Rent a Car Bogota?
Colombia is a country of great contrasts, and this is especially true of the economy and commerce. Some products and services are very cheap in Colombia, and some can be very expensive depending on to what you are accustomed. I will lay it to you straight, renting a car in Colombia is very expensive. It is at best inline with European prices, but in most cases you will find Colombian rental prices to be greater.
In this article I will give you the low down on renting a car in Colombia. This will help you understand the costs involved so you dont get any unexpected suprises.
Most of the Cars in Colombia are imported, and have high import tariffs. These high automobile taxes have a real negative effect on the domestic car market in Colombia. Even the secondhand car market is one of the most expensive I have encountered.
With established Colombian car hire companies it is very difficult to get a good deal. Special offers are few and far between, and when the total is added up you make very little savings.
Two important caveats to remember when hiring a car in Colombia.
Firstly, you should be aware of the insurance polices/charges of each company.
Secondly, you should be aware of how each insurance cost influences the deposit required.
Here is a list of Companies, that are legitimate and trustworthy operating in the major Colombian cities –
- Bogota, Pereira, Medellin,
- Budget Car Hire
- Bogota, Medellin, Cartagena
- Andes Auto-Rental
- Bogota, Tunja, Villavicencio
- Baranquilla, Cartagena
- Barranquilla, Santa Marta
You can apply for a quote from each of them but make sure you follow the process until the end.
Here is an example from Avis car rental situated in Bogota Airport.
AVIS RENT A CAR BOGOTA– QUOTE –
I was quoted 89,000 pesos per day on the company website. For an Economy car (Nissan March).
The final price for the car Bogota was actually 204,500 pesos per day. Quite a difference.
The following is a breakdown of the cost
- Avis Car Bogota Base Rate – COP 89,500
- Protections & Coverages – COP 47,840
- Airport Concession Fee (10.70%) – COP 14,682
- Total Tax – COP 32,651
- GPS Navigation – COP 19,827
The cost of this can be reduced of course.
The GPS you can remove if you have your own, or are going old school with a paper map.
The insurance coverage, as with many car hire companies worldwide, have a plethora of different options, and is a big money spinner.
The price shows about fours different insurance overages. In reality you only need the basic cover, but then depending on the company they may stop around 1,500,000 pesos from your credit card as a deposit. This is in the form of an authorisation.
The deposit is a concern for many travellers. 1,500,000 pesos is a lot of money, and maybe you cant afford to tie up that authorisation on your card.
You can pay the insurance premium to remove this deposit. The very minimum required for this is usually around 30,000 pesos per day. But each company has a different policy and you should check with them before hand.
I have used all of the companies listed above, and in most cases used basic cover. The deposits were authorised and returned without issue.
I always establish with the car hire representative a few issues –
- What Constitutes Damage (In most cases you will not be charged for minor scratches or scuffs even with basic cover. But again you need to check this.)
- Always make sure you complete a walk around with the representative and identify an damage already present.
- Identify hidden charges on return – Usually to refill the car, and to have the car cleaned. Otherwise the hire company will charge you to do it on return.
The following search engine is a very good starting point for your search.
The engine is powered by Hispacar, and quite frankly it never lets me down when booking a car Bogota. The prices are always about as good as you get. It can be hit or miss with Medellin, and Pereira. But is also useful for the Atlantic coast regions.