Yet more Costa Rica car rental questions


Jul 27th, 2012, 11:01 AM
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Join Date: Sep 2007
Posts: 14
Yet more Costa Rica car rental questions

Okay...I've actually read through a lot of the Costa Rica car rental threads here, but I'm still confused, and I still have a few questions. Please bear with me!

1) Always looking for recommendations for rental companies. Have seen good things about Wild Rider on these boards (among other things I'm impressed that they include a link to TripAdvisor reviews of them on their website!), but this being our honeymoon, I'd kind of like a nicer, newer car, so I'm more inclined to go with one of the bigger outfits. Currently leaning towards either Alamo (people on these boards seem to be happy with them) or Avis (I get a discount with them...I think).

2) We're going in September, and we're going to Manuel Antonio for 4 nights and then up to Arenal for 4 nights. Do I need a 4wd to navigate those roads at that time of year? (also, how long should we give ourselves to get from MA to Arenal?)

I'm also still totally confused by the rental insurance issue. So:

3) I have both a Platinum Visa and a Platinum MasterCard. Basic CDW seems to be included with both, though I did notice that those policies specifically exclude non-paved surfaces. Aren't there a lot of gravel roads in Costa Rica? Do the policies through the rental companies cover travel on such roads? Also, what kind of "proof" of this coverage do they need? Can I just print out the coverage PDF, or do I really need to get a letter from the issuing bank on bank letterhead to give to them?

4) What kind of coverage do I need (or am I required to get) beyond CDW?

5) Given all I've read about tire slashing scams, is getting the extra "tire and window" coverage offered by a lot of these places prudent?

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