Mini (Suzuki Jimny or similar) is the most frequently booked car hire type in Costa Rica.
Based on ratings and reviews from real users on KAYAK, the best car hire companies in Costa Rica are Alamo (8.0, 163 reviews), and Budget (6.0, 93 reviews).
Take a look at our extensive car hire location map to find the best car hire deals near you.
If you are planning to rent a car in Costa Rica, you need to remember to drive on the right-hand side of the road. You will notice that all road signs are in Spanish and that some roads may be unmarked and not signposted. There are several toll roads that connect major cities, including Puntarenas and San José, as well as airports. You can pay for tolls in local currency or US dollars. It is commonplace for local drivers to use their horns to alert other road users of their whereabouts.
You must be at least 18 years old to rent a car in Costa Rica. You do not need an international driving permit, but must have had a valid driver’s license for at least a year. You will need to present your license and your passport to your car hire company. You are permitted to drive with your home country’s driving license for three months; beyond that, you will need to apply for a Costa Rica license.
Petrol prices in Costa Rica are around 692.98 SVC (1.17 USD) per liter and 2589.22 SVC (4.43 USD) per gallon. All petrol stations in Costa Rica are government-regulated, meaning that the prices are the same, so you don’t need to shop around. You will find that petrol stations are full-service. If you are traveling a long distance, fill up in advance to avoid running out of gas, as stations are pretty far apart.
The speed limit in Costa Rica is measured in kilometers and varies throughout. The minimum speed on a highway is 40 km/h (25 mph), with a maximum of 120 km/h (74 mph). Unless road signs indicate otherwise, the limit on secondary roads is 60 km/h (37 mph), while in town and city centers, the speed limit is 40 km/h (25 mph). If you are driving close to schools and hospitals, be aware that the limit is 25 km/h (15 mph).