Sixt Car Rental Overview of the Company’s History, Fleet, Policies, and Benefits

It’s hard to believe that car renting opportunities have been around as early as 1912. In Munich, Germany, Sixt started out with just three vehicles in its fleet. With more than a century in the business, the company has earned its trusted reputation with every type of traveler. Whether you’re interested in renting an economy vehicle for a business trip or a large, family-friendly SUV, you might want to begin your search with Sixt car rental.

There are more than 2,200 rental locations in 100+ countries, including every major city and tourist hot spot in the world. You can rent a car in convenient locations such airports, hotels, city centers, cruise ports, and train stations.

The minimum requirements to rent a vehicle are to be at least 21 years of age and have held a license for one year or more. However, in some places, there may be a “young driver” rental fee for 21 – 24 year olds. Additionally, further restrictions apply depending on the type of vehicle required for rental.

Don’t give yourself a headache trying to find the perfect car at a low rate. All you have to do is check out Sixt’s listings and you will easily find the ideal car for your needs. Whatever your driving needs may be, there will be a vehicle to match, from compact cars to 15-seat passenger vans. There is also a special fleet of luxury and sports cars, which include Maserati, Jaguar, premium sedans, etc. All of the vehicles in this fleet are brand new models from the top brands.

Sixt Car Rental Assistance and Benefits

While it’s not possible to choose a specific model or make of a car after booking your reservation, you can still give your request and Sixt will do their best to accommodate your preference. The vehicles all come with a full tank of gas and must be returned accordingly.

The Sixt car rental company offers a lot of benefits compared to other rental companies. For instance, you are guaranteed a new car, as the average age of vehicles in the fleet is 3 months old. Reservation changes and cancellations are completely free when you pay on arrival. There are no hidden costs, no credit card fees, and 24/7 customer service. Sixt also promises a best price guarantee.

Sometimes you’ll be able to find miscellaneous discounts and promo codes to help you save even more money. However, many of these specials are found at selected locations and are available for a limited time. Since Sixt car rental deals are always changing, keep checking to find a deal that will be suitable for your needs.

Shop online and you will enjoy Sixt car rental coupons, cheap airfare, discount cruises, and more. You’ll find the perfect car whenever and wherever you need it. Look over online discount offers and learn how to save.

The Benefits Of a Car Hire For PCO Drivers

PCO, the Public Carriage Office, has very strict regulations for cab drivers, courier companies and chauffeur driven vehicles in the city centre. In order to reduce emissions in the city centre and make sure vehicles are the best condition, cab drivers are required to have a PCO license and drive a vehicle that meets their unique specifications.

Whether you are starting your own private cab company in the city or you have an existing company and you are growing and want to expand your fleet, you will find that there are a number of benefits to car hire for PCO drivers and not purchasing a new vehicle outright.

The main benefit to a car hire for PCO drivers when using this service is you are guaranteed to enjoy the convenience of driving a young vehicle. Most of the vehicles you will have available to you will be five years of younger. Of course the benefit to this is that you have complete peace of mind that the vehicle will meet the strict Public Carriage Office requirements and that you are legally driving and transporting clients at all times.

Another reason more cab drivers are choosing car hire for PCO drivers is that they can start their own business or they can expand their fleet without a large cost. Buying a new vehicle is a very expensive exercise. You then need to license it with the Public Carriage Office, overall it can cost you thousands of Pounds Sterling, where by hiring a vehicle you don’t have that heavy cost, making it easier to start your business or expand your fleet with ease and within budget.

On the subject of budgets, one of the many benefits of car hire for PCO drivers is that you pay for the vehicle in easy to manage monthly instalments. The instalments will come in within your budget, so you can pick up your car and start enjoying the convenience of saving money in the long run. With a few pick ups and transport around the city, you will easily be able to afford the monthly premiums now and moving forward.

Due to the fact you are hiring the car, even though you may have chosen a long-term rental solution, you will not be responsible for the MOT or taxing of the vehicle. Most of the companies offering car hire for PCO drivers will also license the vehicle with PCO, so you can drive away and start working with ease and without the headaches of registration, MOT and tax.

You are guaranteed to enjoy a vehicles that is reliable and a known brand that you can trust. When choosing a vehicle, make sure you consider the practicality and how many passengers you can carry at any given time.

There is one disadvantage of choosing a car hire for PCO drivers and that is that the vehicle remains the property of the car hire specialist company and is not your vehicle. In the long run, this can also be turned into a benefit. When the vehicle reaches a certain age, you can change it out for a younger model, so you are guaranteed to always drive the latest models that meet all the PCO requirements now and in the future.

Ensure when hiring a vehicle, you understand the terms and conditions, the repayment amount and when payments need to be made. Always make sure you choose a reputable car hire specialist to work with now and in the long run.

