Car Rental in Costa Rica

✓ No Hidden Costs ✓ 24/7 Support ✓ Free Cancellation
Unable to find any location
Driver's country of residence is United States of America (USA) and age is 30-65
  • 18
  • 19
  • 20
  • 21
  • 22
  • 23
  • 24
  • 25
  • 26
  • 27
  • 28
  • 29
  • 30 - 65
  • 66
  • 67
  • 68
  • 69
  • 70
  • 71
  • 72
  • 73
  • 74
  • 75
  • 76
  • 77
  • 78
  • 79
  • 80+
500+ Trusted Suppliers:

Cheapest Car Rental Rates

Juan Santamaria International Airport (San José Airport) Car Rental
Mini
Fiat Uno or similar
Fiat Uno
  • 5
  • 2
  • 4
  • A/C
  • Man.
MEX RENT A CAR
$35.04 / per day
Liberia Airport Car Rental
Economy
Toyota Yaris or similar
Toyota Yaris
  • 5
  • 1
  • 4
  • A/C
  • Man.
AmiGO Rent a Car
$45.06 / per day
Downtown Car Rental
Standard
Nissan Versa or similar
Nissan Versa
  • 5
  • 2
  • 4
  • A/C
  • Auto.
Dollar
$45.60 / per day
La Fortuna Arenal Airport Car Rental
Compact
Toyota Yaris or similar
Toyota Yaris
  • 5
  • 1
  • 4
  • A/C
  • Man.
National
$47.37 / per day

Most Popular Car Rental Deals

Nosara Airport Car Rental
Intermediate
Hyundai Elantra or similar
Hyundai Elantra
  • 5
  • 2
  • 4
  • A/C
  • Man.
Alamo
$50.25 / per day
San Jose San Rafael de Escazu Car Rental
Full-size
Nissan Sentra or similar
Nissan Sentra
  • 5
  • 2
  • 4
  • A/C
  • Auto.
Avis
$66.07 / per day
Downtown Car Rental
Economy Elite Monospace
Nissan Versa or similar
Nissan Versa
  • 5
  • 2
  • 5
  • A/C
  • Auto.
Keddy
$73.62 / per day
San Jose San Pedro Car Rental
Premium SUV
Hyundai Santa Fe or similar
Hyundai Santa Fe
  • 7
  • 2
  • 4
  • A/C
  • Auto.
Economy rent a car
$86.93 / per day
The above prices are only approximate and were last updated at 12:18 on 2023-12-04. Prices may vary based on the booking dates, length of rental, and car class.

Travel Information

Languages
Spanish, English, Creole
Currency
CRC
Drive on
Right-hand side
Country code
+506
Average car rental price
$56 per day
Average car rental length
11 days
Speed limit within town
25 - 50 km/h or 16 - 31 mph
Speed limit out of town
60 km/h or 37 mph
Acceptable limit of BAC
0.05%
Rating
8.8 / 10
Average gasoline price
$1.54 per liter or $5.83 / 1 gallon
Lowest gasoline price
$1.31 per liter or $4.97 / 1 gallon
Highest gasoline price
$1.94 per liter or $7.33 / 1 gallon

Why rent a car in Costa Rica?

Costa Rica is a great country 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's 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 $37 per day
  • Medium cars - from $37 per day
  • Vans - from $78 per day
  • Premium cars - from $125 per day
  • Small cars - from $35 per day
  • SUVs - from $44 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, but this may vary each year.
This information was written, fact-checked, and/or translated by our content creators.

Learn more about our Editorial Policy.
Fact checked by
Yulia Saf
This article was reviewed and updated by Yulia, the spirited explorer behind Misstourist who has spent eight years traveling to over 70 countries, inspiring others with her passion and experiences. She founded Misstourist to empower fellow adventurers with invaluable resources and authentic storytelling. From bustling markets to breathtaking fjords, Yulia's adventures have created a thriving community of travel enthusiasts, making Misstourist an essential resource for uncovering the world's hidden gems.

Top 8 Most Popular Cities in Costa Rica

Map of Car Rental Locations

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

The cost of renting a car in Costa Rica varies by season. This graph compares prices from month to month in order to help you find the best time of year.
Average rental costs per day in Costa Rica
$70.98
January
$77.20
February
$65.97
March
$52.28
April
$33.57
May
$31.37
June
$51.30
July
$42.25
August
$30.20
September
$27.14
October
$39.44
November
$79.52
December
The cheapest month of the year to rent a car in Costa Rica is October — when rental costs average $27.14 per day. This is 46% cheaper than the yearly average and 66% cheaper than renting a car in December (when prices average $79.52 per day).

This information can help you identify the low season. But these are only average numbers. How much your car rental will cost will depend on the type of vehicle you rent, how long you’ll rent it for, and how far ahead you book. Simply enter your dates in the form at the top of the page to see the exact prices.

What’s the average rental length in Costa Rica?

How long renters typically keep their vehicle sometimes varies depending on the time of year. Travelers tend to keep their rental cars longer in January — an average of 13 days. They tend to keep them for a shorter time in February — an average of 11 days.
Average number of rental days in Costa Rica
13
January
11
February
11
March
11
April
11
May
11
June
12
July
12
August
12
September
12
October
12
November
12
December

What's the most popular month to rent a car in Costa Rica?

Based on how many customers search for a car in Costa Rica, the most popular month is February, while the least popular is October.
Monthly searches in Costa Rica by pick-up date relative to the average
111%
January
130%
February
122%
March
116%
April
64%
May
76%
June
102%
July
121%
August
71%
September
60%
October
113%
November
114%
December

Car Rental Information

Car rental locations 55
Airport locations 8
Popular suppliers Economy rent a car, MEX RENT A CAR, AmiGO Rent a Car, Avis, Flexways
Popular car categories SUVs, Small cars, Large cars, Medium cars
Lowest price $35 per day
Cheapest supplier MEX RENT A CAR

Most Popular Car Models of Rental Suppliers

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

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 car. This way, you know that all reviews are authentic, verified, and trustworthy.

Netherlands
Suzuki Jimny
November 16, 2023
The wildlife and nature are are amazing
United States of America (USA)
Nissan Kicks
August 14, 2023
Costa Rica is wonderful but traffic is crazy. Plan on everything taking longer due to traffic, accidents, and construction
United States of America (USA)
Hyundai Tucson
July 20, 2023
friendly people wonderful beaches good eats
Greece
Toyota Yaris
June 20, 2023
Outside san jose was excellent but in the city, oh my god. Its a mess.
United States of America (USA)
Toyota RAV4
June 19, 2023
We visited Manuel Antonio, Dominical, and Uvita. Having a 4x4 was key. Costa truly is heaven on earth.
Israel
Geely Okavango 2WD Aut.
June 10, 2023
The nature was beautiful but the activities were very expensive
United Kingdom
Geely GX3
June 5, 2023
We went to Costa Rica. We should have bought a higher vehicle for the roads in Moneverde and one with a bigger engine size as we struggled on steep hills and in high altitudes!
United States of America (USA)
Nissan Qashqai
April 21, 2023
Our trip was wonderful, minus the rental car aspect.
Canada
Toyota RAV4
April 14, 2023
Quepos, Dominicalito etc.
United States of America (USA)
Hyundai H1
April 6, 2023
They cancelled our car rental because our flight was delayed and we were an hour late.
Costa Rica
Toyota Rush
March 29, 2023
Beautiful nature, adventure on the side roads.
United States of America (USA)
Toyota RAV4
February 8, 2023
We had a great time in CR again.
United States of America (USA)
Chevrolet Beat
January 28, 2023
Weather, Playa Hermosa, the people. Many activities.
Canada
Nissan Kicks
December 30, 2022
I loved Dominical, very quiet and slow Jaco was also a very friendly place Tamarindo was bigger and more touristic but everywhere we stopped seems very safe and friendly people All restaurants had great fish and seafood Those are my favourite food Sunset was always extraordinary
United Kingdom
Toyota Rush
December 21, 2022
All Beach and mountain areas were perfect
United States of America (USA)
Nissan Qashqai
November 26, 2022
Thank you
Spain
Toyota Yaris
July 25, 2022
It is highly recommended to hire a 4*4 car because in many situations differents navigators leade your route through several ways in very bad conditions
Canada
Toyota RAV4
May 2, 2022
The main roads in Costa Rica are in good shape, but a lot of them are not. There is also a lot of steep hills to climb. So a decent AWD car will be my recommendation. If you can get your hands and on a real 4x4 car, you should do it since sometimes you will need to go through dirt roads.
Spain
Ssangyong Korando 4WD
February 13, 2022
Make sure you have a 4X4 for the roads in Costa Rica! Then you can access the beautiful areas. Costa Rica is very hilly!
United States of America (USA)
Hyundai Elantra
May 3, 2021
get a higher profile wheel base, many rocks and bumps to navigate
United States of America (USA)
Nissan X-Trail
April 29, 2021
Have everything you need
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.
Sweden
Mitsubishi Mirage
February 7, 2019
Always rent a 4x4 car when in Costa Rica!

