Top Driving Tips For Tourists


Mexico Rental Car Guide
Mexico Driving Guide

Renting a automobile in Mexico and driving across the nation your self is a superb method to expertise the Land of the Maya. Here’s some recommendation about the easiest way to do it.

I like Mexico. I’ve each lived & vacationed there for a few years, with most of my time spent within the nation’s Yucatan Peninsula space. Mexico is a really huge nation with lots to supply!

Whenever I go to, I ALWAYS hire a automobile to discover by myself. It’s way more enjoyable!

Renting a automobile in Mexico and driving your self can have its quirks and challenges, however they’re minimal and shouldn’t deter you.

I like the liberty of highway journeys and planning my very own journey itineraries. Mexico is such a various nation that it is smart to hire a automobile so you possibly can cease anyplace to find small villages, historical Mayan ruins like Chichen Itza, and hidden seashores or secret cenotes at your personal tempo.

Not on some strict (lower than preferrred) schedule with a tour firm.

Here are some vital ideas we discovered from our many experiences renting a automobile in Mexico, that will help you lower your expenses and keep secure whereas driving across the nation!

Matthew Karsten

Hi, I’m Matthew Karsten

I’ve been touring the world for 10+ years as knowledgeable photographer & author. I hope you take pleasure in my Mexico driving ideas! If you discover them helpful, utilizing my affiliate hyperlinks will give me a small fee, at no further price to you. Thanks!

How To Rent A Car In Mexico

1. Should You Self-Drive In Mexico?

Driving through Mexico
Driving in Mexico for Tourists

Hey, for those who love these huge group bus excursions, by all means, go guide one. It’s an honest method to see Mexico for those who don’t have numerous time.

No planning, no driving, simply sit again and let another person do all of the work!

But for those who’re like me, you like the journey of unbiased journey.

No set schedule or timetable — driving round Mexico with the liberty to cease anyplace cool you discover alongside the best way.

If that’s the form of traveler you might be, renting a automobile in Mexico is the best way to go!

Just remember that some roads in Mexico might be complicated, and a few drivers are aggressive too. But with some follow, you’ll achieve confidence driving there!

Another good factor we loved about having a automobile was the flexibility to retailer issues within the trunk, stopping off in small Mexican villages with journey backpacks slightly than hauling baggage in all places.

2. Where To Rent Your Car In Mexico

Mexican Road Signs
Picking Up Your Car

Some frequent automobile rental corporations in Mexico embrace Enterprise, Sixt, Hertz, an area one known as Fox Rentals, and plenty of extra.

But the very best website to guide your automobile is Discover Cars. They search each native and worldwide automobile rental corporations that will help you discover the absolute best value. This is the best method to hire a automobile in Mexico.

We typically hire our vehicles in Cancun or Playa del Carmen. From there it’s very simple to drive down the coast exploring the well-known Mexican Riviera Maya.

Cancun Airport: Plan to choose up your automobile about 60 minutes after your flight arrives. When departing, attempt to be on the airport not less than 2.5 hours earlier than your flight leaves. Because returning your rental automobile and catching a shuttle again to the airport can take as much as half-hour.

Playa Del Carmen: There are many Mexican automobile rental corporations primarily based in downtown Playa del Carmen. You might determine to choose up your automobile in Playa del Carmen after you get dropped off at your resort from the Cancun Airport Shuttle. Rentals primarily based in Playa are sometimes a bit cheaper than Cancun.

Rental Cars

Rent A Car In Mexico

Search each native and worldwide automobile rental corporations that will help you discover a whole lot.

3. Car Rental Insurance In Mexico

Some of the rumors about driving in Mexico are true, and the roads aren’t all the time maintained nicely, and drivers might be considerably aggressive. Don’t fear, I’ll share some ideas for coping with them beneath.

This is why I extremely suggest getting full insurance coverage protection.

Many vacationers guide rental vehicles utilizing a journey pleasant bank card that features automobile rental insurance coverage hoping that can save them some cash, however in Mexico they gained’t settle for your bank card’s insurance coverage, and can insist you purchase further Personal Liability insurance coverage that prices $10-20 USD a day.

Some Mexican automobile rental corporations will allow you to decline the insurance coverage for those who pay a big refundable deposit in your bank card (normally round $2500 USD). But if one thing occurs that prices way more than that deposit, you’re paying out of pocket past that.

If it’s your first time driving in Mexico, I’d suggest getting the insurance coverage simply to be secure.

4. How Much Does It Cost To Rent A Car In Mexico?

Renting A Car In Mexico
Driving by Mexico’s Pink Lakes

Renting a automobile in Mexico goes to price you round $20-$50 USD a day, relying on the kind of automobile you get. Our 4 door sedan was about $30 per day.

I like to recommend renting a automobile with an precise trunk (no hatchbacks) to cover your baggage from prying eyes. It helps to forestall break-ins if thieves can’t see your stuff.

Gas Prices

Gas (petrol) costs in Mexico might sound low-cost to Americans, however keep in mind that the remainder of the world quotes gasoline in Liters, not Gallons (1 Gallon = 3.78 Liters). Currently, gasoline prices about $5.14 per gallon ($1.39 per liter) in Mexico. Diesel vehicles will typically prevent some cash on gasoline.

Automatic vs Manual

Automatic vehicles are dearer to hire than handbook vehicles and you need to specify what sort you need when reserving. If you’ve by no means pushed a handbook automobile earlier than, don’t begin in Mexico! It’s safer to pre-book an computerized.

