By Eric Robinson
Don’t say you haven’t been warned about reserving a vehicle on-line.Booking a car through the mega-travel sites, you know the big ones, Expedia, Travelocity, Hotels.com, Orbitz, etc. can result in some very high unexpected costs. They work on-line in conjunction with the major car rental companies to rent vehicles.
For some reason these sites have continued for years to close their eyes, allowing the car rental companies to deceive trusting tourists, and forcing tourists to pay at times nearly double what they bargained for. Many Costa Rica car rental companies must be making millions and millions of ill-gotten dollars at the innocent traveler’s expense. I, myself, have been a victim on more than one occasion.
You just want to guarantee your vehicle upon arrival at your destination, right? Your first red flag that you are about to be cheated, is that you are not quoted the final bottom-line price to rent your vehicle. You are given the daily and weekly rental fee, but the high cost of daily mandatory insurance, all taxes and unlimited mileage is said to be either ‘unknown’ or not mentioned. Sure, there are add-ons like a roof rack or childs car seat, or an upgrade to an automatic transmission, but that isn’t what I am talking about. If you do click on their side links to find out what the insurance and taxes will be, you often receive an answer that it is unknown at this time. HOG WASH! Taxes and insurance change very infrequently, unlike the vehicle rental rates, yet they are quite able to keep abreast of these.
Your second red flag is that there is nobody live to talk to and ask questions.
You want to reserve a vehicle at your destination, yet you seem forced to guarantee your vehicle by giving your credit card info before you know what you have to pay. DON”T DO IT! No one should give their credit card information before they know the final cost.
I own Adventure Inn in San Jose, Costa Rica, halfway between the airport and city. Many of my guests, who took it upon themselves to book their vehicle on-line, have been zapped with these high unexpected costs after it is too late to cancel without a penalty, or too late to find another vehicle. It’s the last thing anyone needs to bother with at the start of a well-deserved vacation.
THE SOLUTION IS VERY SIMPLE. Have your Costa Rica hotel book your vehicle for you, and ask them to quote you the total cost including mandatory insurance and taxes. At Adventure Inn we search the market for the best vehicles, and guarantee the final price including taxes, mandatory insurance, unlimited mileage, 24 hour line and roadside assistance, and free drop off and pick up at either the airport or Adventure Inn. The price we quote is all our guests have to pay, guaranteed!