Our goal is always to bring you the best info on budget travel in Costa Rica. That being said, we are super excited to have partnered with our favorite Costa Rica rental car company Adobe to bring you a 10% Costa Rica rental car discount! How awesome is that?!?

We’re sure you might have some questions about our Costa Rica rental car discount so we’ve tried to answer them all below.


We’ve rented cars in Costa Rica several times and have had some miserable experiences (which you can read about here). We don’t want you to go through the same things we dealt with. When we started renting cars with Adobe that completely changed. We love Adobe because they are a local company, are completely transparent in their fees, and have some of the best customer service we have ever experienced.

Because we love them so much we asked them if they would be interested in partnering with us to bring Costa Rica Vibes readers a Costa Rica rental car discount.

They said an enthusiastic, “YES!” and here we are! 🙂


Adobe has been so generous in giving us some really amazing perks for you all. Here are all the wonderful things you get by booking your rental car through our website…..

A 5% TO 10% DISCOUNT – This discount fluctuates by season and demand. It will always be at least 5% though.

FREE SECOND DRIVER – Adobe actually doesn’t just stop at one free second driver. You can actually add multiple drivers at no extra cost. Usually, this costs an extra $4 per day. This is added automatically onto your reservation. When you arrive to pick up your car you can specify who your extra driver(s) are.

FREE ROOF RACKS TO USE – These are available for free to our readers upon request. If you would like roof racks, be sure to add a comment in your reservation saying that you need them. Adobe will be happy to save some for you.

FREE CAR DELIVERY/ PICK UP – Adobe is happy to drop off or pick up your car for free within 12 miles of any of their office locations. Just indicate which hotel, resort, Airbnb, hostel etc. you will be staying at in the reservation form. In the comment section of the reservation form, you can add any other details about having your car delivered. If you are staying a over 12 miles away Adobe may charge a fair delivery fee.

DISCOUNTED GPS – It usually costs $9 a day to rent a GPS unit through Adobe. By booking through us you will only pay $6 per day.

0% DEDUCTABLE – This applies to the Liability Protection. It is usually a 20% deductable.

FREE CELL PHONE TO USE – This is not a smartphone, but it can be used to make local calls. It is helpful for an emergency or even if you want to do something like make a dinner reservation. This is automatically added on to every reservation through us. The phone will be waiting for you when you pick up your car.

FREE BOOSTER SEAT AND/ OR CAR SEAT – Adobe has three versions of seats that are free to our readers; infant car seats, baby car seats, and booster seats. While making your reservation there will be a box to check off what you need.

FREE AIRPORT PICKUP – There are no rental car companies located at the San Jose and Liberia airport. Instead, you will need to drive 5 minutes from the airport to the Adobe office location. Adobe is more than happy to pick you up for free at the airport. Just make sure to indicate your flight number and arrival time on your reservation. Someone from Adobe will be waiting for you with a sign when you exit the airport.

You can compare the price on our site to Adobe directly by following this link. You will see that our price is 5% to 10% cheaper. Just note this discount is only for the car itself. Unfortunately, Adobe can not give us a discount on insurance.

Also, when comparing the price from our site with Adobe’s site, you can not have two reservation forms open at one time. Otherwise, it will replicate the price and the price will appear the same through our site and Adobe’s.

The other bonuses (0% deductible on Liability Insurance, free cell phone) are automatically included by booking through us.

Also, if you would like to compare our rate to other rental car agencies make sure that the rate you are looking at with other companies includes the mandatory insurance like Adobe’s rate does.

Often people think another company may be cheaper and then they are hit with the high mandatory insurance costs upon picking up their rental car. We don’t want you to have to go through that.


Costa Rica rental car insurance can be a bit confusing, so here is a complete breakdown of how it works…

When you book a car through Adobe you will have three different protection options. Let’s go through each one.

Liability Protection This insurance covers basic damages to third parties property up to $20,000 and basic coverage of third party injury or death up to $100,000 with 0% deductible. This insurance is required by law in Costa Rica. Every single person who rents a car needs to purchase Liability Protection.

The price you are quoted when you book your car through our site includes the Liability Protection fees. (You will see it checked off in your rental car booking) This is one of the many reasons we love Adobe. Most other rental car companies in Costa Rica do not include the Liability Protection in their quote.

