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

March 6, 2022

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

Contemplating renting a automotive in Mexico? It may be a bit nerve-wracking in the event you’ve by no means performed it. In spite of everything, driving out of the country comes with its personal units of guidelines, security issues, and potential scams. It doesn’t must be a frightening thought, although. It’s truly surprisingly straightforward to rent a car in Mexico, and this information will make it easier to keep secure whereas avoiding getting ripped off.

Advantages of Renting a Automotive in Mexico

You’ve extra freedom to maneuver.

This virtually goes with out saying, however having a automotive 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.

Once I drove to the coast of Oaxaca from Oaxaca Metropolis, I liked with the ability to cease within the little villages alongside the best way. 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 will get off the overwhelmed path.

Particularly in the event you’ll be flying into vacationer hotspots akin to Cancún, Puerto Vallarta, or Cabo San Lucas, it could 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 overwhelmed path in Mexico, a rental automotive is perhaps vital.

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

Take the Riviera Maya, for instance. If in case you have a rental automotive, you may 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 automotive 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 automotive permits you to go additional, faster. You’ll be capable to see extra in a shorter period of time, taking in every second and actually savoring the magic of Mexico.

It’s enjoyable!

My absolute favourite highway journeys have all been in Mexico. I like how the terrain right here adjustments drastically, making for a stimulating highway journey whether or not you’re with a associate, buddies, or solo. If you happen to’re open to journey, you’re certain to search out loads of spontaneous stops alongside the best way. You would possibly encounter a roadside elote stand, a nature protect, or a pueblo mágico (“magic city”).

With a rental automotive, you get to actually benefit from the journey with out a lot deal with the vacation spot, which is such a enjoyable strategy to expertise Mexico.

Drawbacks of Renting a Automotive in Mexico

It may be expensive.

Particularly in the event you go for full-coverage insurance coverage with no deductible (extra on this later), the day by day price to lease a automotive in Mexico can get fairly costly. Tack on the ever-fluctuating value of gasoline and it could even be tough to foretell how a lot you’re prone to spend on a rental automotive.

Compare car rental prices in Mexico here!

Neglect about metropolis driving.

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

Smaller cities like Oaxaca and Mérida are rather more drivable, however except you’re planning to go away the town, a automotive isn’t completely vital as a result of most small cities in Mexico have respectable public transportation.

You’re restricted to driving solely through the day.

For security causes, it’s not an incredible thought to drive your rental automotive at night time in Mexico. There’s no legislation or express rule that claims you may’t, however I don’t suggest risking it.

For instance, the freeway between Tulum and Bacalar turns into harmful at night time, as organized crime teams are identified to create blockades and extort drivers. This occurs in different elements of Mexico as effectively, totally on poorly lit highways and in areas the place there isn’t any cell reception.

Inside a metropolis or city, it’s in all probability no large deal, however keep away from highways as a lot as attainable in the event you completely must drive after darkish.

Avoiding Hidden Charges

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

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

The minimal you may 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 automotive is simply too good to be true?

To keep away from falling for this rip-off, try varied firms on-line and ensure to pay shut consideration to what the day by 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 looking and reserving rental automobiles is Discover Cars. There you’ll get a full image of what you’re paying for, with no hidden charges. The location permits you to see choices from a number of firms, making evaluating them simpler than ever.

A candy function of Uncover Automobiles is you could partially pay once you guide, and pay the remaining once you decide the automotive up on the airport or on the town. (This function isn’t accessible for all automobiles; some leases require full cost at time of reserving.)

On the airport

If you wish to wait till you arrive to Mexico to guide your rental automotive, the airport is commonly the very best place. Not solely do you might have a number of firms in a single location for straightforward comparability, however you additionally received’t have to fret about transportation to and from the airport. If you happen to’re flying in someplace like Cancún however plan to spend most of your time elsewhere, that is the best choice to save lots of money and time.

One other perk of ready to get to the airport is with the ability to speak to an precise particular person when deciding what automotive to lease, which insurance coverage to buy, and so forth. Most staff at these firms within the airport places communicate English as effectively and may reply any questions you might have.

Firms I’ve used

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

I rented a automotive with Alamo in Tulum with some buddies, and it was tremendous fast to choose it up and drop it off. If you happen to use Avis, I like to recommend reserving in particular person, 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) automotive. 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 automotive, I went by means of Europcar at a bodily location within the heart of Oaxaca. It was the very best expertise I’ve had thus far, as a result of the staff went the additional mile to stroll me by means of the prices of the whole lot. Additionally they have been tremendous responsive once I known as to ask questions whereas I had the automotive.

