Renting a vehicle and driving in Costa Rica

Renting a car in Costa Rica is a great idea if you are planning on leaving the city and would prefer not to wait for a potentially crowded bus. Most tourist destinations are only a few hours away, and you will definitely enjoy the scenery and beautiful countryside as you drive.

How to choose the right car ?

We are often asked what make or model we can recommend ? We don't think there is a certain make or model that is just perfect for everyone. It really depends on what exactly you expecting from your vehicle, where you want to go and how much money you want to spend. A 4x4 is our car of choice. The size of the 4x4 vehicle will depend on the amount of people traveling with their luggages. Both automatic and manual transmission are available, however, it will depend on availability and not all models are available with this option.
For a list of available cars, see below :

Suzuki Jimny Daihatsu Bego Toyota RAV4
KIA Sportage
ou Ssangyons Korando
KIA Sorento
Montero sport, wagon
ou Mitsubishi outlander
Toyota Prado, Toyota Fortuner
ou Mitsubishi Montero GLS
2 adults
An economical and compact car
1300 cc
+ : Budget
- : Small car trunk
2/3 adults
Economical car, AC
1500 cc
+ : Ideal vehicle for a correct budget
- : Perhaps a little bit just in ascent
2 adults, 2 children
The great classic of the 4x4
de 2000 cc a 2400 cc
+ : Spacious and reliable
- : Can be small for 4 adults with luggages
4/5 adults + luggages
Space and power
2500 cc
+ : Spacious and comfortable
- : Bulky
7 adults and more with luggages
The best choice for 4x4
3000 cc
+ : Solidity, reliability, capacity
- : More expensive

Domanda de preventivo in linea !

Grazie per comunicarmi per e-mail e senza impegno la vostra migliore proposta
Nome *
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E-mail *
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Riconsegna ed ora *
Categoria di SUV/4x4 * Small   Medium   Standard   Family   Confort
Trasmissione Manuale   Automatica  
Assicurazione Basica   Completa senza franchigia
GPS Si   No  
Osservazioni o domande:
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Our advice :

Some advice to guide you in the rent of a vehicle, unsurprisingly

  • A vehicle 4X4 is preferable to visit the country because roads are sometimes bad (holes, fording, tracks)
  • During the high season (from November in April) and/or if you wish to be certain to have the desired model, it is recommended to reserve its vehicle in advance
  • The road information is rather badly indicated, also we deeply recommend you to rent a GPS for $5 / day
  • Distrust however proposals of rent including a GPS free but equipped with obsolete maps which turns out in the reality a completely out-of-date and unusable tool!

Take advantage of our experience :

Since the creation of our écolodge in Costa Rica and to answer at the request of our customers we tested most of the car rental companies on the following points :

  • Value for money
  • Respect for the announced rates
  • Punctuality and professionalism
  • Recent and maintained car fleet
  • Environmental commitment of the company
  • Serious and effective insurances
  • Quickness of intervention in case of problem

Our experience and a rigorous selection allowed us to hold 3 serious renters guaranteeing very attractive rates and complete packs of insurance. An international company and two order 100 % of Costa Rica.  

Our key points :

  • A recent car fleet with little km, these vehicles possess the last equipments regarding safety and less greedy motorizations in energy and less polluting, in agreement with our environmental policy.
  • A network of agencies distributed in most places of Costa Rica for a fast and effective intervention in case of problem.
  • Delivery and/or return of the vehicle directly to Tacacori EcoLodge without supplement, if you arrive in the evening your vehicle will be delivered to you in the breakfast the following morning.
  • Delivery and also possible return in any place or hotel of the country, without supplement on Alajuela or San Jose.
  • Reservation confidently: any advance or deposit, no credit card number to be transmitted, confirmation by e-mail with a number of reservation.
  • Free mileage applies to rentals (over one day) no minimum number of days of rent asked.
  • Second free driver.
  • Real option any risks with zero deductible, everything is taken care, you leave with a quiet mind

You will can can be to find prices cheaper somewhere else for several reasons :

  • Use of obsolete and dangerous vehicles.
    Good to know: in Costa Rica the standards are clearly less severe than in Europe or USA regarding safety, most of the vehicles before 2010 do not possess passenger airbag. Anti-lock braking system, EBD and multiple airbags are present only on vehicles recent top of the range. for example:Daithasu Terios is not any more made since 2006 but is always proposed in reduced rates by the renters.

  • Caution on certain low cost prices on the Internet, on the sites which announce you " transparent price rates and unsurprisingly ". In reality by way of these intermediaries you are only insured the basic insurance, we shall propose you additional insurances only at the time of the signature of the contract and when you really have no more the choice.

  • Rates announced in euros can seem to you cheaper but beware to change these prices in US dollars to be able to compare them with rates expressed here in Costa Rica.
  • Caution also on the international franchisings which seem to you reassuring but which in the reality have no agencies appropriate to Costa Rica and delegate finally to local companies not always very reliable.

  • Finally beware on the car rental portal on Internet, the rates are often expressed in euros and mixed with options in dollars to spread the doubt. The mandatory and basic insurances are not included and the options are very expensive(GPS at $12 / day for example). Impossibility to change a line the contract, the delivery in your hotel in supplement.
Thus compare all the elements before making your decision and know how to read between the lines.

A last recommendation :If you do not know your interlocutor communicate on no account your credit card. Some of our customers had the unpleasant surprise to discover that they had paid deposits to companies(societies) which fainted in the nature. TACACORI EcoLodge is in daily relation with reliable and serious local agencies which never ask for the payment of deposit.

Let us speak insurances with full transparency.

