National Car Rental Costa Rica

Are you looking to explore Costa Rica at your own pace? National Car Rental Costa Rica provides a fleet of vehicles ready to elevate your trip, with convenient locations at major cities and airports. In this guide, learn how to select the best car for your adventure, understand rental policies, and navigate the picturesque roads of Costa Rica with confidence.

national car rental costa rica

Is National Rental Car in Costa Rica Legit?

  • National Car Rental provides a seamless car rental experience with a wide network that includes major cities, airports, and hidden gems across Costa Rica, offering convenient pick-up locations, and effortless booking.
  • A diverse fleet caters to different travel styles and needs, with vehicles ranging from compact cars ideal for city navigation to luxury and SUV options perfect for comfort and adventure on varied terrains.
  • Renting with National through brings additional perks like discounts, bundle savings, and rewards, coupled with flexible cancellation policies and essential local driving information for a stress-free Costa Rican road trip.

Exploring Costa Rica with National Car Rental

Exploring Costa Rica with National Car Rental

As the morning sun paints the skyline with hues of gold, imagine stepping out of the airport and into your rental car, ready to soak in the vibrancy of Costa Rica. With National Car Rental’s sprawling network of car rental locations across the country, including major cities, quaint neighborhoods, and convenient airports, the start of your journey is just moments away.

Whether you’re here to dance with the city lights or surrender to the siren call of the ocean, National Car Rental is the trusty companion that promises a seamless transition from the plane to the pulse of this Central American heartland.

City Highlights

The urban allure of Costa Rica beckons with its vibrant culture and history. National Car Rental’s five strategic locations in San José offer you the freedom to weave through the city’s fabric with ease. From the moment your plane touches down at San Jose Airport, a friendly National representative is there to ensure your car pick-up is as smooth as a tropical breeze.

Beyond the capital, the gateway cities of Liberia and La Fortuna in Latin America are also graced with National’s presence, placing you at the doorstep of Costa Rica’s urban treasures.

Coastal Getaways

Coastal Getaways

Perhaps the sea is calling your name. In that case, National Car Rental is your ticket to the sun-kissed shores of Jaco, Tamarindo, and the Caribbean haven of Puerto Viejo. Picture yourself cruising down Pastor Dias Avenue in Jaco, or pulling up to the iconic Tamarindo Diria, with the freedom that only a National rental car can provide. Once you arrive at your destination, simply head to the rental counter to pick up your car and start exploring.

These coastal getaways are not just destinations; they’re the start of a journey that could lead anywhere your wanderlust desires, with National as your steadfast navigator.

Adventure Starts Here

If adventure fuels your soul, National Car Rental is your launchpad. Their pick-up points in the cloud-kissed town of Monteverde and the untamed Peninsula De Osa are gateways to the wild and mysterious.

With a National car waiting for you in these locations, you’re not just renting a vehicle; you’re claiming the key to unlock the heart of Costa Rica’s most exhilarating landscapes.

Seamless Booking with National Car Rentals

Envision a booking process as carefree as a Costa Rican sunset. With National Car Rentals, anticipation is part of the adventure. Timing is everything, and securing your vehicle three to four months in advance ensures availability and cost savings, especially during the high season. In contrast, the tranquil months of May, September, and October offer the serenity of reduced tourism and more cost-effective rates.

Choices abound, from the latest models to impeccable customer service, and with National, every detail, including security deposits and insurance options, is transparent, ensuring no hidden surprises.

National Car Rental Fleet Diversity in Costa Rica

The perfect ride for every traveler is not a myth; it’s a reality with National Car Rental’s fleet in Costa Rica. With 17 car classes at your disposal, there’s a fit for every taste and budget, including:

  • Compact cars for economical travel
  • Midsize cars for comfortable journeys
  • Full-size cars for extra space and comfort
  • SUVs for a commanding presence on the road
  • Luxury cars for a touch of elegance

No matter your preference, National Car Rental has the perfect rental cars for your trip in Costa Rica.

Whether you seek the nimble agility of a Toyota Yaris or the robust elegance of a full-size sedan, National’s array of car type vehicles caters to every journey, every road, every dream.

Compact Convenience

City explorers and light packers, rejoice! National’s compact cars, like the Toyota Yaris, offer the ease of zipping through bustling streets and squeezing into that perfect parking spot. These vehicles are not just about getting from A to B; they’re about maximum flexibility, allowing you to immerse yourself in the city’s rhythm without a second thought.

And when it comes to luggage, rest assured, these compacts can handle your essentials with room to spare.

SUVs for the Wild Terrain

SUVs for the Wild Terrain

For the intrepid explorers, National’s fleet of 25 classes of SUVs promises to elevate your adventure across Costa Rica’s diverse terrains. From the dainty Suzuki Ignis to the stately Toyota Prado, these vehicles are tailored for the rugged paths that lead to secluded beaches and hidden waterfalls.

Whether it’s an economy model or a full-size 4×4, National equips you for the journey, rain or shine, mountain or valley.

