriColor and the main intersection in Liberia.
I can tell you the people at TriColor were extremely helpful at both locations. They went out of their way to find a phone I could rent in Liberia and return in San Jose then they returned some valuable items to me (iPod, Camera,etc..) that I had left in the vehicle when I returned it.
If you are worried, try to get every cost and insurance cost in writing via fax or something before you leave. Have fun!
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Old Apr 4th, 2007, 04:23 PM
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Balua, I will post a trip report when we get back from our trip, and let you know how it goes with Dollar.
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Old Apr 6th, 2007, 09:54 AM
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We've used Dollar as well and like them. The downside is that their near-airport office is very tricky to get to when returning a vehicle, and once you miss it, it's the pits to turn around and get back. We know now, but Tricolor is just so easy to find. Dollar otherwise a good company though. We've usually gotten almost new cars with Tricolor as well. Once my daughter and I got something alittle older, but it cruised along just fine. . .
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Old Apr 6th, 2007, 10:11 AM
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Thanks Shillmac. It's good to know about the tricky location on the return, as we'll probably be in a bit of a rush when we return the car. (Driving early from Arenal to catch 10:30am Sansa flight to Osa). Now we'll know to map out the return ahead of time and be careful not to miss it!
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