Renting Cars Outside the US is the Pits

Last time we visited Panama, we left our car rental stuff till way to late. This time we said oh hey, let’s do it way in advance so it’s all sorted. We were so pleased as we knew exactly how much we were spending, we felt like we got some great deals. 

Next time we come, the lesson will beto remember  that Panama and Costa Rica supposedly require you to purchase insurance from the car rental company regardless of what other insurance you have. And very likely it will double your rental fee as it did ours. 

In Costa Rica, we had three options: basic, full, or cancel the rental. Again, I repeat because this is an important point: it doesn’t matter if you have great coverage through your credit card. In Panama, we were told we had to buy full or basic, but when we mentioned our CC insurance we were given the option to purchase a basic basic (supposedly) insurance against 3rd party damages. 

So long travel budget. 

I am sure there is a very good reason for this, but essentially it works out to screw the traveler. I can’t believe insurance can possibly amount to the same cost as the rental. It’s highway robbery and as the traveler you have to accept or, well, not rent the car. 


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