I recently rented a car for a trip to Costa Rica with Economy Rental Car via the website Carrentals.com. Carrentals.com quoted me a "Total Price" of $219.52 for the car and I actually paid $496. The reasons for the difference in price includes a misrepresentation of the actual price by Carrentals.com and due to misinformation I received by both the Economy Rental Car agent and an Economy Rental Car claims department manager.
In planning for my trip, I received quoted prices for a rental car by many companies and found the cheapest rates on the Carrentals.com website. Their website claims to offer a "Total Price" when receiving a quote which according to their description includes: "The Total Price Shown includes all known rates, taxes, fees, surcharges and applicable drop off charges that you must pay either by law or by local policy for the length of a particular car rental request."
Upon arriving at the rental counter for Economy Rental Car at the San Jose, Costa Rica airport, I was told by the agent that I was required by Costa Rica law to purchase Liability Insurance. I was told that their price for the required Liability Insurance was $28 per day and that I could only purchase it from them. The agent refused to rent me the car without the insurance and I was forced to purchase it. This was not included in the quote from Carrentals.com which claims to include "all known rates" that you "must pay either by law or by local policy." Since it is known by Carrentals.com that this insurance is mandatory, and because it was not included in the quoted price, they violated their own "Total Price" policy which caused their car to become the most expensive of those I had quoted from all of the car rental companies rather than the cheapest.
Upon retuning to my home, I decided to contact Economy Rental Car to learn more about this "mandatory insurance." I spoke to a manager in the claims department ( email@example.com ). When I asked him if the Liability Insurance was mandatory by Costa Rica law as stated by the agent at the airport, he confirmed that it was indeed a law. I then asked him for proof that it was law and he stated that he had no proof. He directly me to information on the Carrentals.com website that discussed this issue which said that the insurance was mandatory but did not say it was a Costa Rica law. When I directly quoted the Carrentals.com information to him and mentioned that it said nothing about it being a law, he confirmed that it was not a law, but rather a company policy which completely contradicted what he had said earlier. I later confirmed that this insurance is not mandatory by law by calling Dollar Rental Car who said that no such law existed. When the Economy Rental Car manager confirmed that it was not a law, but rather a policy, I was able to confirm for myself that I had been intentionally misinformed by both the agent at the airport and the manager from earlier in the call.
A further investigation into the Liability Insurance charge confirmed that the actual price for Liability Insurance was only $20 per day, not $28. I was able to determine from the Economy Rental Car claims dept. manager that the airport agent had charged me for a supplemental insurance called API which was an additional $8 per day. The airport agent insisted that the Liability Insurance was $28 per day and that it was mandatory and charged me for both Liability and API. When I noticed on the contract that I signed that there were two charges (one for $20 and one for $8), the agent again confirmed that both charges were for the mandatory Liability Insurance and assured me he was not lying to me as I was very skeptical. Again, this represents a second time I was intentionally misinformed by persons working for Economy Rental Car. The Economy Rental Car manager reluctantly refunded me the $8 per day for the API insurance, but refused to refund the Liability Insurance charges. I am currently disputing these charges with my credit card company and will never do business with either Carrentals.com nor Economy Rental Car ever again and I strongly urge that everyone avoid them as well.