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Best rated stations in Costa Rica

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Juan Santamaria International Airport

Average pickup time: 51-60 minutes.
5.3 out of 10 (6 Reviews)
7 /10
Friendliness 70%
8 /10
Cleanliness 80%
Pickup time
7.3 /10
Pickup time 73%
Overall value
5.6 /10
Overall value 56%
5 out of 5
Alain46Reviewed on Aug 7, 2019, 12:19 PM
Vehicle in good condition, pleasant and professional staff, perfect overall.
1 out of 5
sebb75Reviewed on Aug 3, 2019, 11:25 AM
When I arrived at SJO Airport everything went very well. It is proposed to me to return my vehicle free of charge to the Escazu agency near my hotel. I put the car on the parking lot. The concierge calls the agency. The next day the car is still present! An email is sent to me as I did not return the vehicle! In addition 90 USD are debited to me !! I sent two emails to the agency without any response from them. This is not serious. I returned the vehicle on time (proof of the hotel) and I see myself charging $ 90 extra!
3 out of 5
TF3009Reviewed on Feb 23, 2019, 12:38 PM
First, the budget station is not directly at the airport, but about 5 minutes away by shuttle bus. However, this only runs about every 20 minutes. The rental process was a bit boring but correct, no attempt to sell additional insurance etc. The rental car (Toyota Yaris, 60000km) was already in very old condition. Various scratches and bumps on all sides, including bonnet, roof and trunk. From the inside and from driving, however, we could not find any defects and the car ran perfectly. One should be thorough in the takeover log as only a fraction of the damage is already noted by Budget. Returns ran smoothly and quickly.

Car rentals in Costa Rica: All you need to know

During your next vacation, discover the Central American country of Costa Rica, snuggled between the Pacific Ocean to the west and the Caribbean Sea to the east. Find white-sand beaches and great surf during your travels and discover why locals subscribe to the mantra, “Pura Vida” meaning “pure life”. This vivacious saying embodies the spirit of this location, and with your own Costa Rica car rental, we're certain you'll find a bit of Pura Vida, too.

How can I rent a cheap car in Costa Rica?

With a rental car from, you can explore this wonderful destination at your own pace without breaking the bank. You can easily find a great rental deal if you:

  • Run a search and compare of lots of rental car deals; 
  • Pick up your rental from a non-airport location;
  • Plan how much fuel and mileage you will need; 
  • Book your car hire in advance;
  • Rent for one driver.

What do I have to keep in mind when renting a car in Costa Rica?

If a driver has been in the country for longer than 3 months, they need a driving license for Costa Rica. Note also that cross border rentals are usually not permitted.

What Costa Rican car rental companies are good?

You can find cheap car rentals from big suppliers such as Avis and Alamo, as well as smaller regional agencies. Check some reviews before reserving your rental car.

What kind of car rental should I get in Costa Rica?

This depends on what you need from your vehicle. Perhaps you need to rent a van to get you and your large travel party from Liberia airport to your hotel in Puntarenas or Tamarindo, or a mid-size SUV with enough room for a child seat? Or maybe you're traveling light and only need a compact car to take you to the playa each day and back to your rental location or the airport. Take your pick from our fleet of vehicles on

How old do I have to be to rent a car in Costa Rica?

Drivers must be at least 21 years old and have held a license for 1 year. For bigger cars, drivers must be 25 years with a 1-year-old license. Under 25 years may be asked to pay a surcharge. The maximum age at which you can drive a car rental is 75. 

Do I need insurance to rent a car in Costa Rica?

Yes. It's worth checking to see if your own car or credit card insurance covers you to rent a car in this destination. In any case, US citizens can purchase insurance at the checkout or from the rental company of their choice.

Can I book with unlimited mileage when renting a car in Costa Rica?

Lots of suppliers offer unlimited mileage, but if not, be careful not to pile up too many miles and end up paying extra for them.

Can I use a debit card for a car rental?

Unfortunately, debit cards are not widely accepted, so you will need a credit card. Prepaid cards and cash are not accepted.

Is it possible to rent a car one-way in Costa Rica?

Picking up and dropping off from different rental locations is sometimes possible for an additional fee, depending on the rental car company. International one way rentals are usually not allowed. Check your supplier's T&Cs.

Which sights and/or cities are must-sees in Costa Rica?

Begin your journey in the capital, San Jose, and spend the day discovering Costa Rica through its museums and National Theatre located downtown. In the town of Nosara, nature lovers will delight in being close to not only the Pacific Ocean and its shores but the Ostional Wildlife Reserve as well. 

What is a good road trip in Costa Rica?

Rent yourself a comfortable van or a large 4x4, such as a Toyota or Daihatsu, and navigate your way from San Jose to Corcovado to go hiking in this National Park. 

What activities is Costa Rica especially good for?

Be sure to grab your hiking shoes and a camera for a visit to the Arenal Volcano which is still active to this day. From the shores of the Caribbean to the forest of Tortuguero National Park in Limon, there is plenty to do in this destination, and renting a car in Costa Rica is the easiest way to cover it all.

3 traffic tips to keep you safe

  • Yellow lines indicate the areas into which you are not allowed to pass
  • Drive on the right and over take on the left (passing on the right is not allowed)
  • Watch out for pedestrians and animals using or crossing the highways

Let your wallet go on vacation, too, and book the vehicle that’s right for you today on Whether it's an SUV, an van, or a full-size minivan, we can offer the cheapest deals on your Costa Rica rental car, so you can save your money to sample each region’s Bocas.

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