5 Important Things to Take Care of While Hiring a Car While for Your Travel

Hiring or leasing a car for a trip or any other business purposes is something that always makes you feel confused. In most of the countries there are a number of car rental companies that compete with each other providing different services and facilities. If you are on a travel, then you must need a car to explore that particular destination in a better way. For a travel destination that is too far away from your home, renting a car is only the best option to explore the place on your own. This makes things easier for you and if you are not familiar with that location, you can even hire a travel guide to accompany you.

While renting a car, you can either drive it on your own or hire a driver for the same. Some prefer to drive the car themselves, while other prefer to hire a driver and enjoy the beauty of the different travel attractions while the car is in motion. Both methods depend upon your mood and the only thing that you need to make sure is that you enjoy the ride as well as the travel spots in that particular place.

Renting a car is not an easy task as we need to be very much careful while selecting the car and the car rental company. In any part of the world, you can see top class car leasing companies as well as car leasing companies with poor services and facilities. If you are serious about your travel, then it is highly recommended not to compromise on the quality of the services provided by the car hire company. There are a lot of factors and points that you need to take care of before making the final deal about the company and the car you are going to rent. Otherwise you might end up with some bitter experience that may completely ruin your tour.

Here are 5 of the important things that you need to take care of before hiring a car for your travel activities.

1) Do a Research on the Best Car rental Companies

If you are going to a place where you are not at all familiar with, then it is better to do a thorough research about the major car rental service providers in that area. You can do an online research or even take help from friends who are familiar with that place. Once you do a proper research, you will be in a state to determine who all are the major players and which of them provides the best services at the reasonable prices.

2) Compare Services, Rates and Facilities Offered

You can easily do a comparative study about the major companies in a particular location and can go through important factors such as facilities, rates and the services offered by different companies. By doing this you will be able to make a decision on which company to go for and what all services you need to have, depending upon your budget.

3) Evaluate Company Reputation

Company reputation is another major factor that you can easily fall upon and a company having a big name in the industry often provides the best services to its customers. It will be better to avoid companies that have bad reputation, as you might risk wasting your time and money.

4) Check the Condition of the Car

If you have finalized a car renting company, then you need to do a thorough inspection about the condition of the car that you are going to hire. Hiring a car that is in a bad state of performance can backfire and spoil your trip. So always make sure that the car is in a good running condition before hiring it.

5) Finalize the Quote Before Hiring

Once you have chosen your car, you need to ask for a finalized quote so that you will get an exact idea about the total expense. This will also help you in identifying any other hidden costs involved and if you find something fishy, you can request an explanation for that.

Apart from the above mentioned points there are a lot of things that you need to take care of and everything depends upon the nature of your travel and other geographical factors. If you are traveling in a car that is in a bad condition and do not get enough assistance from the car hiring company, then you will really feel disappointed and gets distracted from the real joy of your trip. So always select the best car from a reputed car leasing company to make your travel happy and memorable. You do not need to compromise on the quality of the car rental service and should always go with the best one.

Benefits Of a Car Hire For PCO Drivers

PCO, private carriage officer, is a license required by all transport supply companies. Whether you own a car rental company and want to add to your fleet, you are a freelance driver that has opened a solo car rental company or you are a courier service, you need to have your vehicles PCO licensed to run legally in the city centre.

The requirements by the private carriage officer is that the vehicle is under ten years of age and that it meets very strict emission standards. In fact, a large majority of PCO drivers are choosing hybrid vehicles, so that they can keep their costs down, cut their carbon footprint and meet PCO requirements moving forward.

There are so many benefits to hiring a car for PCO drivers over buying and the first benefit is that you get to enjoy a younger vehicle. By reducing maintenance, you are able to put more money in your pocket each and every day. Looking at the amount of time you spend in your vehicle transporting clients, an older vehicle would struggle and over time could cost you considerably. Because vehicles are not allowed to be older than ten years of age when it comes to PCO registration, you get to enjoy a young model that you know you can rely on and trust.

When you hire a car, even when you consider a car hire for PCO drivers, you will find that there are no maintenance costs. The rental you pay each month usually includes servicing and repair, which means you get a well-maintained vehicle that you know you can rely on daily at a price you can afford. Of course saving yourself on maintenance costs, increases your profit margins considerably.

A major benefit to anyone who spends most of their time in their vehicle is that there are no MOT or licensing costs you need to concern yourself about. The rental specialist company handles all of this for you to make sure you have a legal vehicle you can drive on the roads with complete confidence day after day knowing you are within your legal requirement and that you have the tools you need to build up an excellent car hire service.

Most of the car rental companies that offer vehicles for PCO drivers have their own team of mechanics who work at the centres to make sure the fastest repair and service times. In most instances while the vehicle undergoes repairs you are issued with a temporary vehicle. Of course the benefit to this is that you don’t have to put your vehicle on hold while repairs are being carried out. This way you don’t let customers down and you make sure your business remains working at all times.

As your vehicle starts to age, you can upgrade by staying with the same company and simply changing your rental agreement. This way you are guaranteed to always have the best quality and latest models which enable you to give your clients with a reliable service daily.

Importance of Luxury Car Hire in UK

London is one of the most beautiful tourist destinations that you can visit in UK. When you are travelling in the UK, car hire service is more convenient, because this will help you to travel wherever you want and you can also take as much of time as you need. The time interval depends on the agreement that you had made when you hired the car. Thus the car hire service can provide a comfortable journey for your family.

Luxury cars give you a luxury travel which will provide you an enjoyable journey. There are lots of car rental companies in the UK and some of them provide international services also. Luxury car hire in the UK is a good option for those people who need good and comfortable travel. The rental price of the luxury cars and the brand value differ from company to company. Lots of brands are available in the luxury car category and hence you have wider options to select your luxury car.

You can find the car rental company details in the yellow pages or on the Internet. Collect the details of the models that the company provides and if you can, find out their servicing details too. Once you find a good luxury car hire company, contact them to get the information about the availability of the cars and the price range that you can afford.

Most of the luxury car hire companies have their own policies and hence it would be sensible to collect detailed information from the company itself. You have to make decision about which car rental company to choose only after considering the age limit of the driver, driving license, maximum distance to travel etc. So get all the information on the luxury car hire in UK for a convenient, comfortable and safe journey.

Benefits Of Cheap Car Rental

If you are going on a holiday or a business trip, it is essential to book a cheap car rental well in advance so that a car is available to you as soon as you reach your destination. It saves a lot of hassle as it avoids standing in long queues at the car rental desk and then realizing that it would take some more waiting for the car to come. Driving your own car or a company car is convenient for short distances within your city, but when you are visiting a different city or if you have a long distance to travel, the only viable option is to hire a cheap car rental.

Moving about in a holiday destination along with your family would need a large family car. An online cheap car rental service would be the ideal agency to contact for all your special needs. It is therefore essential that before you set out on your journey to another city or holiday destination, you should check different websites offering car hire services. Then select the most reputed and reliable online agency. The prime consideration in your choice would be the cost factor, but you must not sacrifice quality and safety for a lower price.

Advantages Of Booking Cheap Car Rental In Advance

* The most important advantage is that you can negotiate a lower rate if you book in advance, especially if you do so online. It is very difficult to negotiate for a cheap car rental at the desk because there will be so many other people waiting their turn for a car hire.

* By booking in advance, you can get the advantage of choosing the car that you like if it is available with the car hire agency. At the airport desk, it is always a scramble to get any car that is available and the question of choosing a car simply does not arise.

* If you are traveling with your family, you might need a 4×4 that would accommodate you, your family, and your luggage. If you book in advance for a cheap car rental, you might be able to get the large vehicle that you need. At the airport desk, you would be left with no choice but to hire two or three cars to go to your hotel.

* By comparing the prices of different online car hire firms, you can achieve economy and also get to hire the vehicle of your choice.

* You will have a greater chance of being able to get prestigious business cars like Mercedes or 7-series BMW if you book in advance. You may not be able to get these at the airport.

* Booking in advance for a cheap car rental will take the load off your head. You would not have any stress when you land at the airport. This is especially true when you are traveling with your family. You will be under great stress if you have not booked in advance and are not sure whether you will get the appropriate car at the airport desk and how long it will take.

If you are traveling abroad, it is absolutely essential to book a cheap car rental in advance. You might not know the local language and the prevalent rates and you might get conned by the local taxi drivers.

Important Tips for Car Rental

There are a number of factors you have to take into consideration when looking at car rental sites, whether you’re travelling for business or pleasure. Hiring a vehicle can be such a great experience, especially when exploring a new city for the first time. This type of service gives you the opportunity to explore at your own pace with your own group and not rely on public transport or be shoved in a bus with a group of strangers and explore based on someone else’s schedule.

While car rental is a service used by people around the world on a daily basis, there are a number of things you need to know to help you lower your cost and get the most of your experience.

One of the most important tips you will find useful is be careful when choosing a vehicle. Remember you are driving in a strange city, maybe even on the other side of the road to what you are used to, so don’t hire the biggest car you can find. Rather hire a car that you will feel comfortable driving, but also that is just the right size for your group. If there is only two of you, go for one of the most compact options.

You will find that the vehicles available will also vary in price with smaller vehicles being less to rent over a period of time. Another advantage to choosing a smaller vehicle is it will cost you less for fuel, even if the company offers you unlimited mileage, you will still be responsible for your own fuel, so take advantage of a smaller vehicle to save on your overall cost.

Always book your vehicle in advance. Many car rental companies offer promotional discounts if you book in advance. As soon as you have your travel dates confirmed start shopping around for vehicle hire companies and secure your booking. Even if you save a few percent on the price, this can go towards fuel and help you save in the long run.

Remember be wary of companies that charge too low a price. A company that charges considerably less than the other companies in the area should raise a red flag for you. This means they either don’t have a great reputation or they charge for extras, which means in the long run you could end up paying more than expected.

