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Costa Rica

Online Car Rental

Hi travelers!

I am planning a trip to Costa Rica and I'd love to rent a car. Do you have any good websites you use? Any you had good experiences with? (for example, giving up the full price).

Thanks & safe trips!


7 Answers

answered by
Erick from Heredia

There are many companies to rent a car from but before you book it must consider some good tips:

  • Get a GPS with your rental car. This is the best travel tool to drive in Costa Rica. The country has a lot of roads with no signs. 
  • Avoid driving in night time
  • Get a 4x4 just to make sure you can drive anywhere. Some roads are not in good conditions (MonteverdeMonteverde, Santa Teresa and more) and a 4x4 will be very helpful.
  • Which Company? There more than 27 rental car companies in Costa Rica but according to my experience and their services these are the top three:

Adobe Rent a Car

Hertz Costa Rica

Toyota Rent a Car

  • Quotes: When you get an online quotation it used to do not show the total cost for the car so, make sure to ask for full quotation including: Mandatory Insurance and any additional fees (No hidden Costs) Also, in low season (from May to Nov) you can get really good discounts so ask for it!
  • The gas is expensive. 1 Galon is about $3.53 and it can change. 

Renting a car and exploring the country on your own is a great experience. There so many places and things to know that you ll love it here.

Hope this information is helpful.

Erick / local travel specialist

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Monteverde (attraction)
1 thanks

answered by
Zene from Cristal Azul Boutique Retreat

Hola again! We are located in Playa San Miguel on the Nicoya an area considered to be one of the last hidden gems of CR! It's paradise! You can contact Harry and he will hook you up with a car out of their San Jose office! Just tell him you are a guest of ours and he will give you a special rate! He is a manager of our area but works with all the locations throughout the country! If you head our way, stop by our restaurant on the beach...(the only one:) LocosCocos!!! Pura Vida!

1 thankscomments (2)

answered first by
Zene from Cristal Azul Boutique Retreat

Hola! I have 16 years living here owning a hotel and book cars directly for my clients. (Cristal Azul in San Miguel). I recommend Harry at Budget in Tambor, tell him I referred you. If not, Adobe is fantastic too. Toyota has the most expensive rates and the aforementioned use the same cars, same model year. We have seen some real lemons come from the more familiar US franchise companies, franchises here are not the same as the US, different standards. You will be required to put a $1000 deposit on the car that they will take from your CC or debit card, it is not a hold..its an actual processed fee that they then return to you. There are lots of hidden charges so be sure you have an itemized quote that you review upon first inspection of car. Check everything, I recently had a guest who was charged for supplemental insurance that they did not elect. They had the car dropped off by an agency we do not use and I witnessed the signing of the contract and the client refusing the insurance. It was marked off already on the contract and they signed without noticing. I was able to get the charges returned by the run around was ridiculous, and I witnessed the whole thing. So, be careful, get it all in writing, and now in advance that cars here cost more on a daily basis than the US. 4x4 is the best option as many roads in CR are not paved or bumpy. A bego is fine! Pura Vida

1 thankscomments (1)

answered by

Many years ago we rented a car from Elegante.  In those days, almost all the cars were standard shift so it was lucky that my husband could drive a stick. In those days (before GPS was common in cars) we used the Essential Road Guide to Costa Rica, but last time we brought a GPS from home with Costa Rica maps on it.

Adobe has a good reputation.  I've also rented from Budget and it was OK.   We rented at the airport near San Jose - some of the roads have tolls so be sure you have some coins.

I agree with everything Erick said - don't drive at night, don't leave anything in the car unless it is in a guarded lot and then I think you tip the guard. 

answered by
Erik from Seattle

Any of the big name car rental agencies will suffice. Depending on where you're going, there are plenty of car rental agencies near the Guanacaste airport in Liberia. I would definitely recommend getting a 4x4, but be careful - most rental agencies will give you a typical Suzuki Jimmy or something along those lines. Locals know that tourists rent these, and they're super easy to break into. Never leave anything valuable in it, even if you're close by. I was surfing and put some belongings in the glove box, had full view of my car, and it only took about 30 seconds for someone to break in and steal my stuff before I had time to get out of the water, they were already gone. 

Be smart and enjoy, Costa Rica is amazing! 

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Guanacaste (region)
  2. Liberia (city)
  3. Costa Rica (attraction)

answered by
Don from Austin (Texas)

I've used Ace and they were very good and had great service. They have several agencies around the country. Hint- get a 4 wheel drive vehicle if you're going anywhere outside San Jose!

answered by
Carlos from San Jose

Hi! I have rented cars many times! I recommend the following link for Costa Rica Car Rental. They give free advice by local travel experts, hook you up with the car rental company that better fits your request and you usually safe a few bucks if you ask for a discount. 

Pura vida, 

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