Car Rental at San Jose Airport

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Juan Santamaria International Airport (San José Airport), San Jose, Costa Rica
Unable to find any location
Driver's country of residence is United States of America (USA) and age is 30-65
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500+ Trusted Suppliers:

Cheapest Car Rental Rates

Economy
Toyota Yaris or similar
Toyota Yaris
  • 4
  • 1
  • 4
  • A/C
  • Auto.
NUCarrentals
$40.47 per day
Mini
Nissan March or similar
Nissan March
  • 5
  • 1
  • 4
  • A/C
  • Man.
Avis
$81.16 per day
Intermediate
Toyota Rush or similar
Toyota Rush
  • 5
  • 2
  • 5
  • A/C
  • Man.
AmiGO Rent a Car
$95.67 per day
Compact
Hyundai Accent or similar
Hyundai Accent
  • 5
  • 2
  • 5
  • A/C
  • Man.
MEX RENT A CAR
$96.21 per day

Most Popular Car Rental Deals

Full-size
Toyota Hilux or similar
Toyota Hilux
  • 5
  • 3
  • 4
  • A/C
  • Man.
AmiGo Rent a Car
$111.00 / per day
Special
Toyota Rush or similar
Toyota Rush
  • 7
  • 2
  • 5
  • A/C
  • Auto.
Alamo
$113.01 / per day
Standard
Toyota Corolla or similar
Toyota Corolla
  • 5
  • 4
  • 4
  • A/C
  • Auto.
Enterprise
$122.04 / per day
Standard Elite
Nissan Pathfinder or similar
Nissan Pathfinder
  • 7
  • 3
  • 5
  • A/C
  • Auto.
Flexways
$127.03 / per day
The above prices are only approximate and were last updated at 02:01 on 2023-01-30. Prices may vary based on the booking dates, length of rental, and car class.
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Travel Information

Language
Spanish,
English
Currency
CRC
Traffic direction
Right-hand side
Country code
506
Average car rental price
$98.32 / per day
Average car rental length
10 days
Speed limit within town
40 km/h
25 mph
Speed limit out of town
40 - 60 km/h
25 - 37 mph
Acceptable limit of BAC
0.02%
Rating
8.8
Juan Santamaria International Airport (San José Airport) Car Rental

Airport Car Rental

Arguably the most popular travel destination in Central America, Costa Rica is known for its pristine beaches, lush rainforest, and imposing volcanoes. Although sometimes overlooked for these natural riches, the national capital, San Jose, and the region that surrounds it also offer plenty of excitement and things to see and do. These are three of the most interesting experiences in and around San Jose:

  • The Gold Museum. Also known as the Pre-Columbian Museum, this cultural institution features in practically every tourism booklet of San Jose, but that is only a testament to how interesting it is. Dedicated to the heritage of the many fascinating indigenous cultures that inhabited the area before the arrival of the Europeans, it has a special focus on their goldwork and jewelry. 
  • Cartago. The former capital of Costa Rica, Cartago has lost some of its political importance, but none of the charm. Home to fascinating colonial architecture, the jewel of which is the Our Lady of the Angels Basilica, the municipality is also home to the ruins of Ujarrás and natural sites like Tapantí National Park. The drive from San Jose to Cartago takes only about 40 minutes.
  • Braulio Carrillo National Park. A stunning protected area of high peaks, crater lakes, and tropical forests, Braulio Carillo is only a short drive north of the capital. There are numerous hiking trails in its territory that range in difficulty from relaxing strolls to demanding multi-day adventures. Natives of the park include the solitary eagle, great green macaw, Northern tamandua anteater, and ocelot.

Top international routes

  • Panama City
  • Houston
  • Miami
  • San Salvador
  • Mexico City
  • Fort Lauderdale

Main airlines

Nature Air, Sansa Airlines, Volaris Costa Rica, Avianca Costa Rica, American Airlines, and Copa Airlines

Terminals

The Main Terminal (M) serves all international flights while Domestic Terminal, also known as Sansa Terminal, serves local flights. You can walk between them in less than five minutes.

Location

San Jose Airport is actually in the city of Alajuela, a suburb of San Jose. The airport is about 20 km (12 mi) west of San Jose city center. Radial Francisco J. Orlich and Route 1 are the main roads connecting the airport to the city.

