CR car rental/insurance question

Old Apr 26th, 2005, 04:10 PM
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CR car rental/insurance question

Traveling to CR in November/December. Have been pricing 4x4 rentals and have a question re. the mandatory CDW insurance. Is that the type of insurance that many credit cards offer? I have used this insurance in the US when renting cars but not sure if it is the same thing. Got a price of $257 from Payless for a Terios, this is for 9 days, includes taxes/fees but not the insurance. Also got a quote from Tricolor for a Suzuki Jiminy including the CDW insurance for $344 for the 9 days. If anyone has any info on this, I would be very interested to hear. Thanks.
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Old Apr 26th, 2005, 07:29 PM
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CDW is collision damage waiver; gold or platinum cards may cover this. Its best to call the your card issuer to confirm. Its also good to let them know you are going - often when they see charges from a foreign country without notice, they assume the worst.
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Old Apr 26th, 2005, 07:44 PM
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Also, the Tricolor deal would be hard to beat. They have consistently given us our best offer last few visits.
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Old Apr 27th, 2005, 04:12 AM
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Thank you both for your replies. Very helpful. In talking to DH last night he mentioned that he has used Amex card to cover the car rental insurance on his prior trips to CR. Thanks for the info on Tricolor as well. I've read good things about them on this board and others and their price seems quite good. How's their service?
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Old Apr 27th, 2005, 09:54 AM
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We were not allowed to waive the CDW. We even called before. Hmm.
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Old Apr 27th, 2005, 10:06 AM
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Hmm, I wonder if it depends on the agency then? Who did you rent with, Chuckster?
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Old Apr 27th, 2005, 12:54 PM
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mimilou: I would suggest renting the terios instead of the jimmy if your party is more than two people. They both are small 4x4s but the terios is slightly larger.

Also you should check out thrifty car rental. I just got back from the CR on 04/17 and I used thrifty. The cheapest I found. My rate for 9 days was $285 and you can waive the CDW if you decline thrifty's CDW and use your visa card to rent the car. Their liability insurance was $15 a day. My total cost was $420.

One more thing. CR is notorious for not having the car you rented and Thrifty has a good policy in effect if that does happen. I called them and got a written response from them. Here it is.

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
1-800-527-7075
Thrifty Rental Car


Have a fun trip.
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Old Apr 27th, 2005, 05:01 PM
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mimilou
We were actually told by a travel agent that the rental agencies weren't allowed to let you waive it. Now I'm really curious about all that!
We rented from both Mapache and Adobe. Both said we were not allowed to waive it. We had great experiences with them both otherwise.
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Old Apr 27th, 2005, 05:21 PM
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We rented from Toyota Rent A Car in April for 9 days (nice and no problems) We had a Toyota Prado- which is quite roomy, similar to a Toyota Highlander, I think.

In any event, there are 2 types of insurance for renting cars in Costa Rica. One is really "mandatory" and the other I believe is the CDW which most credit cards have.

Beware, though. On 2 prior visits to Costa Rica, when I presented a Visa card, they told me they only took MasterCard (or vice versa). I think that they wanted to "force" us to pay in cash to avoid the high credit card surcharges. But I carry several "flavors" of credit cards and didn't fall for their tricks (if that's what they truly were)

We didn't encounter that this time.
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Old Apr 27th, 2005, 08:28 PM
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Service with Tricolor has been excellent. We've never had trouble on the road, however, so can't comment on how they do with problem solving. We'll continue to use them. Our credit card pays the CDW insurance, but we have to sign a waiver.
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Old Apr 27th, 2005, 09:30 PM
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mimilou: I just got back from the CR on 4/17. This is the deal. You can waive CDW from your rental company if your credit card company ofers it.

Thrifty allows you to do so. If a rental car company does not allow then they are just trying to get you to pay more because they get a commission off the insurance.

You need to buy liability insurance just like you would in the U.S.

This is what you do. Go to orbitz and do a search. Find the cheapest offering for your travel dates, then go to the company's official website and book the car. Then call them and find out the things you need to know.

Or better yet give me your travel dates and I will do it for you.

