Which Costa Rican Car Company Is Best?

Renting a Car in Costa Rica? Which company should you choose?

There are so many rent-a-car companies to choose from in Costa Rica – from the large international firms to the smaller national agencies. Reviews on the internet invariably either damn or sing the praises of each company to the extent of being almost useless. So how do you choose the best place to hire a car for your trip?

Many tourists that rent vehicles in Costa Rica complain that they have been ripped off when they realize the extra cost of insurance they are obliged to pay or that they have been charged a dollar rate that reflected the currency rate and not the quoted rate. Understanding the insurance laws and charges that bind the Costa Rican car rental companies may help you to ask the right questions when you are reserving your vehicle and avoid a nasty shock upon arrival. If a company is not upfront about its additional costs; you may wish to consider whether it is a company that you choose to take your business to.

I have worked within the tourism industry in Costa Rica for the last six years and have lived here since 2000. I am familiar with the feelings that many visitors to the country experience when dealing with rent-a-car companies. These can range from delight to discomfort to outright fury; sometimes due to the inefficiency, or even dishonesty of the rental agency, but also due to the renter’s lack of understanding of the legally binding restrictions within which Costa Rican car rental firms must work. I hope that while this article won’t guarantee you trouble-free vehicle rental; it might make you a more knowledgeable customer.

Insurance needs, additional costs in rental and surcharges are considered in more detail below:


Basic insurance is mandatory. Costa Rican law is very clear on this and your rental car company cannot allow you to leave with their car without having agreed to pay it. Expect to pay somewhere between $9 and $20 per day on top of your car rental rate. An honest, car rental agency will make this very clear in their pricing. If it is not clear whether the insurance is included in the rental cost; ask for clarification and be aware of other potentially unstated costs.

Check whether your insurance policy covers you to drive in Costa Rica. Some policies include Collision Damage Waivers and will cover Central America. If you are covered, bring proof (in writing) for your vehicle rental company. If not, consider whether you would be safer to pay the extra cost of this additional coverage. This part is not mandatory.

Zero liability is offered by rent-a-car companies. You may wish to consider whether you would feel more at ease knowing that you would not be liable for any costs should something occur while you are renting their vehicle. You are not obliged to buy this supplemental insurance.

Additional Fees:

Many car rental companies will charge additional fees for a child/baby seat, an additional driver, luggage racks or cooler. You can expect to pay up to $8 daily for each of these extras. Although by shopping around, you can find companies that will offer some or all for a lower price, or even free.

With Costa Rican roads being notoriously poorly signposted and the whole country operating on an address system based on landmarks rather than road names or numbers, a GPS is essential for many car renters. You will usually pay between $8 and $15 a day for this service. It is fairly common practice to allow renters to use one of their cell phones for the duration, but if you wish to use it for your own calls; you’ll obviously be charged.


Some rental car companies incorporate taxes and additional fees into their rental cost; others don’t. Make sure you know what you will be charged for on top of your rental fee. Airport fees can be charged at 13% of your rental cost which is a sizable fee to pay in addition to an agreed rental charge. You may also be charged a license plate charge, environmental fee and/or any other charge that the rental car company has to meet (or pocket).

Prices for the rental will be given in US dollars, but as the local currency is colones, you should understand that exchange rates change daily and what you are charged on your credit card on the day of payment may vary slightly from what you were quoted.

Criteria for Rating Car Rental Companies:

For this article, three (3) main points were considered for each company:

1) Value: Is the rental rate competitive?

2) Efficiency: How fast do they respond to the needs of the client?

3) Transparency: How clear is the information provided by the company?

You may have your own criteria, but based on complaints from previous customers on community websites like Trip Advisor, Lonely Planet, etc., the requirements of those clients seemed mainly based around these three basic areas.

The companies surveyed below are a mix of local and international firms. Each company was researched based on a week’s rental of a Daihutsu Bego with mandatory insurance.

Dollar Rent-A-Car:


- $300+ USD.

- Extras are at average prices.


- They have 3 offices nationwide.

