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Costa Rica: rental cars vs. taxi/shuttles

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Hello,
Spending a week in Costa Rica (Arenal & MA) in March. Ive been looking at prices for shuttles and transfers as well as car rental. A rental car for the six days we will be there is under $100 (compact size). One way transfers are a little more than that.

Is it safe to drive? we are arrive to SJ around noon and leaving around the same time, so we would be doing those drives early. Would you recommend driving? I have read that it is safe, but some of those threads are older. Anybody been there recently? It will just be DH and I. He has driven in Mexico and other vacations (Puerto Rico & Hawaii).

Thanks in advance. :)

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