COVID-19 Update

Coronavirus Update

Here is the latest information concerning COVID-19 and renting a car on DiscoverCars.com.

We are working around the clock to keep up with the constantly-changing situation throughout the world so we can provide you with up-to-date information regarding travel restrictions, rental branch opening hours, shuttle services, safety measures, and more. Our Customer Support team is ready to assist you any time, night or day.

If seeking general travel advice, we strongly recommend consulting the guidance of your government and the World Health Organization.

Your health and safety are of the utmost importance to us.

If you do travel, we want you to be as safe as possible while doing so. Thus, we have added information in our search results letting you know which rental companies are disinfecting their vehicles to prevent the spread of the virus.

Badge

A badge is shown next to all cars that we have confirmed are disinfected between each and every renter.

Search filter

Use the filter on the left-hand side of the search results to only see vehicles that are confirmed to be thoroughly disinfected.

We understand your need for flexibility.

We’d like to tell you that we’ve become more flexible, but the truth is that we were always flexible. If you need to change the dates of your rental or you decide to travel somewhere else, you can modify your booking in the My Booking section without charge (although the rental price may change).

Car Rental in Costa Rica

✓ No Hidden Costs ✓ 24/7 Support ✓ Free Cancellation
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Driver's country of residence is United States of America (USA) and age is 30-65
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500+ Trusted Providers:

Cheapest Car Rental Rates

Liberia Airport Car Rental
Economy
Chevrolet Beat or similar
Chevrolet Beat
  • 4
  • 2
  • 4
  • A/C
  • Man.
AmiGO Rent a Car
$15.39 per day
View
Downtown Car Rental
Economy
Toyota Yaris or similar
Toyota Yaris
  • 5
  • 2
  • 4
  • A/C
  • Man.
AmiGO Rent a Car
$16.12 per day
View
Liberia Airport Car Rental
Compact
Hyundai Accent or similar
Hyundai Accent
  • 5
  • 2
  • 5
  • A/C
  • Man.
MEX RENT A CAR
$18.33 per day
View
Downtown Car Rental
Intermediate
Toyota Corolla Sedan or similar
Toyota Corolla Sedan
  • 5
  • 2
  • 4
  • A/C
  • Auto.
AmiGO Rent a Car
$19.76 per day
View

Most Popular Car Rental Deals

Liberia Airport Car Rental
Compact
Hyundai Accent or similar
Hyundai Accent
  • 5x
  • 2x
  • 4x
  • A/C
  • Auto.
MEX RENT A CAR
$20.04 / per day
View
Juan Santamaria International Airport (San José Airport) Car Rental
Compact
Toyota Yaris Sedan or similar
Toyota Yaris Sedan
  • 5x
  • 2x
  • 4x
  • A/C
  • Man.
GreenMotion
$21.15 / per day
View
Liberia Airport Car Rental
Compact
Toyota Yaris Sedan or similar
Toyota Yaris Sedan
  • 5x
  • 2x
  • 5x
  • A/C
  • Auto.
GreenMotion
$21.15 / per day
View
Liberia Airport Car Rental
Economy
Toyota Yaris or similar
Toyota Yaris
  • 5x
  • 1x
  • 4x
  • A/C
  • Man.
GreenMotion
$21.54 / per day
View
The above prices are only approximate and were last updated at 20:01 on 2021-05-16. Prices may vary based on the booking dates, length of rental, and car class.

Travel Information

Language
Spanish,
English
Currency
CRC
Country code
506
Traffic direction
Right-hand
Speed limit out of town
40 - 60 km/h
25 - 37 mi/h
Speed limit within town
40 km/h
25 mi/h
Acceptable limit of BAC
0.02%
Rating
7.7

Why rent a car in Costa Rica?

Costa Rica is a great place to explore by country. Small, but surprisingly varied, it offers stunning mountains and volcanoes, lush jungle, and extensive coast of not one, but two oceans.

