All the things You Have to Know About Renting a Automotive in Mexico

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This publish was written by Emily Becker, who’s a Mexico-based freelance author for BMTM.

Contemplating renting a automobile in Mexico? It may be a bit nerve-wracking if you happen to’ve by no means performed it. In spite of everything, driving in another country comes with its personal units of guidelines, security considerations, and potential scams. It doesn’t need to be a frightening thought, although. It’s truly surprisingly simple to hire a automobile in Mexico, and this information will allow you to keep secure whereas avoiding getting ripped off.

Advantages of Renting a Automotive in Mexico

You have got extra freedom to maneuver.

This nearly goes with out saying, however having a automobile in Mexico means you get to go the place you need to, when you need to. You don’t have to fret about chasing down buses to get from place to position or excursions that solely permit a sure period of time at every cease.

After I drove to the coast of Oaxaca from Oaxaca Metropolis, I beloved with the ability to cease within the little villages alongside the way in which. I had the liberty to do what I needed, which I wouldn’t have been in a position to if I had taken a bus.

You may get off the crushed path.

Particularly if you happen to’ll be flying into vacationer hotspots corresponding to Cancún, Puerto Vallarta, or Cabo San Lucas, it will probably really feel such as you’ve simply gone to a Mexican model of the US in some locations. If you wish to get off the crushed path in Mexico, a rental automobile is likely to be obligatory.

Renting a automobile permits you the mobility to get to smaller cities and cities that will in any other case be a ache to succeed in by way of public transportation. You too can entry secret seashores, secluded cenotes, and different pure areas which are far much less crowded.

Take the Riviera Maya, for instance. When you have a rental automobile, you will get to locations like Xpu-ha, Punta Allen, and different small seashore cities that different vacationers don’t go to as a lot.

You possibly can see extra of Mexico.

If you wish to journey from one metropolis to a different, renting a automobile is a good choice, as a result of buses that journey lengthy distances usually take a number of extra hours than driving by yourself would. Renting a automobile permits you to go additional, faster. You’ll have the ability to see extra in a shorter period of time, taking in every second and really savoring the magic of Mexico.

It’s enjoyable!

My absolute favourite street journeys have all been in Mexico. I like how the terrain right here modifications drastically, making for a stimulating street journey whether or not you’re with a associate, pals, or solo. For those who’re open to journey, you’re positive to seek out loads of spontaneous stops alongside the way in which. You would possibly encounter a roadside elote stand, a nature protect, or a pueblo mágico (“magic city”).

With a rental automobile, you get to really benefit from the journey with out a lot concentrate on the vacation spot, which is such a enjoyable method to expertise Mexico.

Drawbacks of Renting a Automotive in Mexico

It may be expensive.

Particularly if you happen to go for full-coverage insurance coverage with no deductible (extra on this later), the each day price to hire a automobile in Mexico can get fairly costly. Tack on the ever-fluctuating value of fuel and it will probably even be tough to foretell how a lot you’re prone to spend on a rental automobile.

Evaluate automobile rental costs in Mexico right here!

Neglect about metropolis driving.

I don’t suggest renting a automobile in Mexico Metropolis if you happen to plan to make use of it inside the metropolis. The site visitors is totally insane, and driving there may be not solely anxious however can truly take longer than hopping on the metro. It’s additionally fairly harmful to navigate Mexico Metropolis if you happen to’ve by no means pushed there earlier than, as many drivers don’t comply with site visitors guidelines. It sound anxious as a result of it is anxious.

Smaller cities like Oaxaca and Mérida are far more drivable, however until you’re planning to depart the town, a automobile isn’t completely obligatory as a result of most small cities in Mexico have respectable public transportation.

You’re restricted to driving solely throughout the day.

For security causes, it’s not a fantastic thought to drive your rental automobile at evening in Mexico. There’s no regulation or specific rule that claims you possibly can’t, however I don’t suggest risking it.

For instance, the freeway between Tulum and Bacalar turns into harmful at evening, as organized crime teams are identified to create blockades and extort drivers. This occurs in different components of Mexico as nicely, totally on poorly lit highways and in areas the place there is no such thing as a cell reception.

Inside a metropolis or city, it’s in all probability no huge deal, however keep away from highways as a lot as attainable if you happen to completely need to drive after darkish.

Avoiding Hidden Charges

It can save you cash on automobile leases (and spend extra on enjoyable actions like this one) with out being scammed.