Most popular types of rental car

  • Large cars - from $170 per day
  • Medium cars - from $137 per day
  • Vans - from $219 per day
  • Small cars - from $103 per day
  • SUVs - from $221 per day

Car rental desks

Most are located in the international arrivals area.

Services and facilities

You’ll find many shops, six duty-free outlets, as well as restaurants and bars. There are also ATMs, two currency exchange offices, a Red Cross Station offering medical help, a pharmacy, and spa. There is no luggage storage service

Nearest gas station

A Delta gas station, located near the corner of Route 1/Pan American Highway and Route 3, can be reached in about 12 minutes and is open 24/7. It’s on the way to the city center. There are many other gas stations near San Jose Airport and in San Jose.

Popular one-way rentals

  • Malpais (154 km / 95 mi)
  • Liberia (199 km / 123 mi)
  • Puerto Viejo (83 km / 51 mi)
  • Guapiles (82 km / 50 mi)
  • Managua (411 km / 255 mi)
  • Rivas (310 km / 192 mi)
This information was written, fact-checked, and/or translated by our content creators. Learn more about our editorial policy.

Airport info

Rating
7.2
  • Getting to the airport 7.3
  • Check-in and departures 8.0
  • Terminal facilities 7.2
  • Wi-Fi connectivity 6.8
  • Restaurants and car rental services 7.0
  • Lounge 6.4

Juan Santamaria International Airport (San José Airport) (SJO)

  • IATA: SJO
  • ICAO: MROC
  • Name: Juan Santamaria International Airport (San José Airport) (SJO)
  • Size: Medium Airport
  • Aircraft movements (per year): 87,771
  • Passengers (per year): 4,595,355
  • Working hours: 24 hours a day

Top 5 Locations near Juan Santamaria International Airport (San José Airport)

  1. 14.7 km / 9.1 miles away
  2. 54.8 km / 34.0 miles away
  3. 175.9 km / 109.3 miles away
  4. 194.0 km / 120.6 miles away

Map of Car Rental Locations

When are car rental prices cheapest at San Jose Airport?

The cost of renting a car at San Jose Airport depends on the time of year. This graph compares month-to-month price changes to help you find the best deal.
Average Rental Price at San Jose Airport
$40.82
January
$56.90
February
$41.32
March
$29.73
April
$31.35
May
$33.98
June
$57.43
July
$36.29
August
$43.25
September
$39.75
October
$32.67
November
$35.46
December
The cheapest time of the year to rent a vehicle at San Jose Airport is April when prices for an Economy class start from $29.73. You can see that this is 26% cheaper than the yearly average and 48% cheaper than renting a car in July (when rental prices start at $57.43 for a Compact class). Knowing this can help you find the best price. But remember that these are just average numbers. The exact cost of your rental will depend on your rental length and on how far in advance you book the car. Enter your travel dates at the top of the page to see exact prices and offers!

What’s the most frequent rental length at San Jose Airport?

Travel length differs from one month to another: in December the average rental period is 11 days, while in October, the average rental period is only 6 days.
Average Rental Length
10
January
9
February
9
March
10
April
10
May
10
June
10
July
10
August
8
September
6
October
10
November
11
December

Which is the busiest month for car rental at San Jose Airport?

Travelers are most likely to rent a car at San Jose Airport in December, while they are least likely to to rent in in June.
Popularity by Monthly Searches
70%
January
58%
February
42%
March
35%
April
41%
May
30%
June
37%
July
37%
August
174%
September
227%
October
216%
November
232%
December

Most Popular Car Models of Rental Suppliers

Rental Supplier Model Doors Luggage Type
AmiGO Rent a Car Chevrolet Beat 4 2 Small cars
Avis Nissan Kicks 4 3 SUVs
MEX RENT A CAR Suzuki Jimny 3 1 SUVs
Economy rent a car Toyota RAV4 5 2 SUVs
AmiGO Rent a Car Toyota Yaris 4 1 Small cars
AmiGO Rent a Car Toyota Corolla 4 2 Large cars
AmiGO Rent a Car Toyota Rush 5 2 SUVs
Avis Nissan Qashqai 5 2 SUVs
AmiGO Rent a Car Toyota Rush 5 2 SUVs
MEX RENT A CAR Toyota Rush 4 2 SUVs

FAQ

Can I enter Nicaragua from Costa Rica for a day?
No, it is not possible to take a rental car from Costa Rica to Nicaragua. No rental company in Costa Rica allows this.
Is Third-Party Liability (TPL) insurance included in the rental price in Costa Rica?
"If you are not a resident of the United States or Canada, third-party liability insurance is included in the rental price.

If you are a resident of the United States or Canada, whether third-party insurance is included or not depends on which rental company you choose. In particular, Economy Rent a Car and Mex do not have third-party liability insurance included in their rates.

Our Customers' Reviews

Because we want to make sure each review listed here is left by a real customer, we don’t have an option to post a review here. Instead, we ask each and every customer to leave a review after they return their rental. This way, you know that all reviews are authentic, verified, and trustworthy.

Romania
Suzuki Grand Vitara
January 10, 2023
I had a +1200km trip around Costa Rica: San Jose, Manuel Antonio, La Fortuna, Puerto Viejo. The roads are good, I didn't use the 4x4 traction of the car. Average speed is low but not because of the asphalt quality.
Denmark
Suzuki Jimny
January 5, 2023
Traveling by car in Costa Rica is no problem. Drive in daytime, where you see the holes in the road.
Canada
Toyota RAV4
January 3, 2023
Excellent car for the hilly road we had driven on across Puntarenas, Guanacaste, and Alejuelah. Apply Car Play was very helpful as well.
United States of America (USA)
Hyundai Creta
December 31, 2022
Great nature, great activity
Netherlands
Mitsubishi ASX
November 29, 2022
Rented a 4x4, so we could see a lot of nice places in nature. Definitely worth it!
United States of America (USA)
Nissan Qashqai
November 2, 2022
Payment is no good.
United States of America (USA)
Nissan Versa
May 20, 2022
We travelled from San Jose, Costa Rica to the west coast and visited beaches there. Also famous park with monkeys. We drove for a week and had no problem finding lodging on the way. It was very safe. You really need GPS because roads are complicated and drivers are fast. It’s better to drive outside San Jose. The capital is very difficult to drive: good luck yielding to traffic or going slower. We saw many accidents.
Netherlands
Hyundai Creta
May 7, 2022
I honestly think that in Costa Rica you should only be able to rent 4X4 cars. The roads are really bad.
Czech Republic
Chevrolet Beat
April 10, 2022
Overall a great experience
United States of America (USA)
Chevrolet Beat
March 27, 2022
Learn Spanish. Convert US dollars to CR colones. Be prepared to travel for hours to various sightseeing places. Most all beaches (pacific coast) are brown 'muddy' type sand altho there are some with clear water and white ish sand-very crowded. Enjoyed the visit overall and will return.
Israel
Mitsubishi ASX 4WD Aut.
January 2, 2022
Should improve the return proccess such that clients dropping off the car would not have to wait in line with clients picking up .
United States of America (USA)
Nissan X-Trail
October 26, 2021
Drove from San Jose to Quepos. Roads are in good condition but bikers, motorcyclists, and congestion can make the drive longer than expected. Plan extra time going back to San Jose, especially in the evening.
Netherlands
Toyota Yaris Sedan
September 6, 2021
We hired a car in Costa Rica and some roads we could not take as they were only 4x4. Especially on the west coast this was an issue. We also visited the Blue Falls of Costa Rica and Catarata del Toro. The road was that steep that the car engine could hardly get us going. With only 20 km/h we drove upwards. Make sure you have a strong car in Costa Rica and preferably a 4x4.
United States of America (USA)
Ssangyong Korando 4WD
July 30, 2021
We went first to the Arenal area and stayed for 5 days in a great b&b at Castillo de la Fortuna (Nephente). Followed by playa langosta area for a week, to Manuel Antonio for 4 nights, to Puerto Viejo de Talamanca for 5 nights. Loved Costa Rica!
United States of America (USA)
Mitsubishi ASX
July 17, 2021
Jungle ATV tour in Uvida , is a must do.
United States of America (USA)
Ssangyong Korando 4WD
June 15, 2021
Driving in San Jose is very up tempo and you must stay alert at all times. So many motorcycles passing on both sides at all times.
Sweden
Toyota Corolla Sedan
May 22, 2021
Excellent service, good price and fast and easy!
United States of America (USA)
Daihatsu Bego
April 24, 2021
If you're staying at the airport (Hotel Mango or the two hotels by the casino) it's so much easier to get a car from GreenCars (or the other companies in the business complex here) than to drive to the other side of the airport and find the large companies' (Hertz, Avis etc.) offices.
Switzerland
Toyota Yaris Sedan
April 16, 2021
Thank you i miss costa rica
France
Mitsubishi ASX
March 29, 2021
take care about the drop of services... Also it's located on the main road next to the airport that is very accessible. Just take care of the size of the car if you are 4 pax , focus on few luggage or take a bigger car. Mitsubishi 4x4 is perfect for a couple or couple + 1 child no more.
Switzerland
Suzuki Jimny
March 15, 2021
When visiting Costa Rica, I highly recommend choosing a 4x4 (medium like Grand Vitara is better, but small like Jimny will do the job too). The streets around cities are in good condition, but as soon as you leave the "normal" roads to get to your hotel or a remote location, for example, streets turn quickly into bumpy roads. Especially on Nicoya Peninsula (Nosara, Santa Teresa, Montezuma).
United Kingdom
Toyota Yaris
March 21, 2020
Quite hectic driving in the freeway initially - lots of fast inside overtaking . Don’t park where the pavement is yellow and watch out for one way streets where the sign is neither well placed or obvious! A lot of the roads are unpaved or half built but that’s the fun part! A 4x4 is recommended but not essential - we got a free upgrade anyway - the small automatics are really underpowered for overtaking and hills - go for a manual if you can ;)

