Save 10% on your Costa Rica Car Rental

Plus tons of other great perks with our favorite rental car company

costa rica car rental
costa rica car rental

Our goal is always to bring you the best info on 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?!?



Why we Love Adobe

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! 🙂

Note: With the current Coronavirus situation we think that now more than ever it is best to rent a car for your Costa Rica travels. Also, Adobe has been working hard to keep their employees and customers as safe and secure as possible with extremely diligent cleaning. 

They put out this video to show exactly how seriously they are taking this situation.

The Costa Rica Car Rental Discount

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 over 12 miles away Adobe may charge a small delivery fee.

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 arrive.

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.

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

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 Mandatory Car Insurance

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

The Car Rental Conditions

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.

The Best Car to Rent in Costa Rica

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 areaMonteverdeSan Gerardo de DotaSanta 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.

The Best Way to Get Directions

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.

Safety While Driving 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.

Should I Rent a Car in Costa Rica?

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.

The Costa Rica Rental Car Process

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 Form. Keep in mind that you can always change your reservation details later if you need. For example, if you would like your car delivered to your hotel but haven’t booked a hotel yet, just leave it blank for now. Adobe is happy to update that for you at a later point in time if you need.

The free cell phone, extra drivers, and 0% deductible are automatically applied to all car rentals through our site. When you pick up your car Adobe will see that you rented through us and automatically add these perks. 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.

Note: If you are arriving at the San Jose airport you will select “Aeropuerto San Jose (SJO) as you pick up and drop off location.

If you are arrive at Liberia airport you will select “Aeropuero Liberia (LIR)” as your drop off and pick up location.   

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 are 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.


126 Responses

  1. my flight lands at 11pm April 14 but we are 30 min from the airport and dont want to have to uber back to pick up our car the next day. I see that they close early, what do you recommend I do? thanks for the help!!!! is there another rental service that doesn’t charge crazy extra fees that would be open late?

    1. Hi Dacia, I just checked and it seems every single rental company closes at 10pm.
      In this situation, it is probably best to contact Adobe directly. They may be able to deliver your car to you in the morning.
      If you are in the US or Canada you can call them toll free at +1 (855) 861-1250 between 8 and 5pm central time. Or, email them at [email protected] By phone they can most likely even make the reservation for you. Just say you want it through Costa Rica Vibes to get the discount. 🙂
      Let me know if you have more questions!

  2. At the moment I am reading a lot on your blog because me and my boyfriend are going to Costa Rica at the end of August this year. We would love to book a car at Adobe with your discount but the links are not working anymore. It would be great if you could send me the discount!

    Thank you!

    1. Hi Ruby! I think there may have been some site problems last night. It seems to be up and running again now. On this page at the top and bottom, you will see an Adobe search box. That is with our discount included. So, the price you are quoted is with our discount already factored in. For bonuses such as the 0% deductible, Adobe will see you booked through us and will automatically apply them when you pick up your car.
      Let me know if you have any other questions.

    1. Hi Maria. You are completely fine to drive in Costa Rica with your normal US driver’s license. No special papers are required. 🙂
      Let me know if you have any other questions!

  3. Trying to book through your site and while some discount is showing, the benefit of $0 deductible, etc that you mention is not reflected. How/when will these be applied?
    Also, we are going from LIR to Playa Grande/Guanacaste for a few days then to La Anita Rainforest Ranch in Alajuela, then back to LIR. Probably will not venture out too far from our hotels because my activities are currently limited post-surgery. Any thought about whether we are okay with a sedan vs must have an SUV? Thanks in advance!

    1. Hi PJ,
      Adobe will see that you booked through my site and automatically apply the 0% deductible when you pick up and pay for your car. As far as the car, I would ask at the ranch you are staying at. I believe the roads around there are not paved, but maybe they can give you better info. If the are flat enough you will probably be fine with a sedan, especially at this time of year while everything is dry, but I would definitely ask them.
      Let me know if you have any other questions as you plan your trip!

  4. I checked prices with your link and then closed everything and checked prices from just going directly to Adobe’s website and it was the same price. Do you have any suggestions? I am not seeing any saving by going thru your link.

  5. Hi, I’m looking to rent a car from Adobe Nov. 25 to Dec. 1, 2019. I picked the Hyundai Tuscon, but I can’t see the mileage. Does Adobe have Unlimited Miles and will it apply to this rental car?

    1. Hi Vicky, yes all cars with Adobe have unlimited mileage. Let us know if you have any other questions as you plan your trip! ?

    1. Hi Cleveland. Sorry about that! I’m not sure what happened. I just resent the confirmation to you. 🙂

  6. Im a little confused between the router/ hotspot rental and whether or not I may have a usable (internationally unlocked) phone in Costa Rica, I wont know until I get there. Can I reserve a hotspot and cancel it if needed or would you suggest to to go with the Kolbi sim option and not bother with the Router/hotspot? Also, if the kolbi sim card option doesn’t work, woudl the hot spot option even work?