Ensure you are aware of all inclusions which are in the price you have been quoted, if you are unsure check with the company before confirming you’re booking and paying any deposits. Inclusions can be anything from unlimited kilometers to insurance and so much more. Don’t choose any car rental solutions that don’t include insurance against accident and theft, keeping you protected at all times.

Always get the final price from the company for your entire duration before booking. Ask the company for a final figure, even if you intend booking online and get the final quote in black and white. Print it out and keep it with you when you travel, this way you aren’t surprised by hidden extras you weren’t told about. By asking for a final quote in black and white, the only extra you may be charged with is excess if you are involved in an accident.

See if the car rental company you have chosen offers a delivery and collection service. This can be an enormous benefit and enable you to have your vehicle delivered to the airport for your arrival and collected again when you return home, this can save time and offer you added convenience when making your way to your hotel after a long flight

Guide to Car Rental Companies in Costa Rica 2015

Guide to Car Rental Companies in Costa Rica

Rate Comparisons for 2015

Car rental in Costa Rica is an opportunity to explore the remote beaches and quiet corners of this breathtakingly beautiful country. Travel without the restrictions set by public transport timetables and with freedom over group tours. For the unprepared traveler; however, car rental costs and services can be a rude shock and a blow to that vacation budget.

Renting a vehicle for your vacation will probably be the most expensive part of your budget, so understanding the terms and managing expectations is very important. The information below is not meant to be an exhaustive manual, but it should set you on the path towards an informed decision for your car rental needs in Costa Rica.

Why is car rental so expensive?

Visitors from outside of Costa Rica are often surprised by the cost of car rental. While hotel rooms, restaurant bills and tours are lower than the prices paid at home, it may appear strange that car rental should be more costly.

There are two simple reasons for this high cost:

  1. All vehicles in Costa Rica are imported and a tax is imposed. Due to this heavy taxation, the cost of purchasing a vehicle is higher than it would be in other industrialized countries. There are some car rental operators who rent older vehicles in order to reduce their costs.
  2. The cost of mandatory insurance (see below).

Factors that Affect Car Rental Costs

Mandatory Insurance

Third-party insurance, which may be known as TPI, PDW (Partial Damage Waiver), SLI (Supplementary Liability Insurance) and other acronyms, is a legal requirement. Car rental operators must charge the customer for this coverage which may or may not be clear in the quotation received by the customer.

The insurance itself is not the issue. After all, many other countries require car renters to pay a mandatory insurance; including: New Zealand, Italy and Mexico, as well as a number of the U.S. states, like California. The issue that causes contention in Costa Rica is that this cost is not always displayed clearly on the car rental operator’s website or in a quote. Customers then discover the additional cost of their rental upon arrival.

The cost of mandatory insurance varies from company to company and will depend on the car category that is being rented as well. The cost for a small sedan may be as little as $12 per day, whereas a premium 4×4 vehicle could be as much as $25 for insurance per day. This is in addition to the rental cost.

Credit cards in North America usually offer car insurance as an additional perk to the credit card holder and so North Americans in particular, are unused to having to pay for insurance on top of rental costs. However, no credit card will cover this insurance requirement.

Do ask if the given quote includes third-party insurance and check the prices on the car rental operator’s website.

Collision Damage Waiver

This is not insurance, but a waiver. The basic level will come with a deductible that varies, but could be as much as $1,500. For a higher daily rate, a zero deductible CDW may be purchased to relieve the renter of any financial responsibility in case of damage to, or theft thereof, the vehicle.

Many renters will obtain their CDW through their credit card. However, it is worth noting that the responsibility for making any insurance claim is on the customer and not with the car rental operator. Some renters may choose to purchase additional in-house coverage to avoid having this responsibility.

There will be car rental agencies which hard sell their own coverage plans through guaranteeing peace of mind, but ultimately, this is the renter’s decision. It is worth remembering that car rental company employees, like in other parts of the world, will sometimes earn commission for insurance sales.

If the customer’s credit card does not provide CDW, the customer will be required to purchase this in-house coverage.

Car rental operators require written proof that the customer’s credit card provides CDW. Ask the car rental operator for the exact details of what they require and in what form. Some may accept a forwarded email from the credit card company, but others may ask for a printed copy to be presented at the time of rental.

Deposit

The deposit amount required will depend on whether the customer chooses to use the car rental operator’s in-house CDW or takes this coverage through a credit card. Expect to pay a much higher deposit if the in-house CDW is declined. The deposit may also depend on car model rented. This amount, which will be held on the renter’s credit card until the end of the rental period, can be from $750 up to as much as $3,500. The deposit should take no more than five days to be refunded to the credit card on the vehicle’s return. Some car rental agencies will accept debit cards for deposit hold, but the return time for this amount can take weeks.

Do ensure that the deposit is calculated in the vacation budget as an unexpected hold of a few thousand dollars on a credit card could otherwise severely cut into vacation spending.

Airport Taxes

Customers that rent from a car rental operator’s counter within an airport building are obliged to pay the airport tax.

