Renting a car in Costa Rica

The most flexible way to explore the country

If you rent a car in Costa Rica, your itinerary can be more flexible and not dependent on bus or train schedules.

Renting a car in Costa Rica

Due to the bad road conditions, especially outside of the capital San José, it is advisable to have a four-wheel drive. Many companies offer you the service of an experienced driver. The minimum age of renting a car is 21 years, sometimes 23 years depending on the vehicle you would like to drive.

Keep in mind that Costa Rican law says that it is mandatory to buy insurance from the rental company. Check what the basic insurance covers since accident rates are very high in Costa Rica.

To rent a car you will need the following documents:

  • Driving license
  • A major credit card
  • Passport

Normally, there will be a car inspection at the company before you can take your car. However, make sure you check the car carefully yourself before signing the contract. In general, the vehicle has to be returned with a full fuel tank.

Many car rental companies are situated in San José and other tourist destinations. You will find the offices of many international car rental companies such as Budget, Avis, Hertz, Sixt or Europcar in bigger cities or at airports. Costa Rican rental companies like Mapache or Hola Rent a Car might be cheaper alternatives.

Before renting a car you should compare the offers of several companies because rates might differ a lot. Prices are usually lower when cars are rented for a longer period of time.

Read more about driving in Costa Rica: Discovering Costa Rica by car.

Due to the bad road conditions, especially outside of the capital San José, it is advisable to have a four-wheel drive. Many companies offer you the service of an experienced driver. The minimum age of renting a car is 21 years, sometimes 23 years depending on the vehicle you would like to drive.

Keep in mind that Costa Rican law says that it is mandatory to buy insurance from the rental company. Check what the basic insurance covers since accident rates are very high in Costa Rica.

To rent a car you will need the following documents:

  • Driving license
  • A major credit card
  • Passport

Normally, there will be a car inspection at the company before you can take your car. However, make sure you check the car carefully yourself before signing the contract. In general, the vehicle has to be returned with a full fuel tank.

Many car rental companies are situated in San José and other tourist destinations. You will find the offices of many international car rental companies such as Budget, Avis, Hertz, Sixt or Europcar in bigger cities or at airports. Costa Rican rental companies like Mapache or Hola Rent a Car might be cheaper alternatives.

Before renting a car you should compare the offers of several companies because rates might differ a lot. Prices are usually lower when cars are rented for a longer period of time.

Read more about driving in Costa Rica: Discovering Costa Rica by car.

Further reading

Does this article help?

Do you have any comments, updates or questions on this topic? Ask them here: