Car rentals are available at the airport but reservations are recommended especially during peak season (mid Dec - mid January, Easter week). Car rentals are available from a number of car rental agencies. Most offer small cars but we recommend a 4-wheel drive vehicle if you plan to do a lot of traveling.
Some roads to beaches can be especially difficult to navigate in a small car.
The main highways in Costa Rica are usually kept in good repair and have significantly improved over the past few years. Many have been resurfaced and widened; some even have reflectors installed in the center line markers.
For the most part, Costa Rican roads deteriorate as you get closer to the beach areas, and many are noted for their grande huacos or large pot holes. Other hazards to be wary of especially a night are cattle, dogs and the occasional cyclist. Speed limits are 100km/hr on the highway and 40-60km/hr within urban areas, and we recommend you avoid speeding, both for your safety and to avoid the large fines if you are caught.. Many highways are monitored by roadside police with radar.
In general, allow extra time for any planned excursions, and slow down. After all, you're here to take in the scenery as well as the fun... Be sure to ask if the price includes insurance at the time of booking. Mandatory personal liability insurance is usually included in the rental price however additional collision insurance is recommended, mainly for piece of mind.
Minimum age for renting a car is 18 for foreign visitors, however, the policy of individual car rental agencies may vary. Some credit cards include collision insurance when the card is used for the booking and payment. Check with your credit card company to see if this is available to you before you make your booking.
Also be wary of rental companies who demand full insurance coverage. Only liability is mandatory but it is very easy to scratch or get hit by a falling coconut, so the added insurance is peace of mind.. We do recommend Economy Rent a Car. They have a staffed desk at the Liberia Airport in the baggage area and provide a Shuttle to the office. Staff are friendly and they have several locations around the country to assist you.