Renting a Car in Costa Rica: Tulemar Resort Shares Tips for an Easier Transaction

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According to the popular TripAdvisor forums, to rent or not to rent a car is one of the top questions posed by tourists planning a vacation to Costa Rica. Dave Houck, spokesperson for Tulemar Resort in Manuel Antonio, Costa Rica, shares tips for an easier transaction.

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Tulemar makes renting a car easy for you

Read through the forums and reviews on websites such as TripAdvisor to see how other customers felt about their dealings with a particular company. This kind of information can be very useful.

Renting a car internationally is often a very different experience for travelers who may be accustomed to the rental process in their home countries. Tulemar Resort offers the following tips to help guide vacationers through the process.

1. Research the rental car company.
“It is best to stick with car rental companies that you recognize,” says Dave Houck, spokesperson for Tulemar. “There are a lot of smaller companies who may offer a better price, but cannot provide the assistance or support foreigners may need or expect while traveling abroad. Read through the forums and reviews on websites such as TripAdvisor to see how other customers felt about their dealings with a particular company. This kind of information can be very useful.” It is also important to note that many of the rental car companies are located at a distance of 5 to 10 minutes from the San Jose International Airport. Make sure that free shuttle service is provided or be prepared to pay for a cab to the rental office.

2. Know about Costa Rica’s insurance policies
By Costa Rican law, basic car insurance must be purchased and is usually included with the quoted price of the car rental. Ask for a clear explanation of what the basic insurance will and will not cover versus additional insurance options and decide which coverage is best for you.

3. Opt-in for the GPS.
“Driving in Costa Rica can be confusing due to the lack of road signage,” comments Houck. “Having a GPS to follow can be very helpful.” Vacationers may also choose to bring a GPS from their home country, but will need to download maps of Costa Rica to the device prior to use.

4. Look over the contract for hidden charges before signing.
Some companies may charge extra to add an additional driver or amenities such as car seats, GPS rental, luggage racks, cell phones, etc. It is important to be aware of and consent to any extra fees before signing the contract.

5. Print and bring any previous communication.
Having a hard copy of any confirmations or emails you have interchanged with the rental car copy prior to arrival can be helpful in sorting out any mix-ups that may arise.

6. Bring the necessary documents.
A valid driver’s license, passport, and credit card are all required documentation for renting a car in Costa Rica. It is always a good idea to call your local bank before traveling abroad to let them know that you will be using your credit card in Costa Rica to avoid blocked transactions.

7. Be patient
The Costa Rican culture may move at a more relaxed pace than you are used to. Come mentally prepared that the process may take longer and allow at least an hour in your schedule to go through the car rental process, knowing it may take even longer if it is a busy day and there are other clients ahead of you.

8. Inspect the vehicle for damages
As with any car rental, it is a good idea to take the time to accompany the agent in the inspection of the car so that you are aware of the damages that are noted in the history of the car prior to your use of it. Take the initiative to point out and question any scratches, dents, or other damage you may note as you walk around the car so that you and the rental company are in 100% agreement on the status of the car at the time of rental.

To aid international visitors in their acquisition of a rental car, Tulemar offers a rental car widget on their website.

About Tulemar Resort
Tulemar Resort is a small resort in Manuel Antonio, Costa Rica. A wide range of accommodations of different sizes and costs are offered to travelers, from rustic one bedroom bungalows to large luxury villas.

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Ashley Johnson

Dave Houck
Tulemar Vacation Home Rentals & Sales
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