Thrifty in Costa Rica?

 
Old Jan 19, 10, 2:57 pm
  #1  
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Thrifty in Costa Rica?

I'm taking a trip to Costa Rica soon. Thrifty's rates at LIR airport look good. Does anyone have experience with this location?
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Old Feb 16, 10, 6:13 pm
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Answering my own question:

I rented from Thrifty at LIR airport (Liberia, Costa Rica) a few weeks ago. Overall the experience was good except for a nagging feeling that the business may have scammed me on insurance. Details below.

As I left the baggage claim area at LIR airport, I met a Thrifty driver holding a sign with the company logo. He checked my name against his list, loaded my baggage into his van, and promptly drove me to the Thrifty office a few miles away.

The rental agents at the office spoke reasonably fluent English. My reservation was all in order, with exactly the car I'd reserved and the price I'd booked. EXCEPT... we had an argument about insurance.

The rental agent told me that insurance is required Costa Rica. I knew this in advance and I also knew that my insurance in the USA does not extend to CR but I did check with my credit card company and found that their rental car coverage would cover me. The Thrifty agent refused to accept this. She stated that unless I showed her written proof of insurance she would be unable to rent me a car.... Unless, of course, I bought one of her policies starting at about $25/day.

Although the insurance approximately doubled the total cost of renting the car, I chose swallow it and get on with my vacation. (Secretly I swore I would take advantage of the zero deductible insurance I upgraded to and crash the car in a tar pit and just give them the GPS coordinates to try to retrieve it.)

Another agent took me on a walk-around of the car, a lime green 4x4 Daihatsu BeGo, noting all the dings and scrapes that already existed. I took the keys and was off.

The car performed fine for what it was. It was small and had a weeny engine, but I knew that when I chose it. It fit in with what the locals were driving.

I didn't see any tar pits during my vacation, so I returned the car in one piece and unharmed. The return process involved about 10 minutes of electronic paperwork. I don't know why it was so complicated, but once it was done I hopped back in the shuttle and was whisked back to the airport.

Overall, a good experience, save for the potential scam about insurance.
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Old Feb 16, 10, 7:54 pm
  #3  
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Originally Posted by darthbimmer View Post
The rental agent told me that insurance is required Costa Rica. I knew this in advance and I also knew that my insurance in the USA does not extend to CR but I did check with my credit card company and found that their rental car coverage would cover me. The Thrifty agent refused to accept this. She stated that unless I showed her written proof of insurance she would be unable to rent me a car.... Unless, of course, I bought one of her policies starting at about $25/day.
There are similar policies (where legal) at rental agencies in the U.S., too, in most part because it's so difficult to collect on damages from overseas nationals. It's always a good idea to have, in writing, exactly what you are covered for by whomever is providing the coverage--either in a copy of the terms and conditions (such as your credit card's benefits T&C) or, even better, in a signed and written statement issued by the coverage provider faxed or mailed to you.
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Old Feb 25, 13, 12:16 pm
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Join Date: Feb 2013
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Bad experience with Thrifty Liberia

To save having to repeat myself completely, but wanting to warn as many others as possible, please check this link

http://www.tripadvisor.co.uk/ShowTop...uanacaste.html

James
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Old Dec 25, 13, 4:36 pm
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Avoid Thrifty if possible!

I will have to disagree with your post all the way.

Terminal Shuttle -- we waited for the shuttle at the airport 25mn, they don't have a desk inside the terminal but a girl outside on the curb among a thousand people holding a piece of paper with "Thrifty". Actually she only hold the paper when she's not on the phone or chatting with her mates...

Pickup location -- 5 minutes from the terminal you arrive to the Thrifty location. There were 2 couples in front of me and 3 Thrifty people at the desk, unfortunately one of them had very low motivation for work. She cleaned her desk, grabbed coffee, talk to the other employees then after 20mn noticing that the 2 other people were not done with the other customers she decided to attend me. We went through all the classic, licence, credit card, information, looked up my reservation... then the other Thrifty guys was done so she asked me to go see him!.. We re-started from scratch: licence, credit card, information, looked up my reservation... then the classic upsale: upgrade, insurance, gas... all the process took me over an hour! I spent 90mn between the moment I arrived with the shuttle until I had the rental contract!

Contract but not car and no keys -- once you have your contract you go outside and someone will ask someone else to bring your car, then a third person will show up and will go over the car with you another good 10 mn!

I took me 2 hours from the moment, I was outside the terminal to the moment I was in my rental car... I have nerver experience such an unefficient and unprofessional car rental company!

THE Flat Tire -- 2 days with the rental we run into a flat tire, call roadside assistance (I took full premium insurance), the lady on the phone tells me this is not covered you can get this fixed anywhere it will cost your only $10. I told her that I wasn't really happy about this because we had plans to go to Arenal Volcano and this will make us lose our reservation and miss a full day on our vacation schedule. After a couple of calls, we told fine we will give another tire but you need to drive to the airport location 1.5h away. I showed up at the airport, they had no spare tired, they told that they were sorry nothing they can do for me I had to wait the next day for my tire to be repaired.

Thanks Thrifty for having me pay the premium insurance and make me lose a $300 hotel night in Arenal and one day of vacation there.

MY personal advice AVOID Thrifty!
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