My e-mail address is [email protected]

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Old Apr 28th, 2005, 04:43 AM
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Just a few more comments:
We reserved a "mid-size SUV" on the Thrifty Web site. If that was truly mid-size, I'd hate to see what the compact looks like. It was tiny and with four of us traveling with luggage, we just barely squeezed in. And of course they had nothing larger to offer us. So make sure you rent, in advance, the right size vehicle.
I came prepared with a printout from Visa proving that my credit card provided CDW insurance. The agent would only waive this insurance upon calling Visa to confirm. But she insisted that I still had to buy liability insurance and that the CDW insurance was ony $4 more per day. Even without arguing about insurance, the rental still took close to an hour to complete. So I gave in just purchased it. But remember one more thing: there's a deductible on the CDW at it was something outrageous like $900!
So if you find a good rate that's truly all-inclusive, go for it.
Our car was half full upon picking it up. They want you to return it at the same level, but don't count on it being full.
Also, be sure to inspect your car thoroughly before and after the rental so you are not responsible for someone else's scratches or dents.
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Old Apr 28th, 2005, 06:13 AM
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We paid a daily fee to have the deductable reduced to zero and have everything covered. Theft and accident. Sure wish we would have thought to bring a copy of our VISA statements that say CDW is covered. Oh well.
I also advocate checking the cars out! We brought a tire guage with us, thankfully. One tire at pick up time was at 15 psi. Of course, we had to go fill it up. We had to fill it up one more time during the week.
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Old Apr 28th, 2005, 07:20 AM
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I checked back w/tricolor and for their Terios is $373. If I waive the CDW it's something like $4/day cheaper. I actually reserved a Terios through Payless, though on Travelocity, because Travelocity's Total Price was $30 cheaper than the price on the Payless site. I did do some searching around the Payless site and found this info: "Evidence of Costa Rican liability coverage is required at time of rental. If you are unprepared to show documentation, the acc
eptance of a liability protection will be a condition of rental.

Personal Liability Insurance and Collision Damage Waiver are sold as a package in Costa Rica."

This is what confuses me. When renting a car in the US, I have never had to purchase ANY kind of insurance (I think tranquilo mentioned that SLI is needed here?)...I am not sure if this is because I am covered under my own car insurance for this, or what. But I obviously don't have Costa Rican liability coverage, right? And from that quote I pasted above, it seems that I CANNOT waive the CDW if the OTHER insurance is mandatory, because they come in a package? It's something like $28/day for this whole insurance package. I'm worried that though Payless' price seems good, I'm going to end up paying through the nose if we are unable to waive the insurance. So perhaps tricolor's price actually does work out to be the best? I did check Thrifty's site and right now their price before SLI is $321. The insurance is $15/day.

We will be going from 11/24 to 12/3.
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Old Apr 28th, 2005, 08:43 AM
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mimilou: I just went to Thrifty.com and the cost for the rental would be $456 ( I paid $420) for 11/24/05 to 12/03/05. This is for a terios and SLI (Supplemental Liability Insurance), no CDW. I know from my recent experience (04/09/05 to 04/17/05) that you can waive CDW if you are purchasing with your visa card because you have that coverage on your card. Call your credit card company and they will tell you how to do it. You probably also have other coverages on the card as well.

I work in the travel insurance business and if you purchase travel insurance your probably have CDI in that too. So with using your visa and if you have travel insurance you are fully covered for CDI or CDW.

If payless is not allowing you to waive CDW or they packaged both SLI and CDW together, add it up and see if it is cheaper than thrifty if so purchase the payless car.

I know for sure that your liability insurance in the U.S. will not cover you in the CR.

Also your rate is not concrete because you still have a lot of time to research. I also recommend to constantly research rates because you might find something cheaper or the company you chose might lower their rates.


CDW is Collision Damage Waiver
CDI is Collision Damage Insurance
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Old Apr 28th, 2005, 09:11 AM
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Tranquilo, thanks for all the info. Yes, that is the rate I just got from Thrifty as well when putting in the SLI. I generally do checks of the car rental companies before going on trips as I know the rates change/come down frequently. I'm going to have to do some more research on company policies as well as my credit card coverages before I settle on one company.
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Old May 5th, 2005, 06:10 PM
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tranquilo,

I just made a Thrifty reservation on the web for a 4-runner with automatic transmission. The confirmation doesn't mention the automatic transmission. How do I ensure that I don't have a hassle when I arrive?

Thanks in advance.
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