This means that when you arrive to start your vacation in paradise the first thing you experience is a rental car agent telling you that you will actually have to pay several hundred dollars more than the price you were quoted online because of the Liability Protection.

We don’t think this is a good business tactic and neither does Adobe.

Car Protection: This insurance covers:

-Direct car damages, collision, and rollovers

-Total or partial theft of the rental car

Car Protection is also required by Costa Rica law. This means when you rent a car with Adobe you need to check off the box for Car Protection.

Adobe rent a car

Most rental car companies in Costa Rica bundle the Liability Protection and Car Protection together, meaning you have to pay for both of them because they are required by law.

If you have a letter from your credit card company stating that you are covered for car protection in Costa Rica you will not need to pay for the Car Protection insurance if you rent with Adobe.

Make sure you bring a letter or email from your credit card company stating you have car protection in Costa Rica to show as proof. Adobe will not accept a basic brochure.

Total Protection: This is the final type of car protection which is offered through Adobe. This insurance covers a tow truck, road assistance, damage to things like windows and tires, and a 4 million dollar coverage for third party injury or death. You are NOT required to purchase Total Protection by Costa Rica law.

If you have questions about insurance you should contact Adobe directly (we here at Costa Rica Vibes are not personally experts in insurance). You can email them at info(at)adobecar(dot)com or if you are in the US or Canada you can call their toll-free number during business hours +1(855)861-1250


– There is a $1,000 deposit on your car rental. This is standard with every rental car company in Costa Rica, but we have heard of some companies charging much more. We suggest paying this deposit with your credit card because it is just a hold and will be returned immediately to you when you return your car if everything is OK. You can also do this on your debit card, but it can take a few weeks after you return your car for the bank to process this and refund the $1,000 on to your account.

– You need to be 23 years old to rent a car with Adobe.

– You can not rent a car with Adobe if you are over 75 years old.

There are no hidden fees with Adobe. The price you are given online is the total price. Just remember the $1,000 deposit.


We recommend four wheel drive to make things easier on yourself, but it is not absolutely necessary in every location in Costa Rica.

If you are going to the Nosara area, Monteverde, San Gerardo de Dota, Santa Teresa, or Montezuma we suggest a car with four-wheel drive. These areas are known for unpaved roads which aren’t the easiest without four-wheel drive. We’ve done some of these drives without it, but it hasn’t been easy!

Most of the rest of the country can be done without 4-wheel drive, however, we still suggest renting something with some clearance. Even though roads may be well paved they can be very hilly and it is just more comfortable to be in an SUV rather than a small car.

If you are unsure which vehicle will be suitable for the areas you are visiting, just check out our Destination page. We have a complete breakdown of getting to and driving around in each location in Costa Rica.

Pro Tip: We like to rent the Hyundai Crete because it is the cheapest SUV Adobe has, but it is still very comfortable.


You definitely need some type of GPS to get around here. Roads are unclear and constantly changing.

Adobe offers GPS rentals for $6 per day if you are renting through us. I know this adds up fast if you are traveling for several days.

If you have an unlocked cell phone the best and cheapest option is to stop at the Kolbi stand in the airport after you get through customs. At the Kolbi desk, you can purchase a SIM card for about $4. This money is then added as a credit to your SIM card.

You can then use Waze to get around. Waze is the best free app we have found for directions in Costa Rica.

We find it usually costs us about $1-$2 a day to use Waze with our Kolbi SIM card. The nice thing about Kolbi is that you can buy minutes at any grocery store or mini market in the country. We have a complete post about using your cell phone in Costa Rica if you need more tips.

Note: This will only work if your cell phone is unlocked for international usage. If you aren’t sure you can ask your cell phone provider, but they may not tell you the truth so that they can get you to purchase an international plan. I have an iphone I purchased through Verizon. They told me it wasn’t unlocked and I couldn’t use it with an international SIM card. I have no problem using my Kolbi SIM card here in Costa Rica. 


Drivers in Costa Rica are a bit crazy, but as long as you are a somewhat experienced driver and feel confident in your abilities, you will likely be fine.

