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Experience top-notch customer service with our car rental in San José. Navigate the vibrant city or venture to breathtaking destinations such as Alajuela and Cartago with ease. Our team is dedicated to assisting you throughout your journey, offering quick solutions and personalized travel advice tailored to this unique region.

Car Rental in San José

Immerse Yourself in Historical Treasures, Lush Parks, and Enthralling Day Trips

City car in San José with palm trees and Clay-colored Thrush

Welcome to San José, the heart of Costa Rica and its vibrant capital city. Characterized by its reminiscent, traditional Spanish architecture and its thriving cultural scene, this cosmopolitan city has everything travelers could possibly look for. From exceptional restaurants and bustling markets to intriguing museums and beautiful parks, San José perfectly fuses the old with the new, making it a must-see for all Costa Rica visitors.

The Jade Museum is another fantastic highlight. Housing the world's most significant collection of American jade, where you can experience thousands of years of history, it's a must-visit for history and art aficionados. Just a short car journey away lies the breathtaking Poás Volcano National Park, famous for its geyser-like eruptions, and it's visible volcanic activity, where you can admire the power of nature in all its majesty.

For a real Costa Rican adventure, take a car trip to the famous Manuel Antonio National Park, packed with pristine beaches, lush rainforest, and exotic wildlife. At a two-and-a-half-hour drive from San José, it's a great day trip, assuring you to enjoy exceptional views and unparalleled biodiversity. Moreover, the La Fortuna, situated around 3 hours drive from the city, is known for its hot springs and Arenal Volcano - another iconic point worth exploring.

Car Rental in San José

Essential Information for Car Rental

1. What is the cost to rent a car in San José?

Renting a car in San José can vary greatly depending on the type of car and time of year. On average, you can expect to pay around $30-US$50 per day. Some companies offer discounts for long-term rentals.

2. Which model of car is most frequently rented in San José?

Compact cars are the most rented in San José primarily because of their versatility and fuel efficiency, which is crucial due to the city's hilly terrain and varying road conditions.

3. Where are the popular locations to rent a car in San José?

Popular locations for car rentals include downtown San José, Alajuela and San José International Airport.

4. Is there 24-hour pickup and drop-off service at San José?

Yes, most car rental companies in San José offer 24-hour pickup and drop-off services, but it's best to check beforehand with the specific company.

5. Is there a minimum rental period?

Typically, car rental companies have a minimum rental period of 24 hours. However, some companies might have a different policy.

6. What is the minimum age required to rent a car in San José?

The minimum age required to rent a car in San José is usually 21. However, drivers under 25 may face additional fees.

7. What documents are needed to rent or drive a car in San José?

You'll need a valid driver's license, credit card in your name, and proof of insurance. International drivers must also present their passport.

8. When is the best time of year to visit San José by car?

The best time to visit San José by car is during the dry season, from mid-December to April, when the weather is pleasant and the roads are in good condition.

9. What are the main airports in San José?

The main airports in San José are Juan Santamaría International Airport and Tobías Bolaños International Airport.

10. Can I pick up the car in San José and drop it off in another city?

Yes, many rental companies allow one-way rentals. However, this often incurs an additional fee and must be arranged ahead of time.

Car Rental Reviews

Bruce Bixler

San José – 29-11-2023. Had a business meeting in downtown San José and needed a decent car for transportation. This car rental company turned out to have a solid deal. The price was pretty reasonable compared to other companies in the area. The car provided was clean and well-maintained. I would rent from this company again indeed.

Minnie Ellison

San José – 07-11-2023. I had high expectations and this car rental did not disappoint. The service was top-notch - quick, easy, and friendly. I especially appreciated how they provide good, safe vehicles. Our car was impeccable and perfect for a road trip to the Bay Area.

Teddy Lambert

San José – 22-10-2023. Excellent service! Out of the dozen of car rental companies in San José, this one stands out with their meticulous service and good quality cars. Also, kudos for their flexible pricing, it really took the pressure off. Products and services well worth the cost.

Serena Hopkins

San José – 04-10-2023. Had a very positive experience with this car rental company. Their staff was helpful and the car I reserved was ready on time. The vehicle was in great shape, which is a plus when dealing with rugged Californian terrains. The prices were pretty fair as well - would highly recommend.

Neville Booker

San José – 16-09-2023. Honestly, I had a great experience with this car rental company. They were upfront about the cost, no hidden charges. Their cars are top-tier and customer service was excellent - will definitely use their services again for my next visit to San José.

Deidre Rodgers

San José – 02-09-2023. I've been to San José several times and always rely on this company for car rentals. Their service is consistent and you can always count on them for a smooth, hassle-free experience. In terms of cost-effectiveness, they're second to none in the city. A favorite for sure!

