Our car rental agency in San Jose airport
Our San Jose Costa Rica car rental company is located right next to the Juan Santamaria intl airport for holiday rentals. The Jumbo shuttle runs every 5 minutes between the airport terminal and the rental agency. The journey takes just a few minutes and an agent meets you on the spot to show you the available rental cars.
San Jose car rentals: available car types & top car deals
San José car rentals : which car to rent ?
In major cities like San Jose, roads are generally in decent condition. For San Jose, we recommend renting an economy or family vehicle rental for the holiday.
As you move away from major cities like San Jose or Liberia, road conditions deteriorate rapidly. Potholes, lack of maintenance, unpaved roads, dirt roads... the quality of the road infrastructure needs to be reviewed, and gets worse during the rainy season when some roads are flooded, blocked or closed and makes the trip a lot more complicated. You may have to choose to rent an SUV rental car during your trip.
We strongly advise people to opt for SUV or 4x4 car rentals (even in the dry season). You'll be able to get to all the country's tourist sites. SUV's and 4x4 rental cars have large trunks to carry all your luggage. Depending on the region or the sites you visit, you can choose between an SUV, a 4X2 or 4X4 rental car. Check with your accommodation to see if access is easy or if you need to get a 4X4 or SUV rental car in Costa Rica. With an SUV or 4x4 rental car, you'll be free to go anywhere in the country, while enjoying a certain level of comfort during your trip.
Where to pick up, drop off my rental car in San Jose ?
The best place to pick up, drop off a rental car in San Jose is at Juan Santamaria International Airport:
The agency is a 2-minute drive from the San Jose airport.
The San Jose airport agency is open 7 days a week.
It's possible to book and pick up a rental car on last minute.
All vehicle categories are available for car rentals at the airport San Jose airport (Costa Rica).
You drop off the rental car at the airport.
Our other car rental companies in Costa Rica
Not in San Jose airport? Don't worry, you can also rent a car and book a delivery from any Jumbo rental car company in Costa Rica:
- La Fortuna
- Guapiles / Tortugero
- Pérez Zeledón
- Playa Flamingo
- Puerto Jiménez
- Puerto Limón
- Puerto Viejo
- Samara (Costa Rica)
- San Jose
- Santa Teresa
To rent a car and book a delivery, contact us by phone on +506 22 55 86 26 or by email at email@example.com. Our teams will answer your request and all your questions regarding car rentals and delivery.
Car rental deals in San Jose Costa Rica
When should I book a rental car in San Jose?
Rental car deals in San Jose Costa Rica vary according to several factors such as :
- Number of people looking for rental cars in several car companies
- Time of year
- Date of reservation
- Pick-up, drop off location in San Jose, etc.
- Type of car : SUV, 4x4, family,...
To benefit from the best car rental deals in San Jose, we advise people to book your vehicle at least 7 days prior to your rental agreement.
Low Season High Season
Economy 16€ - 24€ / day 25€ - 65€ / day
Family 20€ - 35€ / day 45€ - 95€ / day
SUV 22€ - 39€ / day 40€ - 90€ / day
4x4 39€ - 70€ / day 71€ - 149€ / day
Above are car companies' rates in San Jose observed over the last 72 hours for car rental.
How much does an economy / city car cost in San Jose?
On average, a city / economy car in San Jose costs €21 per day.
How much does an intermediate car cost in San Jose?
The average price of a mid-size car in San Jose is €21 per day.
How much does a 4x4 cost in San Jose?
Renting a 4x4 car at San Jose Juan Santamaria intl airport costs €43 per day on average.
How much does an SUV cost in San Jose?
SUV in San Jose airport costs €41 per day on average.
How much does a family car cost in San Jose?
Family car in San Jose costs €38 per day on average.
How much does a luxury / premium car cost in San Jose?
Family car with pick-up from San Jose Juan Santamaria intl airport costs €57 per day on average.
How much does it cost to rent a car in San Jose Costa Rica for a week?
Renting a car in San Jose Costa Rica for a week costs an average of €385 (€55 per day).
