Which Costa Rican Car Company Is Best?

Renting a Car in Costa Rica? Which company should you choose?

There are so many rent-a-car companies to choose from in Costa Rica – from the large international firms to the smaller national agencies. Reviews on the internet invariably either damn or sing the praises of each company to the extent of being almost useless. So how do you choose the best place to hire a car for your trip?

Many tourists that rent vehicles in Costa Rica complain that they have been ripped off when they realize the extra cost of insurance they are obliged to pay or that they have been charged a dollar rate that reflected the currency rate and not the quoted rate. Understanding the insurance laws and charges that bind the Costa Rican car rental companies may help you to ask the right questions when you are reserving your vehicle and avoid a nasty shock upon arrival. If a company is not upfront about its additional costs; you may wish to consider whether it is a company that you choose to take your business to.

I have worked within the tourism industry in Costa Rica for the last six years and have lived here since 2000. I am familiar with the feelings that many visitors to the country experience when dealing with rent-a-car companies. These can range from delight to discomfort to outright fury; sometimes due to the inefficiency, or even dishonesty of the rental agency, but also due to the renter’s lack of understanding of the legally binding restrictions within which Costa Rican car rental firms must work. I hope that while this article won’t guarantee you trouble-free vehicle rental; it might make you a more knowledgeable customer.

Insurance needs, additional costs in rental and surcharges are considered in more detail below:

Insurance:

Basic insurance is mandatory. Costa Rican law is very clear on this and your rental car company cannot allow you to leave with their car without having agreed to pay it. Expect to pay somewhere between $9 and $20 per day on top of your car rental rate. An honest, car rental agency will make this very clear in their pricing. If it is not clear whether the insurance is included in the rental cost; ask for clarification and be aware of other potentially unstated costs.

Check whether your insurance policy covers you to drive in Costa Rica. Some policies include Collision Damage Waivers and will cover Central America. If you are covered, bring proof (in writing) for your vehicle rental company. If not, consider whether you would be safer to pay the extra cost of this additional coverage. This part is not mandatory.

Zero liability is offered by rent-a-car companies. You may wish to consider whether you would feel more at ease knowing that you would not be liable for any costs should something occur while you are renting their vehicle. You are not obliged to buy this supplemental insurance.

Additional Fees:

Many car rental companies will charge additional fees for a child/baby seat, an additional driver, luggage racks or cooler. You can expect to pay up to $8 daily for each of these extras. Although by shopping around, you can find companies that will offer some or all for a lower price, or even free.

With Costa Rican roads being notoriously poorly signposted and the whole country operating on an address system based on landmarks rather than road names or numbers, a GPS is essential for many car renters. You will usually pay between $8 and $15 a day for this service. It is fairly common practice to allow renters to use one of their cell phones for the duration, but if you wish to use it for your own calls; you’ll obviously be charged.

Surcharges:

Some rental car companies incorporate taxes and additional fees into their rental cost; others don’t. Make sure you know what you will be charged for on top of your rental fee. Airport fees can be charged at 13% of your rental cost which is a sizable fee to pay in addition to an agreed rental charge. You may also be charged a license plate charge, environmental fee and/or any other charge that the rental car company has to meet (or pocket).

Prices for the rental will be given in US dollars, but as the local currency is colones, you should understand that exchange rates change daily and what you are charged on your credit card on the day of payment may vary slightly from what you were quoted.

Criteria for Rating Car Rental Companies:

For this article, three (3) main points were considered for each company:

1) Value: Is the rental rate competitive?

2) Efficiency: How fast do they respond to the needs of the client?

3) Transparency: How clear is the information provided by the company?

You may have your own criteria, but based on complaints from previous customers on community websites like Trip Advisor, Lonely Planet, etc., the requirements of those clients seemed mainly based around these three basic areas.

The companies surveyed below are a mix of local and international firms. Each company was researched based on a week’s rental of a Daihutsu Bego with mandatory insurance.

Dollar Rent-A-Car:

Value

- $300+ USD.

- Extras are at average prices.

Efficiency

- They have 3 offices nationwide.

- Email inquiry returned within 24 hours.

Transparency

- The prices for rental vehicles are displayed on site but a side box contains a ‘Daily RA’ with dollar amount. This is the mandatory insurance.

