The picture shows a regular taxi with a permit. These taxis have a yellow triangle at both sides of the car with their license number. It is a good habit to remember this numbers, just in case you forgot something in the car etc. They have a tax-meter. Make shure it is turned on and they charge you the amount showing. Taxis are cheap in Costa Rica and it is normal to give a small tip.
Some hotels allow certain taxis to be stationed in front of their place. Normally these taxis are in better shape but they will not use the meter, because they will charge you a higher rate for the lost time waiting at the hotel. Make sure to ask them for the rate before you start your jouney, or you might have to pay far too much at the end.
If a car looks exactly like a cab, but doesen't show the yellow triangle, it is a private person working illegally as a cabdriver. They call them "pirats" and since there is a lack of taxis, specially when it rains, there are lots of pirats. To go with them is not recommendable because they most likley have no or little insurance. Most of them also have no tax-meter and might charge you far to much.
Then there are the airport taxis. They have orange cars and are only allowed to work from the airport. They will tell you the most amazing stories about the hotel you want to go. They will tell you, that the Hotel burned down, is full of rats, only frequented by transvestites or far too expensive. They will recommend you a much better hotel. That Hotel will give him up to $ 20.- for each customer. We don't recommend to use these taxis and we don't like this unfair practices.
Taxis in rural areas work differently. They usually have a standard price for any trip withintheir community. If you go further away, the price depends not only on the distance but also on the road conditions.