For those who Googled “rental automobiles in Mexico” and noticed corporations promoting charges as little as $5/day, I promise you that it’s too good to be true. Some automobile rental companies use these low base charges to lure clients to their website. That $5/day price doesn’t embody any insurance coverage (which is necessary in Mexico) or different charges. For those who fall for this, you’ll probably arrive to select up the automobile you reserved on-line and be slapped with a invoice a lot increased than you imagined.

The minimal you possibly can anticipate to pay per day on insurance coverage alone is $7-10 for the naked minimal protection. See why $5 a day for a rental automobile is simply too good to be true?

To keep away from falling for this rip-off, take a look at numerous corporations on-line and ensure to pay shut consideration to what the each day value contains. Will you want an additional driver? How a lot is insurance coverage? Is there a deductible?

The place to Lease a Automotive in Mexico


One respected website that’s nice for shopping and reserving rental automobiles is Uncover Vehicles. There you’ll get a full image of what you’re paying for, with no hidden charges. The positioning permits you to see choices from a number of corporations, making evaluating them simpler than ever.

A candy characteristic of Uncover Vehicles is you can partially pay once you e book, and pay the remainder once you choose the automobile up on the airport or on the town. (This characteristic isn’t obtainable for all automobiles; some leases require full fee at time of reserving.)

On the airport

If you wish to wait till you arrive to Mexico to e book your rental automobile, the airport is usually the perfect place. Not solely do you may have a number of corporations in a single location for simple comparability, however you additionally gained’t have to fret about transportation to and from the airport. For those who’re flying in someplace like Cancún however plan to spend most of your time elsewhere, that is the most suitable choice to save lots of money and time.

One other perk of ready to get to the airport is with the ability to discuss to an precise individual when deciding what automobile to hire, which insurance coverage to buy, and so forth. Most workers at these corporations within the airport places communicate English as nicely and might reply any questions you may have.

Firms I’ve used

I’ve rented automobiles in Mexico via Alamo, Avis, and Europcar with no issues in any respect. I discovered all three of those corporations to be equally as useful and easy.

I rented a automobile with Alamo in Tulum with some pals, and it was tremendous fast to select it up and drop it off. For those who use Avis, I like to recommend reserving in individual, as a result of usually individuals reserve automobiles on their web site solely to reach on the bodily location and be given a unique (costlier) automobile. This didn’t occur to me, although, as a result of I rented on the airport in Tuxtla Gutiérrez.

The final time I rented a automobile, I went via Europcar at a bodily location within the middle of Oaxaca. It was the perfect expertise I’ve had to date, as a result of the workers went the additional mile to stroll me via the prices of all the pieces. In addition they have been tremendous responsive after I referred to as to ask questions whereas I had the automobile.

Value for Renting a Automotive in Mexico

cancun things to do isla holbox

Automotive leases in Mexico usually begin at $30 per day for primary economic system guide automobiles and the minimal insurance coverage requirement (an additional $7-10 per day). Full-coverage insurance coverage runs about $12-20 per day, relying on the car, on high of the bottom price of the automobile. Remember the fact that automated automobiles price additional and are harder to return by than guide ones. For those who drive stick, that is your time to avoid wasting money!

Evaluate automobile rental costs in Mexico right here!

So as to add a further driver, you possibly can anticipate to pay round $10-15 additional, per day.

Bigger and 4×4 automobiles begin round $50 per day with primary insurance coverage. Since small automobiles are extra standard, you could possibly find yourself with a big car if you happen to don’t e book forward throughout excessive season (spring break and November to December).

Selecting the Proper Automotive

Sayulita is one other excellent spot in Mexico with tons of issues to do round it. Renting a automobile is good right here.

To decide on the appropriate automobile to your Mexican journey, step one is deciding if you need a guide or automated car. Within the States, it’s a on condition that the rental automobiles are automated, however that isn’t the case in Mexico, so ensure you double-check earlier than reserving.

You must also have a transparent thought of the place you propose to go, as you would possibly want a 4×4 car to get to sure locations. For essentially the most half, 4-wheel drive isn’t obligatory in locations just like the Riviera Maya (between Cancún and Tulum). Nevertheless, if you happen to plan to discover some distant Mayan ruins or hidden seashores, you would possibly take into account it.

For a winding street journey via the mountains in Oaxaca and driving from Bacalar to the ferry for Holbox, I discovered a primary economic system automobile to be simply high-quality. To get to a lot of the cenotes close to Tulum and Cancún, you don’t want a 4×4 both.