Those car rental operators with a counter at San Jose’s Juan Santamaria International Airport (SJO) are: Alamo/National, Budget, Dollar, Economy and Hertz. These companies will add an additional 12% tax to the rental cost.

Those car rental operators with a counter at Daniel Oduber Quiros International Airport (LIR) are: Avis, Budget and Economy. These companies will add an additional 3% tax to the rental cost.

To avoid this tax, take an airport shuttle with the car rental operator to an office located outside of the airport grounds.

Surcharges and Other Taxes

There are a number of other obligatory fees that car rental operators may add into the rental cost, display on-screen or show in the quote, or leave undisclosed until the customer’s arrival. These potentially hidden costs may seem small when viewed individually, but these are typically daily rates, so they will add up fast!

These may include:

License Plate Fee: Less than $2 daily, but differs from company to company.

Environmental Tax: Less than $1 daily.

Sales Tax: All sales transactions in Costa Rica are subjected to a 12% government-imposed sales tax.

Car Washing Fee: Bring back an exceptionally dirty car and the cleaning fee may be added onto the final payment. One car rental operator charges $20 for this additional service.

Fuel Charges: If the fuel tank is not filled to the same level as it was at the start of the rental period, then the car rental company will charge (usually to the nearest eighth of a tank). This charge is dictated by the car rental operator and it is not subject to the governmentally set fuel price that would be found at any gas station.

Where Should I Reserve the Vehicle?

A common confusion for travelers booking a rental car is the discrepancy between international websites for car rental operators and the Costa Rican website for the same brand. Frequently the international websites are unaware of, or fail to disclose, insurances, taxes and surcharges that will be charged at the counter. This may be due to the fact that many recognized car rental operator brands in Costa Rica are not a foreign branch of the branded car rental operator, but instead are a franchise operation. This factor is also worth considering in terms of expectations concerning customer service and other finer details. The Costa Rican franchise office may have their own style of operating, apart from the same policies and guidelines that the customer may have experienced in other parts of the world.

Understandably then, an online reservation is best made through the local website and not the international site, wherever possible. A number of companies do not have a local website. In this case, do check the details with a local staff member via the telephone and ask for written confirmation of the quote. Experience with live chat on the international websites suggests that whereas staff is trained on terms and conditions governing the main office (usually U.S.A.); they understand little of the policies that must be adhered to in Costa Rica.

Car Rental Comparisons

In May/June of 2013, I compared the pricing and services of a number of car rental operators in Costa Rica and published the findings. To my surprise, the article is still being plagiarized regularly across the Internet which suggests that it is still useful and so an update was required. The prices for this comparison were obtained in December 2014 and January 2015.

The ICT (Costa Rican Institute of Tourism) states that there are thirty registered car rental operators with eight others pending approval. However, there are many more agencies that rent cars to visitors. The car rental operators selected are those which are most frequently used by travelers:

Adobe

Alamo

Avis

Budget

Dollar

Economy

Fox

Hertz

National

Payless

Service

Thrifty

Toyota

USave

Vamos

Wild Rider

Exclusion of Companies from Final Comparison

Budget, Economy, Payless, and Toyota were contacted, but these four companies did not provide accurate online rates. Economy and Budget’s websites have one price, regardless of the dates entered and customers need to reserve a vehicle in order for them to honor the price shown. Toyota’s website was unfortunately only working up until March. Beyond that, the pricing displayed $0 for the remainder of the year. Payless has this disclaimer on their website: “Taxes and surcharges are not within our control and may change without notice.”

Sending individual inquiries for each time period resulted in inconsistent results: Budget offered the same price for all three investigated time periods when receiving an email request, which is highly unlikely; Economy responded with different quotes for the same dates from different members of staff; and Toyota’s emailed quotes for time periods past March’s prices indicated online did not correspond to the March rates quoted (perhaps the emailed quotes contained taxes that were not shown online). Payless can provide quotes via email and telephone, but were not consistent with pricing for different seasons.

Avis is only excluded from the price comparison, as they do not have an intermediate SUV category in their fleet.

Comparison Information

Car rental rate, all taxes and surcharges, and third-party insurance costs are (supposedly) calculated and ranked accordingly below based on the week’s rental of a BeGo or similar intermediate 4×4 from a San Jose/Alajuela location (not from the airport).

Rates are calculated on a weekly basis and divided by seven to provide a daily cost which is more easily comparable. As not all pricing is completely transparent, the prices are as accurate as possible based on the information provided from the car rental operators’ websites, phone calls, and/or emails. Airport taxes are not included in these figures.