Car Rental Statistics

Highest rated company
Adobe Rent a Car
9.28 / 10
Lowest rated company
Avis
6.71 / 10
Total number of reviews
49
Total rental companies
20
Average daily price
$98.32
Lowest daily price
$40.47
Total cars available
156

Top 20 Suppliers at San Jose Airport in 2023

Adobe Rent a Car
Exceptional 9.3 / 51 reviews
+50625424848 / +50624422422 / +50624412219
1.4 Km Al Este Alajuela 20109, Alajuela, Río Segundo
$167 - $167
Working hours
Mon:05:00-22:00
Tue:05:00-22:00
Wed:05:00-22:00
Thu:05:00-22:00
Fri:05:00-22:00
Sat:05:00-22:00
Sun:05:00-22:00
Alamo
Exceptional 9.2 / 56 reviews
+50622427907 / +50622427733
La Asunción De Belén, Calle Don Chico, Belen, 40703
$100 - $185
SIXT
Excellent 8.8 / 40 reviews
+50624313803
Oficentro Plaza aeropuerto C3
$128 - $327
National
National
Excellent 8.6 / 4 reviews
+50622427911 / +50622427878
De Belen, C. Don Chico, Heredia, Belén, 40703
$110 - $203
Enterprise
Enterprise
Excellent 8.6 / 1 reviews
22427800
La Asuncion De Belen
$110 - $204
Working hours
Mon:00:00-23:59
Tue:00:00-23:59
Wed:00:00-23:59
Thu:00:00-23:59
Fri:00:00-23:59
Sat:00:00-23:59
Sun:00:00-23:59
Hertz
Hertz
Excellent 8.6
50640020713
Juan Santamaria Intl Apto.
Working hours
Mon:05:00-23:00
Tue:05:00-23:00
Wed:05:00-23:00
Thu:05:00-23:00
Fri:05:00-23:00
Sat:05:00-23:00
Sun:05:00-23:00
Keddy
Keddy
Excellent 8.5 / 3 reviews
+50650640023857
Carretera Aeropuerto Internacional Juan Santamaria, Shuttle Service
Working hours
Mon:06:00-23:00
Tue:06:00-23:00
Wed:06:00-23:00
Thu:06:00-23:00
Fri:06:00-23:00
Sat:06:00-23:00
Sun:06:00-23:00
EasyCar
Excellent 8.4
+50625424848 / +50624422422 / +50624412219
1.4 Km Al Este Alajuela 20109, Alajuela, Río Segundo
Working hours
Mon:05:00-22:00
Tue:05:00-22:00
Wed:05:00-22:00
Thu:05:00-22:00
Fri:05:00-22:00
Sat:05:00-22:00
Sun:05:00-22:00
Europcar
Europcar
Excellent 8.4
+50650640023857
Carretera Aeropuerto Internacional Juan Santamaria, Shuttle Service
Working hours
Mon:06:00-23:00
Tue:06:00-23:00
Wed:06:00-23:00
Thu:06:00-23:00
Fri:06:00-23:00
Sat:06:00-23:00
Sun:06:00-23:00
Payless Car Rental
Excellent 8.4
+50624304647
Alajuela Province, Rio Segundo, San Jose
$182 - $182
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
Dollar
Excellent 8.2
+50624432950