Rental automobiles in Mexico, just like the States, normally are newer fashions and have bluetooth, USB ports, and built-in navigation methods. The makes and fashions of the automobiles are about the identical as you’d discover stateside as nicely.

What You Want Earlier than Renting a Automotive in Mexico

To be no less than 25 years previous

Identical to in america, you should be 25 or older to hire a automobile in Mexico. Some corporations like Europcar and Mex Automotive will make an exception and hire to drivers between 21 and 25 for an additional charge of $10-20 per day.

There are only a few corporations that can hire a automobile to drivers between 18 and 21 years previous, however they do exist.

A sound driver’s license

You don’t want a world driver’s license to hire a automobile in Mexico. You possibly can simply use your legitimate driver’s license from dwelling and be good to go. Nevertheless, if your own home nation’s official language doesn’t use the Latin alphabet, you will want a world driver’s license.

A bank card with no less than $1,000 of obtainable credit score

With the intention to e book your rental automobile in Mexico, the automobile rental firm will most probably want to position a maintain of no less than $1,000 USD in your bank card. Generally you will get round this by buying full-coverage insurance coverage, although I’ve by no means tried this myself.

I’ve been in a position to e book a rental automobile utilizing a debit card, however this isn’t at all times attainable with each firm. It’s finest to take action with a bank card, as they may place a maintain slightly than pulling out the cash out of your account and reimbursing you once you return the automobile.

Driving in Mexico

Playa Zipolite is the right place to have a rental automobile due to what number of totally different seashores there are close by.

Obtain offline maps.

Even if you happen to resolve to seize a Mexican SIM card, there’s an opportunity you’ll drive via a useless zone throughout your street journey. To keep away from getting misplaced, obtain an offline map to make use of. To do that, you possibly can open Google Maps and search the realm that you just plan to drive.

For those who’re doing a protracted journey, you possibly can zoom out to obtain the whole space. Even if you happen to don’t have cell service, you’ll have the ability to see your location on the map, which is able to allow you to navigate.

Fuel stations and potential scams

Nearly all fuel stations in Mexico are serviced, that means you don’t need to pump your personal fuel or go away your car if you happen to don’t need to. One potential rip-off can occur on the fuel station, although, if you happen to pay with a card. I as soon as had an attendant overcharge me on the terminal by 100 pesos, pondering I wouldn’t discover. After I noticed my receipt, I noticed the overcharge and pointed it out. He gave me my 100 pesos reluctantly, however it was an in depth name.

I’ve since heard that that is fairly frequent, so ensure that to examine the quantity earlier than you insert your card.

Generally the attendants will say that the terminals are offline, so you possibly can’t use a card. This is likely to be true in some instances, so simply ensure you have sufficient money readily available to pay for fuel to your entire journey.

Ask your lodging about parking beforehand

It’s not a on condition that your Airbnb and even resort or hostel can have a chosen parking spot. Ask your host earlier than reserving to ensure there’s a secure, ideally enclosed, house to park your automobile in a single day. I bumped into this subject as a result of I didn’t ask forward of time and ended up having to park on the road, which was dangerous. Nothing occurred, however it made me nervous to depart my rental automobile on the street in a single day. Dwell and study, proper?

Pace limits are in kilometers per hour

Do not forget that Mexico makes use of the metric system. You would possibly assume the “100” velocity restrict indicators are stunning till you understand that’s solely about 60 miles per hour.

It looks as if individuals solely take these limits as a delicate suggestion, however I at all times obey them for concern of being pulled over. It’s finest to play it secure.

What occurs if I get pulled over?

Chances are high, you’ll solely be pulled over by Mexican police if you’re blatantly breaking the regulation. Sadly, bribing law enforcement officials continues to be quite common right here. For those who get pulled over, the officer would possibly trace at a bribe to keep away from ticketing you, which will be very costly.

I don’t have a powerful opinion on this a method or one other, as a result of I perceive that this can be a difficult subject around the globe and never simply in Mexico. If handing over a pair hundred pesos for a bribe sounds high-quality, you do you. I’ve rented a automobile a number of occasions right here and by no means been pulled over, so I’m undecided what I’d do. Ideas?

Pin me for later:

Able to buckle up and begin your Mexican street journey? I hope this helps you keep secure on the street and keep away from getting scammed.

Tell us when you have any extra recommendation about renting a automobile in Mexico!

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