Renting Cars in Costa Rica is easy and the roads are fairly manageable to navigate throughout Costa Rica with the exception of San Jose, where it can get confusing. GPS Navigation is available for additional charge but you need to make sure that the desired location is the exact location you are wanting to drive. It is common to drive to Playa Hermosa in the province of Puntarenas when wanting to drive to Playa Hermosa in the province of Guanacaste, which is 5 hours difference from each other.
When looking for car rentals online, be aware that there is no such thing as a $10 per day car rental and that there will be additional charges of Basic Insurance and taxes.
Taking Basic Insurance in Costa Rica is mandatory (even if you make the reservation outside of Costa Rica), This is also the bulk of the charges in Costa Rica. The lowest price for the smallest car in Costa Rica should be near $30 per day in the slowest time of year (September and October).
Basic insurance, as the name states it will only cover damages to other cars/property but not the car itself. Car rental companies will use the "Security Deposit", so if you don't want to get into a messy situation it is better to always apply for the full insurance. You might not get to use it, but in case you need it, is going to save a lot problems.
Security Deposits When using a Credit Card for your security deposit, please be aware that it will be required that it is VISA, MasterCard or other Major Credit Card. Debit Cards only are not accepted for Security Deposit. If your Credit Card is linked to your bank account, these funds (Usually $1000) will be held for deposit and NOT AVAILABLE for use during your stay. It may also require 10 days to be released back to your bank upon completion of Car Rental services.
Credit Cards: Some banks issue Credit Cards that may cover extended insurance for “Full Coverage”. You must contact your bank that issued your card to verify that this will work for you. If so, they (your bank) will require that you use your Credit Card to reserve and pay the entire bill to be covered. Check with your issuing bank.