Shoulder Season (Quote for July 13 through 20)

1. USave $43.37

2. Service $54.92

3. Fox $55.64

4. Hertz $58.17

5. Adobe $60.13

6. Alamo $60.99

7. Wild Rider $62.86

8. Dollar $63.35

9. Vamos $64.15

10. National $67.04

11. Thrifty $74.39

Low Season (Quote for May 13 through 20)

1. National $37.04

2. USave $43.37

3. Dollar $46.49

4. Adobe $52.57

5. Vamos $53.15

6. Service $53.49

7. Hertz $54.59

8. Fox $55.64

9. Wild Rider $55.71

10. Alamo $60.99

11. Thrifty $74.39

High Season (Quote for March 13 through 20)

1. Dollar $55.92

2. USave $56.22

3. Hertz $56.37

4. Fox $59.36

5. Thrifty $64.69

6. Service $66.63

7. Vamos $67.14

8. Alamo $69.56

9. Wild Rider $70.00

10. Adobe $70.63

11. National $73.90

Summary of Comparison

Interestingly, there is not one clear expensive or cheap company from those compared. The variation in ranking between seasons is marked and customers should consider their vacation dates when choosing the car rental operator. For example, Thrifty appears as the most costly for both low and shoulder season, but are only in fourth position in the rankings for High Season.

It is also significant that pricing is not consistent with ranking with car rental operators in other car categories. For example, Vamos’ pricing is the cheapest for a premium vehicle in the shoulder season; although they are not first in any rankings for the intermediate category and Adobe which appears competitive are the most expensive for this time period and car category.

Information on Car Rental Operators

Adobe Rent-A-Car is a local car rental operator that has eleven offices across the country. The website is simple and easy to use with no apparent hidden costs. The mandatory insurance cost is displayed as part of the online quote. The company receives mixed reviews online, but more positive than negative comments are made. Emails receive a reply within 24 hours, but may not fully answer the questions asked.

Toll-Free Phone Number: 1-855-861-1250

Child Seat: $3/day

Booster: $1/day

Additional Driver: $3/day

GPS System: $9/day

Alamo works in partnership with National and has thirteen offices across the country. As with many big names, Alamo Costa Rica is a franchise and not a branch of Alamo itself. Third-party insurance and basic CDW are included in the online quotation, although the CDW may be refused upon presentation of proof of coverage through the customer’s credit card. This makes the pricing seem high on first glance, especially when, unlike other car rental operators, Alamo includes airport taxes in their online quotation and so their pricing is honest, but appears much higher than other companies as a result. Pricing is different on the international website of the company, although the terms and conditions do state the fees that will be paid on arrival. This pricing discrepancy is the lead cause of negative reviews for this company. Emails are responded to within 24 hours.

Toll-Free Phone Number: 1-855-533-1196

Child Seat: $3/day

Additional Driver: $6/day

GPS System: $12/day

Avis’ website obliges one to select a car protection option, but it fails to display a final quotation total or price for the coverage selected online until an emailed quote is sent. Coverage costs may be obtained by clicking on the option ‘Protections Explained’ at the bottom of the screen.

No Toll-Free Phone Number

Child Seat: $5/day

Additional Driver: $5/day

GPS System: $9.99/day

Budget has a website that is easy to use, but the pricing given is as the same for all seasons, suggesting that it is not correct. Email responses were normally fast, but some were left unanswered. Emailed quotes showed the same pricing for all seasons as the website did. Mandatory insurance is not included on the online quote, but the small print states that this is payable at the counter. Budget receives mixed online reviews.

No Toll-Free Phone Number, but Live Chat is offered

Child Seat: $5/day

Additional Driver: $5/day

GPS System: $14.99/day

Dollar appears to have very competitive rates, but airport taxes will be applied if the vehicle is being collected from the airport’s counters. One may find this in their terms and conditions, but not in their online quotes. Car washing charge is enforced for very dirty vehicles. There are four offices in Liberia and San Jose. Email response is within 24 hours. Dollar receives mixed reviews from online travel forums.

Toll-Free Phone Number: 1-877-767-8651

Child Seat: $5/day

Additional Driver: $5/day

GPS System: $9/day

Economy has twelve offices around the country. They have no Costa Rican website. Scroll down on their page to find and click on insurance costs. Airport taxes are not included in the quote. Emails receive either a quick response or no response at all. Economy has the worst online reputation of any big name car rental operator in Costa Rica.

Toll-Free Phone Number: 1-877-326-7368

Child Seat: $10/day

Additional Driver: $10/day

GPS System: $15/day

Fox works in partnership with USave. Offices are located at both international airports. Emails receive a response within 24 hours. Online reviews are generally poor.

Toll-Free Phone Number: 1-800-225-4369

Child Seat: $5/day

Additional Driver: $10/day (unless spouse)

GPS System: $9.99/day

Hertz has six offices in the country. Reservations may be made through a Costa Rican website. Initial online quote does not include sales taxes, but it does include the CDW — although CDW may be waived with proof of credit card coverage. Emails receive a response within 24 hours. Mediocre reviews on travel forums.

No Toll-Free Phone Number

Child Seat: $5/day

Additional Driver: $13/day

GPS System: $12/day

National works in partnership with Alamo and has thirty offices in operation across the country. The company has a Central American website, as well as the international site, which clearly shows the breakdown of pricing. CDW is included in the online quote, but it may be unchecked to get a quote with just the mandatory insurance. Note that the airport tax is included in the online quote as well. Instant responses to questions are available through Live Chat on their website. Reviews are mixed, but there are more positive than negative.