We strongly suggest not driving in San Jose. This area of the country has way too many cars on the road at any given time and people drive like maniacs.

If you would like to explore the downtown area, your best bet is to take an Uber. Uber is legal in Costa Rica (for now) and is usually about half the price of a taxi. Just download the Uber app and you’ll be good to go.

Most of the main roads in the country are well maintained. If you’d like to know what the drive is like to your destination just look on our destination page for the area you are planning to visit.


One of the most common questions we get asked is, “Should I rent a car in Costa Rica?” In our experience, with our Costa Rica rental car discount, it is almost always cheaper to rent a car than to depend on more expensive day tours which include transportation from your hotel.

We are really into off the beaten path activities which will give you a more cultural experience, support small local businesses, and are cheaper than activities from large companies. To get to these types of activities you almost always need a car.

We understand it can be scary to drive far distances in a foreign country which is why we suggest taking the public bus if you are nervous. You can check out our destination page and learn more about the public bus options from San Jose and Liberia to whichever destination you are interested in visiting.

Once you arrive at that destination you can get a rental car from Adobe for exploring the area. Adobe will happily deliver your rental car within twelve miles of any of their offices for free.


Below this, you will see a box to make your reservation. After selecting your dates and drop off/ pick up location you will be directed to a page where you can select your car.

Adobe has a really big fleet of vehicles for you to choose from. When selecting your vehicle, pay attention to how many people the car can fit and the amount of luggage that can fit.

Note: If you are unsure what to rent, feel free to email us. [email protected] We recently had the chance to go through every single vehicle that Adobe rents. We have a good idea of what is best for your particular needs.

After selecting your vehicle you will be directed to the reservation page.

The first thing you need to do is decide on your insurance options. Please scroll up and read the Mandatory Insurance of this page to help you with that.

You will then need to select any additional options. As I mentioned before, booster seats and car seats are free for our readers.

Next, you will need to indicate your pick up location. Make sure to write in your flight # if you would like to be picked up at the airport or your hotel name if you would like the car delivered to you.

The next step is to enter the driver information. This is just the information for the main driver. You can add your free additional drivers when you pick up your rental car.

The final step is to leave any comments you may have. This is where you can indicate if you need free roof racks, have specific drop off instructions etc.

The free cell phone and extra drivers are automatically applied and an Adobe representative will help you with them when you pick up your car. You do not need to select anything in your reservation to get them.

When you are finished, make sure you click “Reserve” not “Save Quote.” You should get an email within a few hours with your rental car reservation.

You are then all set! Your vehicle will be waiting for you when you arrive in Costa Rica! 🙂

Also, just note if you need to change or cancel your reservation you can just reply to your confirmation email to get in touch with Adobe. They are usually very good at responding within 24 hours.

You do not have to pay for anything ahead of time. You pay for your car upon pick up.

Hopefully, this answered all of your questions regarding our Costa Rica rental car discount. If you have any other questions, just leave them in the comment section below or email us at: sarah(at)costaricavibes(dot)com and we will be happy to help you out!


Note: We’ve partnered with Adobe on an affiliate basis to give you this Costa Rica rental car discount. This means that they allow us to give you an amazing discount and promote their business in return for a commission. This allows us to keep making great content on budget travel in Costa Rica for you. By using the form above, you will be taken to the Adobe website. This is a third-party site. Although we absolutely love Adobe, any transactions, agreements, or disputes that happen are between you and Adobe Rent a Car.


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Hi Sarah,
If I did rent the GPS with the car, would I need to get the WIFI as well or would it work without the WIFI?


I just reserved a car for January through your site, and got through the process very easily. One thing I noticed and wanted to ask about though is in the Confirmation of Reservation email I got from Adobe, it states, “To guarantee a reservation we require your credit card number.” It says that I can do that either by calling or online. I understand that even if I do this I won’t be charged until I actually pick up the vehicle, but I was wondering if you think this is a good idea, to make absolutely sure the rental is… Read more »

Mike Pat

I could not get to see 0% Liability Protection option, it was showing 20%. How can I ensure that it becomes 0%?


Hi! It appears if booking through Adobe now and then paying when we get there. Do you know if the credit card transaction will include foreign transaction fees? I’m assuming yes, but wanted to confirm. Thanks!


