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Rental Agreement Information

30 Sept 2009 • Updated 11 Mar 2022

So just what do you need to rent a car in Costa Rica? Well, you don’t have to take a deep breath because it’s really not that complicated.

We’ve condensed it down to less than a handful of items.

As always, if we’ve missed something that you’d like us to cover, please let us know and Ricardo will get right to it!

1. General Requirements

The following four (4) items are necessary to reserve a vehicle with Vamos.

  • Credit card — listing the renter’s name or company AND issued by a major credit card company — is essential to secure your reservation. The credit card holder MUST be present when completing the rental agreement. The type of credit card; i.e. raised/non-raised numbering or chip, is unimportant.
  • Depending upon the selected insurance (which may be viewed here), either a $100 (minimum), $750 or $2,000 (maximum) rental deposit will be placed on the renter’s credit card — much like a hotel does when you book a room. This credit card will not be charged until the renter picks up the vehicle. This amount will be refunded upon the safe return of the vehicle — typically within 2-5 days depending on the renter’s bank’s procedures. Likewise, we will also place a hold in the amount of the total rental fee on this same credit card. For a more in-depth look at this process, please refer to this FAQ section.
  • Two forms of ID are required. Both must be valid. These may either be a photo ID or passport AND a drivers license. An International Driving Permit (IDP) is not required — unless you’re from a country that does not use the Latin alphabet. The name on the credit card must match the passport/photo ID. Since we use the number on the drivers license, the matching name is less important (as in newlyweds or newly divorced for that matter). Unlike some other agencies, our customers are not required to have maintained a drivers license for a minimum duration. If you’ve passed the test, then you’re able to rent from Vamos as long as the following section is also fulfilled.
  • The minimum age for all drivers is 18 years. We do not have a maximum age. The Basic Collision Damage Waiver (CDW) deductible is doubled for drivers between 18 and 20 years of age — including those signed as additional drivers. Furthermore, Full CDW (zero deductible) is unavailable if there are drivers on the rental agreement between 18 to 20 years. Please note: Failure to list any driver (including those who are between 18 to 20 year old) nullifies insurance coverage, thus making the renter fully financially responsible for any and all damages.

2. Conditional Requirement

This next item is dependent on the type of rental car insurance the renter chooses. If the renter is planning to decline both of Vamos’ in-house CDW choices and opt to use their credit card company’s CDW coverage, along with the Mandatory Third-Party Liability, then the following becomes a requirement prior to the start of the rental.

  • Proof of Coverage — a physical and official letter or printed email, showing the full name of the card holder/renter as well as the last 4 digits of the credit card that will be used to rent the vehicle. This credit card will have a $2,000 deposit placed on it and will also be the card that will be charged at the end of the rental period.

3. General Rental Policies

  • The year-round minimum rental period is 3 days; however during the two week period of Peak Season (Dec 23rd – Jan 5th), the minimum rental period is 7 days for logistical reasons (it’s a madhouse during that time).
  • Any modifications to a reservation may affect the final rate.
  • All published rates constitute official rates and are subject to change.
  • All rental rates are based on 24-hour increments. We offer a 2-hour “grace” period. If the vehicle is returned 2 hours after the completion of a 24-hour term, then the equivalent of one rental day will be added to the invoice.
  • Cancellations or changes to a reservation must be received at least 72 hours prior to the scheduled rental start or end date; otherwise, a 1-day rental will be billed to the renter’s credit card.
  • In the case of a “no-show” or the renter decides not to take the car at the time of rental, the equivalent of a 1-day rental fee, plus any delivery fees (if applicable), will be billed to the credit card used to secure the reservation.

4. Sample Rental Agreement Forms

Every so often we receive a request to send a copy of our rental agreement to a client. So instead of us emailing a PDF during office hours, now anyone can review or download a copy (to print) for themselves.

Just click the following sets of thumbnails to see a full-size image. The first is our system-generated form which is clear and compact. The second is our delivery form, allowing more room for filling in the information by hand.

In both cases, the front is where the drivers’ information is written, while the reverse side lists the Terms and Conditions -- Spanish on the left and English on the right.

Rental Agreement-Counter Version-Front
Rental Agreement-Counter Version-Back
Rental Agreement-Delivery Version-Front
Rental Agreement-Delivery Version-Back

"Age, ID, Credit Card, and Hold — All It Takes to Rent a Car from Vamos."