Car Rental in Costa Rica
Cheapest Car Rental Rates
Most Popular Car Rental Deals
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.
Top ways to enter Costa Rica
- San Jose Juan Santamaría Airport: Named after Costa Rica’s national hero, this airport is the largest in Costa Rica and among the busiest in Central America.
- Liberia Airport: A tourism hub, this airports serves flights to and from USA, Canada, United Kingdom, Mexico, and Panama. It should not be confused with Monrovia Airport in Liberia, a country in West Africa.
- San Jose Tobías Bolaños: San Jose’s secondary airport serves flights to different regions of Costa Rica.
- By land: If your rental car provider permits it and if you have your entry documentation in order, it might be possible to rent a car in a neighboring country and then drive to Costa Rica. Large international airports near Costa Rica include Tocumen Airport in Panama and Managua Airport in Nicaragua.
Top cities and places to visit
- San Jose: Although sometimes overlooked because of Costa Rica’s picturesque nature destinations, the nation’s capital can attract visitors with its great architecture, history, and cuisine.
- Pacific Coast: To say that you’ll find some of the world’s most amazing beaches here is not an overstatement. A paradise of beaches and nature parks, this is the most visited part of Costa Rica.
- The Caribbean Coast: Limon Province that stretches along the Caribbean all the way from Nicaragua to Panama is home to sustainable tourism initiatives, large conversation areas, and the country’s Jamaican diaspora.
- The North: Sparsely populated, Costa Rica’s inland north is home to a primal landscape of mountains and volcanoes, as well as cloud forests and hot springs between them.
- The Southwest: This remote jungle corner, full of unique plant and animal species, is well worth the long travel.
Most popular rental car
The most popular rental car in Costa Rica is a the Daihatsu Bego, although travelers also tend to pick the Toyota Yaris and the Suzuki Jimny.
Costa Rica has two neighbors, Panama and Nicaragua. Each of those two countries have their own visa policy. Depending on your citizenship, you may or may not need a visa to visit either one of them. We advise you getting in touch with your Foreign Ministry in advance if you plan to visit either of the two countries.
Although not a rule, most rental car providers in Costa Rica will not permit crossing the national border in a rental car. If you’d like to do that, do find out about the rental car provider’s policy first in order to avoid fines and legal trouble. Learn more about cross-border rentals in our FAQ section.
Most popular types of rental car
The most popular rental car types in Costa Rica are standard, compact, and intermediate. Some mountain and jungle roads will require having a four-wheel drive vehicle.
Top driving routes
- San Jose - Malpais (188 km / 117 mi) The route from the capital to the surfing paradise in the Puntarenas Province includes a ferry and therefore takes about five hours to do, but is well worth doing not only because of the spectacular destination at the end of it, but also because of many picturesque places to see and explore on the way.
- Liberia - San Jose (210 km / 130 mi) The distance between two of the largest Costa Rica’s cities is straightforward and can be done in about three hours, but you might want to make a detour to visit one of the nature areas, such as the Tenorio Volcano National Park, the Palo Verde National Park, or the Children’s Eternal Rainforest, that will be on the way.
- San Jose - Puerto Viejo (217 km / 135 mi) Near the border with Panama in the very southeastern corner of the country, the town of Puerto Viejo can be reached in about four hours and is home to attractions like the black sand Playa Negra Beach, the mangrove forests, and the Jaguar Rescue Center that takes care of wild cats.
Car Rental Prices
- Large cars - from $41 per day
- Medium cars - from $29 per day
- People Carriers/Vans - from $60 per day
- Small cars - from $28 per day
- SUVs - from $40 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.
Top 8 Most Popular Locations in Costa Rica
Car Rental at Juan Santamaria International Airport (San José Airport) from $11.79 per day
Car Rental at Liberia Airport from $13.05 per day
Car Rental in San Jose (Downtown) from $15.04 per day
Car Rental in San Jose (Downtown) from $19.84 per day
Car Rental in Alajuela (Downtown) from $35.29 per day
Car Rental in Guapiles (Downtown) from $15.04 per day
Car Rental at Tamarindo Airport from $43.54 per day
Car Rental at Quepos La Managua Airport from $43.54 per day
Map of Car Rental Locations
Which is the cheapest month to rent a car in Costa Rica?
What’s the average rental length in Costa Rica?
What’s the most popular time for renting a car in Costa Rica?
Most Popular Car Models of Rental Suppliers
|Economy rent a car||Toyota RAV4||4||3||SUVs|
|Economy rent a car||Hyundai Creta||4||2||SUVs|
|Economy rent a car||Hyundai Creta||4||2||SUVs|
|Economy rent a car||Nissan X-Trail 4x4||4||3||SUVs|
|Economy rent a car||Toyota RAV4||4||4||SUVs|
|Ace Rent a car||Suzuki Jimny||4||4||SUVs|
|Economy rent a car||Hyundai i10||4||1||Small cars|
|GreenMotion||Toyota Yaris||4||2||Medium cars|