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Driving Information Costa Rica


Driving Licence Requirements

The driving licence requirements in Costa Rica state that you must have a full driving licence valid in your country of residence. It is recommended that you also have an international driver's licence.

Age Restrictions

To drive in Costa Rica, you have to be at least 21 years of age, and some companies will only hire a car out to those over 25. You need to have a valid driving license for at least 2 years and have a major Credit Card to pay. Alternatively, you can make a cash deposit of $1000 to $1500 (£600 to £903).

Driving Distances

  • San Jose to Liberia - 206kms (2hours/45mins)

  • Tamarindo to San Jose - 254kms (3hours/30mins)

  • Limon to Alajuela - 220 kms (2hours/50mins)

Road Rules and Petrol Stations

General Costa Rica driving information, laws, rules and regulations:

  • Driving in Costa Rica is done on the right-hand side of the road.

  • Seat belts are mandatory when driving a hire car in Costa Rica.

  • Drivers are to carry a valid driver's licence, registration documents and insurance documents at all times while driving.

  • Petrol stations in Costa Rica are called Bombas or Gasolineras and provide Regular, Super and Diesel. They are readily available in Costa Rica and the majority are open 24 hours a day, at least in cities.


While there is a good road network in the country, there are also some toll roads in Costa Rica on major highways, such as when driving in San Jose to San Ramon, San Jose to Guapiles, San Jose to Cartago and San Jose to Ciudad Colon. Driving through these tends to be very cheap.

Parking Information

Always park your car hire in a safe parking lot; these will be marked. Please do not leave any valuables in your car hire.

One-Way Car Hire

Cars are not permitted outside of Costa Rica with any suppliers. One way rentals require a minimum three day contract and do incur fees (they vary depending on the supplier and destination). You can pick up your car hire in Costa Rica in one location and return it to a different one, but there are some restrictions that you need to check with your car hire supplier.

When visiting Costa Rica, it is important to take a look at some of these rules and regulations about driving a car, in order to ensure you have the safest possible journey.

San Jose car hire starting at ú49 /per day*

*Rates shown are per day, based upon a 7-day car hire. Taxes and additional surcharges may apply.

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