Rent a car in Costa Rica

Renting your own vehicle to discover Costa Rica in a self-drive tour has many advantages such as moving at your own pace and adapting your itinerary according to your desires, saving money compared to a trip accompanied by a private driver-guide or visiting places that are difficult to access by public transportation.


Nevertheless, the idea of renting and driving a vehicle in an unknown country can be stressful and that is why Atípico Costa Rica works in collaboration with rental agencies selected for the quality of their fleet and their service to the French speaking customers.


Take advantage of a 5% discount at our partner agencies!



IS IT NECESSARY TO RENT A 4X4 VEHICLE ?

Many secondary roads are not paved in Costa Rica, so yes, we recommend renting a 4x4 vehicle (especially if you want to get off the beaten path while keeping a certain comfort). However, not all locals drive SUVs! Depending on your budget and the activities that motivate your stay, our excellent knowledge of the road network will also allow us to propose you an itinerary that can be done in a city car.




HOW TO FIND YOUR WAY AROUND COSTA RICA?

Pont au Costa Rica

Postal addresses as we know them in North Amercia are not common in Costa Rica. Here you can find your way by street names, intersections and buildings like schools or supermarkets. The most reliable smartphone application to get to your destination without getting stuck by an impassable river is Waze. We recommend all travelers to download it before their departure. On the negative side, it requires an internet connection (we invite you to read our article "stay connected"). An alternative is the Maps.me application which works without an internet connection.





OUR TIPS FOR SAFE TRAVEL :

Animale nocturne traversant la route

Avoid driving at night! Outside of the GAM (San José Metropolitan Area) the roads are poorly lit, as are many pedestrians and cyclists! Add to this an abundance of wildlife and potholes and a night drive can become exhausting.


Respect the rules of the road! Outside the cities, the speed limit is 80 km/h in most of the country.


Opt for guarded parking! In tourist destinations, it is possible to leave your car under the surveillance of locals wearing yellow vests, nicknamed "watchies". You can thank them with a few dollars, usually when you get back on the road. Whatever your destination, do not leave anything of value in your vehicle.





WHAT INSURANCE SHOULD I TAKE OUT?

Two insurances are mandatory to rent and drive a vehicle in Costa Rica:


  1. Third Party Waiver (TPW) or Liability Insurance (LI) or in Spanish "Seguro Obligatorio para Vehículos Automotores" (SOA) - covering damages to third parties.

  2. Collision Damage Waiver (CDW) - covering damage to the vehicle (except for the underbody and roof) and theft.


It is possible to skip this second insurance if you can provide proof of coverage in Costa Rica (especially for 4x4s).