Panama/Rental Car Insurance

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Question
We visited Panama in 2010 and rented a car through National Rental Car for 2 wks. We were shocked when we got to the airport at 1:00 am to be told that we had to buy insurance for $600 or we wouldn't get a car. When we got back to the US National told us it was a 'local requirement'. We are looking forward to revisit next year. Do you know of any rental car companies that do not require 'local' insurance.

Answer
Hi Maria:
Each company has a different policy but it's true that rental car companies have a mandatory insurance in Panama.  You just have to check with them if they can give you any cheaper options if you have your own insurance.  
Mind that car rental companies in Panama are not owned or operated by the major USA rental car companies.  They are franchises and some are well managed and others aren't.  So don't expect Hertz to be the biggest or best one in Panama.   
Right now, Thrifty seems to be among the best ones here.
Take care and regards,
Jack  

Panama

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Jack Silvera

Expertise

Anything you want to know about visiting or establishing residence in Panama. Try me for any travel related questions as well.

Experience

Living in Panama City and knowing about travel industry.

Education/Credentials
College Degree in Business Administration. (USA Educated).

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