Car Rental Statistics

Highest rated company
EasyCar
9.4 / 10
)
Lowest rated company
Avis
6.9 / 10
)
Total number of reviews
61
Total rental companies
23
Average daily price
$56.24
Lowest daily price
$35.04
Total cars available
3374

Top 23 Suppliers in Costa Rica in 2023

EasyCar
EasyCar
Exceptional 9.4 / 178 reviews
14 locations
$89 - $155
Adobe Rent a Car
Adobe Rent a Car
Exceptional 9.3 / 116 reviews
14 locations
$93 - $168
Alamo
Alamo
Exceptional 9.2 / 114 reviews
36 locations
$46 - $178
GreenMotion
GreenMotion
Exceptional 9.1 / 184 reviews
3 locations
$58 - $92
SIXT
SIXT
Very good 8.9 / 75 reviews
4 locations
$61 - $328
National
National
Very good 8.9 / 23 reviews
34 locations
$47 - $186
AmiGO Rent a Car
AmiGO Rent a Car
Very good 8.8 / 530 reviews
4 locations
$42 - $104
Flexways
Flexways
Very good 8.7 / 120 reviews
3 locations
$64 - $101
MEX RENT A CAR
MEX RENT A CAR
Very good 8.6 / 275 reviews
2 locations
$35 - $474
Enterprise
Enterprise
Very good 8.6 / 5 reviews
10 locations
$60 - $176
EC Rent a Car
EC Rent a Car
Very good 8.5 / 35 reviews
3 locations
$82 - $178
Hertz
Hertz
Very good 8.5
2 locations
Keddy
Keddy
Very good 8.4 / 3 reviews
4 locations
$57 - $1301
Dollar
Dollar
Very good 8.3 / 73 reviews
4 locations
$46 - $95
Payless Car Rental
Payless Car Rental
Very good 8.3 / 60 reviews
3 locations
$72 - $161
Europcar
Europcar
Very good 8.2 / 5 reviews
7 locations
$86 - $3102
Economy rent a car
Economy rent a car
Very good 8 / 356 reviews
12 locations
$54 - $151
NUCarrentals
NUCarrentals
Very good 8 / 72 reviews
3 locations
$56 - $123
Budget
Budget
Very good 8 / 32 reviews
4 locations
$79 - $123
Routes Car Rental
Routes Car Rental
Good 7.9 / 81 reviews
2 locations
Ace Rent a car
Ace Rent a car
Good 7.6 / 93 reviews
2 locations
$100 - $247
York Car Rental
York Car Rental
Good 7.2 / 20 reviews
2 locations
Avis
Avis
Satisfactory 6.9 / 374 reviews
10 locations
$54 - $187
Why book with us?
Special offers
As a market leader (see SimilarWeb), we get special offers like contactless pick-ups, great prices, and free upgrades.
Award-winning
World's Leading Car Rental Booking Website in the World Travel Tech Awards (3 years in a row).
Highly-rated
A combined rating of 4.5 with 90k total reviews on platforms like Trustpilot, Google, and Review Center.
4M users
Have already booked on one of the fastest-growing car rental booking websites.
Download App
Book and manage your booking on the go
Log in or create an account
Get access to all your bookings in one place
Continue with email
By selecting "Agree and continue", you agree to DiscoverCars.com's
and
What's your email?
Please check your email
Please check your email
We've sent an email with a verification link to {email}
Click on the link in the email to log in.
Please select a pick-up location and dates