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4wd Car Rental Costa Rica

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rent cars 4x4 rental costa rica

1. Go wherever you want

Renting a 4x4 is the most convenient way to cross the entire country and visit the most beautiful places during your stay. Indeed, some roads are not tarred thus impossible to drive on without a 4x4, especially in the rainy season. Some examples are the Monteverde Reserve, Tortugero, the Arenal volcano, Lake Arenal, etc. Even hotels and accommodations can be difficult to get access!

Renting a 4x4 is the best way for you to make sure you enjoy the adventure to Costa Rica with complete freedom.

2. The cheapest solution

Renting an off-road car in San Jose is the best solution and probably the cheapest way to spend your holiday:

• If you choose a low-cost car, it may be cheaper to rent but you will not be able to go everywhere and it will consume much more fuel on the hills than a 4x4 during your trip.
• Fuel in Costa Rica is very affordable. The average price is €1.37 per liter of unleaded gasoline. Given such a low rate, it's better to spend a little more on a powerful car and save yourself the hassle. The cost shall be largely amortized by the low price of fuel.
• Share the cost: are there several of you in the car? Divide the cost by the number of passengers, and it's a win for everybody. You can also consider carpooling, which is very common in the country. Rent your 4x4 or SUV and pick up car-poolers along the way. You'll be able to them on lots of Facebook groups or meet them in the cities where you'll be stopping during your adventure.

3. More comfort

As we mentioned, most of the roads are unpaved. You can't consider crossing them without a 4x4 or an SUV. Particularly in the rainy season, you may face situations where a 4-wheel drive is very much appreciated.
Distances are also very long in this country. Although it looks close as the crow flies on the maps, the roads are full of detours due to the topography. For instance, it's a 4-hour drive from Santa Teresa to Samara.

Once again, a 4x4 or SUV with a powerful engine provides all the comfort you need for these long roads. Finally, if you have your own vehicle, you'll be able to pack more luggage.

4. Get off the beaten track

Getting a 4x4 rental car allows you to seek adventure and go anywhere in the country by getting off the beaten track to remote areas, discreet beaches and so on. Needless to say, you should only go to authorized areas, although some are particularly difficult to access by car.

Crossing rivers or going off-road is strictly forbidden, and you won't be covered by insurance, which can be very costly if you need assistance. Don't blindly follow your GPS, look at the maps but always keep an eye on the road.

5. Limited public transport

Finally, the public transport network in Costa Rica is very limited. Not only will you have to depend on the uncertain schedules of public services throughout your trip, but the whole country is poorly served and connections from one province to another are not always easy. As a result, you'll spend hours waiting for buses and organizing your journeys.


Which 4x4 model should I rent in Costa Rica?

Costa Rica has all kinds of off-road vehicles. Most Ticos have one, and rental companies know that it's essential for your stay. Now it's just a question of knowing what kind of vehicle you need for your adventure:

If you are looking to rent a small, easy-to-handle vehicle, then select the Suzuki Jimny in manual or automatic gearbox, provided you're travelling with a maximum of 4 people.
If you are looking for a more sporty range and extra space , then the Mitsubishi Montero Sport and its engine will not disappoint you.
If you are looking for a top-of-the-range vehicle that offers comfort, a large trunk and plenty of room for its passengers, then the Hyundai Tucson's lines will seduce you.
If you're staying in big cities like San Jose, Limón, Puerto Viejo, Alajuela, Liberia... a 4x4 isn't absolutely necessary, as the roads are well maintained. A car with a small engine will do very well in San Jose, for example. If you have any questions, don't hesitate to contact our team. We are always delighted to help you.

Should I choose a 4x4 with manual or automatic transmission?

• Manual 4x4 vehicles are very common in Costa Rica and they generally are less expensive. With a manual car, you can control engine speed (which can be useful on winding or uphill roads) and even control your fuel consumption. If you're used to driving with a manual gearbox, you'll be more comfortable.

• Rental companies also offer automatic 4x4's, but these models are generally rarer and more expensive. An automatic 4x4 offers greater comfort and simplicity, especially if you've never driven with a manual gearbox before. Off-road cars are also better suited to traffic jams or flat roads.

Renting a converted 4x4?

At Jumbo Car we don't rent converted 4x4 vehicles, but if you rent a large enough vehicle, you can totally carry your camping gear (or your mountain bikes, surf boards... to enjoy the many attractions of Costa Rica) and make it a comfortable place to spend the night. Fold down the rear seats to lie down in the trunk and make yourself a cosy little nest!

We although recommend that you don't take too much luggage with you on your trip, and you'll have a really comfortable place with everything you need to enjoy your freedom.

What's the best option between 4x4 or 4x2 SUV rentals in Costa Rica?

