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Renting a Car in Costa Rica

Ive always used Economy. They are close to the airport (Juan Santamaria) and no less dishonest then any of the others. They are pretty good with email correspondence and you should be able to get an English speaking person on the phone with a little persistence.

BEWARE! Please don’t be irresponsible or naive about renting a car in a foreign country. Check your car really really well for scratches and dings, make sure your spare tire is good and don’t rush the inspection process at the beginning because you are excited to hit the road. I promise you, when you bring the car back, you want to have all of your ducks in a row.

Check your insurance policy. Make sure you either are covered by your policy - again - doublecheck - or by your credit card - call them and get the lowdown - or buy extra insurance. Anyhing can happen to your car, including accidents, flat tires, theft, vandalism or if you’re really lucky — total loss! Yes, I’ve said it in another post, i watched a suzuki jeep get washed down a river while its drunken Brazilian contingent watched in alchohol numbed amazement.

Now that I’ve scared the shit out of you, get a 4×4. If you’re a surfer, you want a jeep or a truck to get down some of the sketchier roads to your surf destination. And don’t worry, as long as you don’t leave your fancy new Nikon camera on the front seat while you splish splash around in the waves, you’ll do fine.

There are other car rental companies, obviously, but economy is decent and they have a lot of locations. You can pick up a car in one area, and drop off in another in most cases. I’ve done this. On one trip, my friends T-Bag and The Grizz and I had a car for two weeks. When The Grizz went home, we saved money and took the bus for the other two. We started the trip by renting the car in Tamarindo, and ended by dropping it off in San José.

Here’s my only other advice: Get something bigger that the base model four wheel drive. The little tiny 4×4’s are too small. They suck. Suzuki Samurai is good, Toyota Rav 4 is good, Jeep Cherokee is good… Anything like that. If you book something and they don’t have it when you get there, make them upgrade you! Be a bitch- squeeky wheel gets the grease.


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