At 20km south of the downtown of the capital of Costa Rica, San Jose International Airport (SJO) acts as the main hub for Costa Rica. For those looking to explore the stunning flora and fauna in Costa Rica, there are 14 companies to choose from at SJO that include Alamo, Avis, Enterprise, Keddy, National, Payless, Solid Car Rental, Hertz and Dollar. Most of the car rental agencies are located just outside the international arrivals hall.
When choosing a vehicle, renters should be aware that not all the roads are in perfect condition, especially the ones leading to remote AirBnbs. And when it rains, it really rains. For extra security, you might want to choose a 4×4 or a SUV.
To determine which rental car companies offer the best vehicles across our three categories (Most Affordable, Best for Luxury, Best for Minivans), TravelMag.com carefully researched prices, availability, policies and customer reviews of the car rental companies operating out of SJO. Here are our findings:
Most Affordable: Keddy
If you’re in the market for cheap car rentals, Keddy, the budget brand owned by Europcar, has the cheapest rates at SJO airport. Keddy’s fleet runs the full range from compact cars to family cars and large sedans. Their cheapest rentals are the Chevrolet Aveo, Cavalier and Trax that are all available for under $100 per day. Overall, Keddy scores an acceptable 6.1/10 on popular car rental website rentalcars.com with many people praising the cleanliness of the cars and the friendliness of the staff. Equally, there is some criticism of the lengthy pick-up and drop-off times. If these negative comments put you off, then we’d recommend Alamo that not only has a fine selection of cars, but also receives some of the best customer feedback on social media platforms.
Best for Luxury: Sixt
Known globally for its great customer service and premium vehicles, Sixt doesn’t disappoint in San Jose and is undoubtedly the local champion in this category. With a number of top of the range Mitsubishis and BMWs, Sixt has plenty of variety in its range. As is often the case, Sixt’s vehicles are not cheap, but if you rent through rentalcars.com, the deal includes a collision damage waiver, theft protection and third party liability in the base price. And in a country with some tricky roads to navigate, extra security is another reason to choose Sixt.
Best for Minivans: Keddy
We only found one company at SJO offering a bonafide minivan and that’s Keddy. Keddy’s Hyundai H1 is a reliable, 12-seater vehicle that at $150 per day offers excellent value for money. Keddy’s base rate includes unlimited mileage and third party insurance that includes theft. In addition, for just $3 per day (plus VAT), child and infant seats are available for rent. In order to access Keddy’s counter, you will have to board the shuttle bus just outside the airport terminal.