Luxury and Comfort

Sometimes, the journey is just as important as the destination. For those moments, National Car Rental offers luxury vehicles like the Toyota Sequoia, where comfort meets style. With room for up to seven passengers, these premium options are ideal for families or groups who travel with a touch of elegance.

And for the discerning traveler, the full-size Toyota Fortuner and the premium Toyota Prado are symbols of luxury that turn every road into a statement.

Maximizing Your Car Rental Experience

The road to an unforgettable trip is paved with the right choices, and with National Car Rental, the journey is yours to define. Keep in mind the additional cost that might accompany your rental, such as highway tolls or cleaning fees, to ensure your budget stays on track.

And while Costa Rica’s beauty is undeniable, safety should never take a back seat. Always park securely, avoid leaving valuables in the car, and embrace the peace of mind that comes with being prepared.

Coverage for Peace of Mind

The open road is unpredictable, but with National Car Rental, you’re never alone. From traffic fines linked to your rental vehicle to the strict regulations following an accident, National ensures you’re covered every step of the way. And because peace of mind is priceless, selecting the right insurance coverage is not just an option, it’s a necessity for a carefree journey through the wonders of Costa Rica.

Enhancements & Add-Ons

Every traveler’s needs are unique, and National Car Rental understands this. Enhancements like child safety seats add an extra layer of security for your little ones, ensuring everyone arrives at the destination with a smile. And with options that cater to infants and toddlers, National’s range of available safety seats is tailored to keep your family secure, no matter where the road takes you.

The Perks of Renting with National through

Perks of Renting

Unlock a world of perks when you choose to rent with National through The savings begin with approximately 10% off select rentals, hotels, and activities, thanks to Expedia’s One Key program. And the benefits don’t end there; bundle your car rental with flights and hotels for even more savings and convenience.

With Expedia, every reservation is an opportunity to earn rewards, bringing you closer to your next discounted adventure.

Cancellation Policies and Support

Life is full of twists and turns, and sometimes plans change. National Car Rental’s flexible cancellation policies ensure that you’re never locked in. Whether you’re an Emerald Club member or a first-time renter, canceling is as easy as a few clicks, and the confirmation of a stress-free cancellation is just a moment away.

And with most locations in Costa Rica not requiring prepaid reservations, you can book with confidence, knowing you won’t be penalized for a change of heart.

Driving in Costa Rica: What You Need to Know

Before you set off on your Costa Rican road trip, it’s crucial to familiarize yourself with the local driving etiquette. With a valid driver’s license from your home country and a passport with a tourist stamp, you’re ready to take the wheel. From navigating the right side of the road to understanding unique driving conditions, such as the roundabouts of San Jose or the unpaved paths of rural areas, being prepared means you’ll enjoy every moment behind the wheel.

Road Rules and Regulations

As you journey through Costa Rica, you’ll be greeted by traffic signs in Spanish, using familiar shapes to guide you along your way. Understanding local road rules, like the expectations at yellow traffic lights or the nuances of right of way, can be the difference between a good trip and a great one. And while the road markings may guide you, it’s the unexpected—such as a pothole or a pedestrian—that requires your unwavering attention for a safe and enjoyable drive.

Pick-Up Process Simplified

The excitement of your adventure begins at the pick-up. With your documents in hand, National Car Rental makes the process straightforward and hassle-free. Whether you’re at San Jose International Airport or any other National location, their efficient shuttle service and thorough vehicle inspection ensures your rental experience starts on the right foot.

>There are many rental car agencies in Costa Rica.  Make sure to read that full list to see which one I recommend.

Some of my recent reviews:


As we draw our journey with National Car Rental in Costa Rica to a close, we’re reminded that the true essence of travel lies in the details. From the convenience of city exploration to the thrill of off-road adventures, and the luxury of premium comfort, National provides the keys to a realm of possibilities. With the guidance provided, you’re now equipped to navigate Costa Rica with confidence, leaving only one question: where will your wanderlust take you next?

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I rent a car in Costa Rica with US license?

Yes, you can rent a car in Costa Rica with a US license, as long as your 90-day immigration permit is valid and you have your passport with you.

Is national car the same as enterprise?

National Car Rental is owned by Enterprise Holdings, along with Enterprise Rent-A-Car and Alamo Rent a Car, so they are not the same company but are within the same ownership group. National Car Rental caters more toward leisure travelers while Enterprise focuses more on rentals for business use.

Should I get GPS with my rental car in Costa Rica?

Yes, getting GPS with your rental car in Costa Rica is highly recommended. Costa Rica’s roads are complex and often lack real road signs, making it easy to get lost without an up-to-date map or GPS device.

How many National Car Rental locations are there in Costa Rica?

There are 52 National Car Rental locations across Costa Rica, so you’ll easily find one to start your journey.

What types of vehicles does National Car Rental offer in Costa Rica?

National Car Rental in Costa Rica offers a variety of vehicle types, ranging from compact to luxury, with both manual and automatic transmissions available.

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Peter is a digital nomad who largely writes from Asia, Europe, and South America. Always following the "vibe," he sets up shop in hostels and AirBNB's and continues to entertain us with wild stories from life abroad. Ask him anything in our community forum.

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