Alajuela Province, Alajuela
$98 - $196
Working hours
Mon:06:00-23:00
Tue:06:00-23:00
Wed:06:00-23:00
Thu:06:00-23:00
Fri:06:00-23:00
Sat:06:00-23:00
Sun:06:00-23:00
GreenMotion
Excellent 8.1 / 108 reviews
+50640367431 / +50640367400
3, Rio Segundo, Provincia de Alajuela, Alajuela, 20109
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
Budget
Excellent 8 / 20 reviews
+50624362010
Juan Santamaría International Airport, Alajuela CR 20101, Alajuela Province, Río Segundo
$143 - $148
Working hours
Mon:06:00-23:00
Tue:06:00-23:00
Wed:06:00-23:00
Thu:06:00-23:00
Fri:06:00-23:00
Sat:06:00-23:00
Sun:06:00-23:00
Flexways
Excellent 8 / 53 reviews
+5491152599877
Aeropuerto Internacional Santamaría, Alajuela Province, Alajuela, Costa Rica
$122 - $127
NUCarrentals
NUCarrentals
Very good 7.9 / 56 reviews
50624426000
FRONT OF HAMPTON INN & SUITES
$40 - $92
Working hours
Mon:06:00-23:00
Tue:06:00-23:00
Wed:06:00-23:00
Thu:06:00-23:00
Fri:06:00-23:00
Sat:06:00-23:00
Sun:06:00-23:00
AmiGO Rent a Car
Very good 7.8 / 137 reviews
+50624428585
From Juan Santamaría Airport, 1 Km E, 50 Mts N., San Jose
$96 - $156
Working hours
Mon:05:00-22:00
Tue:05:00-22:00
Wed:05:00-22:00
Thu:05:00-22:00
Fri:05:00-22:00
Sat:05:00-22:00
Sun:05:00-22:00
Routes Car Rental
Very good 7.1 / 31 reviews
+50687733000
500 meters East Casino Fiesta, Rio Segundo, Provincia de Alajuela, Alajuela, Costa Rica
Working hours
Mon:06:30-19:30
Tue:06:30-19:30
Wed:06:30-19:30
Thu:06:30-19:30
Fri:06:30-19:30
Sat:06:30-19:30
Sun:06:30-19:30
Economy rent a car
Very good 7 / 120 reviews
+50622992000
Arrivals, Alajuela Province, Alajuela
$154 - $261
Working hours
Mon:00:01-23:59
Tue:00:01-23:59
Wed:00:01-23:59
Thu:00:01-23:59
Fri:00:01-23:59
Sat:00:01-23:59
Sun:00:01-23:59
MEX RENT A CAR
Very good 7 / 76 reviews
+50624300629
500 mts East from Casino Fiesta, Rio Segundo
$92 - $118
Working hours
Mon:06:30-20:00
Tue:06:30-20:00
Wed:06:30-20:00
Thu:06:30-20:00
Fri:06:30-20:00
Sat:06:30-20:00
Sun:06:30-20:00
Avis
Good 6.7 / 204 reviews
+50622932222
Juan Santamaría International Airport Baggage reclaim area Alajuela Alajuela CR 20101, Alajuela Province, Costa Rica
$74 - $181
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
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