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Rent a car in costa rica?

by oldguy472003 Online Now Feb 25, 2013 at 12:04 PM

I've rented vehicles in Europe and Mexico and been able to manage with minimal frustration. Any thoughts on Costa Rica for a fly drive vacation? How would you compare the driving experience with Spain or Mexico?

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  • Usctwin's Profile Photo

    Re: Rent a car in costa rica?

    by Usctwin Online Now Feb 25, 2013 at 12:09 PM

    Where are you planning to drive from/to? I'm American and used to live in Costa Rica. My company purchased a car for me and I would get stopped all the time. I would pay off the police each time to not get tickets. This was in 2006, so I'm not sure how it is now. Depending on where you are using the car to get to, you might consider flying via one of the commuter planes, or hire a car instead.

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  • blueskyjohn's Profile Photo

    Re: Rent a car in costa rica?

    by blueskyjohn Online Now Feb 25, 2013 at 6:53 PM

    oldguy472003 wrote:

    I've rented vehicles in Europe and Mexico and been able to manage with minimal frustration. Any thoughts on Costa Rica for a fly drive vacation? How would you compare the driving experience with Spain or Mexico?

     Renting a car in Costa Rica is easy enough and the driving is fine as well.  Really is the best way to get around.  Just set aside extra time driving from one place to another.  While on a map it does not look far, driving times vary depending on how many trucks you get stuck behind as they drive slow through the mountains.  Also, be aware they is a mandatory insurance requirement not mentioned in any quote if you book on line.  It is quite high, about $150 usd per week or more.

    As for police, you may get stopped but if you follow the rules of the road you have little chance.  Out of the 8 or so times I've been there, I have been stopped once for not wearing a seat belt.  They wanted $80 usd.  While I had the cash I refused to pay.  The language barrier may have helped.  I told them I would go back to their headquarters with them.  They wanted no part of that but to save time I offered $20 and they accepted.  This was the very first year I went.  Now, I wouldn't offer them anything.  And when you rent a car they tell you not to pay the police, no matter what they say.

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  • TexasDave's Profile Photo

    Re: Rent a car in costa rica?

    by TexasDave Online Now Feb 25, 2013 at 7:05 PM

    Agreed, renting a car is a good idea and the roads are in decent condition, but you will find secondary roads with lots of pot holes. Obey the laws and you won't have problems with the highway police- they do have a lot of speed traps on the highways!

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  • bishikawa11's Profile Photo

    Re: Rent a car in costa rica?

    by bishikawa11 Online Now Feb 28, 2013 at 6:03 AM

    Costa Rica's roads have greatly improved over the past 10-12 years and if you have patience and a decent sense of direction, driving is certainly do-able. It's pretty comparable to Mexico or Spain, congested in the cities, easy in the countryside.

    Road signs are sparse, but if you can pronounce your destination, you can ask and people will point you in the right direction.

    We travel to CR twice per year to visit family and always rent cars from ToyotaRent at the San Jose airport. Toyotarent.com. Their service is excellent and prices are decent. They have automatic transmission cars available, but you probably should request one if you can't manage a stick.

    A sedan will get you to all the cities and towns in the country. For back country exploring in the rainy season, a 4WD would be better. We usually go in the dry months (November thru May) and have taken a 14 passenger van on bumpy rutted back tracks on the Nicoya peninsula or along the Caribbean coast without incident.

    Good luck!

    - Bruce

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  • mim95's Profile Photo

    Re: Rent a car in costa rica?

    by mim95 Online Now Mar 24, 2013 at 5:56 AM

    We just returned from Costa Rica, and rented a SUV for a week from Vamos. In my opinion, it is easy to drive around, IF you have a GPS with you. Vamos rents it at $8/day. We brought our GPS with a Costa Rica map loaded. It is definitely worthwhile to have one because street name is generally not used and you usually can't find a street name sign. People use landmarks as the reference point to refer to a location, eg. 2 blocks south of the church.

    If you are on the main road, it is usually free of potholes. But smaller roads usually have potholes, or they are made with gravel or dirt. An SUV would help for sure. Definitely pay attention on the road. A lane could suddenly end without warning! We were on the highway outside of San Jose and a road block suddenly appeared in a lane with no signs beforehand. A lane could also become an exit lane without warning. The ditch on the side of the road is very deep. Don't drive too close to the side!

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  • Re: Rent a car in costa rica?

    by jonmadmo Online Now Nov 25, 2013 at 9:40 PM

    Everything sound good, but i want to share the best place i found to rent a car in costa rica, the place is name www.2gorentacar.com is new and fresh, offcourse the prices is the best, there you can save a lot of money, because old rent a car are trying to get more aand more money, instead new companies like this one are trying to grow and the only option is good server at the right price, check out i let us know how is going

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