- Reservation price is listed as ‘Base rate’ and doesn’t include insurance.

- Dollar has received mixed reviews in sites such as Trip Advisor.

- A toll-free number is available.

Vamos Rent-A-Car:

Value

- $300+ USD.

- Only GPS and cell phone use are charged. All other extras such as child seats are free.

Efficiency

- They have 3 offices nationwide.

- Email inquiry returned within an hour.

Transparency

- The website clearly states prices and insurance.

- Toll-free number and live chat are provided.

Wild Rider:

Value

- $300+ USD.

- Additional driver is free.

Efficiency

- Email inquiry returned within 2 hours.

Transparency

- Prices are displayed very clearly onsite and include insurance.

- The company has almost 100% positive reviews, but with a fleet of only 30 vehicles and one central office; it may be difficult to help clients who are in difficulty outside the capital.

- They cannot provide a vehicle for the Liberia airport, just San Jose.

Budget:

Value

- $400+ USD.

- Extra charges for baby seat, additional driver etc.

Efficiency

- The company has 9 offices nationwide.

Transparency

- No prices displayed with vehicles information.

- Budget has received mixed reviews.

- Surprisingly for a large company, it provides no live chat or toll-free number for clients in the USA.

Service Car Rental:

Value

- $400+ USD including mandatory insurance and taxes.

- Extras such as additional driver and child seat are charged, but at cheaper rates than most companies.

Efficiency

- The company has 5 offices nationwide.

- Email inquiry returned within an hour.

Transparency

- Their rates are clearly shown on site.

- Service has received mainly positive reviews.

National Car Rental:

Value

- $400+ USD.

- Extras are priced a little above average.

Efficiency

- They have 23 office locations, although some are Alamo.

Transparency

- Price estimates online do not include insurance or additional charges; however, they are displayed in the full quotation.

- They have received mixed reviews.

- Both live chat and a toll-free number are provided.

Economy Rent-A-Car:

Value

- $200+ USD, but it seems possible to reserve a vehicle without inclusion of any insurance.

- Extras are average in price.

Efficiency

- They have 12 offices nationwide.

- Email inquiry returned within an hour, but email inquiring about insurance was not returned.

Transparency

- Website does not make mandatory insurance clear.

- Economy has numerous negative reviews.

- Both live chat and toll-free number are provided.

Hertz Costa Rica:

Value

- $400+ USD, but actual rental price is not made clear.

- Extras are pricey.

Efficiency

- 6 offices nationwide.

- No contact email.

- Telephone numbers are available for different offices around the country.

Transparency

- Very confusing quotation system. Two rates are offered for a vehicle and chosen dates. The cheaper option does not include mandatory insurance and it is in very small print under the final quotation price. The more expensive option includes non-mandatory insurance along with mandatory.

- Mixed reviews.

- Both live chat and toll-free number are provided.

Adobe Rent-A-Car:

Value

- $400+ USD.

- Extras are at low prices.

Efficiency

- The company has 9 offices nationwide.

Transparency

- Online estimate includes insurance.

- Adobe has received mixed reviews.

- A toll-free number is provided.

Tricolor Car Rental:

Value

- $300+ USD.

- No charge for pick-up or airport fees.

- Extras aren’t listed or provided in quotation email, although cell phone price is given.

Efficiency

- 3 offices nationwide.

- Email returned within 2 hours.

Transparency

- Website is not very user friendly.

- Reviews are mixed.

- Toll-free number is provided.

Finalizing the Three Criteria:

Economy, at first, appear to be the cheapest company to rent from, but unfortunately this is due to their failure to declare all costs incurred by the renter, rather than a genuine, good deal. For real value, Dollar, Vamos, Wild Rider and Tricolor come out on top for competitive pricing for the basic rental fee, plus mandatory insurance. Vamos is noticed for being the only firm that does not charge for extras such as a child seat or surcharges. Adobe and Service have low cost extras, whereas Hertz has the most expensive rates for extras. Wild Rider does not charge for an additional driver.

Only Economy failed to respond to email inquiry. All other companies responded quickly and with clear answers to inquiries. Wild Rider, as the smallest firm, cannot offer nationwide service, but reviews suggest that they have met customer needs to date. All other companies can offer services from offices in locations outside of the capital city — increasing their ability to serve clients effectively.

