Renting a Car in Costa Rica a How to Guide

So Why (or Why Not) Lease?

A few of the advantages of getting your very own wheels are generally obvious: you are able to determine the actual course of your entire day, your week or your entire vacation, rather than always be limited to taxi times or bus schedules. Possessing a vehicle will help you to discover lesser-visited areas that numerous travelers overlook and can provide you with the independence to switch your plans in case something pops up. And furthermore just who does not like controlling the radio stations on a journey? Nonetheless, traveling within Costa Rica isn’t easy. The roads may be long, curvy and in bad condition. Traffic is usually poor within metropolitan areas or even on mountainous roadways, and also signs are often non-existent. It really is easy to get lost (specifically any time you do not have GPS NAVIGATION or top quality roadmaps) it is difficult to get back on the right track when you are not comfy dealing with instructions from a local speaking The Spanish language. There are many points to consider likewise, such as traffic laws, the cost of fuel, as well as traveling time. Leasing a vehicle is generally not really suggested for first time visitors to Costa Rica-the trouble as well as possibility of stress and confusion is generally not really worth the time and effort. Nonetheless, travelers which are adventurous enough and have been to the country before might want to think about leasing a vehicle. If you’re still on board, continue reading.

What to Lease

The kind of vehicle you select depends upon whatever you plan to do on your vacation. If you’re going to be traveling in the mountains, along countryside roadways, or even in some seaside regions, you will need some sort of four-wheel drive automobile. Consider leasing a 4 Wheel Drive vehicle in the event you are going to be going to any of the following areas: The Nicoya Peninsula, Monteverde, Rincón de La Vieja, the La Paz Waterfall, Bajos del Toro, the south Pacific, the Osa Peninsula, and several locations along the Caribbean coastline. A number of these roadways have potholes as well as stream crossings, and need vehicles with large clearance-so it is almost impossible traveling these types of routes without an SUV. One can find both compact and full-size SUV options available. Compact SUVs tend to be smaller, possess lower clearance, and get far better gas mileage. They can fit 4 to 5 individuals and are available in both two door and four door options. Full-size SUVs tend to be larger and much more powerful. They have got much better ground clearance, a more powerful motor, and much more interior space. Because of this, they may be more suitable on bad roadways or when traveling in big groups. The majority of full-size SUVs have 4 doors and will seat between 4 and 7 individuals; they also include trucks. On the other hand, because of their higher center of gravity, full-size SUVs have a greater chance of tipping-take particular care while driving around corners jaguar car cover.

If you’re thinking about keeping along relatively well travelled routes, a compact or full-size vehicle is going to be fine. Coastal locations within the central and north Pacific suit more compact cars, as are many areas between the Caribbean coast and the northern lowlands. The roadways around the Arenal Volcano are appropriate for this type of vehicle as well. These types of vehicles have two-wheel drive and they are not really ideal for rough roadways. Compact cars will be the smallest, most affordable choice. Quite often they may be hatch backs, although some are sedans too. Full-size cars tend to be bigger than compacts. These are typically passenger sedans and also have bigger motors. As a result, they get somewhat worse fuel consumption. Full-size cars tend to be more spacious and better for groups with a lot of baggage.

One more choice is vans. Vans are the biggest, most roomy vehicle and they are ideal for large groups. Vans ought to be utilized in the same areas as a small or even full-size car. The majority are two-wheel drive and also have very poor all terrain capabilities. They will generally seat as many as 12 individuals and also are available in 3 or 4 door options. Vans have a tendency to get lower gas mileage and just like full-size SUVs, possess a higher possibility of tipping because of their size. All rented vehicles include basic features, such as air conditioning, power steering, power windows/locks, dual airbags, along with a COMPACT DISC player/radio. Manual and automatic options are available in every category. Rental cars likewise usually include a safety kit for accidents and flat tires. This consists of jumper cables, rope, a flat tire kit, road triangles, and a fire extinguisher. One preferred – and much suggested – gadget to add to your vehicle rental is GPS NAVIGATION. Costa Rica’s roadways tend to be curvy, complicated, and frequently without having real street signs. Because of this, it is quite easy to get lost when you do not have an up-to-date map or GPS unit. A GPS device will save you time and a world of problems. They can be included in your car for around $10 USD per day and generally require a deposit of around $450 USD.

