Rental Cars in Costa Rica
Renting a car is by far the most convenient way of touring the country. When you get serious about looking for a place to live for a few months or for the rest of your life, renting a car for a week or two allows you to travel about freely in search of your dream location. You don't have to bother with bus schedules; you can check out side streets or country lanes, and you can stop whenever you find a particularly interesting view With a car you needn't worry about hotel reservations; chances are, if one hotel is full, another will have room. You can drive around, checking out for SALE or FOR RENT signs. You can investigate for yourself instead of being under the control of a salesperson, a rental agent, or others with a vested interest in showing you only their own properties.
At present automobile insurance is a government monopoly, and it's mandatory that your rental car insurance be purchased through the government agency. This could change soon, bringing much?needed competition to the field. The way it is now, there's a hefty $750 deductible in case of an accident. Should the car be totaled or stolen, the deductible is $1,500. Since auto theft is at epidemic levels at the time of this writing, this calls for keeping your rental car in a safe place at night.
Check with the rental company as to its policy don't accept a car with more than $750 deductible (one company tries to impose a $1,000 floor on its liability). If you have a "Gold" or "Platinum" credit card (such as Visa or American Express), it should cover the deductible in case of an accident. Check with your credit card provider to be certain. Be sure to report a mishap to the credit card company within twenty days, even if the rental agent assures you that other driver's insurance covers the repairs.
Accessories such as antennas, radios, tires, and mirrors aren't covered by rental insurance; if they are stolen, you are liable. The answer to the insurance problem is to keep your car in a guarded parking lot overnight when in the vicinity of San Jose. Auto accessory theft is not common in smaller towns, but in San Jose and other large cities, be aware.
Important: Before you accept a rental car, check the car for dents, scratches, and blemishes, in minute detail! Make sure the rental car employee notes each of them on your contract matter how tiny the scar. Unscrupulous employees in some agencies work a scam by charging for the same trivial scratch over and over. If the damage is there but not duly noted, you'll have no recourse but to pay I've had better luck in this respect with the larger rental companies. Discuss the issue before you sign a contract,
Finally, insist on good tires. A sharp rock can penetrate a tire if the tread is
thin and the sidewalls weak. If the tire is destroyed, you're liable for that, LOO.
Insist on another car if the tires are not in good shape. If the car rental agency gives
you trouble about this, consider finding another agency.
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