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Child car seat requirements in Costa Rica

by | Jun 26, 2012

There is a new set of car seat regulations from May 2014.  Read about it here.

Hiring transportation with children

According to statistics from the Children’s Hospital in San José, Costa Rica, using the correct child seat reduces the chances of a kid getting killed in a car accident by 50%.

Over the years, some of the most common questions we get from families planning a trip to Costa Rica are about child car seat requirements and of course about availability of such car seats on rental cars, private transfers and shuttles.

Child seats and seat belts are mandatory in Costa Rica and regulated by law.  Below is a great infographic from La Nacion, our best daily newspaper, describing the different seats that should be used and how to choose the right one for your kid, according to his age, weight and height.  My translation of the original text is at the bottom.

Car rental companies have different models of seats available, some of them charge an additional daily fee while others provide the child seat for free.

Shuttle transfer companies as well as private transportation companies provide child seats if you request it in advance when making your reservation.  Normally there is no additional charge.

A detail that usually comes a a surprise to most traveling moms is that passenger vans licensed for tourism transportation in Costa Rica have only the two-point seat belts.  Those are the seat-belts required by our law and that’s what the car manufacturers provide.   If you  are one of those moms who must have the three-point seatbelt for your kid, you should plan your travel in an SUV or a sedan instead of a van or minibus.  Your favorite transportation provider in Costa Rica will have one available.  At Morpho Vans we work with several Toyota Prado and other similar SUVs with air bags and shoulder/waist seatbelts.


Child Car Seats in Costa Rica


  1. Baby carrier:  for babies under 10 Kg (22 pounds) and/or one year old
  2. Between 10 and 18 Kg (22 to 40 pounds), 1 and 4 years old and 75 to 110 cms height (30 to 43 inches)
  3. Booster seat for kids over 18 Kg with heights from 110 to 145 cm (43 to 57 inches)
  4. Kids taller than 145 cm (57 inches) travel without any special devices, using the seat belt.


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Destino Tropical es un sitio web donde creamos itinerarios personalizados para viajeros independientes en Costa Rica, con una gran diversidad de tours y atracciones
Logo de Destino Tropical. Sitio web para itinerarios personalizados y tours en Costa Rica