How to Rent a Car in Costa Rica

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So what are the condition of the roads?  Costa Rica is a mountainous country so to get most anywhere you have to drive over, thru, or around a mountain.  So the going is slow.  The roads are curvy and not very wide…..although now a days the roads in C Rica are good…still we encounter potholes  (due to heavy rainy seasons).  So a distance may look like a short distance on a map, but the travel time can be quite longer.

Don’t drive at night if you can avoid it.  Visibility, esp. during the rainy season is not always good.

Fill your fuel tank in the cities as rural areas don’t have as many service stations.
If you are going outside the central valley of San Jose area, a car that is higher up off the ground is definitely better.  (although you do not need especially a four wheel drive) You do need air condition, which all rental vehicles come with.
You  need to specify if you want automatic or straight shift. And if you want a GPS (small extra charge)
Road signs definitely have improved, but sometimes we still need just to stop the car and ask directions.  Costa Ricans are more than nice about helping out. You don’t even need to speak Spanish.  Just be able to say what your destination is.

Should I rent a car in costarica   ?  Many people are renting cars now in Costa Rica.  With the road system somewhat improved and road signs also better, and help of GPS-it easier.  But- the draw backs are:  Costa Rican drivers follow a different set of rules than we do.  Aggressive behavior- passing on curves, going thru red lights, driving on the  curb of the road.  Costa Ricans seem to be such nice people but the male population when behind a wheel seem to change to creatures from another planet.

Gasoline is around $5.50 per gallon for regular.  Additionally: The insurance will not cover if you have an accident by crossing a river (in the water) ,  driving while drinking alcohol,
or whatever else they categorize as “reckless -neglectful  driving.

Carry you passport and drivers license with you while driving.

Make sure the spare tire is locked.

Don’t leave valuables visible inside your locked car when you are not in it.  It’s common to have windows bashed to get whats inside.

Cost of a vehicle rental:

Basic cost
Liability insurance (I recommend at 100% coverage)
Collision insurance-best to purchase this on your major credit card–before departing your home country. More expensive to buy it in CR thru the car rental company
A Small Gov tax

When Ann provides you with a Quote-she includes each of these and breaks it down for you.

The company Ann uses will deliver the vehicle to your hotel or the airport. They will also pick it up at your hotel or you can drop it at the airport.

You should be aware:
the rental vehicle agency will require that the day you rent the car:
You sign a credit card voucher. This will have an amount of money on it__________depends on size of the vehicle. Usually starts around $800. The rental car agency will put a hold on this amount of money on your credit card.
This is to be charged ONLY if you are involved in an accident. If an accident occurs -the rental car agency will go ahead and charge this.
You should be able to recover this amount from your collision insurance you purchased in the USA.

Keep your passport and legal driver’s license with you while driving.

Speed limits in small towns are around 25 miles per slow down.

On the open roads —differs—-look for posted speed limits (usually 55-60 miles per hour on open road)

Dont pay off any cop if you are given a ticket. Bring it back to the car rental agency and they will assist you.

Dont park vehicle in unauthorized parking areas. Park car in guarded area at night.

Dont leave suitcases and valuables visible in the car and enter a restaurant or grocery store, national park, etc. Not uncommon to see smashed windows to steal your belongings.

If you have a flat tire and someone stops to assist. Keep your awareness! Happens infrequently but —people stop to help and when you are not looking steal your purse, camera, etc.

Ann can reserve a rental vehicle for you–best prices and best rental car company.   So let Ann make all your vacation arrangements for you.  She can Create an individualized vacation itinerary to suit your needs and budget.  read all about her  “Costa Rica Adventure Travel Planner”

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