Planning to Rent a Car in Costa Rica? Listen up!
If you are traveling to Costa Rica or planning a vacation to Costa Rica, and planning to rent a car? And you say, “I have checked with several different rental car agencies in Costa Rica and renting a car there seems quite expensive.” Why?
There are many reasons.
1. A large portion of the cost of renting the vehicle is the insurance. There is liability insurance coverage and then there is all the rest..collision, theft. Ask the car rental agency to itemize each of the coverages and the cost. VERY IMPORTANT: Reserve your rental vehicle before leaving your home country. Then call you credit card company and ask if you can buy (from the credit card company) the insurance on the rental car. My personal experience with American Express credit card company: They said yes I could buy the insurance EXCEPT THE LIABILITY. So I purchased a policy (except for liability) thru American Express BEFORE DEPARTING FROM THE US.
2. Maintenance on cars in Costa Rica is very high. The roads are often not in good condition with potholes and bumps so the tires wear out quickly and have to be changed.
3. Auto mechanics in Costa Rica are not cheap and car parts are very expensive because they have to be imported and the gov slaps a big import tax on these parts, thus raising the price.
4. Costa Rica does not manufacture cars or trucks, or buses. All are imported. Adding to the cost of the car is the transportation from where ever it was manufactured to Costa Rica which very often is very high.
5. Accidents in Costa Rica, such as fender bender is common. Costa Ricans in general are not good drivers, so we often see these fender bender accidents.
6. If you are planning to drive outside of the San Jose (capital city) area, then rent a 4×4 vehicle. They are higher off the ground and take the rough road conditions in Costa Rica much better than a regular car.