Hi! Thank s for sharing this valuable information. Unfortunately, Adobe doesn’t have any cars available for the dates we are going to be there. Do you recommend any other rent a car company?


Hello, Thanks for taking the time to write this useful post. I was stressing about the different options. I tried to book using the link on this page, but I am not getting the 10% or 5% discount. The rate is the same from your website and from Adobe’s. Is there anything else I should do? Also, as you are more knowledgeable on the subject, I would like to ask you something. I am travelling with my wife. I will book her as the main driver as I left my license back home. Do you know if they would add… Read more »

Chelsea Hedman

Hello! My husband and I fly out of SJO at 7am. We just reserved a car through your website with Adobe. I’m assuming we would have to drop off the rental car the night before since Adobe doesn’t open till 8am? Does Adobe have a key drop box if the car is returned after closing time or does the car need to be returned by the time Adobe closes? Also, do you have any recommendations on places to stay around the SJO airport that has a shuttle service to the airport early in the morning since we will have had… Read more »


Hi Sarah!

We’re trying to book a rental car right now from the Puerto Viejo office. Our flight leaves from San Jose at 5:41pm on Friday, July 6th, and the shuttle van that we planned to take from Puerto Viejo to San Jose leaves Puerto Viejo at 7am, but the Adobe site doesn’t have the option to return the car sooner than 8am. Our AirBnB owner pretty much told us we didn’t have any other option besides driving to get to/from the house we are staying at. What would you recommend for returning the car?



Thanks for the tips! We have been wondering about renting a car and your blog laid out all the information so nicely. I tried reserving a car via your link but it doesn’t say how to get the booster and car seat for free?

Irene Moreno

I tried to make a reservation but it sends me to a page to enter user name and password when a click on the icon for those that do not have a userid/password it sends me to the main page and I start over under their pricing. What am I doing wrong

Katrina Koper

Hi there! We will be traveling with 5 and wondering if you have a recommendation on which SUV would be best of the three offered through Adobe? Your video mentioned you have links of videos showing each car but I can’t seem to find them. Also, would you recommend getting the full add on protection that includes roadside assistance and such? Thank you!


Hi! How strict is the 23 year old minimum? I am 22 years old. Can you not rent at all? Or do you have to pay extra?



I am trying to rent a car just to drive from Quepos to the airport, but the form will not let me pick a dropoff date the same day as the pickup day. If I only need to rent the car for a few hours on one day, am I unable to use this service?

Thank you!


my family is going to be going to Costa Rica and we were looking at rental cars, there are five of us. When I was looking there were several cars that say they can only hold 4 people but I know they have enough seats for 5. Would it be ok if we rented one that says they can only hold 4?

Eric Kessler

I just booked through your site for a May 10 to May 17 trip and wanted to confirm that Adobe takes Amex? I assume they would but need to know definitely because my Amex card rental damage coverage, which I have secured a letter from them stating such, requires I use that card.

Tom Goben

Hi, I have left several messages but response is always the same, “Your comment is awaiting moderation”. Is the Adobe discount/advantages still available through your website? I compared prices and only saw very small difference (less than 5%). More interested in other benefits you offer but cannot see how I get confirmation of these with Adobe when I book. Thanks.


Hi there! I was hoping to book my car rental through your website for the rental but it looks like there is an error. I was just on it last week and it was working then so not sure if they made an update. Any possibility of fixing?


Hey Sarah, your site is super awesome! Question about the rental rates. Looks like it’s a flat fee per day, correct? Not mileage? My mom and I plan to drive quite a bit, so I want to make sure there’s no sticker shock if we rack up miles. Thanks again. 🙂

RC Madrid

Hello, we are planning a family trip end May to early June flying into SJO. I see that Adobe will delivery the hire car to your hotel provided you are within a certain range. We will be staying at the Country Inn & Suites by Carlson (Cuidad Cariari, Heredia). Is this hotel within Adobe’s delivery range? Also, will Adobe collect the hire car at the end of our trip from the same hotel if requested? Thank you!


Hello! I am planning a trip for the end of August and I was just wondering if you think we should book that now or to wait if there is a better time? Thanks!