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Friday, April 17, 2015

Chilean Rent A Car Review ~ Santiago, Chile

When we were planning our trip to Chile, we were debating if we could even afford to rent a car while we were there. In my initial research, the prices were coming out so high. Add in the fact that it seems like there is a toll what feels like every 3rd mile (in actuality it was only 5 tolls from Santiago to Chile...not including the ones that are automatic in the city and are included in the rate) and costs like a bazillion dollars at each toll (OK, more like $2,400 Pesos...or about $3.75 in the current rate exchange). Then you have to factor in the gas. At first it seems reasonable (we spent about $700/liter...just over a $1) until you realize that it takes 4 liters to make a gallon. So we were spending closer to $5/gallon.

But even with all of the expenses of the car, we really wanted one. We just love the road trip aspect of the trip. We like being able to stop whenever we wanted and to change our route at the drop of  a hat if we wanted. Also, while in Pucon we loved the convenience of having a car when we needed to run to the market or any other last minute errand.

We were striking out with all the big name companies and the reviews I was reading made me nervous of them anyway. Some where on a forum, I first heard about Chilean Rent A Car. When I checked them out online, it almost felt like it was too good to be true. There were a couple of bad reviews out there (although there were many of great ones) and I was a little tentative. However, the prices were so great that we had to give them a chance. We decided to go with the City Car which is the least expensive option that they offer.

We have had nothing but a wonderful experience with them. At one point we decided to extend the length of the rental. We got a same day email giving us the prices and when we told them to go ahead, we got an email right back with confirmation. Every staff member we encountered was very friendly and accommodating.

They do not have a location at the airport, though for a nominal fee they will meet you at the airport. Since we were already in the city, we just took a taxi over to them. I was impressed that they were able to work out of such a small parking lot. While we were waiting for my Mom to check in for the car (and guarding our luggage outside), we had a great time watching the workers move the cars around the tiny lot like they were playing a game of Tetris.

My Mom moved through the line quickly and when it was her turn, she was pleasantly surprised that they didn't try to upgrade her to anything other than what we signed up for. It was so refreshing to not have to deal with the high pressure pitch you get so often at car rental agencies.

Once she had her paperwork, she headed out and handed it to one of the workers. He searched around for awhile and found a car that we qualified for. He and I did an inspection of the car. He filled out the paperwork while I snapped pictures of the dings and scrapes (and there were a lot). He was awesome and even pointed out areas where I missed taking a picture.

Once that was completed, he directed us to pull of the sidewalk and out into traffic. This was probably the only scary part because the traffic was moving pretty steady. I definitely got blasted at for my driving.

Our car that we dubbed the "Clown Car" ended up being perfect for us. Because it was so small it was great on gas, easy to park, and easy to turn around. It surprisingly was able to fit all of us and all of our luggage (even when Riley met up with us). It had no air conditioning, manual windows, stick shift, and it vibrated when it was on the highway (and had no pick up). But even with all of that we found it to be the perfect car fro us. 

We were extremely pleased with Chilean Rent A Car and will definitely use them next time we are in Chile. If you want to try them out yourselves when you are in Chile they are located at Bellavista 0183 · Providencia - Metro Station Baquedano. You can reach them at +56 22 963 8760.