Adobe, Wild Rider, Vamos and Service have websites that clearly show rental prices and insurance. Economy and Hertz somehow seems to be deliberately misleading on their websites. The other companies’ websites provide the required information – even if it can take some time in hunting it down.

Conclusion:

This brief survey would suggest that Vamos, Service, Tricolor and Wild Rider would be the best companies to begin your rental research, whereas Economy would be best to avoid.

Now you know as much as I do! The information here is supposed to be your starting point and not the end point. Hopefully, you will know the right questions to ask when you’re looking for a rental vehicle to ensure that your dream vacation begins smoothly without any nasty shocks, like hefty extra charges when you land. Enjoy the drive!

Pros and Cons of Managed Services

Today, there are lots of business companies which prefer to tie up with any third party company to get support on IT related chores. You can rely on the managed services for technological outsourcing as this is regarded as one of the best model for the vendors and also for the outsourcing organizations if you have a business and want to expand it overnight. Use of technology is increasing at every sector. Earlier, the organizations used calendars and various physical components to carry on their job. Now-a-days, the competition is becoming very serious. You can’t afford to miss any chance to progress. Therefore, the third party companies are coming ahead to provide help on maintaining proper infrastructure of the organization. Before relying on such company you must know the pros and cons of such services.

Pros of Managed Services

Every business organization has huge burden of expanding the business now and then. They have to make strategies and proper game plans and execute those effectively. Therefore, it becomes difficult to do all necessary services by themselves or contact manage services providers to take up the responsibilities on behalf of them.

The advantages of these services are-

1. Favorable Maintenance Infrastructure- Primarily, managed hosting companies put a number of best choices and effective performances in a nutshell. It becomes challenging for the companies to choose from their myriad set of applications. But one thing is sure that if a company hires such services, it will get well-integrated result within time. They always keep you updated, mange without any dispute and offer different level of agreements which entrust you with efficient availability.

2. Cost Effective- Have you ever thought how much do you need to invest for buying new server or organizing interview sessions to appoint recruits to host a single set of work? It is always more than contacting managed service providers. Why to spend unnecessarily while you can have the benefits of these services?

3. Easy Installation- In the competitive market of business, time is money. If you can’t run faster you’ll be lagged behind. Managed services providers always keep you in the run. They can be deployed very fast and take less time to function immediately and meet new demands.

4. Expert Monitoring- The administrative department has other assignments to complete. So, it is not possible to watch over the network hardware and servers. If the IT department of a company utilize MSP, it will be easier to monitor technological performances on the basis of 24*7.

Cons of Managed Services

1. Instability- There are certain disadvantages of MSP. Actually, when an organization depends upon these services, they assume that the business will hike a lot. If the Managed Service Provider fails to meet the need of the organization, they are the one to be blamed. Such incidents can hamper their reputation.

2. Huge Pressure- It is natural that an organization may not get positive result from a MSP. When they switch to another, they have huge expectations from the new third party organization.

Overall, it can be said that managed services providers are full of benefits for any type of business organizations. If you are expanding your business, take help from them and do your chores without any tension.

Accent Furniture or Occasional Furniture – The Difference

What is the difference between accent furniture and occasional furniture? Many people are unsure of this, but does it really matter and what makes an item ‘occasional’ or ‘accent?’ the terms are not truly definable, but can be explained by offering examples or by describing the function of each – so both ways are used here so that you can understand the relative terms when you hear them used.

Accent or Occasional Furniture – Does It Matter?

Does terminology really matter? Generally no, but it can do if people use the term to you in conversation or even when you are looking for new furniture for your home. However, in general terms it does not matter at all whether your table is described as an accent table or an occasional table.

In some cases occasional and accent furniture can be the same – but to say that, the definition of these terms must first be agreed. The term ‘accent’ should be easy to understand – just like an accent in language, furniture of this type should emphasize a certain style, such as a statue of the jackal-headed god Anubis in an Egyptian-themed room – a home accent need not be furniture!

Examples of Occasional Furniture

Coffee tables and end tables are examples of occasional furniture. There are alternative definitions for this type of furniture, the two most common being furniture that is used ‘on an occasion,’ and furniture that is used only ‘occasionally.’

