Rent a car in Costa Rica.

Sep 5th, 2007, 12:09 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Mar 2004
Posts: 18
Rent a car in Costa Rica.

Do you think it is a good idea to rent a car in Costa Rica? Is it save?
Would you recommend any car rental agency?
murka is offline  
Sep 5th, 2007, 12:43 PM
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We've always hired private drivers, but a lot of people drive; Tricolor gets good reviews. A lot of the roads are not well-marked, and I wouldn't want to be doing a long drive in the dark, but other than that, I think you'd be fine. Where are you going and during what season?
volcanogirl is offline  
Sep 5th, 2007, 06:14 PM
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Highly recommend Tricolor. We've had very good luck with them, and they offer the best prices (everything included in the quote) we've found.

Safety is for sure an unknown. It's fun to get yourself around, and part of the adventure. That said, there is a high fatality rate in CR. THAT said, we continue to rent every time because it is convenient and we like the freedom of movement it offers. It is important to try to limit your driving to daylight hours (unless you are very familiar with the roads) AND to drive defensively at all times.
shillmac is offline  
Sep 6th, 2007, 08:17 AM
Join Date: Nov 2006
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We had a private driver for the first 2 legs of our trip then rented a car for our last 2 days. It was nice having a car to ourselves, but we got lost twice. Once I was so nervous I was practically hyperventilating and in tears. The roads are not marked and if you don't speak Spanish it is difficult to ask for clear directions if you are lost. A GPS would have been a blessing!
lutherkins is offline  
Sep 6th, 2007, 09:54 AM
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If driving to Monteverde, do you have to have a 4x4?

Keith is offline  
Sep 6th, 2007, 01:18 PM
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I think it really depends on where you're going and what you want to do. We debated this before our first trip to CR last month. We finally went with our original plans and rented primarily because we like the freedom. We rented from EuropCar. Reasonable rates and they upgraded free from a RAV to Prado, much nicer. Our only complaint was that the GPS didn't work properly [some tense moments but nothing that fortunately turned disasterous. We're waiting to see if they'll give us a rebate]

We had no problems driving, but followed the usual rules of staying on main highways, no long distances in dark, follow directions to towns not try and find highway numbers, etc.
dfr4848 is offline  
Sep 6th, 2007, 06:27 PM
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Yep, 4X4 to Monteverde. It's a good idea anyway, just because sometimes you don't know WHERE you'll be going and the extra clearance is always nice. Many roads, though, are well suited to regular cars and we often rent one if it's just the two of us and we know we'll not be on any of the rougher roads. Good luck!
shillmac is offline  
Sep 6th, 2007, 06:29 PM
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By the way, don't rent a car and expect NOT to get lost. It's part of the adventure! You'll never be lost for TOO long--just always allow plenty of time. Tight schedules need to go out the window when you arrive. That said, I have noticed last couple of times, the signage is SO much better than it used to be. Very impressive knowing how bereft it was of signs a few years ago!
shillmac is offline  
Sep 7th, 2007, 06:48 PM
Join Date: Sep 2005
Posts: 47
Hi Keith,
Don't think about not renting a 4 x 4 if you are going to Monteverde. WE did and it was a drive I still have nightmare about. The road is like nothing you have seen. In fact we are returning to Costa Rica in Feb. and if I was returning to Monteverde I think I would consider a tour. The rain forest is wonderful but the trip is hairy maybe a 4 x 4 would make it okay. Good luck and enjoy. PS We used Tri-color and had a good experience. Try Avanti when pricing out they look cheaper.
altarose is offline  
Sep 7th, 2007, 08:08 PM
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Let us all know if you find an agency cheaper than Tricolor. We've not been able to. Many places "appear" to be less, but their prices aren't all-inclusive of taxes, insurance, etc. many times.
shillmac is offline  
Sep 8th, 2007, 06:40 AM
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Thank you for the answers.

But I am afraid it means I need to skip Monteverde. I was going to spend a day and a half there on my return from Arenal.

I'm a single traveler and a 4x4 instead of a small car would add up to too much over the course of the trip.


Keith is offline  
Sep 8th, 2007, 10:03 PM
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Keith, Monteverde is great location, but certainly, for all the time and effort it takes to get there, it would be really nice if you could wait and stay a bit longer!

And just curious, have you actually e-mailed Tricolor? You might be surprised at their prices.
shillmac is offline  
Sep 9th, 2007, 07:01 AM
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"And just curious, have you actually e-mailed Tricolor?"


Although I have flights on hold, I don't have firm dates yet. And I'm afraid that I was turned off by their website not even giving a hint of what their range of prices are.

Keith is offline  
Sep 11th, 2007, 11:11 AM
Join Date: Mar 2006
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I used Payless and they were the cheapest by far when I went. Driving in CR is a lot of fun, enjoy it!
rmeyer is offline  
Sep 11th, 2007, 01:46 PM
Join Date: Sep 2007
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Just got back from a week in Costa Rica- and renting a car was the way to go... go with a 4x4 and try ADOBE rental car... it was pretty affordable. We got the extra insurance just in case- ended up we didn't need it, but the roads are ROUGH and the drivers a bit crazy (they like to pass each other uphill in curves)... but it's an adventure and fun.
shormk2 is offline  
Sep 12th, 2007, 09:58 AM
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Keith, I can understand the website issue with Tricolor. Annoys me a bit as well. That said, when you DO send them your dates, I think you'll be pleased with the rates.

I always correspond with Cynthia Segura. When I go to the website, I send a message to her telling her the details. She is always quick to respond. The price quote will NOT have any hidden costs. You can usually expect to pay about $250 or $275 for a week with a regular car (ABOUT $40 per day). Maybe $100 over that total for a 4x4.

shillmac is offline  

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