Free Phone Call Option Via Website

Child Seat: $6/day

Booster: $6/day

Additional Driver: $5/day

GPS System: $12/day

Payless is part of the international car rental company and has no Costa Rican website. Online quotes do not include third-party insurance, although the information on this may be found by reading the policies for the San Jose location. Emails receive a response in less than 24 hours, but tend to refer back to the website, rather than new information. Reviews are more negative than positive.

Toll-Free Phone Number: 1-800-PAYLESS

Child Seat: $5/day

Booster: $5/day

Additional Driver: $10/day

GPS System: $9.95/day

Service is a local company with five offices in the country. On an otherwise clear website, click on ‘Reserve Now’ and not ‘Get a Quote’ for an online price check. Rember is the staff member mentioned in reviews on travel forum for his helpful customer service and the company generally gets good reviews. Emails are answered within 24 hours and normally provide requested information.

U.S. Phone Number: 1-305-897-3718

Child Seat: $3.50/day

Additional Driver: $3/day

GPS System: $7.50/day

Thrifty does not have a local website, thus information is through the international website. Coverage options or information regarding third-party insurance is not provided on the reservation webpage until one clicks ‘Protection Information’. Emails receive a response within 24 hours, but may not answer location-specific questions. Reviews are frequently negative due to pricing complaints.

Toll-Free Phone Number: 1-800-344-1705

Child Seat: $5/day

Booster: $5/day

Additional Driver: $12/day

GPS System: $11.99/day

Toyota is a big name; however, even though their website appears professional at first glance, it simply does not work, or at least it was not functioning in order to obtain quotations later than March 2015. Their online quotes do not include sales taxes. Emails receive fast responses, but quotes for different seasons appeared to be contradictory. However, Toyota has a good reputation on travel forums. Eight offices are located across the country.

Free Phone Call Option Via Website

Child Seat: $5/day

Cooler: $1.50/day

Additional Driver: $3/day

GPS System: $10/day

USave works in partnership with Fox and has three office locations. Insurance options are shown for the online quote, but it must be selected and ‘recalculate’ pressed, before it is included in the pricing. Emails receive a response within 24 hours. The company receive overall poor reviews, although there are some positive comments made on travel forums.

Toll-Free Phone Number: 1-800-467-3659

Child Seat: $5/day

Additional Driver: $10/day

GPS System: $9.95/day

Vamos is a local company that is a popular choice for Trip Advisor and Lonely Planet experts because of their customer service and pricing. The website is easy to use with itemized charges clearly displayed. The Live Chat option enables instant personalized quotes and answers from English-speaking staff. The company has three offices.

Toll-Free Phone Number: 1-800-950-8426

Child Seat: free

Booster: free

Additional Driver: free

GPS System: $8/day

Wild Rider is a small, local company located only in San Jose. The website is simple with third-party insurance included in the pricing. At the start of this research, the pricing was not up to date, but this has since been remedied. This car rental operator stands out by having only positive reviews and so is highly recommended by travel forum users. Owner, Thorsten, replies within the hour to inquiries during office hours.

U.S. Phone Number: 1-917-477-7712

Child Seat: $5/day

GPS System: $8/day

Overall Summary

Clarity

Adobe, Alamo, National, Service, Vamos, and Wild Rider provide clear and complete rates on their websites. The other car rental operators were less transparent with surcharges or taxes, such as airport taxes or sales taxes. Pricing on additional extras were not always easy to find, and Avis, Thrifty and Toyota had to be contacted for these details.

Communication

Levels of communication have improved since the first comparison, although it would seem wise to request a local number and confirm answers with the Costa Rica office of the international car rental operators, as international chat operators or those replying to emails, do not always seem 100% confident about local policies and may even give incorrect information.

Be prepared to exchange a number of emails in order to get full answers to questions with a number of companies: Budget and Economy were particularly prone to this — requesting a lot of information in order to give a quotation. It is not unreasonable that members of staff working in a second language may miss aspects of an email, so present questions in clear and simple language.

Live Chat on both the Budget and Vamos websites mean information can be provided instantly and is still documented, unlike a phone call.

Pricing

The comparison above shows that the pricing between companies depends heavily on the season and car category being considered, rather than a clear cut choice between more or less expensive rental rates.

Customers need to consider the pricing of other items, such as additional drivers or GPS system, and families will want to compare car seat rental pricing. Wild Rider offers the first additional driver for free, Vamos do not charge for any extras, except the GPS, and in general, the international firms have higher charges for these extras than the local companies.

So Who Do I Rent From?

It is clear that the local car rental operators are still trumping the big names in their transparency and customer service when comparing their websites and online reviews. The difference from the previous rate comparison from a couple of years ago is that the pricing has become more difficult to equate.

