Renting a car in Mexico

Mexican Routes | Free Mexico Travel Guide and Travel Information

A travel myth says that if you want a cheaper travel experience, using public transport is the key.

But the truth is If you want a budget-friendly trip with no time to waste, driving through the country is highly recommended. Although you can’t personally drive your car in the country, renting a car through car rental companies will make that possible.

After you arrive in Mexico, you can pick up your rental car right away at the airport. Most airports in the country also serve as pick-up and drop-off locations for rental cars.

Almost every major town and cities also have pick-up locations for your rental car.

Car rental companies

Figure out first where to rent a car that will fit your budget and choice of vehicle. If you just show up in person at the car rental agency counter without a reservation as you will find that is the most expensive way to rent a car in Mexico.

It’s best to search and pre-book online to save you time and enable you to pick the best from rental companies’ offers that can save money in your pocket. Online booking allows you to compare rates of car rental companies in your preferred pick-up location.

Just make sure everything is included in the price so won’t have a heart attack when you walk to the counter to pick up your car. Tourists are charged additional costs of compulsory insurance for driving in Mexico, service fees, and other things due to initially undisclosed fees.

If you live in the West and have driven rental cars before, you’ll find world well-known and familiar agencies in Mexico. There are many local car rental companies, where all fees including insurance policies, full coverage, and taxes are included in the price.

Documents Required

You should carry important and appropriate documents with you when renting a car. Check first with the rental agency’s website before booking. If you’re an American driving in Mexico, a US license is required to drive a rental vehicle.

Here are some standard requirements to rent a car:

  • Valid driver’s license
  • International Driver’s Permit
  • Passport
  • Credit Card (e.g., Visa, Master, Amex)

You might need to prepare images of your driver’s license, IDP, and your passport’s ID page for online bookings. A credit card is needed to make a security deposit on the vehicle, but it’s also possible to pay cash. Inquire about it to decide on the mode of payment.

Vehicle Types

Mexican car rental agencies have different kinds of vehicles to suit each person’s needs or type. They offer various car specifications, like seating capacity and vehicle size. Rental cars in Mexico offer every type, from cars, vans, and all-terrain vehicles. They’ve got over 30 vehicle classes for you to choose from.

If you’re on a budget and have little to no luggage, you can rent:

  • Mini car
  • Economy car
  • Standard car

These cars will suit you if you have one up to four companions. They save on fuel and are superb for short trips inside a city and traveling to other cities nearby. If you have more than 4 companions, you can rent:

  • Minivans
  • Full-size SUVs
  • Full-size vans

They’re ideal for long-distance travel and exploring Mexico’s scenery and attractions.

There are also luxury car rental agencies that offer glamorous models, like the Jaguar F Type, Ford Mustang, and Mercedes-Benz G-Class, if you’re on a business trip to Mexico and looking to drive in style.

If you’re looking forward to driving on rough roads to reach remote tourist destinations and attractions, you can get yourself an all-terrain vehicle like the Jeep Wrangler, which is commonly used by rough-riding explorers in Mexico.

When choosing a vehicle, pick one that you think will be most helpful during your journey.

Car Rental Costs

Nowadays, a car rental is a cheaper and smarter option than public transport. The average car rental cost for a day in Mexico is fairly cheaper than its nearby neighboring country like the U.S. At $5-$11/day to $74 a week, you can drive through Mexico with your rental car.

Age Requirements

The driving age in Mexico is at least 15 years old. Drivers at that age need parental supervision.

Young drivers at the age of 16 meanwhile need parental agreement to drive alone. They can get a driving permit that’s valid from one month up to a year. Drivers that are 18 years old can drive without both supervision and agreement.

But the minimum age to rent a car in Mexico is at least 21 years old, depending on the rental agency and vehicle type.

If you’re 21-25, you’ll have to pay a young driver fee. That goes also if you’re 65 years or older, you have to pay a senior driver fee. To rent a car, you also need to have held your original driver’s license for at least 2 years.

If you are under the minimum age limit, you can’t drive in Mexico, even if you’re allowed to at home.

Car Insurance Cost

Even if you have a car insurance provider back home doesn’t assure that you’ll be covered in Mexico in case of an accident or other unexpected incidents. You’ll likely pay for the country’s mandatory liability insurance, or the Mexican Liability Insurance, which is at least $20 per day.

The temporary Mexico car insurance covers the damage you may cause to other drivers or pedestrians, buildings, or their vehicles.

Car Insurance Policy

The policies of car insurance for driving in Mexico are different from other countries. You have to check thoroughly for online booking sites that include the price of the mandatory liability insurance.

Some booking sites’ insurance coverage works in other countries, but not in Mexico. You can avail of Mexican travel insurance companies if you want to make sure you’re covered. Be sure you’re covered properly. When you’re driving in Mexico, insurance is important as air.

What’s Covered Under The Mandatory Liability Insurance?

Mandatory liability insurance, also known as third-party liability insurance, covers claims of injury or damage to another driver, car, or other property damaged in an accident. It does not cover you if you get injured or your rental car gets damaged

There’s additional coverage, like the Supplemental Liability Insurance (SAI), which covers around $3,800 worth of damage, like a fender-bender. It costs at least $13 per day. There’s also the loss damage waiver. It’s more of an agreement with the rental agency than insurance coverage.

They agree to waive some costs of theft or damage the rental vehicle might be subjected to.

There’s additional coverage, like the Supplemental Liability Insurance (SAI), which covers around $3,800 worth of damage, like a fender-bender. It costs at least $13 per day. There’s also the loss damage waiver. It’s more of an agreement with the rental agency than insurance coverage.

They agree to waive some costs of theft or damage the rental vehicle might be subjected to.


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