How much does it cost to rent a car in San Jose Costa Rica for two weeks?
Renting a car at San Jose Costa Rica Airport for two weeks costs on average €719 (€51 per day).
How much does it cost to rent a car in San Jose Costa Rica for one month?
Renting a car in San Jose for one month costs on average €1,373 (€45 per day).
Car rental San Jose Costa Rica - FAQ
What documents do I need to rent a car at San Jose Airport?
To rent a car in San Jose, you'll need the following documents for the pick up:
- Valid passport
- Valid driver's license, at least 12 months old
- Credit card with the name of the main driver for the rental car deposit
What is the minimum age required to rent a car in San Jose?
To rent a car in San Jose, each driver listed on the rental car contract must be at least 18 years old and have held a valid driver's license for at least 12 months at the pick up. For certain vehicle categories, the minimum age is 21 years and 2 years' driving experience.
- People under 26 must subscribe to our young driver insurance coverage to be able to rent a car.
- People over 75 must subscribe to our senior insurance coverage to be able to rent a car.
What is the speed limit in San Jose?
In San Jose, the maximum speed limit is 40km/h in town and 25km/h in front of schools. In the rest of the country and outside the cities, the speed limit is generally between 60 km/h and 80 km/h, and up to 120 km/h on the freeways.
Where can I park in San Jose?
Finding a street parking space in San Jose is not easy, and you may have to be very patient. In downtown San Jose, street parking is free for the first 90 minutes, then costs $1 per 15 minutes, with a maximum of $25 per day. The easiest way to park in the city is in private parking lots (Seguro, Alcatraz, Vista Azul, Paseo de los Estudiantes, Montes, La Garantía, etc.).
What is the price of the deposit to rent a car in San Jose?
To pick up your rental car in San Jose, you'll need to leave a deposit for the duration of the rental. The car rentals' deposit varies from US$600 to US$2,400, depending on the category:
- Economy rental car: from US$600
- SUV and 4x4 rental car: from US$1,000
- Prestige rental car: from US$1,600
- Family rental car: from US$800
The deposit is blocked on your bank account for the duration of the vehicle rental in San Jose, but is not debited at the pick up. Please ensure that you have sufficient funds on the major credit card for the deposit to be validated and to be able to pick up your rental car. If your credit limit is insufficient, you can subscribe to our Total or Partial Deductible Waiver service, which reduces the deposit by half or in its entirety, as well as your financial responsibility in the event of a claim.
What are the most popular rental car companies in San José?
The most popular rental company in San José is Jumbo Car at San José Juan Santamaria International Airport (SJO), 35mn away from the city center.
What is the most popular rental car at San Jose International Airport?
The most popular rental cars in San Jose are 4x4s. Roads in Costa Rica are not always in good condition, or even paved. A 4x4 is the best rental car for a road trip around the country.
Do I need to purchase insurance coverage to rent a car at San Jose Airport?
It's not compulsory to take additional insurance coverage when you rent a car in Costa Rica, but it's strongly recommended, as the deductibles are high. This way, in the event of an accident or damage to the vehicle, you won't come across hidden fees.
In addition to the third-party liability insurance (CDW) coverage included in your rental, you can take the following insurance policies:
- Extended third-party liability coverage for damage to people up to 500,000 USD.
- Protection against glass breakage and tires
What methods of payment are accepted to rent a car?
At San Jose Airport you can use one of the following payment methods for your car rental:
- Credit cards
- Debit cards
- Bank transfer
Please note that the only form of payment accepted for the rental car deposit is credit cards.
What is the gas price in Costa Rica?
Over the last 30 days, the average price of petrol has been 999.03 CRC/liter (about €1.45), which works out at between €51 and €69 for a full tank. Diesel is very poorly used for cars, it is mostly for trucks and pick-ups. You'll only have to choose petrol for your rental car.
Over the last 30 days, the price has been 873 CRC/liter (about €1.25).
When you get to the gas station, let the people working there serve you. Turn off your engine, open your window and ask him for "el lleno regular", i.e. a full tank of normal petrol. He'll ask you to look at his screen to confirm that it's at zero.