We recommended utilizing the GPS unit that the car rental business offers instead of downloading something through the Internet-by doing so, you will be aware of new routes as well as the latest changes in roadways. One more thing to bear in mind: a number of places within Costa Rica have exactly the same name, which often can get complicated. Because of this, if you already know just where you will be heading (destinations or hotels) when you pick-up your vehicle, have the leasing agency save the locations in to the GPS DEVICE. This will likely save the headache of arriving at the wrong destination. A great way to supplement GPS NAVIGATION is by using the (Waze) app. Travelers which has a smart phone and global data plan can easily download this community-based traffic and navigation application to have current information about roads, routes, mishaps, traffic jams, construction, and much more. (Waze) will, however, need an Internet connection to initially map out routes as well as obstructions. This is why, many of us suggest using (Waze) in order to chart your route whilst still at the hotel or even before you begin driving-once you no longer have Internet, your routes will be stored. A few parts of Costa Rica do, however, lack Access to the internet, therefore it is recommended to make use of (Waze) as a supplemental navigational system to your car’s GPS DEVICE. Visitors may also purchase as well as rent road maps through the majority of car rental agencies.

Local Rental Policies

Prior to leasing a vehicle, it’s a wise decision to read up on the actual leasing policies. That way you will not get whacked by having an unforeseen fine or have impractical ideas as to what the actual deposit procedure is like. The subsequent section consists of information on insurance coverage, deposits, penalties, and rental periods. Travelers to Costa Rica require a driver’s license from their home nation in order to lease a vehicle. Tourists are usually permitted to lease a vehicle for as much as Ninety days. After 90 days, you need to obtain a Costa Rica driver’s license. Additionally, there are supplemental full coverage insurance policy options which can be purchased along with the required insurance coverage. These are more costly, but deal with the majority of situations, possess an increased amount of protection, and may even have zero deductible. Several also include 24-hour roadside assistance. Once again, the amount you pay depends upon the kind of automobile you lease. Prior to leaving for Costa Rica, review your personal car insurance policy. To begin with, figure out if you are protected in another country. If you are, find out if your coverage extends to all individuals driving the vehicle and just how much liability is actually covered in case a 3rd party is injured. Additionally find out if the kind of vehicle you will lease in Costa Rica is actually covered in your agreement.

Whenever you lease a vehicle, you will additionally be asked to place a deposit. Typically, this runs from $700 to $1,500 USD and depends upon the kind of insurance coverage the customer selects. The leasing agency places a hold for this amount on your charge card and releases it once you return the vehicle and GPS device in good, working condition. The actual deposit is not really released immediately, however, but instead requires close to 3-4 weeks to be placed back on your charge card. In the event that a car accident does happen, your deposit will be kept while your case goes to court. Once a judge has made the decision the final verdict, your deposit can either be returned or go towards paying for the actual car’s damage. There are various circumstances that could result in a fine from the leasing agency. These include returning the vehicle with less fuel than it was initially rented with, returning the vehicle late, or returning the vehicle to a location other than originally agreed upon. Concerning the second point, rental times are defined very rigidly – 1 day of rental actually means 24 hours. For instance, if you lease a vehicle for just one day and you get it at 8 AM, it must be returned by 8 AM the next day. Failing to do this will result in a fine.

Driving Conditions

Driving within Costa Rica is not like driving within North America or even Europe. Inside the span of a day, you are able to journey along winding mountainous roadways, countryside gravel routes, or even picturesque coastal byways. The country’s distinctive geography – of mountain tops, volcanoes, valleys, plains, and shorelines – can make for a demanding road system. Prior to heading off on a journey, consider where you will be heading and what you will be traveling through. Costa Rica driving conditions can easily toss you for a loop if you’re not really prepared. Learning about the road conditions provide you with a good idea of what to prepare for. Costa Rica driving conditions differ from one place to another. Around cities such as San José, you will find large, multi-lane freeways with smooth highways. The farther you get from the developed area, however, the poorer the street conditions are apt to be. Because of Costa Rica’s mountainous landscape, several roads tend to be two-lane as well as windy. They will curve up, down, and around mountains. Along roads such as these, is not unusual for big 18 wheelers to go very slow and get traffic stack up behind them. That is why, going a relatively short distance may take a lot longer than anticipated.

A few roadways lack guard rails and also have steep drops along either other side. Others are pockmarked with potholes or have recently been washed out entirely by a landslide. Without a doubt, the rainy season wreaks havoc on Costa Rica’s roads-landslides, flooding, as well as erosion aren’t unusual. In numerous countryside areas, gravel or dirt roads are the norm. These can be quite difficult and may require stream crossings. For that reason, it may be necessary to have a four-wheel drive automobile in several parts of the country. Two-lane roads frequently narrow in to single lanes over bridges-in this case, motorists must yield (ceda) to drivers with the right of way. The reflective paint separating lanes or lining the actual roadways may be faded or non-existent, which can make driving hazardous, particularly at nighttime. Signs in Costa Rica tend to be equally hit or miss. Along well-traveled tourist routes (as an example, in Manuel Antonio), the signs are very well placed, easy to understand, and informative. On the other hand, in many parts of the country, signs are usually either lacking or simply completely missing. It is very easy to get lost, particularly without GPS.

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