Monday, October 27, 2008

Guest post: Renting a car in Costa Rica

Here's something a bit new for Facing the Street: my first guest post. The tips below come from Marina Kuperman, co-founder and owner of travel information and booking site Thanks, Marina!

If you're reading this, that means you're the type of traveller who wants the freedom of detouring and stopping at incredible vistas without the hassles of overcrowded buses. Or, you want to take local public transportation to some locations and then rent a car for part of your trip. All of that is doable in Costa Rica. Almost all of the popular destinations--such as Arenal, San Jose and the beaches--have car rental shops. If you need to drop off the car in a different place than you rented it, make sure the car rental agency permits that.

Here are a few rules and insider tips for renting a car:
* You must have a valid international driver's licence.
* You must be at least 21 (or, in some cases, 25) years old. Check in advance with the car company.
* When you pay the rental fee with a credit card, your credit card company may insure you if anything happens to you and your rental. Inquire to make sure.

Insider information:
* The speed limit generally varies from 40 to 90 kph (25 to 55 mph), although it drops to 25 kph (15 mph) in designated school zones when children are present. There are plenty of transit police all over the roads, so keep an eye out or you can end up with a $150 speeding ticket. And in Costa Rica, bribes don't heal all wounds--they just make new ones.

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