Frequently Asked Rental Questions

 

Little confused?  We understand.

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There’s an overwhelming amount of traveler advice out there — especially when planning a vacation to another country.

We all need guidance at some point, so that’s why we’ve created this list of the most asked questions.

If we’ve missed one, please let us know in the comments section below and we’ll post the answer straight away!

1. How old do I have to be?

The minimum age for all drivers is 18 years and the maximum age is 70 years.

However if you, or any authorized drivers, are between 18 and 21 years old, the Basic Collision Damage Waiver (CDW) deductible is doubled ($1,950) and the Full CDW (zero deductible) option is unavailable.  Return To Contents

2. How much is the deposit?

Vehicles in Costa Rica are more expensive than most other industrialized countries due to the high import tariffs.  As such, rental deposits may seem higher.

Depending upon the selected insurance, either a $750 (minimum) or $2,000 (maximum) rental deposit will be placed on your credit card.  This credit card will not be charged until you pick up the vehicle.

This amount will be refunded upon the safe return of the vehicle; typically within 2 to 3 days.  Return To Contents

3. Which credit cards do you accept?

Vamos accepts VISA, MasterCard, American Express, Diners Club and Discover.

Some of these companies also offer rental car protection plans which include a Collision Damage Waiver (CDW).  Please see our Credit Card Insurance Programs summary for more information.  Return To Contents

4. Can I use my debit card?

Yes, we do accept debit cards; however, most of them do not offer a Collision Damage Waiver (CDW) as a member benefit.  This means that you’ll need to purchase our insurance in order to have more coverage than just the country’s mandatory minimum.  These insurance rates vary according to vehicle class.

Furthermore, due to the nature of debit cards, it may take the bank up to three (3) weeks to release a deposit.  This is considerably longer than the 2 to 3 business days for a credit card hold to be released.  Please contact your bank for more information.  Return To Contents

5. Can the rental deposit be placed on a card that is different from the card used for payment?

According to American Express’ documentation, part of the requirement for obtaining CDW coverage in the first place is that the deposit AND the final bill will appear on the SAME credit card.  We cannot speak for all credit card companies, so please contact yours prior to reserving a vehicle.  Our in-house CDW coverage follows AmEx’s policy by requiring the deposit to be placed on the same card as the final payment.

It also goes without saying that the ‘driver’ is the card holder.  If that is not the case, then make sure the one who will be operating the vehicle is added to the rental agreement as an additional driver.  Return To Contents

6. What is Express Check-In?

If you provide us with the information needed to prepare the rental agreement in advance, you may depart right away towards your next destination.  Start your rental — and vacation — even faster!  Return To Contents

7. How can I pick up my rented car?

Pick up arrangements may be made for either the San Jose (SJO) or Liberia (LIR) airports.  We offer this service free of charge.  One of our representatives, holding a sign displaying your name, will “Meet and Greet” you outside the Arrival terminal.  Please inform us of your flight information during the reservation process.  From this info, we’ll monitor the airport schedules for your arrival date.

Alternatively, you may take a taxi to either of our office locations.  Our main office in Alajuela is approximately 3-5 minutes away from the Juan Santamaria International Airport (SJO) and the Liberian branch office is 5 minutes away from the Daniel Oduber Quiros International Airport (LIR).  You will be responsible for the taxi fare.  Return To Contents

8. What happens when our airplane lands somewhere else?

In the slight chance that your flight has been diverted to another airport due to volcanic activity, storms, etc., don’t worry, we’ll generally know what’s happening on the ground before you do!

Nevertheless, we’d certainly appreciate a quick call, text or email letting us know of your new arrival.  Like a worried parent, we’d like to know that you’re alright.

In the past, the airline has bused the passengers down to the appropriate locale.

No matter how you eventually get here, your reservation will remain open and your vehicle will be waiting.  Return To Contents

9. Do you have an office in Liberia?

Yes, we do have an office in Liberia.  Please see the section, “How can I pick up my rented car?” for more information.  Return To Contents

10. Do you have an airport location?

The simple answer is no, we do not.  The reason why is because maintaining offices at the airports would require us to raise our rates due to the 12% airport tax.  Our clients like saving money and we bet you do too!

The solution:  we arrange to meet you there.  Please see the section, “How can I pick up my rented car?” for more information.  Return To Contents

11. Can Vamos Rent-A-Car deliver the car to me?

Yes, we can deliver the vehicle to all regions of the country for a reasonably priced fee.

Please see the Vehicle Delivery Fee Table at the bottom of this page for typical destinations and corresponding rates.

Whether it’s your hotel, bed and breakfast or vacation home, we will prepare all your paperwork in advance.  Take possession of your car right away, all without having to wait!  No lines, no hassles.  Return To Contents

12. Can I return the car to a different location than where I picked it up?

Yes.  You may receive the rental vehicle at one location and return it to a different location, although separate fees may apply.

For instance, if you wanted to receive the car at our San Jose office, but at the end of the rental, return the car in Liberia (or the other way around), the fee would be $50 (as seen on the following chart).  Return To Contents

13. Can the car leave the country?

Generally rental cars cannot be taken out of Costa Rica.  However, we can arrange for a border transfer for you, with the following requirements:

  1. Minimum three (3) day rental.
  2. May be returned to any border location, plus the corresponding drop-off fee.
  3. Inform us of the dates that you need a car in Costa Rica and when you need a car in Panama and/or Nicaragua.
  4. We’ll arrange the details of two separate rentals — one in Costa Rica and one with another company within your country of choice.
  5. All you have to do is meet our representative at the border to return (drop-off) our car, cross the border by cab and have a representative from our rent-a-car partner meet you on the other side of the border with your (second) rental car.  Return To Contents

14. What if the rental vehicle experiences mechanical difficulties?

Our in-house mechanics perform a thorough, pre-rental inspection on every car, so our meticulously maintained vehicles are safe and reliable, but things can happen.

If your rental vehicle does experience mechanical issues, just contact us with the supplied cell phone (from anywhere there is cell phone coverage) 24 hours a day, 7 days a week!

We will either dispatch a replacement vehicle or have a mechanic resolve the issue on the spot.  Our main goal is to get you back on the road as fast as possible.  Return To Contents

15. Vehicle Delivery Fee Table :: Liberia and San Jose areas

We deliver all over Costa Rica!  If you do not see your destination on this reference table below, please contact us and our friendly staff will gladly assist you.

Deliveries (or returns) outside of our regular office hours will incur an additional $20 fee, each way, to cover staff overtime.

One-way drop-offs between our Liberia and San Jose branches:  $50
Deliveries (or returns) of rental vehicle to San Jose area hotels (including Heredia & Alajuela):  $9

Destinations Delivery Cost Destinations Delivery Cost
From Our Nearest
Office to:
Charges are
One-Way:
From Our Nearest
Office to:
Charges are
One-Way:
Arenal $ 75 Playa Carillo $ 60
Atenas $ 25 Playa Conchal $ 35
Buenos Aires $ 90 Playa Esterillos $ 50
Cabo Matapalo $ 150 Playa Flamingo $ 35
Cahuita $ 120 Playa Garza $ 50
Cañas $ 40 Playa Grande $ 35
Cartago $ 35 Playa Guiones $ 50
Ciudad Quesada $ 60 Playa Hermosa $ 30
Corcovado $ 175 Playa Junquillal $ 35
Dominical $ 150 Playa Langosta $ 35
Drake Bay $ 175 Playa Naranjo $ 50
Golfito $ 125 Playa Nosara $ 75
Grecia $ 35 Playa Ocotal $ 30
Guacimo $ 40 Playa Panama $ 20
Guapiles $ 40 Playa Pan de Azucar $ 35
Hacienda Pinilla $ 35 Playa Potrero $ 35
La Cruz $ 50 Playa Samara $ 75
La Fortuna $ 75 Playa Tamarindo $ 35
La Paz-Waterfall $ 60 Playas del Coco $ 20
Liberia Airport $ FREE Poas $ 30
Limon $ 60 Punta Islita $ 120
Los Chiles $ 150 Puntarenas $ 50
Mal País $ 160 Puerto Jiménez $ 150
Monteverde $ 75 Punta Leona $ 50
Montezuma $ 150 Punta Uvita $ 150
Naranjo $ 50 Puerto Viejo $ 130
Nicoya $ 50 Puerto Viejo, Sarapiqui $ 75
Orotina $ 30 Quepos $ 110
Palmar Norte $ 100 Santa Cruz $ 75
Papagayo $ 35 Santa Teresa $ 160
Paso Canoas $ 150 Siquirres $ 50
Peñas Blancas $ 75 Sixaola $ 150
Playa Avellana $ 35 Tambor $ 90
Playa Brasilito $ 35 Turrialba $ 75

  Return To Contents

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Ricardo Vargas

Webmaster at Vamos Rent-A-Car
Delivering your vehicle wherever and whenever you desire is a priority for Ricardo and Vamos.
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