The first year we did not rent online, after we arrived, I made a deal with an agent as we exited the airport --most of the companies are there trying to offer deals. I went with the 'best deal offered'.
On following trips, I rented from Toyota and there was no hassles/extra charges, etc. If you visit internet sites or acquire information on line, you will read about many stories of extra charges or faulty vehicles. With Toyota, I always received a clean, new to nearly new, good, mechanically sound car.
On more recent trips, I have rented from Vamos Rent a Car rental agency. Vamos offers slightly older vehicles, yet clean and well maintained, at more economical rates. Vamos also offers complementary cell phones, cooler, and baby-seat if needed. I have rented from Vamos since our 2010 summer trip, and I continue to be very happy with the cars and the savings.
I have been able to secure a 15% discount from Vamos Rent a Car for our clients.
I recommend a SUV type rental the small and economical Terios Bego, the medium sized RAV4, or the full-sized Mitsubishi or Toyota Prado. All are quite good, offering sufficient ground clearance, 4X4, and automatic transmissions. Choose according to your budget and needs.
Let me know if you would like a referral to take advantage of this discount.
Vamos Rent A Car: https://vamosrentacar.com
To rent a car in Costa Rica, you will need to be 21 years of age or older, posses a valid driver's license, a passport with an entrance stamp no older than 90 days, and a valid credit card. The rental car agencies will offer: friendly courteous service, compulsory and optional insurances, a variety of cars, SUVs and trucks, and 24 hour roadside service. If you have an early/late arrival/departure, you may make arrangements to drop off the car at the airport.
Costa Rica is a relatively small country with an abundance of natural splendours to see and numerous exciting tours to experience. Renting a car and touring this natural paradise is an economical, fun and educational way to explore this great country, do ask for a complimentary road map, and let the adventure begin.
Do?s and Don?ts When Driving around CR
Always lock your car, and do not leave valuables in your car.
At night, park in established secure parking lots.
Speeding in Costa Rica is not tolerated and police do use RADAR so be forewarned.
If stopped by the police, accept the ticket, it will be less expensive than a bribe.
Police do random spot checks similar to our 'RIDE' program. If stopped, don't panic, pull over. Police will ask for ID (copy of passport) and/or driver's license. Before you know it, your ID will be returned and you will be able to continue with your travels.
You cannot leave Costa Rica with the rental car.
If you happen to get lost, you will find most Costa Ricans are more than willing to help you find your way, just ask anyone along the street for help and use your map for visual assistance if language is barrier. Buckle up and enjoy your adventure in Paradise. Be also aware that many farm equipment and/or farm animals use the road as well as pedestrians. Always look well ahead and stay alert!