I want to share a story with you for those of you who rent cars while traveling. Most times I never rent a car while traveling. In Europe particularly they have very good rail and bus systems and I up have been very happy using them.
I booked a trip to Panama this year through Copa Airlines. In the middle of the booking process I was asked if I wanted to add aren’t all car for $280 or something. I thought, great deal for 3 weeks so I booked it. It was really nice having a car because we were kind of winging the trip with accomodations. We ended up really only driving very far to Playa Blanca, from which there are lots of nice busses.
I would tell first and foremost that Panama does not have driving laws (or so the drivers think they are suggestions). The roads were so riddled with potholes so big I thought we were on a roller coaster. So now in retrospect I understand that when my Panamanian friend said “don’t rent a car”, I understand why.
The worst part is that as I checked in the car at the airport tocatch my return flight, the guy said it $800 instead. I was furious and flames wee coming out of my head. I argued that I was quoted $500 less and he said that’s because the mandatory insurance was not included. I thought my insurance would cover it but they said that it is a federal mandate.
I tried to reach out to COPA airlines, they said I had to talk to company that booked it through their site. Never was able to get a human on phone or an answer about why they didn’t say insurance is twice the cost of the car.
🙁 Lesson #59
Get EVERYTHING in writing!