Which car rental companies have the best car rental deals at San Jose airport?
The cheapest rental cars are in San José with Jumbo, located near the international airport (€16 per day).
Which car rental companies are present at San Jose airport (SJO)?
Here is list of car rental companies with an agency at San José International Airport: Jumbo, Alamo Rent a Car, Avis, Dollar, Easycar, Europcar, Hertz, Nation Car Rental, Sixt, Budget, Routes Car & Truck Rentals, Apex, Economy, etc.
Do car rental companies offer long-term car rental at San Jose Airport (SJO)?
Yes, it is possible to rent a car for a long-term period. To do so, contact us by email or telephone, and our teams will show you the rates and vehicles available.
What is the price to add an extra driver to my rental car in San José?
It's possible to add an extra driver to your reservation when you pick up your vehicle at the agency, for a price of $5,00 USD per day.
Which rental car companies offers free cancellation of your reservation at San Jose Airport (SJO)?
You can benefit from a free cancellation of your reservation in San José if you notify us within the deadlines indicated in the general rental conditions available on our website, before pick up.
Which car rental companies offer car rental with unlimited mileage at San Jose Airport (SJO) Costa Rica?
At Jumbo Costa Rica, all our San Jose car rentals offer unlimited mileage. You can drive as many kilometers as you like in the country.
What to do in the event of an accident with your rental car in San José?
Do not move the vehicle, find a safe place and other people to help you but leave the vehicle as it is. Call your car rental company to give your contact details, the location of the accident and the type of accident, and you'll be told what to do and what is included in the coverage. The car rental company then calls the police, insurance company and, if necessary, the fire department or Red Cross in the event of injuries.
If there is no other people involved, call us too to report the claim to the insurance company as soon as possible for coverage.
Can I drive in Costa Rica with a French or European driver's license?
With a European or North American driver's license, people can drive anywhere in Costa Rica and rent any category from any car rental company in San José. The only restriction is that the driver's license is only valid for the duration of your tourist visa in the country. No need for an international driving permit.
So, if you decide to stay longer than 90 days, remember to leave the country to renew the entry stamp on your passport.
What do I need to know about city's driving laws in San Jose and Costa Rica?
Here are a few things people need to know before driving in San Jose:
- Costa Rica's highway code is relatively similar to France's, but there are a few differences to note. For example, speed limits are expressed in kilometers per hour, but distances are indicated in meters. Road signs are generally in Spanish, but some are also in English. Drivers on the right always have the priority, unless otherwise indicated.
- Use a navigation system (GPS or Smartphone) to get around San Jose and the country for simplicity.
- Driving in San Jose city center and away is hazardous, you need to be vigilant, and motorists honk a lot. So don't be surprised by the noise. Traffic can be very heavy at rush hour, especially downtown. Streets are often narrow, congested and poorly lit. There may be holes, potholes or animals on the road. Watch out, too, for people walking on the side of the road, cyclists and motorcyclists, who can appear from anywhere.
- It's not uncommon to get stuck behind a slow-moving truck. Wait for the trucker to turn left before passing him. Be careful when you do so, as there may be sharp bends or car coming from the opposite road.
- As in the USA and Canada, traffic lights are often located in the middle of the intersection, so it's advisable to stop before the intersection when the light is red, rather than in front of the light as in France.
- In Costa Rica, police checks are frequent, so beware of crossing the solid lines, as the police are very stiff. Fines for traffic infractions can be high and must be paid at a bank or COSEVI (Costa Rican Road Safety Council) within 10 days of the infraction, but never directly to the police officer. If you are driving with a foreign license, you must also carry your passport and the Costa Rican entry stamp you received on arrival.
Driving at night:
It is not advisable to drive at night outside the major cities (San Jose, Liberia, etc.). Roads are rarely lit and reflective strips on the ground are almost non-existent, making driving very difficult. It is also common to come across people walking and cyclists without reflective clothing.
Driving at night can not only be a real challenge, it also can be quite dangerous. For the record, the sun sets all year round at around 6 p.m.
