Rent a Car in Costa Rica

Rent a Car in Costa Rica

Rent a car in Costa Rica gives you the opportunity to explore the surroundings of the destinations you visit in Costa Rica and the convenience of moving at your own pace. A spirit of adventure is the basic requirement to decide on the rental of a vehicle in Costa Rica, be it a 4×4 car or a sedan car.

In this section of Traveling around Costa Rica, we have gathered the information you need to rent the car. Information has been included on the requirements and regulations for the rental of vehicles, driving times between the main destinations in Costa Rica, the additional services offered by the companies when renting a car, as well as safety recommendations and data necessary to drive in the country.

There is a large number of car rental companies, which offer different models for rent (from sub-compact vehicles to 4×4 cars and minivans) and different rates. You can also make the reservation of the rental car through your travel agency or through the different services that exist on the Internet for car rental in Costa Rica.


Renting a car in Costa Rica

Rent a car in Liberia and San Jose If you have decided to rent a car in Costa Rica, one of the next steps is to decide the rental time and costs, the type of car to rent, where you need to deliver the car and in what place will it return?

At the time of making the reservation, they can coordinate the delivery / return of the car at the International Airport (either in San José – SJO – or in Liberia – LIR -) or in hotels located in the main tourist destinations of Costa Rica. There is also the possibility of coordinating the meeting point at the local airstrips, before or after taking a domestic flight.

If you coordinate to pick up the vehicle at any of the international airports, a representative of the rental company will wait for you at the exit of the main terminal (you can identify it by looking for the rental company’s logo and / or your name) to continue to the Nearby offices, where the delivery of the cars is made. If the vehicle is rented directly at the airport, it is likely that a tax of around 12% will be added to the rental cost. If you coordinate the delivery of the vehicle in the hotel or on a local airstrip, the car is usually delivered and delivered right there, however depending on the season and if the company has nearby offices, they could also send a transport service to move him to the offices.

Rental companies in Costa Rica are flexible about where to pick up or return vehicles; However, if the meeting point is not close to one of the company’s offices, it is important to find out if there are additional costs for the service to take the vehicle to the desired location. For example, the transfer of cars to tourist destinations such as Puerto Jimenez, Palmar Sur, Golfito, Rincón de la Vieja, Punta Islita, Monteverde, Cahuita and Puerto Viejo, usually entail an additional cost. Some companies have offices in tourist destinations such as Quepos, Tamarindo, Liberia, Jaco, Samara, Mal Pais, Santa Teresa, Tambor and Arenal, for which the transfer service is free. In the car rental companies section you will find information regarding the location of the offices of each agency.

Types of cars for rent in Costa Rica

4×4 cars or sedan type

The choice between renting a 4×4 car or a sedan car in Costa Rica, in addition to your personal preferences and budget, depends on the destinations to visit during your trip.

It is recommended to check with the hotels or with your travel agency the conditions of the access routes to the different places you will visit. As a general rule, a 4×4 car is always preferable because of road and road conditions in Costa Rica, however, there are destinations that do not require a four-wheel drive car and where you can perfectly reach with a compact car.

In Costa Rica car rental companies offer similar types of vehicles. The following are the types of cars that most agencies have in their fleet:

Sedan cars:
The Toyota Yaris and Nissan Sentra are one of the most economical sedan available for rent and the most requested.

* It should be clarified that other models and types of cars are also available in some companies, here are listed only the most used.

The passenger capacity indicated is that established according to the number of seats; however a lot of compact vehicles and the Daihatsu Terios, Daihatsu Bego and the Suzuki Jimny are really comfortable for 4 people. For trips of several hours it is better to rent a more spacious car.

It is recommended to consider the driving time between the destinations you will visit during your trip in Costa Rica when choosing the type of car to rent.