Tourism interests reject rental cars labels

A pair of tourist-based associations are trying to protect rental car companies from a proposed measure that would brand their fleets with a special label on all maintenance checks.

Costa Rica’s automotive chamber, the Cámara Costarricense Automotriz, requested that rental vehicles receive markings to let people know they are often used.

Representatives from both the Asociación Costarricense de Auto Rentistas and the Cámara Nacional de Turismo, known as Canatur, have since refused the request. They said the suggestion is unfair because rental cars in Costa Rica are kept in very good shape as almost all of them are new and secure.

“Contrary to what many think rental, vehicles are usually in much better conditions than vehicles from third parties and in some cases have less mileage too,” said Federico Barquero, president of the car rental association.

Barquero said this measure discredits the quality of rental cars, as they are routinely checked according to the standards of their respective factories. He added that on average rental cars here are only 1.5 years old.

According to the association’s statistics, around 80 percent of rental car clients are tourists. Canatur’s president Pablo Abarca said this idea from the automotive chamber could dissuade more tourists from hiring rental car services.

“We won’t accept an agreement we consider unjust towards the rental car companies,” Abarca said. “The cars already go through rigorous and constant examination, while satisfying tourist demand.”

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