What areas of San Jose are pedestrian-friendly?
In San Jose, a large part of the city center is made for pedestrians (Central Avenue, around the Central Market, etc.). Avoid the city center if you're driving, as traffic can be quite tricky for people who are not used to it.
Rental car deals : tips in San Jose
Book your rental car in advance
Rental prices in San José may vary according to the number of vehicles available. The fewer cars available in San José, the higher the rental rates. Therefore, the earlier you make your reservation, the better the rental rates in San José. You may contact our customer service for more information, whenever you like during opening hours.
Book your rental car online
Rental car prices at San José airport are always better online than at the airport counter:
- Rental companies can anticipate your arrival and optimize their fleet management.
- Competition is less intense over the counter, so rates are higher.
Pick up, drop off your rental car at San Jose international airport
The best San José car rental deals are to be found at Juan Santamaria intl airport. In fact, San José airport is where you'll find the largest car rental agencies in Costa Rica's capital, and the widest choice of rental cars. All categories are available: economy, SUV, 4x4, family... Also, if you pick up your rental car on arrival in Costa Rica at San José airport, you won't have to pay for a cab to get to your accommodation or to the city center during your stay.
San Jose (SJO) Santamaria airport
Costa Rica's San José Juan Santamaría airport is the country's largest and busiest. It is followed by Liberia. The international airport is located in Alajuela, about 20 kilometers from downtown San José, and is named after Juan Santamaría, a Costa Rican national hero who fought against American invaders in 1856.
The airport has a main terminal with two halls, one for domestic flights and the other for international flights. It also has a secondary terminal for regional and charter flights. San José airport offers a wide range of services, including restaurants, cafés, banks, currency exchange offices and ATMs, car rental agencies, cabs, buses and a free shuttle service to nearby hotels.
The airport was inaugurated in 1955 and has undergone several renovations and expansions over the years to keep pace with growing air traffic. In 2022, almost 5 million people passed through San José airport, making it the second busiest airport in Central America after Tocumen in Panama.
The airport is served by over 30 airlines:
Air Canada (AC)
Air Transat (TS)
Alaska Airlines (AS)
American Airlines (AA)
British Airways (BA)a
Edelweiss Air (WK)
Evelop / Iberojet (E9)
MN Airlines LLC (SY)
Southwest Airlines (WN)
Spirit Airlines (NK)
Sunwing Airlines (WG)
Thomson Airways (BY)
United Airlines (UA)
Volaris Costa Rica (Q6)
San Jose airport is the main gateway to Costa Rica for international people and for car rentals.
Visiting Costa Rica: explore San Jose
San José is the capital of Costa Rica and a city full of charm, culture and history. Whether people seek for art, nature, gastronomy or adventure in a road trip, there's always something to discover wherever you are in the country:
- Visit the Pre-Columbian Gold Museum, where you can admire over 1,600 gold objects dating from 500 to 1,500 AD. You'll discover the history and culture of the indigenous people who lived in the region before the arrival of the Spanish. The museum also features temporary exhibitions on other aspects of Costa Rican heritage.
- Admire the Theatre, San José's most emblematic monument. Built in the late 19th century, it shows impressive neoclassical architecture, adorned with sculptures, frescoes and stained-glass windows. You can visit the interior of the theater, which still hosts music, dance and theater performances, or just enjoy a coffee on its terrace overlooking the central square.
- Stroll through the Central Market, San José's largest and oldest market. You'll find everything from fresh fruit and vegetables to souvenirs, handcrafted art and local specialties.
- Take a day trip to Tortuga Island, a paradise island in the Gulf of Nicoya. Enjoy a catamaran cruise, a swim in the crystal-clear waters, a typical lunch and optional activities such as kayaking, diving or hiking. Discover also Jaco Beach (about 100km away).
- Explore the Poás volcano, one of Costa Rica's most active. Located about an hour's drive from San José, it offers spectacular scenery, with its giant crater filled with a turquoise acid lake and fumaroles escaping from the ground. Another interesting one is Irazu Volcano (55km away).