Great little car rental company in Uruguay

Get 10% OFF of your car rental with offer code “Guru’guay”

I get asked all the time about reliable car hire in Uruguay and I am going to give an unashamed shout-out to a local car hire company, Mariño Sport, which has offices in Montevideo, Colonia, Punta del Este and La Barra.

Why? Because they deserve it!

I have been recommending them to our guesthouse clients and my own visiting friends and family since 2010 and I have been consistently impressed by their great service and personal touch.

They treat clients like real human beings

Back a few years ago, I had a French guest whose rental car window got broken by an opportunistic thief. She was pretty upset – not only because of the unwelcome complication but she was naturally worried about the repair charges.

Not only did Mariño come to sort out the damage immediately but they did not even charge her! How many big companies would take that attitude? Mariño is just COOL.

Free drop-off and pick-up wherever you request

This is really a great part of the service. You can arrange to have them meet you at the airport, the port or your hotel and then they will pick the car up from you wherever you decide in Montevideo, Colonia or Punta del Este.

What a relaxing start and end to your holiday. It can also save you money too as a taxi from the airport to the centre of Montevideo can set you back 50 USD.

Note there’s a thirty dollar charge for drop-offs out of office hours ie before 8.30am and after 7.30pm Sunday through Friday and after 5.30pm on Saturdays.

Honest and no hidden extras

The rate they quote you will include:

  • all taxes
  • full insurance*
  • a designated second driver for free
  • 350 kilometre per day limit (eg Punta del Este is 132 km from Montevideo)
  • full 24-hour mechanical assistance throughout Uruguay.

My clients who’ve gone with cheaper companies have been messed around regarding how much gas was in the car to start with and other such annoying tricks. I have never known Mariño to mess around.

* You will be asked to sign a credit card voucher for the value of 1000 USD (for a compact car, more for a larger car) which is called a “deductible”. The insurance covers you for everything except the first 1000 USD-worth of damage. This is standard practice for Uruguayan car rentals. The voucher will be ripped up at the end of your rental.

Reliable cars

As they have their own repairshop, their cars are well-maintained. This may seem a basic requirement, but I have heard enough stories of rental cars in Uruguay breaking down to know that this is not a given.

Mariño was founded in 2002 as a motor repair shop and started renting cars two years later. They are the official service representatives for Nissan, Hyundia and Renault in Uruguay.

They rent automatics and custom motorbikes

Not many companies do in Uruguay and people typically drive stick shift. Mariño tells me they have the largest fleet of small and medium size automatic cars in Uruguay. They offer custom bikes by Kawasaki.

Why Mariño might not be for you

If you are just after the cheapest deal then Mariño is not for you.

Their rates are not quite as competitive as some other the international car companies however for the reasons above mean that I would choose them any day.

And remember that when you hire a car using an international credit card the 22% VAT is automatically deducted from the rental price.

And prices?

Last month my friend Rose was quoted 390 USD for a compact car (Hyundai i10) with 1,200 free kms for a five-day rental. With the foreign credit card 22% VAT rebate, the car ended up costing 320 USD.

How do I book and claim 10% off?

Send an email to car-rental@guruguay.com quoting offer code Guru’guay for a 10% discount.

Write “Guru’guay car rental: your name ” in your subject line. Don’t forget to mention your rental dates and Mariño will write back to you.

Don’t be put off by their terrible written English, you will work things out. [Supposedly they are working on improving this, including hiring new English-speaking staff – but I will revise my opinion when I see the evidence – ha!]

MORE READING on DRIVING IN URUGUAY

Photo Ibere Romani

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