Rental Car Riviera Maya
Renting a car during your stay in Mexico is a great way to give yourself more flexibility to explore areas that are a bit off the beaten path, and you’ll have the convenience of being able to go almost anywhere, anytime you like. Overall, the process of renting a car in Mexico isn’t much different from renting a car in the United States, Canada or Europe, but there are a few important differences that have a reputation for leaving tourists flustered. So why not remove some doubt and make your trip a bit easier? Read on for the basics on how to rent a car in Mexico.
Requirements to rent a car in Mexico
As with most rental companies in most countries, drivers generally have to be at least 25 years old to rent a car in Mexico, and a few companies may even require the driver to have had a full driver’s license for a certain period of time (at least 2 years, for example). In all cases, of course, the driver must have a valid driver’s license from their home country.
A credit card (not debit card) is basically a necessity for renting cars in Mexico. That’s because of two reasons: first, your credit card may provide some additional insurance protections for you and the rented vehicle that could come in handy in case of an accident, and second, standard practice these days is for car rental companies in Mexico to place a hold on your credit card as a sort of “security guarantee” that will be removed when you return the car. This hold can be anywhere from $500-$3000, so it’s important to check with your specific company and always read all the fine print on your rental agreement.
Do I need an international driver’s license to rent a car in Mexico?
The vast majority of tourists originating from North America, Europe and Australia won’t need an international driver’s license to be able to rent a car in Mexico. People who do need to request an international driver’s license before traveling to Mexico are those whose driver’s licenses are not written in “Western” (i.e. Latin) characters. So, tourists with driver’s licenses printed in Greek, Russian, Arabic, Chinese, Japanese, Korean, etc. would be required to present an international driver’s license in Mexico before renting a car.
What insurance is needed to rent a car in Mexico?
This is the most important point that catches unprepared tourists off guard in Mexico: third party liability insurance and collision damage waiver insurance are required by law to rent a car in Mexico. You may see third party liability denoted “PLI” (personal liability insurance), and collision damage waiver “CDW”. While your credit card or travel insurance may cover CDW, you MUST purchase PLI coverage from a Mexican insurance company, ideally directly through the Mexican car rental company. Keep in mind that many discount travel sites do not include insurance costs in their published rates, and daily insurance costs are often more expensive than the actual rental cost.