Costa Rica Car Rental

Top ways to enter Costa Rica

  • Juan Santamaria Airport: Named after Costa Rica’s national hero, this airport is the largest in Costa Rica and among the busiest in Central America. The airport has flights to and from many destinations in the Americas, as well as some in Europe. Located less than 20km (12 miles) northwest of downtown San Jose, the airport can be reached in about 25 minutes.
  • Tobías Bolaños Airport: The other airport serving the capital region, Tobías Bolaños offers access to some of the more remote destinations of the country like Drake Bay and Tortuguero. 
  • Liberia Airport: Serving the northwestern city of the same name, Liberia Airport has flights to many destinations in the United States, as well as in countries like Canada, the United Kingdom, and neighboring Panama.

Top cities and places to visit

  • San Jose. Although Costa Rica’s capital can sometimes be overlooked due to all the natural riches that the country has to offer, it is a lovely place to visit. Noticeably more relaxed than some of its Latin American counterparts, the highlights of the capital include the Pre-Columbian Gold Museum and the Insect Museum at the University of Costa Rica.
  • Cartago. Located less than an hour from the capital and thus easy to visit on a day trip, the city of Cartago is arguably the best place in the country to see the remnants of colonial Spanish architecture. The most famous building is the Our Lady of Angels Basilica, but other gems include the ruins of St. James the Apostle Parish and nearby Orosi Valley.
  • North and Central Pacific. Made up of stunning coastline, many national parks, and steep mountain roads, this is the most visited part of Costa Rica. Highlights include the world-famous surf town of Tamarindo and Monteverde and Santa Elena Cloud Forest Reserves, but there are also plenty of hidden gems for a curious traveler to explore.

Most popular rental car

The most popular rental car in Costa Rica is the Toyota Corolla, although many travelers also go for the Toyota Yaris and the Hyundai Accent. The most popular rental car types are economy, compact, and intermediate. While a smaller car is perfectly fine to explore the cities and travel on main highways, driving into the mountains or jungle might require a 4x4.

Driver license requirements

  • Costa Rica recognizes foreign driver’s licenses if they are written in a Latin alphabet and if you’re visiting on a trip that’s shorter than three months. If you’re visiting on a longer trip or if you’re a permanent resident of Costa Rica, you need to acquire a local driver’s license.
  • If your driver’s license is in another alphabet (e.g., Cyrillic or Arabic), you need to have an International Driving Permit (IDP).
  • Even if you have an IDP, you still need to also provide your valid driver’s license from your country
  • You must carry your driver’s license, not a copy, with you at all times. 
  • You need to have had your driver’s license for at least two years.
  • Some rental car suppliers charge a young driver fee for drivers between the ages of 22 and 25 and a senior driver fee for drivers over the age of 65.
  • There may be additional requirements depending on the car supplier and category, so make sure to check the terms and conditions before booking.

Crossing Borders

Costa Rica has two neighboring countries, Panama and Nicaragua. There are a few rental car suppliers that permit cross-border trips to the former, but practically none to the latter. You can find car rental companies that permit one-way rentals to Panama by entering your car pick-up and drop-off locations when searching.

It is possible to cross the border with public transportation and pick up a rental car after arriving in the neighboring country. Do keep in mind, though, that each country has its own, unique visa policy. While people from most Western countries can visit both Costa Rica and its neighbors visa-free, the situation is different from visitors from other countries. If you plan to visit one of Costa Rica’s neighbors during your trip, do consult your Ministry of Foreign Affairs in advance.

Most popular types of rental car

There are many toll roads in Costa Rica, some of them starting or ending in San Jose.

Most toll roads have three types of lanes - manual, voluntary, and Quick Pass. The toll booths in the manual lanes only accept cash. It’s a good idea to have coins and lower denomination notes, otherwise getting change back might be an issue.

In the voluntary lanes, the fee is slightly higher than in the manual ones and the toll booths only accept exact change. The idea is that the voluntary lanes generally tend to move faster than the manual ones. For tourists, it’s only worth taking them if you are in a rush.

The cars that can use the Quick Pass lanes have to be equipped with the Quick Pass electronic transponder. The payment will be made automatically and the transponder will register it by beeping. Many rental cars will come pre-equipped with a Quick Pass transponder, and some rental car providers might charge an extra fee for this service. Contact your rental car provider in advance to find out more about Quick Pass or with any other questions regarding toll roads in Costa Rica.