One-Way Rentals

There’s an extra price for one-way automobile leases in Mexico, which may fluctuate by firm. For instance, if you wish to drop off the automobile in a distinct metropolis than the place you began from.

5. Age Requirements For Renting A Car

The minimal age for driving in Mexico is eighteen years outdated, nonetheless most automobile rental corporations implement their very own age restrict of 21 years outdated to hire a automobile. They additionally cost an extra price for those who’re beneath 24 years outdated.

6. Mexican Driving Laws Tourists Should Know

Traffic in Tulum Mexico
Driving Through the Beach Town of Tulum

Be cautious with parking tickets! If you park illegally in Mexico (like not paying for a metered parking spot), you’ll probably get a ticket together with the police eradicating your license plate or booting your automobile’s wheel till you’ve paid.

In many components of Mexico chances are you’ll come throughout occasional police highway blocks. Often you simply drive by them slowly except an officer tells you to drag over. Don’t be scared or nervous, they’re normal follow.

The pace restrict on native roads is usually round 90 km/h whereas on nationwide highways it’s as much as 100 km/h.

Speeding Tickets In Mexico (Bribing The Police)

If you get pulled over for dashing whereas driving in Mexico, Mexican cops will typically be searching for a bribe (aka “La Mordida”) from vacationers. It’s simply how issues work. The quantity is about $10 – $20 USD.

If you try to combat it, or ask for an official ticket as a substitute, put together to take care of numerous problem and paperwork that can definitely destroy the remainder of your day.

7. International Driver’s License

No, you don’t want an international driver’s license to drive in Mexico or hire a automobile there. Just deliver your passport, bank card, and your driver’s license from your private home nation.

8. Helpful Tips For Driving In Mexico

Road traffic in Mexico
Mexican Traffic Jam

You don’t should cease for folks! Pedestrians typically don’t have the precise of manner in Mexico, which implies vehicles gained’t cease for folks strolling throughout the road. This took some getting used to for me.

While you possibly can be further good and cease for them anyway, you have to watch out as a result of any native drivers behind you’ll NOT expect that, which can lead to a foul accident. They hit you, you hit the folks.

Merging onto a freeway could be very completely different than within the US. Often vehicles are stopped on the ramp ready for a gap. And for those who miss your opening (regardless of how tight it could appear), you’ll definitely get honked at by these ready behind you.

Beware of hidden pace bumps (known as “Topes). While more often than not there will probably be a highway signal asserting an upcoming pace bump, typically the indicators are lacking, and the pace bump paint has been worn off, and also you’ll be rudely shocked by a really aggressive pace bump (that would wreck your suspension). You’ll typically discover them as you enter and exit small cities.

Speeding drivers who’re in a rush might tailgate you whereas flashing their lights. They simply need you to drag over a bit to allow them to proceed dashing previous you. As lengthy because it’s secure to take action, I might suggest doing it to keep away from any highway rage incidents.

9. Extra Advice For Renting A Car In Mexico

  • Gas Station Scams: In Mexico, gasoline station attendants fill your automobile for you. Some attendants will try to rip-off vacationers in the event that they suppose they will get away with it. Either by not resetting the pump (so it appears such as you bought extra gasoline than you actually did), or pretending you didn’t give them sufficient money utilizing slight of hand. Keep your eye on the attendant & the gasoline pump display screen always
  • Don’t guide a automobile with out studying the corporate critiques. You’ll discover loads of dangerous critiques for each firm (folks like to complain on-line), however attempt to choose one with the LEAST dangerous critiques.
  • You might not all the time get the make/mannequin/sort of automobile you booked. If they provide you a smaller automobile, or a handbook if you requested for an computerized, be pushy and ask for an improve.
  • Inspect your automobile completely and file video in your smartphone mentioning injury earlier than you permit. This is a backup in the event that they try and cost you for injury that was already there. This is a typical automobile rental rip-off in Mexico….
  • Pay consideration to in case your Mexican rental automobile takes common petrol or diesel gasoline, so that you refill with the right sort at gasoline stations.
  • Use Google Maps in your smartphone for instructions as a substitute of renting a GPS gadget. Simply use your personal hands-free automobile mount and a good worldwide cellular phone plan.

10. Accident & Breakdown Information

In a highway emergency on a freeway, you possibly can dial the Green Angles (Ángeles Verdes) in Mexico by dialing 078. Alternatively, you possibly can name: 250-82-21. They present free journey data, mechanical help, and medical assist for nationals and vacationers.

If your automobile must be towed, otherwise you want mechanical help, ran out of gasoline, or bought in a wreck, you possibly can name them for assist.

Often the rental firm’s personal emergency roadside help quantity positioned on the rental settlement.

Enjoy Your Mexico Road Trip!

Exploring the small villages, hidden seashores, lush jungle, and coastal cities of Mexico in a rental automobile was undoubtedly the precise selection for us.

Self-drive highway journeys get off the overwhelmed monitor to see issues most individuals miss! ★

Rental Cars

Rent A Car In Mexico

Search each native and worldwide automobile rental corporations that will help you discover a whole lot.


I hope you loved my information on renting vehicles & driving in Mexico! Hopefully you discovered it helpful. Here are a couple of extra wanderlust-inducing articles that I like to recommend you learn subsequent:

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