What are the 5 common traps you should avoid when renting a car in Costa Rica



Before renting a car, it’s a good idea to read up on the rental policies. That way you won’t get whacked with an unexpected fine or have unrealistic ideas about what the deposit process is like. However, we want to call your attention to a few wrong practices or procedures common in Costa Rica, that will make you feel like a victim of the rental company.

1) Very attractive price when reserving online that will turn out even the double once you pick up your vehicle.

The biggest car rental company will let you reserve very low prices online per day with ’insurance included ’. But once there they will let you know that not all the mandatory insurance is included (CDW and TPL). The lower price you can find during the rainy season is $60 per day for a little 4*2 vehicle and at least $50,00 for a basic 4*4.  It is sad really, that some vehicle rental agencies not only lure travelers in with impractical low prices but that they purposely do so knowing full well that travelers will need to pay more (either for one or two portions of “mandatory” insurance) than they publicly state. We see it over and over again – a vehicle rental agency advertises that mandatory insurance is included (leading travelers to believe that no additional insurance is required) when actuality only partial insurance has been .

2) Check your prices, Euros or Dollar ?

Always check if the price is shown in $ or Euros. Lots of car rentals will give you the prices in Euro so they look more competitive. Renting a car could vary according to the currency used.

3) Accesories

Once again the rental company will sell you a car for a small price to double the price of any accessory you would like to add to your rental. E.g. Make sure that the price of the GPS they’re offering you now is the same that the one you saw online.

4) 24/7 assistance very expensive

Even if you think you have the full cover, read through all the lines of the contract. Some international car rentals would charge you extra money in case of an accident or even if the car broke down. Check all the terms before signing any contract to do not to have any surprises. Consider this when renting a car.

5) Drop off

Upon picking up a rental vehicle you will be asked to walk around the vehicle (with the rental agent) in order to take note of any scratches, or dings present on the vehicle prior to you assuming responsibility for it (the agent will make a note of any reported damage on the rental agreement). Make sure to look everywhere and make sure the agent will take note of every little detail. In case you will be responsible for little scratches or damage we suggest you fix it yourself in one of the local coachbuilders, they will charge you a little more since you’re a foreigner but it will always be less expensive than the bill the rental company will present you.

Costa Rica Campervan may advertise prices that upon first glance appear to be more expensive than other rental agencies’ rates. This is because we don’t have hidden fees and we quote insurance charges upfront as many other agencies choose not to do.