Top driving routes

  • The Caribbean Coast: The Caribbean region of Costa Rica is made up of Limon Province which stretches all the way from the border with Nicaragua in the north to the Panamanian border in the south. Relatively unscathed by mass tourism, the region is home to sustainable tourism initiatives, large conversation areas, and the country’s Jamaican diaspora.
  • The inland North: Sparsely populated, Costa Rica’s inland northern parts are made up of a primal landscape of mountains and volcanoes, as well as cloud forests and hot springs between them. The largest town, Ciudad Quesada, is a popular vacation spot and can serve as a base for exploring the rest of the region, but you can also do it from San Jose as most of the region’s destinations are within a 2-3 hour drive from the capital.
  • The Southwest: This remote jungle corner is known as the greenest part of Costa Rica and is one of the most biodiverse places on the planet. Getting there takes time and, once you get off the main highways and into nature, getting around may require a tour guide, but those curious enough to plan ahead and make this trip will be richly rewarded.

Car Rental Prices

  • Large cars - from $67 per day
  • Medium cars - from $54 per day
  • People Carriers/Vans - from $99 per day
  • Small cars - from $48 per day
  • SUVs - from $84 per day

How can I save money on my rental car?

You can do a number of things to get a good car rental deal in Costa Rica:

  • Compare rates of different rental car providers
  • Book your rental car well in advance
  • Plan your route before you go
  • Know your fuel and mileage requirements
  • Visit on the month when the rental prices are the cheapest. According to our data, visiting Costa Rica is the cheapest in May when renting a car is about 41% cheaper than the yearly average.

Map of Car Rental Locations

Which is the cheapest month to rent a car in Costa Rica?

The cost of renting a car in Costa Rica depends on the time of year. This graph compares price changes from month to month in order to find the best offer.
Average Rental Price in Costa Rica
$28.55
January
$44.10
February
$36.96
March
$58.47
April
$24.79
May
$38.19
June
$47.03
July
$40.79
August
$23.90
September
$27.80
October
$50.26
November
$49.09
December
The cheapest month of the year to rent a car in Costa Rica is September — prices start from $23.90 for an Economy class vehicle. This is 39% cheaper than the yearly average and 59% cheaper than renting a car in the month of April (when prices start at $58.47 for a Compact class). This information can help you identify the low season. But these are only average numbers. The exact price for your trip will depend on the length of your rental and the number of days until your rental period begins. Just enter your dates in the form at the top of the page to see exact prices and offers.

What’s the average rental length in Costa Rica?

The average length differs from month to month. The longest rental periods are in August — an average of 10 days. The shortest are in January — an average of 4 days.
Average Rental Length in Costa Rica
4
January
8
February
7
March
9
April
9
May
7
June
8
July
10
August
8
September
6
October
8
November
8
December

What’s the most popular time for renting a car in Costa Rica?

Discover Cars users search for cars in a lot of locations daily. We gathered this information in order to analyze car rental popularity in Costa Rica. The most popular month is November, while the least popular is June.
Popularity of Car Rental in Costa Rica by Monthly Searches
4%
January
183%
February
152%
March
April
May
June
July
August
64%
September
84%
October
383%
November
329%
December

Most Popular Car Models of Rental Suppliers

Rental Agency Model Doors Luggage Type
Avis Nissan X-Trail 4 2 SUVs
Avis Nissan Qashqai 5 2 SUVs
Economy rent a car Toyota RAV4 4 3 SUVs
Economy rent a car Nissan X-Trail 4x4 4 3 SUVs
GreenMotion Daihatsu Bego 5 2 SUVs
GreenMotion Daihatsu Bego 5 2 SUVs
Economy rent a car Hyundai Accent 4 2 Small cars
Economy rent a car Hyundai Tucson 4 2 SUVs
MEX RENT A CAR Suzuki Jimny 3 1 SUVs
Economy rent a car Toyota RAV4 4 4 SUVs

Our Customers Reviews

Canada
Toyota Yaris
November 22, 2020
Much nicer and safer than you might have been told. "Ticos" are friendly, hospitable people who live humbly, work hard and if treated with respect and kindness, will give it back in spades. I felt comfortable everywhere I went, even though it was new and unfamiliar. Amazing natural places also.