There is a multitude of insurances, which differ according to the prices and the inclusive services and it is often difficult to sort out. That is why we wish to explain to you clearly and with full transparency the various options.
Most of the time, you have to pay more to have a more important cover. There is neither "maid" nor "bad" insurance, everything depends on your need for safety and for what you are ready to pay.
Remember yourselves that you go to rent a vehicle which you do not know, in a country in the sometimes deficient road infrastructures and the insufficient road marking. Of more the unpredictable behavior of numerous road users increase the risks of accident.

The main insurances:

Basic Obligatory Insurance:
This insurance has a deductible according to the category of car you rent. It covers collision, roll over and damages to third parties and property (C.D.W). In case of damages to third parties, the Instituto Nacional de Seguros indicates that the deductible amount as stipulated in the clauses is calculated in 20% of the total damages caused to other people's property. Option cover 100 % proposed during the signature of the contract.

Full cover or zero deductible:
This insurance covers your car against traffic accident and 100% damages to third parties, including windscreen and broken glass, vandalism, scratches, dented bodywork

Good to know: no company takes care of the damages to oil pan, rocker panel or to the roof as well as of the damages caused by carelessness and the theft of personal effects.

Additional insurances:

Insurance against theft :
Covers you in case of theft of your rented car. According to the offers, a deductible included between 300$ and 2500$ will be also required by the renter.

Credit Card Insurance : yes but…
Credit cards, in particular "premium" as Visa premier, Gold MasterCard or AMEX, often include specific insurances for the car rental.
Many customers possessing such a credit card consider enough insured for their route by car by rent abroad and think of not needing to contract of additional insurance. It is recommended to the travelers to read well the general conditions of their card and to inquire with their bank.

Auto Rental CDW Programs offered by major card issuers are accepted but under certain conditions:

  • The insurance of your credit card covers ONLY the rented vehicle, it substitutes itself for the mandatory insurance called CDW.
  • It will be necessary to you to take a third-party insurance ( TPL) to cover at least 80 % of the damages or even more expensive 100 % of the damages ( TPLZ); between 15 and $25 a day according to the company or the vehicle.
  • A SERIOUS company rent will ask you necessarily for a mail of your bank giving evidence that your bank card covers well 4x4 in Costa Rica as well as assured amount.
  • The wanted pledge will be of 2000 $3000, is the double or triple of the normal pledge!
  • Also know that in case of accident, your bank card will be immediately produced and you will have to open a case in your return to make you pay off, what can take some time!

- Accidents or damage caused while driving under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs.
- Driving the vehicle through inaccessible paths, rivers, shorelines, swamps or similar places.
- Accidents or damages caused to the vehicle by negligent driving, or provoked incidents not contemplated in the traffic police or insurance company reports.
- The vehicle shall not be driven by persons that are not specifically authorized in the rental contract. (Non-authorized drivers).
- The coverage does not include lost keys, tools, and removable radios, discharged batteries because the car lights were left on, broken or cut tires and wheels.
- The insurance neither covers towing nor rescue costs, nor payments for the utilization of cranes or for hauling the car to the main office.
- The coverage excludes a vehicle that was left under hazardous conditions, or in isolated places, thus facilitating a potential theft.

Finally is necessarily needed a traffic police report (Transito) and an insurance report(INS) to be able to be indemnified.

Ask for your quote today !

The on-line quotation request is free and without commitment. It involved no fees and no contract. Take simply a few minutes to fill completely request form above, and we shall take care besides. We shall handle your request with our partners to obtain moderate prices and quality service according to your needs and shall contact you when we shall receive their proposal. We shall send you a precise quote by e-mail which you can use to obtain from additional information, compare quietly at your home, ask specific questions or to confirm us your reservation simply.

If you have to bring modifications later, any problem till 24 hours before the pick up of the vehicle. The process of return is even simpler, the company which can provide you a Free transportation to the airport


Traveling with a group, with friends ?
Vous are a big family ?
Rent a Van Toyota Hiace, capacity of 10 persons with luggages, manual transmission, 3000 cc, A/C, AM/FM radio with CD.

Use le form beside and specify in the section remarks "I am interested in the MINI VAN".


 écoliers - Costa Rica

In Costa Rica, you are allowed to drive with your normal driver's license for three months, an international drivers license is not necessary. When collecting the car you must present a valid credit card and a valid passport.


 écoliers - Costa Rica

With that in mind, here's some great eco-driving tips to minimize the impact of your car on the environment, and save money at the same time.

Eco driving doesn't mean you have to compromise on your vehicle or your journeys. You keep the CO2 emissions down and you can feel good that with eco driving, you're not creating unnecessary pollution.

 écoliers - Costa Rica

- Consider renting an "eco friendly" vehicle, new models have potentially reduce their fuel consumption.
- Go steady : Accelerating less aggressively and slowing down moderately for stops can increase your fuel efficiency by over 30%.
- Before your journey, plan the route to avoid local works, congestion or losing your way. If you do hit a traffic jam – turn the engine off.
- Consider sometimes avoiding short journeys, or link together several necessary journeys – cold engines use almost twice as much fuel as heated ones and catalytic converters can take up to five miles to become effective.
- Minimize use air conditioning, use the vent setting as much as possible.
- Don't be idle : If you're stopped for more than a minute, shut off your engine. Fuel efficiency savings of up to 19% are possible by being more aware of not letting your engine idle while stopped
-Streamline your ride : Impovint the aerodynamics of your car reduces drag and improves fuel efficiency.Eco driving is lighter driving.
- Jump in the pool : Drive alone, and you're making the gasoline industry very happy. Ask your friends to combine errand runs with you.