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Car Hire Costa Rica

Are you visiting Costa Rica? Check our car rental quotes and read the car rental reviews to pick the right automobile rental for your needs!


A small and breathtakingly beautiful country in Central America, Costa Rica is bordered by Panama to the south, Nicaragua to the north, the Caribbean Sea to the east and the Pacific Ocean to the west. Ever since the late 1980’s Costa Rica has turned into a popular destination for nature lovers. The country has a nicely organized system of protected areas and national parks, which cover one fourth of the country’s territory. In Costa Rica can be seen a rich diversity of flora and fauna, as well as several active volcanoes and some of the most delightful beaches on earth with very short travel distance between the two coasts of the Caribbean Sea and the Pacific Ocean. Thanks to the quality car rental services provided, the travelers can easily reach all places of interest.

Costa Rica is a preferred holiday destination for people who are into ecotourism, bird watching, trekking and visits to the rural communities, as well as adventure activities. The country is among the oldest democracies in the world, a stable and peaceful nation and a very pleasant and green holiday destination. Besides rain forests and dry tropical forests, marshy lowlands and high mountains, it also features diverse culture. The country comprises of several islands including Cocos Island, Calero Island and Puntarenas.

The biggest cities in Costa Rica

Costa Rica has beautiful cities where some of them could be explored on food and the others with the available automobile hire. The settlements that should be seen are:

  • San José – this is the capital of Costa Rica.
  • Cartago – this is the old capital of Costa Rica.
  • Dominical – that is the largest city on the South Pacific coast, featuring incredible biodiversity.
  • Alajuela – near that city is located the International Airport Juan Santamaria.
  • Heredia – this place is visited for the coffee plantations.
  • Liberia – this settlement is home to the International Airport Daniel Oduber and a gateway to the Guanacaste beaches Samara, Nosara, Carillo.
  • Puerto Limon – that is the main city on the Caribbean side.
  • Quesada – that is the largest settlement in the north area of the country and is surrounded by hot springs.

Driving in Costa Rica

Costa Rica is run through by the Interamericana, which is the Pan-American Highway. This is the main entry point to the country by car and it features two border posts. The condition of this highway is good only around the big cities and outside them is characterized with tight turns, changes of elevation and bad road coverage. The police checks are regular.

A wise way to see the sights of Costa Rica is to fly to the country and then get an affordable car hire by one of the numerous car hire companies. The travelers should know that the highway speed allowed is 80 km/h, yet as Interamericana is passing through many small towns, the allowed speed frequency there drops to 30-50 km/h. Drunken driving is considered a crime and is subject of a serious fee. Talking on the phone while driving and not using seat belts is also subject of a ticket.

The roads in Costa Rica are in very bad shape in general, so even the short distances take a long time. Driving at night is not advisable. The road signs are few and not accurate, so good road maps and GPS device are necessary. The towns do not have town-limit signs. The avenues numbers run from east to west and the streets run from north to south.

Car rental tips for Costa Rica

The best advantage of the holiday car hire is the fact that travelers get access to the mountain areas and the secluded beaches. Holiday makers are welcome to organize a car hire comparison and should always keep in mind the car hire insurance that is required and usually not optional. For extensive driving outside the Central Valley of Costa Rica four-wheel drive is required. The car rental companies that are operating in Costa Rica require a guarantee deposit for the rental period.

Some useful advices to be considered:

  • Drivers should always check their cars before renting them. The check should include the brake fluid, the fuel gauge the oil, the air pressure, etc.
  • The drivers should ask the rental company to list the minor damages and should then keep this document.
  • The maximum insurance is always the best possibility in case of an accident.


Mini Guide

Among the places that need to be seen besides the tourist attractions and landmarks in the cities of Costa Rica are these national parks:

  • Chirripo National Park
  • Cahuita National Park
  • Corcovado National Park
  • Cocos Island National Park
  • Manuel Antonio National Park
  • Arenal Volcano – active volcano
  • Monteverde and Santa Elena Cloud Forest Reserves
  • Rincón de la Vieja Volcano National Park
  • Pacuare River and Protected ZoneFor reaching these places, an affordable car hire is needed.

Did you know?

• Costa Rica is a small country, slightly smaller than Lake Michigan, yet it has 800 miles of coastline, both on the Atlantic and Pacific.
• The county has 5 % of the planet’s biodiversity with more than 220 of reptiles, 130 species of fish, 1,000 butterflies, 20 000 species of spiders, 9 000 plants, and 34 000 species of insects!
Costa Ricans call themselves Ticos and Ticas.
• The average life expectancy in Costa Rica is 77 years, being one of the highest in the world.
• The literacy rate in the country is 96 %.
• Costa Rica has the longest-standing democracy in Central America.
• Costa Rica is a Catholic country yet freedom of religion is ensured.
• The flight from San to Miami is only 2 hours and to New York – only 3.5 hours.
• The locks usually work backwards.
• The milk, eggs, and other perishable items are sold unrefrigerated.