Top 15 Suppliers in Costa Rica in 2021

GreenMotion
GreenMotion
Exceptional 9.4
+50621053480
Carretera 21, Next to the Daniel Oduber Airport, Provincia de Guanacaste, Liberia, 50101
Working hours
Mon:08:00-21:00
Tue:08:00-21:00
Wed:08:00-21:00
Thu:08:00-21:00
Fri:08:00-21:00
Sat:08:00-21:00
Sun:08:00-21:00
National
National
Exceptional 9.2
+5022427889
LIBERIA INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT,
Alamo
Alamo
Excellent 8.8
27101129
IN FRONTOF POCOCI MUNICIPALITY, HIGHWAY 32
Enterprise
Enterprise
Excellent 8.8
22427800
CALLE ANCHA
SIXT
SIXT
Excellent 8.7
+50624313803
Delivery and Collection
Europcar
Europcar
Excellent 8.6
+50626680125 / +50608005425527
Europcar,Carretera al Aeropuerto Internacional Daniel Oduber Quirós Plaza Futura Local 21, Guanacaste Province, Liberia, 50101
Working hours
Mon:06:00-22:00
Tue:06:00-22:00
Wed:06:00-22:00
Thu:06:00-22:00
Fri:06:00-22:00
Sat:06:00-22:00
Sun:06:00-22:00
Keddy
Keddy
Excellent 8.6
+50626686125
SOLARIUM PLAZA, 1KM SOUTH OF DANIEL
Working hours
Mon:06:00-22:00
Tue:06:00-22:00
Wed:06:00-22:00
Thu:06:00-22:00
Fri:06:00-22:00
Sat:06:00-22:00
Sun:06:00-22:00
Alamo
Alamo
Excellent 8.5
27101129
In Frontof Pococi Municipality
Working hours
Mon:08:00-17:00
Tue:08:00-17:00
Wed:08:00-17:00
Thu:08:00-17:00
Fri:08:00-17:00
Sat:08:00-17:00
Sun:08:00-17:00
Economy rent a car
Economy rent a car
Excellent 8.5
+50622992000
Frente al Hotel Witch's Rock Puntarenas, Guanacaste Province, Tamarindo, 50309
Working hours
Mon:08:00-18:00
Tue:08:00-18:00
Wed:08:00-18:00
Thu:08:00-18:00
Fri:08:00-18:00
Sat:08:00-18:00
Sun:08:00-18:00
Budget
Budget
Excellent 8.5
+50624362064
Tamarindo Zullymar Hotel Tamarindo Airport
Working hours
Mon:08:00-16:00
Tue:08:00-16:00
Wed:08:00-16:00
Thu:08:00-16:00
Fri:08:00-16:00
Sat:08:00-16:00
Avis
Avis
Excellent 8.5
+50626681138
Liberia Intl Apo
Working hours
Mon:05:00-22:30
Tue:05:00-22:30
Wed:05:00-22:30
Thu:05:00-22:30
Fri:05:00-22:30
Sat:05:00-22:30
Sun:05:00-22:30
NUCarrentals
NUCarrentals
Very good 7.6
+50626539129
1000 Calle Principal, Provincia de Guanacaste, Tamarindo 50309
RightCars
RightCars
Very good 7.3
Ace Rent a car
Ace Rent a car
Very good 7.3
+50621053481 / 3172487251
21
Working hours
Mon:08:00-21:00
Tue:08:00-21:00
Wed:08:00-21:00
Thu:08:00-21:00
Fri:08:00-21:00
Sat:08:00-21:00
Sun:08:00-21:00
MEX RENT A CAR
MEX RENT A CAR
Very good 7
+50685198889
5 km East from Aeropuerto Daniel Oduber
Working hours
Mon:07:30-20:00
Tue:07:30-20:00
Wed:07:30-20:00
Thu:07:30-20:00
Fri:07:30-20:00
Sat:07:30-20:00
Sun:07:30-20:00
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