- Email inquiry returned within 24 hours.


- The prices for rental vehicles are displayed on site but a side box contains a ‘Daily RA’ with dollar amount. This is the mandatory insurance.

- Reservation price is listed as ‘Base rate’ and doesn’t include insurance.

- Dollar has received mixed reviews in sites such as Trip Advisor.

- A toll-free number is available.

Vamos Rent-A-Car:


- $300+ USD.

- Only GPS and cell phone use are charged. All other extras such as child seats are free.


- They have 3 offices nationwide.

- Email inquiry returned within an hour.


- The website clearly states prices and insurance.

- Toll-free number and live chat are provided.

Wild Rider:


- $300+ USD.

- Additional driver is free.


- Email inquiry returned within 2 hours.


- Prices are displayed very clearly onsite and include insurance.

- The company has almost 100% positive reviews, but with a fleet of only 30 vehicles and one central office; it may be difficult to help clients who are in difficulty outside the capital.

- They cannot provide a vehicle for the Liberia airport, just San Jose.



- $400+ USD.

- Extra charges for baby seat, additional driver etc.


- The company has 9 offices nationwide.


- No prices displayed with vehicles information.

- Budget has received mixed reviews.

- Surprisingly for a large company, it provides no live chat or toll-free number for clients in the USA.

Service Car Rental:


- $400+ USD including mandatory insurance and taxes.

- Extras such as additional driver and child seat are charged, but at cheaper rates than most companies.


- The company has 5 offices nationwide.

- Email inquiry returned within an hour.


- Their rates are clearly shown on site.

- Service has received mainly positive reviews.

National Car Rental:


- $400+ USD.

- Extras are priced a little above average.


- They have 23 office locations, although some are Alamo.


- Price estimates online do not include insurance or additional charges; however, they are displayed in the full quotation.

- They have received mixed reviews.

- Both live chat and a toll-free number are provided.

Economy Rent-A-Car:


- $200+ USD, but it seems possible to reserve a vehicle without inclusion of any insurance.

- Extras are average in price.


- They have 12 offices nationwide.

- Email inquiry returned within an hour, but email inquiring about insurance was not returned.


- Website does not make mandatory insurance clear.

- Economy has numerous negative reviews.

- Both live chat and toll-free number are provided.

Hertz Costa Rica:


- $400+ USD, but actual rental price is not made clear.

- Extras are pricey.


- 6 offices nationwide.

- No contact email.

- Telephone numbers are available for different offices around the country.


- Very confusing quotation system. Two rates are offered for a vehicle and chosen dates. The cheaper option does not include mandatory insurance and it is in very small print under the final quotation price. The more expensive option includes non-mandatory insurance along with mandatory.

- Mixed reviews.

- Both live chat and toll-free number are provided.

Adobe Rent-A-Car:


- $400+ USD.

- Extras are at low prices.


- The company has 9 offices nationwide.


- Online estimate includes insurance.

- Adobe has received mixed reviews.

- A toll-free number is provided.

Tricolor Car Rental:


- $300+ USD.

- No charge for pick-up or airport fees.

- Extras aren’t listed or provided in quotation email, although cell phone price is given.


- 3 offices nationwide.

- Email returned within 2 hours.


- Website is not very user friendly.

- Reviews are mixed.

- Toll-free number is provided.

Finalizing the Three Criteria:

Economy, at first, appear to be the cheapest company to rent from, but unfortunately this is due to their failure to declare all costs incurred by the renter, rather than a genuine, good deal. For real value, Dollar, Vamos, Wild Rider and Tricolor come out on top for competitive pricing for the basic rental fee, plus mandatory insurance. Vamos is noticed for being the only firm that does not charge for extras such as a child seat or surcharges. Adobe and Service have low cost extras, whereas Hertz has the most expensive rates for extras. Wild Rider does not charge for an additional driver.

Only Economy failed to respond to email inquiry. All other companies responded quickly and with clear answers to inquiries. Wild Rider, as the smallest firm, cannot offer nationwide service, but reviews suggest that they have met customer needs to date. All other companies can offer services from offices in locations outside of the capital city — increasing their ability to serve clients effectively.