Value for Renting a Automotive in Mexico

cancun things to do isla holbox

Automotive leases in Mexico usually begin at $30 per day for fundamental economic system guide autos 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 automotive. Remember the fact that computerized autos price further and are harder to return by than guide ones. If you happen to drive stick, that is your time to avoid wasting money!

Compare car rental prices in Mexico here!

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

Bigger and 4×4 autos begin round $50 per day with fundamental insurance coverage. Since small automobiles are extra fashionable, you would find yourself with a big car in the event you don’t guide forward throughout excessive season (spring break and November to December).

Selecting the Proper Automotive

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

To decide on the proper automotive on your Mexican journey, step one is deciding in order for you a guide or computerized car. Within the States, it’s a on condition that the rental automobiles are computerized, however that isn’t the case in Mexico, so be sure you double-check earlier than reserving.

You also needs to 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 probably the most half, 4-wheel drive isn’t vital in locations just like the Riviera Maya (between Cancún and Tulum). Nonetheless, in the event you plan to discover some distant Mayan ruins or hidden seashores, you would possibly take into account it.

For a winding highway journey by means of the mountains in Oaxaca and driving from Bacalar to the ferry for Holbox, I discovered a fundamental economic system automotive to be simply tremendous. 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, often are newer fashions and have bluetooth, USB ports, and built-in navigation programs. The makes and fashions of the automobiles are about the identical as you’d discover stateside as effectively.

What You Want Earlier than Renting a Automotive in Mexico

To be a minimum of 25 years outdated

Identical to in the US, you have to be 25 or older to lease a automotive in Mexico. Some firms like Europcar and Mex Automotive will make an exception and lease to drivers between 21 and 25 for an additional charge of $10-20 per day.

There are only a few firms that may lease a automotive to drivers between 18 and 21 years outdated, however they do exist.

A sound driver’s license

You don’t want a world driver’s license to lease a automotive in Mexico. You possibly can simply use your legitimate driver’s license from residence and be good to go. Nonetheless, 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 a minimum of $1,000 of obtainable credit score

So as to guide your rental automotive in Mexico, the automotive rental firm will most certainly want to position a maintain of a minimum of $1,000 USD in your bank card. Typically you may 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 guide a rental automotive utilizing a debit card, however this isn’t all the time attainable with each firm. It’s finest to take action with a bank card, as they may place a maintain moderately than pulling out the cash out of your account and reimbursing you once you return the automotive.

Driving in Mexico

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

Obtain offline maps.

Even in the event you determine to seize a Mexican SIM card, there’s an opportunity you’ll drive by means of a useless zone throughout your highway journey. To keep away from getting misplaced, obtain an offline map to make use of. To do that, you may open Google Maps and search the realm that you just plan to drive.

If you happen to’re doing a protracted journey, you may zoom out to obtain the complete space. Even in the event you don’t have cell service, you’ll be capable to see your location on the map, which can make it easier to navigate.

Gasoline stations and potential scams

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

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

Typically the attendants will say that the terminals are offline, so you may’t use a card. This is perhaps true in some circumstances, so simply be sure you have sufficient money available to pay for gasoline on your entire journey.

Ask your lodging about parking beforehand

It’s not a on condition that your Airbnb and even resort or hostel may have a delegated parking spot. Ask your host earlier than reserving to verify there’s a secure, ideally enclosed, area to park your automotive in a single day. I bumped into this situation 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 go away my rental automotive on the street in a single day. Reside and be taught, 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 all the time obey them for concern of being pulled over. It’s finest to play it secure.

What occurs if I get pulled over?

Likelihood is, you’ll solely be pulled over by Mexican police in case you are blatantly breaking the legislation. Sadly, bribing law enforcement officials remains to be quite common right here. If you happen to get pulled over, the officer would possibly trace at a bribe to keep away from ticketing you, which may 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 situation around the globe and never simply in Mexico. If handing over a pair hundred pesos for a bribe sounds tremendous, you do you. I’ve rented a automotive a number of instances right here and by no means been pulled over, so I’m unsure what I might do. Ideas?

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

Tell us you probably have any extra recommendation about renting a automotive in Mexico!

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