Tips for Renting Cars in Costa Rica

  1. Research – It is very important to research the area you are planning to visit in Costa Rica. For your trip and for renting cars in Costa Rica. Types of roads, conditions and weather can vary greatly from one area to another in Costa Rica. So researching the area you are planning to travel to will be crucial. For determining what type of transportation you will need. You may need a sedan, SUV or 4×4. You may need to contact the rental agency to ask for suggestions based on what areas you will be visiting.
  2. Plan for deposits – If you are planning to use a credit card to rent your car, most rental agencies in Costa Rica will require a deposit. This could be anywhere between 250-1000 dollars depending on the model of car you choose. So make sure to have enough extra funds available on your card for this.
  3. Insurance – You must purchase insurance on your rental car as required by law in Costa Rica. The minimum you will have to have on your vehicle is liability insurance. However it could be to your advantage to opt for full coverage. Especially if you are planning to visit more rural areas where the conditions of the road could cause you to damage the vehicle. You will be left with a large bill if someone else damages your vehicle. Therefore opting for the full coverage is recommended.
  4. Inspections – Take part in the inspection yourself. Make sure you take good pictures of the vehicle yourself to ensure that the car is returned in the same quality it was rented in.

    What Else?

  5. License – In most cases you should be legally allowed to drive in Costa Rica. As long as you bring your license and have a valid visa. It is best to call ahead and confirm this with your agency though.
  6. Local Companies – Local based rental companies in Costa Rica are usually the best choice. Not U.S. based Companies. Some of the larger companies from U.S. and such may not know all the regulations and laws associated with renting vehicles in Costa Rica. So renting from a locally established company is generally a better option.
  7. Spanish Phrases – It is a good idea to learn some common phrases used by locals in Costa Rica. Because without the use of addresses, being able to ask a local where to go, or where a good restaurant, hotel etc.., can be invaluable.
  8. GPS – Be sure to have some form of GPS. So it is recommended you get the top of the line GPS available from your rental agency. You will most likely need this to get around and using GPS on your phone can provide many problems. Running out of battery or service on your phone, and the GPS app being inaccurate are a couple common issues.