Adobe, Wild Rider, Vamos and Service have websites that clearly show rental prices and insurance. Economy and Hertz somehow seems to be deliberately misleading on their websites. The other companies’ websites provide the required information – even if it can take some time in hunting it down.


This brief survey would suggest that Vamos, Service, Tricolor and Wild Rider would be the best companies to begin your rental research, whereas Economy would be best to avoid.

Now you know as much as I do! The information here is supposed to be your starting point and not the end point. Hopefully, you will know the right questions to ask when you’re looking for a rental vehicle to ensure that your dream vacation begins smoothly without any nasty shocks, like hefty extra charges when you land. Enjoy the drive!

Six Obstacles to Networking and How to Overcome Them

Networking is like so many things in our lives – exercise, eating more fiber and less fat, quitting cigarettes, saving money, writing goals – that we know are not only good for us, but are the keys to success. We know because we've often done them enough to see and feel results, but we did not keep up with it. Or we've seen our friends doing these things and enjoying great health. Or we've seen the news articles about the studies that prove these things are beneficial. We've even read the books by the experts and celebrities who clearly spell out these actions and habits as the reason for their wealth, health, and happiness.

We know all this, and we know that networking is a vital business development activity and an important life skill, so why do not we do it? Because there are obstacles in the way of our success, some obvious and some so subtitle that we do not know they are there. Of the six major OBSTACLES to networking, nearly all of them are created inside our own minds. Therefore, it is simple (but although not easy) to change our thinking and to remove them.

The six reasons why we do not network are:

· Misconceptions
· Dislike
· Having no purpose
· Not Knowing How
· No time
· Shyness

Are you holding onto false beliefs about networking that are mostly negative? Do you think it's just schmoozing, or that it's all about selling, or it's only for outgoing people? Did you try it once and when you did not get results, or did not feel comfortable, you decided it was not for you?

The basis of any of these fallacies is that you believe it does not work or that it will not work for you. This error in thinking that is very easy to disprove. Simply look at the millions of business people who are successful because of the relationships they built through networking. Read books by Dale Carnegie, Harvey Mackay, Andrea Nierenberg, and Keith Ferazzi to be convinced of the value and the principles of networking.

Do you dislike networking because you do not feel like selling or being sold to? Do you avoid it because of other people and their poor networking skills? Have you had negative experiences that caused you to have misconceptions about networking?

If you avoid networking because you do not like the way other people do it, you need to radically shift your thinking from annoyance and dislike of these people, to compassion and seeing an opportunity to help them change bad habits. And just like daily life outside of networking, we need to simply deal with those few who do not have good skills and keep searching for the right people to build relationships with. If you've had negative experiences with networking, you need to research your organizations much more thoroughly. We do not eat raw food for the rest of our life because we burned our hand on the stove once. Avoiding networking because of other people is cutting our noses off to spite our faces.

Having No Purpose
Do you see networking as an endless series of pointless cocktail parties full of vapid conversations? Is your contact database not growing or even shrinking as people move away? Do you only network when it's time to change jobs or when business is slow?

If you do not have a strategy and a long-term outlook, you will network based on short-term need, such as losing a job. This can be very unsatisfying because desperation is unattractive. Experienced networkers will avoid your "help me now and I'll forget you later" approach. Harvey Mackay calls it "digging your well before you are thirsty." Your purpose in networking is to build a vibrant, growing, and responsive assortment of relationships you can count on, and who can count on you. The development of mutually beneficial relationships will make every conversation important and purposeful, there will be no more pointless chitchat. Instead, you'll see each time you make contact or converse with someone as another vital but small contribution to the networking structure we are building

Not Knowing How
Do you feel okay with meeting people, but wonder what to do next? Or you are building your contacts, but do not see results from it. Are you unsure what kind of conversation is appropriate if you're not going to sell?

If you lack technique or are unsure how to take networking from the early stages of meeting someone to a defect relationship that is going to create value for both parties, then you may create in your own mind the perception that networking does not work. Or that it's okay for other people who do not have money for advertising, but that it's not necessary for you.

Networking begins with basic social skills such as having conversations that are other-centered. We may feel comfortable in purely social settings like soccer games or birthday parties where we can talk about our children or the happy occasion, but we believe that business networking occasions should be all business. Remember that businesses are run by people, and those people have families, interests, and personal needs. Getting to know someone first is not only perfectly acceptable in the business world, but is the basis of building mutually beneficial relationships.

Once you're comfortable with learning about people for themselves and not as a prospect or sales target, the next step in knowing how to advance the relationship. The most effective and easy way to do this is to give first. Send them information, an invitation or even a referral for business. They will gladly work with you in return.

We sometimes think that we should automatically know how to network just by virtue of being in business, but this is the one topic where there is a gaping hole in our education and training. Financial planning companies are notorious for bringing in their new associates, giving them detailed Financial training, no networking training, and then sending them out to network one of the most difficult industries there is. The range of skills that are needed in networking include conversation skills, the ability to perceive and fill other people's needs, organization, and a clear process for creating a return on the investment of time. This range of techniques requires study and application, like any complex skill.

No Time to Network
Are you ready to network, but you find you just do not have the time? Do you pencil in networking events, but then have too much work to do and can not leave the office?

There are only two reasons you do not have the time to network. Your life may really be so complicated with jobs, second jobs, childcare, or elder care that you typically work 16-hour days every single day of the week. But, if you watch one single hour of mindless television a day, you are just making excuses to not network. You do not lack the time; You just do not want to make the time.

Any busy person who discovered a new passion or a fun new hobby has found that it is possible to find the time when you really want to do something. Suddenly, your schedule opens up, you find new efficiencies, or you are able to reprioritize. If you're not able to do that with networking, revisit your beliefs and your purpose. The time will almost magically appear if you are clearly focused on the value of networking.

There are also ways to be much more efficient and effective with the time you spend networking. Instead of very general events with a random group of people, take time to research exactly whom you need to add to your network and target your networking time accordingly. A leads group is also a time-efficient way to network because it is focused on giving and receiving referrals. You may even want to create your own networking events and activities. This would be a larger investment of time, but the return is much greater when you are the organizer and host.

If you have a short-term perspective, you will feel that the time invested is not paying off. If you think you're wasting time, you will not spend it. But if it is a long-term project that will compound, it is much easier to find the time to invest. We so often have to deal with the urgent tasks that are not important, instead of networking, which is not urgent but very important.

Do you feel like you can not be a good networking because you are an introvert? Or do feelings of shyness hold you back from networking? A majority of people in the population report feeling some shyness at different times. These feelings contribute to the misconception that only outgoing people are good at networking. Having no clear purpose and need to work on our social skills can compound feelings of shyness, which are basically a lack of self-confidence. Preparation and planning can create confidence, which causes us to be successful which make us more confident.

There are also networking events that are better suited for a more introverted person. Large, non-agenda mixer meetings can be difficult for anyone if you are unfamiliar with the group. Use the buddy system and focus on smaller, more personal events to build your confidence.

Think carefully about your excuses for avoiding networking in relation to these six common obstacles. Nearly every one of them is founded in the way we think. Once we've removed these obstacles that come between ourselves and our goal of effective networking, our success is assured. Apply diplomacy to make sure you're not allowing bad thinking habits and doubt to creep back in. From now on, it's simply a matter of time and consistent effort.

Top 10 Best-Selling Motorcycle Brands

In addition to the Japanese Big Four (Honda, Suzuki, Kawasaki, and Yamaha), the list of top-selling motorcycle manufacturers includes companies based in Italy, the U.S., Austria, and the UK.


Honda’s motorcycle division sells more than 15 million motorcycles annually, which makes it world’s leading manufacturer. One of the factors driving the company’s sales is its popularity in Asian markets. Yet Honda also dominates in North America.


The Italian brand headquartered in Bologna manufactures motorcycles since 1935. Ducati is known for its powerful sport bikes. The company has a long and successful racing history, which started in 1951. Today it spends over 7% of its revenues on racing business. The brand belongs to Audi through its subsidiary Lamborghini.


Great 20th-21st century history and exhilarating riding experience give Harley-Davidson the status of the legend bike company. This brand is familiar almost to everybody, even those who have never ridden a bike in their lives.


Yamaha bikes are known for excellent performance, ride quality and comparatively easy handling. Yamaha is almost as successful as another famous Japanese manufacturer, Honda. Moreover, the number of dirt bikes it sells exceeds Honda and Yamaha combined.


The Motorcycle & Engine division of Kawasaki Heavy Industries gained recognition as a manufacturer of a wide range of bikes, from very small to sport ones. These motorcycles are loved all over the world for their powerful and reliable engines, capable of developing great speed. There are production sites in Japan, North America, Philippines, Indonesia, and Thailand.


One more representative of the Japanese Big Four. The GSXR 750 and the DR 400 are among the most popular Suzuki motorcycles. The company has over 35 production facilities in more than 20 countries.


During its first years the Austrian motorcycle manufacturer specialized in 2-stroke and 4-stroke off-road motorcycles, but in the course of time its product range grew wider. In addition to dirt bikes, it now includes street motorcycles and sports cars. The brand belongs to CROSS Industries AG and Bajaj Auto Limited.

BMW Motorrad

BMW is one of the oldest motorcycles manufacturers. The company’s first bike was made in 1923. BMW Motorrad is famous for its road bikes, sports-touring bikes and sport bikes. Some of the most well-known models are the GS Adventure, the S 1000 REFRIGERATORS, and the K1600.


The largest motorcycle maker in the UK, Triumph specializes in road bikes that belong to the cruiser, naked, and sport classes. The Triumph brand is owned by BMW.


Victory is a comparatively new brand, it started production of motorcycles in 1998. Its large-displacement cruisers are famous all over the world. The company based in the U.S. has its final assembly facility in Iowa.

Does a Driving Record Affect a Person’s Ability to Rent a Car?

People who do not rent cars often from rental car companies are not always aware of how their driving record will affect their ability to rent a car, or if it will matter at all. When renting a car, it is a good idea to check with the rental car company to inquire about any disclosures or specific rules they may have about your ability to rent a car and your driving record. Some rental car companies will check with the Motor Vehicle Department to ask for a copy of your driving record. In order for them to do this, you often must submit a written form of permission for them to gain access to this information.

Rental car companies each have their own regulations and requirements that must be met in order for a person to rent a car. Some rental car companies will check a person’s driving record the first time a person rents a car from them. After the first time, if the car is returned in good condition and there were no collisions or fender benders in which the car renter was responsible, the driving record is generally not checked again by the same company unless a significant amount of time has passed before the next time the person rents a car from the company.

If you have a less than stable and perfect driving record, it is possible that you may be charged a higher fee for renting a car. Some car rental companies specialize in renting cars to drivers who have had accidents and speeding tickets in the past. Drinking and driving offenses are not always overlooked by car rental companies; and depending on the offense and how long it has been since it occurred, this could prevent you from being able to rent a car, even if you do have a valid driver’s license.

You may also face the possibility of not being given the option for insurance on the rental car and will be required to pay for the rental car insurance if your record of driving has been an unstable one. Speeding tickets, drinking and driving, collisions, reckless driving tickets, and fender benders all put a negative smear on your driving record. While these tickets and offenses may not necessarily prevent you from being able to rent a car, it can make it more expensive to do so.

Taking a driving class will help to put positive marks on your driving record and this can make all future car rentals and auto insurance prices more affordable for you. Researching several different auto rental companies and making price comparisons for high risk drivers can help you to find the best deals. You may simply need to put down a larger deposit than someone who has a good driving record. These deposits are refundable if there are no accidents while you rented the vehicle and if you return the vehicle in the same condition that it was rented.