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Car rental: San Jose airport or city outskirts

New Brunswick
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Car rental: San Jose airport or city outskirts

Hello everyone;

We are going to rent a 4x4 on our Costa Rica trip. We are trying to figure out whether to rent from the airport or take a cab out of the city central to a rental place and then taxi back to the airport after our visit is over. I suspect the latter would be easier and maybe even cheaper. Could anyone provide some guidance? Some recommended rental places would be wonderful too!

Thanks! - Matt

New England
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1. Re: Car rental: San Jose airport or city outskirts

We have always used Thrifty for our cars. Their shuttle will pick you up at the airport (the office is about ten minutes away) when you arrive and take you back after you return the car. The cars have been clean and reliable, the rare problems we have had have always been addressed quickly and the staff is generally very helpful.

San Francisco...
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2. Re: Car rental: San Jose airport or city outskirts

You will pay an additional 15% tax when rentiung at the airport. If you arrange it beforehand, the rental company will pick you up at the airport and take you to their office or if you will be staying in the area they will deliver the car to your hotel.

I allways use Tricolor. They seem to allways have the best rates as well as a 1-800 number you can call from the states

NY
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3. Re: Car rental: San Jose airport or city outskirts

The airport is in Alajuela, a 30+ minutes drive outside of San Jose. The car rental companies are also in Alajuela, at least 6 of them are 1 km from the airport. They all provide free shuttles to/from the airport. Those that have a counter at the airport charge 12% surcharge. Those that don't have a counter at the airport don't change that but still pick you up at the airport for free. Many rental companies will also deliver the car to your hotel anywhere in San Jose area. If you rent in the city of San Jose or have it delivered to your hotel in San Jose you will have to drive in the city of San Jose, which is very confusing (without street signs), so don't do it. We rented from Toyota rent-a-car through the Ace website (which was cheaper than Toyota's website). Avoid Advantage / Economy. They are known to play tricks. Search for the different companies in the forums here and you will see other travelers' experiences. Here is a site that has links to many of the rental companies direct websites:

travel-info-costarica.com/costa_rica_car_ren…

west. pennsylvania
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308 posts
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4. Re: Car rental: San Jose airport or city outskirts

tricolor has had good reviews on this site and have been very helpful and responsive. we're renting for 2 weeks in june. their rates are excellent. i used the 800 toll free numberto get that "warm, fuzzy feeling" but you can save a few bucks by renting online. we did some comparison shopping.

they pick you up at airport, thus saving the airport tax or renting a cab. also if you have a certain super duper credit card, you can waive certain insurance coverages with them. i'm taking a letter from visa with me as proof of this coverage. have fun!

New Brunswick
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5. Re: Car rental: San Jose airport or city outskirts

Hi;

Thanks for all the replies so far. Has anyone ever rented through www.expedia.com? They seem to have incredible rates, but is it too good to be true?

- Matt

San Francisco...
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6. Re: Car rental: San Jose airport or city outskirts

I wouldn't rent through expedia or any other 3rd part as it will only lead to problems. If you do decide to take the risk and rent through a 3rd party make sure that the San Jose you are renting from is in Costa RIca and not California

New York City, New...
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7. Re: Car rental: San Jose airport or city outskirts

Just did a quick check and it would appear that those prices include airport taxes but do not include Liability, CDW, or 3rd Party Damage insurance which can be another $20-$40+ per day.

Read the fine print VERY carefully on coverages and also know what your credit card/home coverage includes and excludes as the system is different than in North America. Standard Costa Rican rental car insurance often still has a deductable of $500-$2000 depending on the vehicle and you are responsible for 20% of 3rd party damages. You can get zero deductable coverages for an extra fee.

Sussex, England
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8. Re: Car rental: San Jose airport or city outskirts

Hey, I know this is quite late and you may have booked already but I just booked a 4x4 through Hertz, smiled sweetly down the phone and got a 10% discount although if you are AA or Mastercard this is automatic. They pick up by shuttle at the airport and was cheaper than picking up in town (not sure how but the quote was different). They were half the price of Avis!!...cheaper than Budget, didn't want $1000 holding fee, came fully comp...and I get to choose the vehical when I get there. What more can you want!. They charge less for pre payment too so no having to worry about visa charges or large amounts of cash in your pocket. At around £530 for an intermediate offroader for 3.5 weeks I am happy with that! You may find cheaper but Hertz have always been great and have had no probs so far (fingers crossed!)

9. Re: Car rental: San Jose airport or city outskirts

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