The choice between a 4x4 or a 4x2 SUV depends on your itinerary, on the season and on prices:

4x4s :
4x4s are more suited to accessing remote and wild places, where there are often dirt roads or in poor condition. An off-road vehicle offers stronger grip, greater height and better safety on the trails, especially in the rainy season (May to November).

4x2 SUVs:
A 4x2 SUV is alright for most of the country's itineraries, as long as you don't drive on roads too damaged. 4x2 SUVs are cheaper to rent, and use less fuel.

In conclusion, we recommend 4x4's if you plan to drive in remote areas, or renting a 4x2 SUV if you plan to stay on roads in decent condition.

4x4 car rental Costa Rica: insurance

Car rental insurance in Costa Rica works differently from North America. You can choose the agreement that suits you best with all car rental companies in Costa Rica:

The European model (default on the French version of the site):

This includes compulsory 3rd party liability insurance of up to 10,000USD, which covers material damage to third parties, collision and theft insurance (with deductible). In addition there are other options available:

- Extended third-party liability, which also covers personal injury and covers up to 500,000USD.
- Damage waiver for collision and theft insurance
- Young driver insurance (under 26) and senior driver insurance (over 75)
- Protection against glass breakage and tires

The North American model:

You pick up the car with no mandatory insurance at all, and have to take legal third-party liability insurance once you arrive if you want to. However if you don't take additional insurance, in the event of damage or accident to the car, the driver is fully liable for the damage. Contact our team for more information.


costa rica trip rent a car 4x4 rental

What is the most popular car category in Costa Rica?

4x4s or SUV's are the most popular car category in Costa Rica since they're so helpful to drive along the country.

Which 4x4 rental agency is closest to San Jose airport?

Our nearest rental agency to San Jose airport is located in Alajuela (Rio Segundo - Calle sentido San José).

Jumbo rent cars car rental in costa rica airport prices

Where should I pick up and return my 4x4 rental in Costa Rica?

The easiest thing to do when you arrive on vacation is to fetch your 4x4 rental in Costa Rica is at San Jose airport, straight when you arrive.

• Pick up and drop off your vehicle in San Jose airport in the same agency with no hidden fees. On your way back, return it to the airport terminal from which the planes depart for Europe or North America.
• No need to get a cab to get you to your hotel from the airport, then another one from the hotel to the car rental agency.

Where do I return my rental car in Costa Rica?

With Jumbo Car Costa Rica, you return your rental cars to our car rental agency at the airport office.

Are 4x4's necessary in Costa Rica?

4x4's in Costa Rica are not essential, but it can be very helpful, depending on your itinerary and the season. Here are just a few of the advantages:

• You'll be able to explore more remote, wilder areas, where there are often dirt or poorly maintained roads.
• You'll have better grip on unpaved tracks, especially in the rainy season (May to November).
• You reduce the risk of damaging the undershield of your vehicle on potholes or stones.
• You'll also enjoy tranquility, as some insurance policies do not cover driving a sedan on unpaved roads.

4x4 rental rates are similar to sedan rental rates. In other words, why not rent an off-road vehicle for your Costa Rican adventure, if you want to have to same price as a conventional car?

What is the road condition in Costa Rica?

- All the main roads are generally in great condition, paved and have good signing. They are limited to 90 km/h.
- Secondary roads are often dirt or gravel, with potholes, stones or narrow bridges. They are limited to 40 km/h and can be impracticable in the rainy season. Although these roads are still accessible, we recommend that you drive a 4x4 rather than a sedan or city car, to avoid damaging the undershield of your rented vehicle.
- Trails are for adventurers. They run through wild, isolated areas, and they sometimes cross rivers or mountains. They require great caution and a good knowledge of the terrain. Without 4x4 or off-road vehicles, driving these roads is hardly possible.

Please note that driving off-road with your rental car or crossing rivers is forbidden, it can be very dangerous.

Which about fuel in Costa Rica?

In Costa Rica, almost all cars are used to driving on petrol, while diesel is mainly used by trucks and large vehicles such as pick-ups and 4x4's. Regarding prices, at the moment, 1L of gasoline = 825 CRC (=1.37€)

Explore beautiful Costa Rica

Explore Costa Rica (Central America) as it is a destination full of natural wonders and breathtaking scenery, whatever your vacation style. There is always something to do on the way. Here are a few cool places to include in your Costa Rican trip:

- Manuel Antonio National Park: this national park is known for its idyllic beaches on the Pacific coast, its wildlife, and its rich flora.
- Nicoya Peninsula region: this coastal region in the northwest offers white sand beaches, impressive rock formations and numerous water sports such as diving, surfing and fishing.
- Monteverde rainforest: this nature reserve is famous for its many species of birds and reptiles.
- La Fortuna city: located near Arenal National Park, La Fortuna town is the ideal starting point for exploring the park and admiring the famous Arenal volcano.
- Tortuguero National Park: this park is an important habitat for sea turtles and is also known for its navigable canals and black sand beaches on the Caribbean coast.