Nicaragua Surf Guide - Renting Cars
Renting Cars in Nicaragua

When the Nicaragua surf travel boom started growing in
earnest a few years back, around 2005, you could get
great rental vehicles in great shape at a reasonable
price. The cars were nearly new. Now, these vehicles are
all beaten up, so you get what you pay for.

The Good and Bad

Avis is probably your best, but highest priced option.
Their cars are still better than others and the service is
more professional. Budget is good, too. Both have
multiple offices.

Don't believe that because you reserve online from the
main site of any particular rental car company that you
are getting the service or guarantee from the top. They all
rent through local franchises, so it's up to the locals.

An example of that dynamic at work is National. If you rent a Toyota Hilux online, the first thing the guy at
the counter will tell you that they don't rent Hilux's from National (or Alamo, as they're the same). The
bottom line is that it's still Central America, so buyer beware.

You're not going to Costa Rica

Seems like a good idea to slip over the border to Costa Rica for a quick Witches Rock surf, or even an
extended trip down the coast for a few days. Not an option. The rental car companies don't let you take
your car over the border.
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Here's what a Nicaragua traffic signal looks like. This is a bright one.
Driving In Nicaragua

Driving in Nicaragua is much like any other Central American country, except the drivers are worse and
the traffic cops greedier. They'll pull you over for anything, and then some, just to get you to pay your ticket
on the spot. Figuring out their rules can be frustrating, like the correct way to negotiate a traffic circle or
when you can change lanes after making a turn. Traffic signals are rare, so it's easy to run right past
them. The photo above shows you what to look for.