Is Uber available in Costa Rica? Five reasons why you shouldn’t ride on Uber

I want to write this not only as a harmed part of the application but as fertile information for the tourist. I hope you can believe what I write, and I will give you an information source so that you can see it for yourself.

Uber and other apps that work on the transportation of people are available in Costa Rica. If you have the app on your phone, and you are in the metropolitan area, you will probably find a vehicle that takes you wherever you want to go to Costa Rica. It only works in the metro area. But I have to say also that all these apps, including Uber, are Illegal in Costa Rica, as it is in most of the countries in which they work.

Let me show you some information so you can make a better judgment.

Is Uber illegal in Costa Rica?

Uber is illegal in Costa Rica. There is no question about it. The company, despite several statements from the court and the Government, has ignored all this and continue working on the margin of the law.

As it is shown in La Republica newspaper from Costa Rica:

The president declares Uber as an Illegal company in Costa Rica.

La Republica

La Republica is one of the most prestigious newspaper in Costa Rica, with almost 70 years of history. They focus on Business and economy. Another paper that clarifies this is El Financiero. This journal is the finance and business branch of La Nación, one of the oldest most prestigious newspaper in Costa Rica, founded in 1946.

President keeps its position but said they couldn´t disconnect the App, referring to Uber.

El Financiero

All this news is from this year, so as it is now, June of 2019, Uber is Illegal in Costa Rica.

Is it safe to use Uber in Costa Rica?

I have to say that Uber is as safe as any other place. You will know the name of the driver, and the ride is registered at the App. It is as secure as any other place, cars are pretty new, and most drivers are friendly people. However, security is more than just not been robbed or assault. As an illegal service, you may not have a chance to claim the insurance in case of an accident. That is an issue to consider as well, especially in a country like Costa Rica, where car accidents are considered an epidemic problem.

5 reasons why you shouldn’t ride on Uber

It is an illegal Service

As I said, it is an illegal service. At the airport, I have seen traffic officers getting people off cars and removing license plates. It is not a pleasant experience, beginning your journey in Costa Rica, with a legal problem. You will not have any difficulty, but the driver will. That is the reason why it is so complicated this day to ask for a car at the airport.

Now, the airport is a special place, it is a semi-private road, straightforward to watch for the traffic officers, that is why it is so easy to catch an Uber on the airport, and this is the same reason why it is now so difficult to ask for one there.

You ride on the misery of the driver

In the book of Stephen Covey, “The seven habits of highly effective people,” he teaches that you should always make a Win-Win relationship. On Uber, prices do not consider all the costs involved in the business and have lots of hidden fees. Your gain is the driver loss. In the end, you ride on the misery of the driver.

According to Uber data, 11% of new drivers quit in the first month, and 50% of them left within the first year. Many critics sais that drivers start working without fully understanding the risk and cost involved.

“Many drivers who are critical of the company claim that Uber lures in naïve new drivers with promises of steady earnings only to cut fares on them”


They DO NOT pay taxes

Uber is a service that does not pay taxes. All activities contribute to the state and the social security of one country. Uber is a service that does not pay taxes, nor the drivers are registered as workers, making it a no formal job. They do not pay social security, nor retirement plans, taking advantage of the need of people. This job is a new way of slavery, compared to children working in China or businesses that produce clothes in developing countries. In the end, this job is not ethical nor helpful.

It is a business that is harmful to the market.

Ride on Uber, an illegal service and an underemployment service, produce a distortion on the market, making suffer other people that work within the law, pay all taxes, and pay decent salaries with all the conditions. Uber has a price that not allows drivers to fulfill all their needs, the rest of the market could not compete with them, riding on Uber you support this type of distortion on the market, hurting people that do want to work according to the law.

It is not entirely safe for you

As this is an illegal activity, in case of a car accident, you may not be able to claim insurance. That is a problem in a country where car accidents are considered an epidemic problem. We have a death rate of 13.6 by 1000 inhabitants. In the United States, the death rate is 10,6, and in Europe, the death rate is 9.3, accordingly to Wikipedia.

And you may not only have problems with the insurance of the vehicle, probably, as you are involved in illegal activity in a foreign country, your travel insurance, or your credit car insurance may not cover you, or have issues with paying any medical bills.


I have just given you five good reasons why you shouldn´t ride on Uber. We know Costa Rica is an expensive country, there are some reasons for that, but what I want you to understand is that the price of legal taxis goes according to the economy. As you may read in our post: Is taxi Cheap in Costa Rica? How much do the taxi cost! In reality, Costa Rica has a taxi price a bit less or the same as the average around the world. We want you to enjoy all the wonders Costa Rica has to offer. If you are going to make a reservation on our website of your transfer to your hotel or house, you can click here.

Frequently ask questions?

What is the best way to get around in Costa Rica? That will depend on your budget and your adventure sense. Probably the best way to know Costa Rica is in a rental car. I have some issues you should read in our post, but it is still the best way. Nevertheless, you can go almost to every place in Costa Rica on a public bus. Another right way to go to places is on a small plane, which you can reserve online. I would like you to consider a Taxi for some of your rides, as is a safe, relaxing way to enjoy. You can even ask the driver for a stop here or there.

Some other links to read: The Tico Times is an English speaking newspaper, you can read this on their website. Costa Rican taxi drivers strike (again) against Uber On another digital Costarican publication in English you can read the next article Costa Rican Government Urges UBER to Stop Operating in the Country.

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