Costa Rica is the perfect destination to travel around in a motorcycle. There is no better way to take in the warm, South American breeze than to ride around on two wheels with the wind blowing past. The weather is almost always perfect, and you can see a volcano, beach, and waterfall all in one tour. All you need to rent a motorcycle in Costa Rica for less than 90 days is a valid motorcycle license from your home country. After 90 days, you will need to get a Costa Rican driver’s license. Here are some other things to consider when renting a motorcycle during your Costa Rican adventure.
Renting and Insurance
In addition to a valid driver’s license from your home country, you will also need a major credit card and your passport to rent a motorcycle. The minimum age for rentals is 21, and you can rent with a debit card, but you will have to pay the insurance in full and provide a deposit. You should inspect the vehicle carefully before using it for damage and note anything you see on the rental agreement. You should shop around for the best rental rate as they fluctuate with the seasons. Keep in mind that airport rental offices an additional 12% fee.
Insurance in Costa Rica is mandatory, even if you have your own from your home country. Most rental companies will not rent to you without it, and it typically costs between $10 to $30 a day. Basic insurance only covers damage done to other people’s vehicles or property and not the rental itself. It is legal to drive with only basic insurance, but many companies may not permit it. Full coverage is usually around $50 per day. Some gold and platinum credit cards may cover damage if you use it to buy basic insurance, which means you would not have to purchase full coverage – check with your credit card company to be sure. It is always a good idea to understand exactly what your insurance covers as most policies do not extend to water damage.
The quality of roads varies in Costa Rica with some that are smoothly paved and others that are bumpy. Most roads are single lane and winding, and others are rock covered. Drive defensively as you will encounter several hazards like pedestrians, cyclists, cattle and hidden speed bumps are placed on some stretches of road.
Limits are posted on roads with highway speed maximums between 100 to 120 km/h, with a minimum of 40 km/h. Secondary roads generally have a speed limit of 60 km/h. Speed limits are sometimes enforced with tickets and traffic police use radar to catch speeders. Remember, it is illegal to stop in the middle of an intersection or to turn right on a red light. If you are issued a ticket, you must pay it at the bank or the rental company may be able to arrange payment for you.