Rental Car Experiences (GPS?)

Old Jun 7th, 2006, 04:52 PM
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Rental Car Experiences (GPS?)

I find the prospect of having our own transportation for a week long trip to CR both enticing and intimidating. I like the freedom angle but I'm concerned about the signage (or lack there of!) and the road conditions.

I figure we can deal with the rough roads but getting lost isn't too appealing! I'm curious if any of the rental cars have GPS and if anyone has experience using them.

I've read a number of posts but can't get my arms around this issue. I would love to hear from travelers that have rented cars in CR and what your experiences were.

Thanks, Mike
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Old Jun 8th, 2006, 05:59 AM
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Ours didn't, but if you have a map you can usually figure out you are going the wrong way relatively quickly.

Also, we did bring a small compass with us - helped us figure out if we seemed to be on the right road.

Karen
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Old Jun 8th, 2006, 06:36 AM
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You definitely have to hang up the Type A personality if you are afflicted with one. Other than that, we have always found it very doable and even enjoyable. We have never had that many problems, and most places are fairly easy to get to. Even before my now passable Spanish was non existant, we could stop, ask directions, and generally figure something out. It was (and still is) always an adventure and one that we enjoy.

Perspective is everything on this board and everyone's is different. For example, some will say, "The roads are worse than you can even imagine!" Others (us included) don't think they are bad at all. Yes, there are some potholes and some roads are worse than others, but most of the main roads are really quite good. We all see things a little differently.

If you enjoy driving, are a competent and confident driver, and have the ability to relax and put your sense of humor into play frequently, you'll be fine! Those who have enjoyable trips to CR are those who put aside the rat race mentality that we find ourselves entangled in here in the states. Never put yourselves in a position of HAVING to be somewhere at a certain time and allowing what you think (or what you've been told) will be enough time to get there! Always allow extra, and enjoy yourself along the way. The entire country is beautiful and interesting--including the animals, bicycles, oxen and carts, and people in and alongside the roads!

Hope this helps--you truly just have to go and experience it for yourself. I'm not sure any of us can know ahead of time how it's all going to play itself out in our heads!
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Old Jun 8th, 2006, 01:41 PM
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Shillmac - you offer a wonderful perspective.

I (and MOST of my family!) enjoy a good adventure and the freedom of being in control. I just don't want to put my entire family at undue risk to satisfy my urge for "freedom."

I've spent a fair amount of time looking at old posts and haven't found anyone that has had a "terrible" experience driving a rental car. Most have the same perspective as yours.

I found a reference to Tricolor rental cars on an old post and sent them an e-mail inquiring about pricing. They quoted the following

"The rate for the
Suzuki Grand Vitara $357us
Nissan X-Trail $461us
for 08 days rental period starting on Aug 03."

These prices include "already the mandatory and the CDW insurance,free mileage and all the taxes."

These were better than the major agencies and seemed reasonable for 8 days. However I don't know what a Nissan X-Trail is, I do know that it's a 4x4 and bigger than the Vitara.

Any insights on Tricolor and information on the X-Trail? I need room for 5 and luggage.

THANKS
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Old Jun 8th, 2006, 05:04 PM
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Shillmac, your perspective on driving in CR is exactly as I see it although I could never have stated it as well as you have. Some of my best and funniest memories have been my driving adventures whether I was lost or trying to beat the clock before dark. A sense of humor came in handy although it seemed that I always had to go to the bathroom!
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Old Jun 8th, 2006, 07:31 PM
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bluesramsrock,
E-mail Tricolor (www.tricolorcarrental.com). They can tell you what you need to know. You'll see the link for e-mail on your website. You'll probably be corresponding with Cynthia Segura. She is always very helpful. We've never found anyone to beat Tricolor's prices. Don't know much about the X-Trail. I've seen them, but am not one to remember vehicle details, size or comparisons. . .just tell Cynthia how many people, approx. # pieces of luggage, etc. She can help you. Good luck, and have a great time!

joeschmoe. . .thanks, and I think you've expressed it very well--with much fewer words!
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Old Jun 9th, 2006, 06:05 AM
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Just go a Google search for "nissan x-trail" and you will get all the information you need
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Old Jun 9th, 2006, 06:41 AM
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I wasn't clear in my information needs. I did search it but the articles I read describe it as a "small SUV." I'm trying to determine if it will accomodate 5 folks and luggage. Really looking for anyone who has actually rented one. I guess I can look up the specs on Nissan's website and compare it against some SUV's I'm familiar with. Thanks
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Old Jun 9th, 2006, 07:23 AM
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blues - I remember seeing a couple of them last week. It is about the same size as the Pathfinder, not the new, bigger Pathfinder, but the older one. Probably comparable to the X-Terra.
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Old Jun 9th, 2006, 09:26 AM
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We've rented small SUV's many times. Barely will accomodate 4 and luggage. Definitely would go with something larger.
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Old Jun 9th, 2006, 09:48 AM
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We rented from Tricolor and found them good to deal with. We went with the Suzuki grand vitara XL7 which was supposed to fit 7 plus luggage. We are a family of 5 with kids ages 7, 13, and 15. The vehicle was too small. The seat in the way back was too small and uncomfortable for even my 7 year old. Just trying to give you an idea that when it says it will fit so many people that that may not really be realistic. Our price, by the way, for 8 days was $527 with all taxes and insurance.
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Old Jun 9th, 2006, 02:25 PM
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Hi. Definetely an SUV is the best choice for Costa Rica, we rented a regular car and were not able to reach some places. Roads are very bad in some parts of the country. Do not recommend to travel at night to Arenal volcano. GPS are great and very useful, but also it is fun to get lost on vacations.
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