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.
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
All the agents we dealt with were extremely helpful. They told me the price including all the insurances I requested and that was the price I paid when I returned the car, there were no hidden surprises.
There was a roof rack on the top of the car but no straps so if you plan to use the roof rack, plan on getting straps. The 4x4 was in good working order, no problems and they go over the car with you and mark down any previous scratches so you are not liable for the them.
If we are in Costa Rica again, I would rent from Vamos without hesitation. Source
***Reply from Ricardo***
We’re glad that you were pleased with our services. 🙂
I was sorry to read about your tie-down incident. Yes, we once had really good cam straps that we rented out with the racks, but since the ownership/insurance changes, we're no longer able to provide these accessories. Our Free Perks page has been updated to better reflect this change. I apologize.
Contrast that with our experience at Vamos 4x4 was like night & day! We contracted online and were told what the "out the door" cost would be for the vehicle we wanted.
We were greeted at the Liberia Airport and taken directly to their location a short distance away. We were there maybe 20 minutes and were on our way. Do to a small glitch, we were unable to get the luggage rack we had ordered, but we're told they would give us a 10% discount of our rental upon return.
The vehicle was a newer Mitsubishi SUV that served us well. Upon return at closing, we were greeted by Yorleny. What an awesome representative for a company! She handled our return cheerfully and followed through on the discount. All as agreed to in our online contract! All up front, no b.s. Yorleny personally took us back to the Hilton by the airport, all the while talking up the many things we need to do on our next trip to Costa Rica.
If you're looking for a car rental in Costa Rica, this outfit should be your choice! Source