Costa Rica Tips

Car Accident in Costa Rica: What To Do? What To Expect?

Car accident in Costa Rica

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Brochure Adobe Rent a Car Adobe Rent a Car has extensive information about what to do in a car accident in Costa Rica. Clear concise instructions on what to do and how we can assist you in case this should happen.

Collisions in our country are mainly caused by not keeping a safe distance from the vehicle in front. Another main cause of accidents is going over the speed limit, which reduces braking effectiveness

When you rent with Adobe Rent a Car, you get a brochure with contact information from all our offices. It also contains our emergency number, the Instituto Nacional de Seguros number (state owned insurance company), and our call center’s number.

What Should I Do if I Have a Problem While Driving?

Adobe Rent a Car Emergency Info Whatever problem you may have when driving, your first move must be to call Adobe at 2542-4888. Whether it’s a mechanical problem, a collision with another vehicle, or damage to third parties. Your first call must always be to Adobe. In fact, if the incident happens during work hours, we recommend calling the office where you rented, directly. The numbers are on the brochure we give out.

The only exception for this first call is when you have an injury and require an ambulance. In that case, you MUST call 911 first, and secondly, Adobe. Having a car accident in Costa Rica can be unnerving. Please remain calm, don’t move the car, and call us. We will advise you immediately.

What to Do When You Hit the Back of Another Car?

If you hit the back of another car, we recommend declaring yourself responsible for the accident on the INS insurance report. The law stipulates that the person hitting from behind is always responsible, whatever the situation. When the customer declares him/herself responsible, Adobe can apply the insurance immediately.

If the customer fails to declare him/herself responsible, the INS will indicate this on the report. It will say the customer does not agree to accepting guilt. If this should happen, you must then wait for the verdict to come out, which could take several months.

What to Do when you have a Car Accident in Costa Rica?

When any other type of accidents happens, stick to the facts when completing the INS report. Indicate in which sense you were driving, how the traffic lights were, which car hit which… Be very concise and clear.

If someone collides with you and takes off, do not follow. Be safe. If possible, just jot down the license number.

What Happens if a Foreign Customer Collides and Has to Leave the Country?

Adobe Rent a Car has a legal representation document used to represent the customer in case of a settlement. If the customer is in a collision and arrives at a settlement, Adobe can legally represent them. This way, they don’t have to stay in the country and can resume their trip without a problem.

If there are injuries or death involved, the customer has to go to traffic court or the Public Ministry with a lawyer. If the customer fails to show up and leaves the country without attending court, they will be held in contempt. The report will be passed on to the Public Ministry or Prosecution’s Office, and from there on to Migration.

How does Insurance Work in a Collision?

When a customer collides and has not purchased Extended Protection, regardless of whether it was their fault or not, the customer must pay for the vehicle’s repairs upon returning it.

If a settlement is reached afterwards with the other party, and that party pays up, Adobe will reimburse the money. It functions the same way during a legal process, when the verdict finds the other party guilty. When the other party pays, Adobe reimburses the money.

Are there any Coverage Exclusions?

Yes, the insurances and coverages will not apply in the following cases:

  •  Fail to report the accident to the Car Rental Company immediately after the event takes place.
  •  When the driver has any incident and is under the influence of alcohol, drugs.
  •  When the vehicle suffers damages and the driver is not authorized/inscribed in the rental contract.
  •  Damages of any type caused by driving thru rivers, lakes, beaches, mangroves, flooded roads or off-road (i.e. where do not exist an official road, example: Cross-country).
  •  Failure to comply with legal and claim process with the insurance company, as, but not limited to:
    • Report the accident to the Transit Police.
    • Report the accident and fill the claim of the Insurance company.
    •  Comply with any other requirement of the legal process

Relevant Insurance Facts:

If you get our total or extended protection, you don’t have to pay a single dollar. In any case, be it basic insurance or extended protection, you must always follow the process. Otherwise, you would be accepting responsibility for damages to both vehicles involved. This could result in a higher charge that will not be limited to the guarantee deposit.

The customer must always have their passport with them, when driving. The traffic police always verify entries into our country. If the customer is a foreigner and has been living for more than 3 months in the country, they need a Costa Rican license. Otherwise, they won’t be able to drive here.

We understand that language barriers or insufficient knowledge of laws can be complicated. Especially if you have a car accident in Costa Rica. This is why we are ready to guide and assist you when this happens. If you have any doubts, please call us toll free at (855) 861-1250 or write to us at


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