We recently completed a two week trip from the US to Costa Rica and used U-Save as our car rental company. We reserved a 4 wheel drive vehicle for two weeks with U-Save Car and Truck Rental there at San Jose airport. This was our first time in Costa Rica and we found that U-Save was a short shuttle ride off the premises of the airport. We had a pre-arranged agreement on price and had purchased car insurance through Orbitz as we had heard that it was mandatory. The total was $558 and the insurance part of that was $126.
When we got there, the U-Save car rental agent informed us that the insurance Orbitz had sold us and which we had already paid for was not any good in Costa Rica and that we would have to pay insurance separately. He told us there was a monopoly on insurance in CR and that it would be necessary to purchase their insurance. He jotted down on paper and in handwriting three options: The first was for about $300 and would require a huge security deposit of $1500! It would not cover certain things and he warned us there were a lot of dangerous scenarios that we may end up encountering. The second was like $400 and also didn't cover all; that security deposit was about $1000. The last was $500 and would cover any scratch, nick or theft and all possibly scenarios, towing etc. We could call the agency with this option and they would be there to help anytime. It seemed from what he was telling us and the lower security deposit of $500 as the best of three bad options. (pricewise).
So the difference in what we expected to pay and the quote from Orbitz was about $500! We were stranded at a satellite car rental in a foreign country and it was late and dark. We had to make a call to cancel the Orbitz insurance and have it reimbursed which was not offered to us but that we insisted on first (luckily that went fairly smoothly because we had not gotten into the vehicle yet) and then buy the very expensive option presented to us there. We got the feeling from the fact that our options were handwritten and that we were basically stranded there that U-Save wasn't exactly on the "up and up" on this deal.
When we got back we called Access America, who provides the insurance for Orbitz customers and they had not heard of any problems with their insurance in CR. We got the feeling that we were swindled by U-Save and I would highly advise those traveling to CR to check prior to landing what to expect and whether they accept third party insurance. Please be cautious of off-site rental car companies and U-Save in particular!