Best Road Connections

Reach your favorite destinations from San Jose

  1. San Jose - San Francisco: Travel 77km along US-101 N, usually takes about 1 hour. The road is in good condition, offering smooth transit.
  2. San Jose - Los Angeles: This 560km trip on I-5 S takes approximately 5-6 hours. Be prepared for LA traffic as you approach the city.
  3. San Jose - Napa: It's 145 km via US-101 N and CA-37 E, roughly a 1.5 hour drive. Scenic vineyards along CA-37 are a treat.
  4. San Jose - Yosemite National Park: At 266 km via CA-140 E with about 4 hours drive including mountain roads. Car maintenance check is advised.
  5. San Jose - Monterey: A short 116 km ride along CA-1 S taking about 1.5 hours. Expect stunning coastal views.
  6. San Jose - Santa Cruz: It's only 50 km via CA-17 S. Driving time is about 45 minutes, making it a quick getaway.
  7. San Jose - Pismo Beach: Travel the 305 km via US-101 S in about 3 hours. Enjoy the Pacific coastline with proper rest stops.

Driving in San Jose

Your Queries Answered

1. What is the standard speed limit in San Jose?

The standard speed limit in urban areas is usually 60 km/h while on the highways, it varies between 80km/h to 100km/h. However, different roads might have specific speed limit signs which should be obeyed.

2. What type of driving license is required to drive in San Jose?

International visitors are allowed to drive with their valid foreign driving license for up to 3 months. After this period, a Costa Rican driving license is required.

3. Are there speed cameras in San Jose?

Yes, speed cameras are in operation in the city, and heavy fines are imposed for the violation of speed regulations.

4. How does the toll system work in San Jose?

There are numerous toll booths on the highways around San Jose. The payment is usually done in cash and the amount varies depending on the type of vehicle.

5. What are the key driving regulations in San Jose?

Driving is on the right side of the road. Overtaking is from the left. Seat belts and child safety seats are obligatory. Also, use of mobile phones while driving is prohibited.

6. What's the general traffic condition in San Jose?

As the capital and largest city of Costa Rica, San Jose can have heavy traffic, especially during peak hours. It's advisable to plan your journey in advance and allow extra time.

7. What side of the road does San Jose drive on?

In San Jose, and throughout Costa Rica, driving is on the right-hand side of the road.

8. Can I turn right on red in San Jose?

Unless a sign is posted indicating otherwise, turning right on a red light is generally not permitted in San Jose.

9. What is the legal age to drive a car in San Jose?

The minimum age to drive a car in San Jose is 18 years old.

10. Is it safe to drive at night in San Jose?

Generally, it's safe to drive at night in San Jose. However, it's always helpful to be aware of your surroundings, particularly in unfamiliar areas.

11. How can I avoid traffic in San Jose?

Keeping up-to-date with the latest traffic news or using navigation tools can help you avoid traffic-heavy routes.

12. What should I do when I see an emergency vehicle on the road?

You should immediately give way to emergency vehicles by moving to the side of the road.

13. What should foreign drivers be aware of when driving in San Jose?

It's important to always carry a valid driving license and passport, be up-to-date with the road regulations, and be prepared for potentially heavy traffic.

14. Can we park cars on streets in San Jose?

Parking on the street is allowed, but ensure to check for any restrictions, or signs indicating a tow-away zone.

15. What precautions should be taken while driving in rainy season?

During the rainy season, roads can be slippery. Thus, it's advisable to maintain a safe distance from the vehicle ahead, drive slower, and keep the headlights on.

Discover San José

Top 8 Attractions Around the City

  1. San José Downtown: A lively area full of cultural attractions and local cuisine.
  2. National Theatre of Costa Rica: A beautiful historic theatre with great acoustics.
  3. La Sabana Metropolitan Park: Known as the 'Lungs of San José', a perfect place to relax.
  4. Central Market: A bustling local market selling everything from food to souvenirs.
  5. Jade Museum: Showcases the largest collection of jade in the Americas.
  6. Pre-Columbian Gold Museum: Features impressive gold artefacts from pre-Spanish times.
  7. Lankester Botanical Garden: Just a short car ride from the city, home to beautiful orchids.
  8. Irazú Volcano National Park: Ideal for hiking and exploring, located an hour's car drive from the city.

Roadtrips from San José

Choose your adventure on the road

  1. San Jose to San Francisco: A classic road trip. Covering 67.6 km, it offers a breathtaking view of the Pacific Coast and leads you to the iconic Golden Gate Bridge.
  2. The Pacific Coast Highway: Spanning 1055 km across the state's coastline, it provides incredible views of the ocean and a chance to visit places like Big Sur and Malibu.
  3. Highway 1 to Santa Cruz: This 54.7 km route is perfect for surfing lovers and those who appreciate a laid-back beach town atmosphere.
  4. Route 101 to Santa Barbara: A 692 km route that offers a blend of ocean views, wine country, and Southern California charm.
  5. The Sierra Nevada Route: A scenic 180 km route that goes through national parks, forests, and beautiful mountain landscapes.
  6. Route 152 to Pacheco Pass: A shorter route of just 54 km, but filled with vineyards, fruit stands, and stunning hill views.
  7. Route 5 to Los Angeles: A longer route of about 556 km leading to the dream city, passing through several smaller cities and the iconic Grapevine.