Each of these definitions is so broad, that they could practically be said to be fundamentally the same. The former definition would include coffee tables, used on the occasion of drinking coffee – or any other beverage or drink. It would also include all furniture used in a lounge used only when visitors arrive, or even in a spare guest room. Definitions are a poor way to describe furniture.

The second definition used ‘occasionally’ would refer to exactly the same furniture, but also include rockers, particularly the old-style hickory rockers that you might use occasionally when in the mood. You might occasionally use an ottoman to sit on if all the family arrived to visit. Quite frankly, definitions are needless when people know what occasional furniture is.

It is not a sofa or armchair, and is not a dining table or a bed. Fundamentally, occasional furniture comprises the minor pieces that support the principal items of furniture in a room. The tables mentioned above are two examples, as are other functional pieces such as the lift chair that is used only when an elderly relative visits or chest, nightstands and ottomans that are occasionally in use.

Examples of Accent Furniture

Often referred to as ‘accent pieces,’ accent furniture is used to add character to a room or to emphasize a theme – such as the Anubis statue mentioned earlier. A chess table used for decoration is accent furniture, as is a decorative small round table holding a vase of flowers or a reed diffuser. An accent piece is generally smaller in size than the main furniture in a room, and often has little practical use other than a decorative one.

A small table in an entrance hall is accent furniture, along with a chest in a hallway and a large free standing globe in a home office. It sets a theme or a mood, emphasizes a trend or even complements the purpose of a room such as an ornate oriental footstool in a living room.

These are definitions of accent furniture and occasional furniture in the eyes of many people, but if you asked any individual for their own definition they would either be unable to answer or would likely offer a different one.

You can use accent furniture to complement the decorative style of a room, and this type of home furniture is most commonly found in living rooms, dining rooms, bedrooms and hallways. It is rare in a kitchen, since most kitchen furniture is functional, and even rarer in bathrooms although large bathrooms can be enhanced by accent furniture in the form of free standing toiletry racks or carousels for lotions and decoratively colored bath salts.

Much occasional furniture is completely functional and used regularly, such as ottomans used with recliners and coffee tables that are in daily use. The terms are given, not to define the pieces, but to establish a compartment that separates such smaller items from the larger forms of furniture common to specific types of room such as the jewelry cabinet from the dresser and the end table from the sofa.

How you define the respective terms of occasional furniture and accent furniture is your choice – there is no rule, and in this case definitions do not really matter.

Importance of Using Wooden Furniture and Wooden Products

Furniture is the only thing which increases the beauties of your home a lot. It pulls towards the guests to your home. So if you have a beautiful home then you should have good furniture in your home. If you are not sure what kind of furniture is suitable for your home then here is a perfect solution for you. These days, wooden furniture and wooden products are most popular than any other. Those days are passed when people used iron furniture or iron products. These are strong than wooden products but odd in looks. However there are lots of advantages of wooden furniture.

It is not true that wooden furniture and wooden products are not durable at all. If the products are made up of good quality of woods then there is no doubt about its durability. These have lighter weight than iron products. So it becomes easier to shift those from one area to another area. Therefore, if you are residing in a rental apartment then you need to use. Not only that, you can separate the parts of wooden furniture but in case of iron or steel you can not do that as those are fixed. This feature makes the wooden furniture more outstanding one.

Wooden household products are safer than iron products as wood does not conduct electricity. So it is safe for everyone in your home, especially for the children. As these are not heavy so it will not damage your sophisticated floor even after a great crash or collision. Like this you can maintain your home-floor by using the wooden furniture. You can renovate the furniture whenever you need or wish as these are not fixed like the material substances. This easy renovation feature adds another finest quality to these wooden products.

The wooden furniture and wooden products are cheaper than the iron or steel products. If you are planning for decorating your home but you do not have so much money then you can choose these wooden products. Even if you have sufficient money but you want to make your home more beautiful then you must go for the wooden furniture. At present, these are used not only in residential houses but even in commercial areas as well. You can see the wooden furniture instead of iron or steel furniture in hotels or restaurants, offices as this increase the beauty a lot.

Overall it can be said that wooden products or furniture will be the best choice. These days, the use of iron or steel products is even called old fashion. So why should not you use the wooden products or furniture while you are getting so much advantages.