Pros for renting a car in CR?

Old Oct 11th, 2004, 06:53 AM
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Pros for renting a car in CR?

Hi. I've seen lots of advise on hiring a car and driver in Costa Rica but I am still leaning towards renting a car for more freedom & flexibility. Can you experts tell me: are the roads really that bad?
Is it really hard to find your way around? How is night driving? AND, is car theft a major problem?
Thanks, again!
Tina
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Old Oct 11th, 2004, 07:17 AM
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No the roads are not THAT bad. Sure some of them are very potholed and some are hard packed dirt, but thousands of people rent cars there with no problems. You have to be patient going over the mountians as you'll get stuck behind slow moving trucks, but so what? Eventually you can pass them. I don't think it's that hard to find your way around, especially if you travel to the more visited areas. Arenal, Monteverde, Tamarindo, Manuel Antonio, Samara/Nosara to name a few. There are signs to these visited areas and not a ton of options to driving there so it's hard to get too lost. This is just my opinion. As for driving at night, it's fine to drive at night if you're just going a few miles for dinner, but don't try to make any big drives at night. And yes, theft can be a problem. Just don't leave anything in the car. If you stop for a bite to eat between destinations, make sure you can see your car from where you are in the restaurant. Use these precautions and you'll be fine!
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Old Oct 11th, 2004, 08:54 AM
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In our three trips to Costa Rica we have gone from not renting a car to renting one for the entire 2 week vacation. I totally agree with Ally's comments. A car will give you the freedom that you will not have with a driver or public transportation. And if you follow some basic precautions and have common sense, you should not have any problems.

Do not leave anything at all in the car, or if you are on your way from one place to another and have all your belongings in the car, keep your passport and wallet on you and don't let the car out of your sight if you stop to eat something. Driving at night is not a good idea because of poor signs and pot holes in the roads but driving a few miles to dinner (especially if you drove that same route during the day) is fine. Although, even then you could get lost ;-) - I will never forget the evening when we were driving in circles in Nosara trying to find La Doce Vita in total darkness and with no signs! Nosara consists of a really confusing tangle of small dirt roads with almost no points of reference or signs. It is very confusing, even during the day.
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Old Oct 11th, 2004, 09:11 AM
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Totally agree with both posts. I don't recommend traveling at night because of the lack of visibility and that many people and animals are on the roads. The freedom to go where you want, when you want is a huge plus in CR. Rent a car and enjoy, just use your head and ask the locals for info, they will gladly oblige.
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Old Oct 11th, 2004, 10:00 AM
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What they said!
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Old Oct 11th, 2004, 05:26 PM
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We rented a car in CR last Aug for 10 days and loved it!! I agree with what everyone has just said. We loved having the freedom & flexibility to go where we wanted to, when we wanted to & to stop whenver we wanted to. We never got lost but had to ask directions a few times.

I recommend purchasing the Berndston & Berndston map from Barnes & Noble.

We used Dollar Rental car and were happy with them. If you ask about all the charges when you make your reservation, such as insurance, etc. you won't be surprised with hidden charges. Dollar did not try to charge us for scratches like I've heard some agencies do.

Just use the precautions everyone mentioned & you will be fine.
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