Adobe, Alamo, and National seem to rate well as international car rental operators. It is worth noting that National is the most expensive in high season for the intermediate category, yet the cheapest in low season. Adobe and Alamo are middle-ranked for pricing.

Wild Rider is exceptional in having zero bad reviews, but is only based in San Jose and has a much smaller fleet of vehicles. Of the other local firms, Service and Vamos come out well and Vamos’ free additional extras will appeal to budget-minded travelers and families with young children. Service also offers these extras at low daily rates.

Last but Certainly not Least…

If you have made it all the way through this article, then you are prepared to begin your research into your vacation car rental, armed with facts and ready to recognize those prices that are just too good to be true! Have a wonderful (and affordable) vacation in beautiful Costa Rica!

Do’s and Don’ts of Car Rental

For beginners, renting a car is not easy. Aside from the expenses, you need to take into account a lot of details before signing the rental agreement. For instance, you have to think about rental fees, gas charges, insurance, and rules and restrictions. Let’s talk about the common do’s and don’ts of renting a car.

Compare Rates

Travel/rental agencies have websites that allow you to compare rates. However, make sure you know that a “deal” is truly the best deal. At times, total expenses quickly go up if you add all the fees and taxes.

If you ask for a discount, you may save up to 20%. Apart from this, avoiding extras and booking compacts can also help you save plenty of money. To avoid these fees, it’s better that you collect your vehicle at any location but the airport. Also, you should be aware of the gas fill-up packages. If you do some math, you can decide whether you should fill up yourself or not.

Book Early

If you book early, you can enjoy some flexibility in terms of pricing. For instance, if you have a long lead time, you can choose from a variety of cars and enjoy better rates. Also, when you get back from your tour to return the car, don’t be late. If you get even a few hours late, you may have pay for a full day.

Although it may sound obvious, you need to decide if you really need to book a car. If your plan is to explore the city streets or spend your vacation on a beach, you may not want to book a rental car. Instead, you should rent just for a day and use public cabs for the rest of time.

Don’t buy Additional Insurance

Chances are that your existing insurance policy also provides coverage for a rental car. However, you should contact your insurance agency for confirmation. If needed, you can purchase supplemental insurance. Make sure you have at least the collision-and-damage waiver policy. Also, some credit cards provide CDW provided they are used to pay to car rentals.

Beware of Restrictions

You need to consider the restrictions as well. Most US agencies have no problem if you choose to drive around or cross into Canada, for instance. However, you may have to face some insurance issues or other restrictions. Therefore, you need to do your research before you drive into restricted areas.

Check the Car for Damage

You must check the car from all angles to make sure it doesn’t have any dents, scrapes or dings. It’s a great idea to take pictures of the vehicle from all angles. If you notice any dent or dings, show it to the rental agent.

If you notice extensive damage, request another vehicle. It’s not a good idea to take a car without checking it. After all, you don’t want to end up paying for dents you didn’t cause.

In short, these are some do’s and don’ts that you need to take into account before renting a car. Hope this will help.

Professional Car Rental Companies

When you travel, sometimes you may need to hire a car so as to aid your movement when you reach your destination. Vacations are made better when you are able to go sight-seeing with the greatest ease. When you are in a place that has a lot of attractions and sights to see, you need to have everything you can get your hands on so as to make the most out of the holiday you have organized. Most destinations have art galleries, boutiques, restaurants, landscapes and so on. These are things that make a holiday memorable.

When you rent a car, you should be able to move about at will, as opposed to waiting for scheduled buses. You can be more flexible with your time and you can custom make your own tour as you deem fit.

Qualities of a good car rental company

So as to ensure you enjoy the best services, there is a need to be careful with the company that you settle for and there are qualities that can tell you whether a rental company is ideal or not. When you check for the qualities, you can be sure that you will get the most professional services ever.

Personal approach

A rental company that is good can offer services that are personalized for all the customers. It is important for such a company to have representatives that can handle all the customer care issues and queries. They should also offer a car that can get all your requirements and the purpose that you have. You should have whatever it is you need from the company at the end of the day so as to have the best value for the money paid.

Variety

The best rental company should have different vehicles from which you can make a selection. You should consider things like class, terrain, and also your budget. If you are traveling in a group, then a company that also has the larger cars is the best. There are clients that have their own specifications regarding the car they want and the company should be in a position to deal and fulfill such kind of requests. There are yet other customers that need the luxury cars and the company should be able to deliver this too.

Insurance

The best rental companies have insurance policies. These are policies that deal with accidents and other eventualities. When you take insurance, you will always be protected and any damage that is inflicted on the vehicle is covered.

Rates

If you plan to stay long or you plan to be on the move while on holiday, then you should definitely get a rental instead of a cab. You should compare the rental prices so as to be sure that you end up with the best without compromising on the quality of the vehicle that you get eventually. The best companies are clear about their rates and will rarely have hidden costs.

Easy booking

All things are done digitally these days. A serious company should have an easy booking and payment platform for convenience.