Searching for Accurate Car Rental Assessments?
If you’ve ever visited TripAdvisor.com looking for helpful reviews, you know that it may be a little overwhelming. There’s numerous threads asking for advice on car rentals, destinations and the like.
Vamos Rent-A-Car is no stranger to the praise — and at times, even disdain, from the community. One of the things that separates us from the rest of the pack is the cameo appearances of George, our General Manager, to admit our faults and to address points of contention.
We invite you to read the good, the bad and even the ugly alike. We keep it real, honest and transparent for everyone.
My husband and I arranged a rental through Vamos for a Toyota Rav4, a medium sized SUV. Since we were staying at a hotel in Tamarindo the first five days of our vacation, we arranged to have Vamos drop off our vehicle at the hotel at the end of our stay at 10:30 AM. The SUV was to come from Liberia. We had a long drive ahead of us and were eager to begin the trip.
When 10:30 came and went, we waited. After 20 or so minutes, the hotel, at our request, tried to reach the company but got an answering machine over and over again. Finally, out of frustration, the hotel called the San Jose office and was told the office would investigate. A call back told us the car was en route.
The driver arrived 40-45 minutes late. By the time we got through all the paperwork, an hour had passed.
The delivery woman handed us a cell phone, gratis from the company. Turned out the battery was dead.
She also gave us a 10% discount to make up for the time delay. We appreciated that.
The RAV4 looked okay upon inspection but it wasn't until we set off on our journey that we discovered the mileage - 93,000 km or over 50,000 miles. We had been in such a hurry to get going that we didn't look at the odometer. The gear mechanism was extremely difficult to engage, making it impossible for me to share in the driving.
After our rental period concluded, we received an email from the San Jose office, offering us a 15% discount. We wrote back, telling the office person all the problems we had had with the car and asking for that discount to be credited to our credit card account. That was three weeks ago. We are still waiting for a response.
So, a lesson to be learned - find out the age and mileage of any rental car, either at the agency or one delivered to you. These are things that make a big difference to one's level of enjoyment. Source
Wow. Following the writing to Trip Advisor concerning Vamos Rent a Car, owing to no reply from the company, this evening a Vamos representative telephoned and said the company would reimburse us an additional 15%, given the poor quality of the vehicle we received.
Thank you Vamos! That was a very responsible act. My husband and I will vouch for good customer relations with Vamos and will rent again from them. Source
***Reply from Alex***
It was a pleasure to see your update as I was nearly finished writing mine. For the sake of the Trip Advisor community, I’d like to thank you for bringing this issues to the attention of the forum.
Per our discussion today, I’ve personally refunded your credit card. It was my delay that initiated your reply, and I’m very sorry for this additional inconvenience.
I am thoroughly investigating why your delivery was late, and why protocol was not followed to call you in advance knowing we’d be delayed. The rush to bring you the vehicle may explain why the cell phone was not charged – although it doesn’t excuse the lapse. Free or not, our perks need to be ready to use!
It’s true that the car that you received was not one of our newer cars. It is a 2012 and is identified as the next in line as we roll-over our fleet. This is a remnant of pre-partnering with Poas. I will also investigate why the manual transmission was difficult to operate. Being Peak Season, every available car is on the road. If Liberia had another car, any other car, they would have been instructed to upgrade you, but this was not a possibility at the time.
Again, I apologize for your car rental experience not meeting your (or my) expectations. Please contact me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org when you are returning to Costa Rica so I may personally oversee your reservation. Source
Translation per Google
We just returned from a trip to Costa Rica and we are happy to say that the service was invaluable and Vamos impeccable. The car turned out to be "powerful", the phone very useful equipment, advice about the itineraries of latest trip. In addition, the seriousness, kindness and professionalism we have fully satisfied. Excellent service.
Upon arriving at SJO I walked outside to meet a very friendly young man (forgot his name) with a clearly marked Vamos sign with my name on it. He was dressed very tidy and professional, he spoke good English and was very nice. We took a very short ride to Vamos’ office in their clean and air-conditioned van. All the staff were very helpful with my bags and chatted to me about my impending trip and home city.
At the office I met Luis, he is as handsome as he is polite and professional. He went through all the paperwork with me making all the insurance mumbo jumbo a little bit less painful. I had originally opted for the medium coverage (at the time of booking) but then once in the office I decided to go for the maximum coverage, the extra $13/day seemed worth it after seeing the traffic from the airport. All the paperwork squared away Luis gave me a copy of the photocopy of my passport with the Costa Rican entry stamp that every online thing says you need so badly… Still not sure why… We did a walk around the vehicle to make sure there was no scratches or dents, he showed me where all the buttons were, gave me the keys and GPS and I was almost set to go.
I then broke the GPS holder before even getting it on the window or out of the parking lot. If the phone doesn’t seem to fit… go back inside and ask how to adjust it, not like me, haha. Vamos gives you a GPS in the form of a cell phone. You can make local calls on it and use it as a wifi hotspot when you are not driving. The phone is a really great feature to their rentals! They also will lend you a little lunch size cooler which is great for snacks when you are on the road.
Their cars are really great. I was given a very nice little 4x4 that was better than what I drive at home. Gas mileage *seemed quite good, not 100% on this as I still have not been able to totally grasp the Colones to Canadian $$ exchange… I could drive for about 4hrs straight on a quarter of a tank.
Returning the car was a breeze as well and the staff at Vamos promptly returned me to the airport.
I can’t recommend them enough! The service was great! Because they are located just outside the airport (1mile/ 2.3km) you do not have the pay the 13% airport tax on rentals with them.
*Things to note* Driving in San Jose is not for the faint of heart. You will not get anywhere quickly. Avoid rush hour at all costs. There are very few rules (I am sure there are rules but they don’t seem to apply). Drive slow! Road conditions outside of the city can be very treacherous. If you are driving outside the city pee before you leave, there is very long stretches with nowhere to pull over, no shoulder, nothing! Source
When we arrived in Liberia, there was no one there to pick us up. It turns out that although we rented from Liberia, the confirmation was sent to San Jose. No problem! Another car rental company at the airport called Vamos and they were there to pick us up in 20 minutes.
They very kindly offered us a choice of two SUVs in their fleet, provided us with a GPS system and a cell phone to use during our trip, as well as a cooler for our road trip. Check in and drop off were excellent. All of the staff were very courteous and helpful.
This was our first time in CR and we were anxious about the road conditions and drivers as we'd heard horror stories on Tripadvisor as well as on the Internet generally. However, the roads we took (Liberia to La Fortuna to Monteverde to Manuel Antonio and back to Liberia) were excellent. Parts of the roads around Monteverde aren't paved, but this is no problem.
We saw plenty of SUVs and even cars driving the roads with no problem. You can't go super fast obviously, but the conditions are fine. Costa Rican drivers are also courteous. I've never driven an SUV before and tend to drive slowly, so I just pulled off the road when I could to let drivers pass.
Night driving is another matter though. Most roads don't have shoulders and there are pedestrians and cyclists on the road at night and they are difficult to see. We tried to avoid night driving when we could.
The Waze app (either on the cell phone provided by Vamos or my own cell from the U.S.) got us everywhere we needed to go with no problems. We never opened the detailed waterproof map we brought with us. We also didn't run into traffic anywhere.
I highly recommend Vamos! Source