    1. Hi Maria! The hotspot works everywhere that you have signal in Costa Rica. This is pretty much everywhere. Sometimes you’ll randomly hit a spot for a few minutes while driving that won’t have signal but it’s very rare. It’s a really good option because you just pay the daily rate and have unlimited usage of it. I’ll check with my contact from Adobe and let you know about reserving and canceling last minute. Kolbi will definitely be cheaper. Typically while using Waze for a 5 hour drive it will cost under $1, but it is hard to say if it will actually work if you arent sure if your phone is unlocked.

    2. Hi Maria! I just got in touch with my contact at Adobe. They said it is no problem. You can reserve the hotspot and cancel it free of charge upon arrival if Kolbi ends up working out for you. Yeay! Let me know if you have any other questions as you plan. 🙂

  7. Does the router rental mean we will have wifi? How is phone coverage in general once you get out into the mountains?

    1. Hi Kay! Yes the router is a wifi hotspot. You can connect multiple devices to it. It should hold up pretty well as far as a connection. We have driven all over the country and occasionally you will hit dead zones, but for the most part, there is coverage everywhere. If you opt to rent the router an Adobe employee will fully explain how it works to you when you pick up your car. Let me know if you have more questions!

  8. Hi Sarah. I’m sure you guys get a lot of emails, I sent you one but I haven’t heard back yet. I want to book my rental and I’m just not sure if I can do what I’m trying to do which is pick up in Liberia, keep the rental for 3 days while in La Fortuna, drive it to Tamarindo and return it there. Would that be ok? Also would it be cheaper to just do a weekly rental at that point? Any guidance would be great. Thanks!

    1. Alicia! I’m sorry. We’ve been traveling all week so everything got a little delayed. Yes! You can do that. When you rent just put in Liberia as your pick up point and Tamarindo as your drop off point. That is completely fine! Just note that the Tamarindo office is a bit north of Tamarindo near Playa Flamingo. If you want, Adobe will pick up your car for free within 12 miles of their office. Even if it is a bit over 12 miles they are pretty good about being lenient. Just let me know if you want to do this and which hotel you are staying at and I can ask them about it. I’m back in the country now and will answer right away. 🙂 Also, Adobe charges by day and they don’t have a weekly discount.

  9. Hi Sarah. Great discount and service. Im trying to book a car on the 27th in san jose airport. But we will be arriving at 1 AM. Isnt it possible to get the car during the night? Thank in advance.

    1. Hi Natascha. Adobe’s office closes at 10pm and reopens at 5am. However, if you get a hotel nearby and want to get the car in the morning Adobe can deliver it to your hotel for free within 12 miles of their office. They start this service at 7:30 am. Let me know if you need any other help as you plan your trip! 🙂

  10. Hi there! We booked a car with Adobe today, but still haven’t received an email from them to confirm the reservation. Can you help us with this or do we need to contact them directly? Thanks!

    1. Hi Anne!
      I can help you. Do you know what the name you used for your reservation? I will look it up and send it your way. 🙂

  11. Hello Sarah!!!
    Thank you very much for your tips. They are helping us a lot. We booked a car with Adobe, but we never got an email from them after the reservation. We have a pdf, but we wanted to know if it is normal. We also emailed them and got no answer.
    Thank you

    1. Hi Isabel!
      Oh no. That’s strange. Sorry about that! Can you tell me what the email address you used for the reservation was? I can check for it for you and send it to you.

      1. Hi Isabel. I forwarded the reservation to both you and your friend. Just wanted to check in that you got it. 🙂

  12. Hi there Sarah,

    I just wanted to say thank you so much for adding all the helpful info above and offering a discount! Can’t wait to travel back to Costa Rica and using a reliable car rental company.. Our first experience was not the best so you guys providing all these information and offering free 2nd driver is awesome!! Can’t wait to check out the rest of your blog 🙂

    1. Thanks Kayla! I’m so happy we could help you out. I also completely understand where you’re coming from! We had some bad experiences as well before finding Adobe. You’ll love them. They are a great company. Let us know if you have any questions or need any tips as you plan your second trip. 🙂

  13. Hi Sarah,

    I have questions regarding waiving the car protection (LDW) insurance. What kind of documents are needed from the credit card company? What coverage will be acceptable for waiving the Car Protection from the credit card car insurance? If I were to add second driver, does the second driver needs to present the documents as well?
    Thank You

    1. Hi! Sorry for the delay in getting back to you. All you need from your credit card company is to bring an email or some other statement saying that you are covered for car protection in Costa Rica. It just needs to clearly show your name and credit card number. Your free second driver does not have to provide this as well. Only one person needs to show this proof. If you would like, you can always email Adobe with a copy of the info from your credit card company. That way they can clearly tell you if you are all set for avoiding the LDW insurance. Their email is [email protected] Let me know if you need any other tips as you plan your trip!

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