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renting a car in Panama

Illinois
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renting a car in Panama

Hi I will be in Panama for a week in November - need help on the best rental car companies.

Whats the best company to rent from with the least hidden charges?

What is the best, closest location to the airport and what are the rules about the rental insurance (take it? dont ? take the most basic?)

I am looking to rent a mini SUV for 2 people and tons of luggage - we are staying in the City for a day or two - then on to Pedasi for a week to fish and surf.

Thanks for any suggestions.

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Atlanta, Georgia...
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171. Re: renting a car in Panama

Albrook (AKA Marcos Gelabert) Airport is the best place. It's on the outskirts of town, on the main road (Avenida Omar Torrijos) that connects to both the Bridge of the Americas and the Centennial Bridge. Albrook rental car agencies close early (4:00 - 4:30pm) and they're not open on Sunday. If that doesn't fit with your travel plans, then consider getting your car at one of the many rental car agencies on Avenida Eusebio Morales. It's not too tricky getting out of town. You can do it with just three turns and an exit.

Edited: 02 May 2014, 03:53
Edmonton, Canada
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172. Re: renting a car in Panama

I suggest you catch a bus to David and rent one at Budget office at the airport there. It takes 6 to 7 hours with very few stops along the way. If you have not driven much in Latin America this may allow you a chance to see what it is like in a relatively relaxed atmosphere. The cost is $18.50 from the main bus terminal in Panama which you can get to for about $30 from PTY. The airport in David is a $5 ride from the David terminal. These first class buses are nicer than most in North America. Once in David you can find the road to Boquete easily (only overpass in town) and the road is an excellent, newly finished 4 lane divided highway all the way to outskirts of Boquete.

Chattanooga...
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173. Re: renting a car in Panama

My husband and I will be coming to Panama in October and we will be staying at the Coronado Golf and Beach Resort. We will be staying for a week and we want to rent a car so we can get out and explore the area because my husband is thinking about retiring somewhere in Panama. I was going to rent from the airport but after reading all of the comments I realize that is not a good idea. Do you suggest that I rent from Albrook or is there somewhere in Coronado to rent a car that would be easier for us? Any suggestions about renting a car and what to do while we are there would be greatly appreciated.

Panama City, Panama
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174. Re: renting a car in Panama

Re rental in Coronado have a look here - tripadvisor.com/ShowTopic-g1022784-i15173-k4…

More detailed comments might depend on your actual itinerary. You might be better off starting a fresh thread.

Corrales, New Mexico
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175. Re: renting a car in Panama

Depending on your itinerary you may be better off renting at Albook Airport (Marcos Gelabert) as gb_wiiliams above recommends.

I assume you are flying into Tocumen, and if so, a taxi all the way to Coronado is expensive (its about $25-30+ into Panama City and Coronado is past that by... about 89 km, over an hour drive further).

Whatever rental car company you go with - read the previous comments on renting a car - bring your contract with you, your CDW waiver if you have one, inspect the car with the agent carefully and comment on ALL marks on the car etc, (also at the end of the rental), do not sign anything you do not understand, and check the tires before heading off... etc.

Not sure how far you want to explore out to (just day trips?) but, El Valle de Anton is very nice and not far.

Panama City, Panama
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176. Re: renting a car in Panama

A lot depends on what time you arrive, whether you want a car for most of your visit, or just a few days, etc.

Chattanooga...
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177. Re: renting a car in Panama

We are going to try and book a flight that will get us there about noon or no later than 3:00 and we will be there for a week and would want a car for our entire time there so we can drive around and see as much as we can.

Prior Lake
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178. Re: renting a car in Panama

ALAMO Rental Car in Panama - BEWARE. We rented a car in Panama from Alamo in March of 2014 and did not find out until I received my credit card statement that they had overcharged us for added insurance which we had declined. I contacted Alamo as soon as I saw this and they were not helpful at all. After faxing them requested material they declined to help me. As a token they gave us a coupon for 3 day rental but when I received that, the coupon is limited to the US - and we rarely if ever rent a car in the US - so it is of no value to us. I had the proper paperwork and had done my homework as to what was required to rent a car in Panama. I knew that liability coverage was mandatory and arranged for the rental period, payment and required coverage on their website. We have rented many cars in other countries - this is not my first rodeo - but never in Panama. At the counter (where the counterperson was busy with someone that didn't appear to be a customer), I handed over our reservation information. She asked if we wanted/needed additional insurance and I told her SPECIFICALLY, that we already had the mandatory insurance included and did not need anything else. She NEVER requested, asked or indicated that she needed any further documentation. She told me, very hurriedly, to sign and go to get the car outside. We had very little direction and even would have added a GPS had it been offered to us. We didn't even know where to get the car and stumbled around for awhile trying to figure out where to go next. Nor was there any direction as to where the car should be returned (our hotel helped us with that).

Honestly, we are not difficult people to deal with but this entire process has been more than frustrating in trying to be reimbursed for an overcharge we do not feel we were responsible for nor obligated to pay. Again, we feel the resolution to this matter is a corporate decision and should not be made by the branch that did not follow what, after the fact, appears to be some kind of procedure regarding rental car coverage. If it had been our fault for not providing the documentation they requested, I would not even have raised the overcharge issue. Avoid Alamo in Panama...

Corrales, New Mexico
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179. Re: renting a car in Panama

Sophiemae, so sorry that you had that experience with Alamo in Panama (Panama City or was it Tocumen)?

Your credit card company should advocate on your behalf since Alamo corp. is of no use - and I think the corporate may not be helpful because they just lease their brand so to speak so its not a direct corporate office- not sure). If your credit card company does not do this , I'd get another card because most do (Amex, CitiVisa etc).

BTW - did you actually sign for insurance (you already had paid for) by mistake on the contract (since you said she hurriedly asked you to sign and get the car)?

You cannot believe what the agents say is on the paperwork - we had to go have a hotel concierge translate certain boxes that were checked that we did not understand.

Moncton, Canada
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180. Re: renting a car in Panama

My suggestion is to not rent - use taxi's or Roadrunner Transport (who are awesome). Insurances - they make you take it - it's called the gringo tax and imposed on you from the government - it is cheaper to buy a vehicle and insure it for the time than to rent a vehicle. Driving in Panama is a challenge and if you have never driven in Taiwan or other such countries with cities of pop over 3 million - don't use Panama city as your first experience

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