Car Rental in Mexico
Replies: 13 - Last Post: Oct 14, 2012 5:47 PM Last Post By: alterigor
Aug 15, 2012 10:54 AM
Aug 16, 2012 7:40 AM
1The article offers good background information for persons unfamiliar with auto rental in Mexico. Thanks.
Aug 16, 2012 8:21 AM
2Too many people on vacation in Mexico feel that they need to rent a car. Very similar to traveling to a city in the US - the first stop after picking up the baggage is the car rental agency. Mexico has an excellent system of buses and taxis - look at using them first.
Aug 17, 2012 5:45 PM
3"Mexico has an excellent system of buses and taxis - look at using them first. " For more populated places, yes it's true that buses and taxis are an excellent way to get around. But, for those traveling to remote places such as the remote areas in Baja California Peninsula or those seeing the remote ruins around Rio Bec and staying in the remote haciendas a rental car would be worth it.
Edited by: anyone101
Oct 12, 2012 10:35 AM
4I heard the buses will basically drive up and down the main roads but won't stop and drive into the cities, towns, resorts, etc where your going so then you have to catch an extra taxi or walk.
Another downside - so what if I see a turn off to a ruin or cenote that wasn't on my plan and I want to stop - does the bus stop and wait (my guess is no).
Lastly - what if we are running late and miss the bus then our trip is delayed by what - an hour or two while we wait for the next bus.
It seems like a rental car would give you so much more freedom.
Oct 12, 2012 12:15 PM
5#4, Buses do travel into cities and towns where the bus stations are located. In fact, there are buses and taxis that will take you to any part of the city or town that you wish to go. Ruins are served by buses and taxis, however, if you really need to go to a cenote, renting is preferred. Outside of the Yucatan, there are not that many cenotes. Wow, and hour or two delay. Why that could absolutely ruin a vacation completely. Plan ahead.
Oct 12, 2012 12:57 PM
Oct 12, 2012 2:29 PM
7Jiaquinx... #4 has posted his proposed itinerary... they don't have much time but want to cover plenty. I've been thinking of that subj for a while. Basically, regulars and experts on this board provide awesome wealth of info but tend to forget that they are experts for a reason: they either live in Mexico or travel there often and extensively. Not everyone can afford this. Many independent travelers from US can afford extra spending on the rental car. Vacation time is what they severely lack. And hence taking a car does save time and is convenient and two hrs a day saved or lost go a very long way if all you have is 9 days vacation. I used to exclusively travel by bus for over a decade. When our daughter was born, we started renting cars. So I can say now, renting cars does save plenty of time and make travel more convenient. The argument about parking does not apply either: if one can afford renting a car, one can afford mid-range hotel that will have a parking or provide related option.
Oct 12, 2012 2:48 PM
8alterigor, what you write is true, but would you rent a car if your were to visit Mexico City, Guadalajara, or Oaxaca? Where to park? No, how about "How do I get back to the hotel?" Could you get really lost? Perhaps in Cancun a rental would be advantageous to find quieter beaches, explore cenotes (as mentioned above), head out to remote ruins, etc. Cancun area would be a good place to a rental when traveling short distances. How far are you willing to drive in Mexico? I'm saying that "Look into buses, taxis, etc." is a viable option.
Oct 12, 2012 2:56 PM
9I just read the article above and it seems to be pushing towards renting over buses:
The Yucatan, for example, is especially suited to driving: Many beaches, barely developed ruins and intriguing villages lie a good distance from the main road. Highways are well-maintained, constantly being improved, and so straight that the slightest curve bristles with warning signs and reflectors.
Oct 12, 2012 4:45 PM
10My friend and I (we are women) rented a Jeep in '99, out of Playa del Carmen. Loved the freedom it gave us.
Oct 13, 2012 11:45 AM
11@ thcguy123 on #4 "
"Another downside - so what if I see a turn off to a ruin or cenote that wasn't on my plan and I want to stop - does the bus stop and wait (my guess is no)." If you use the more localized second class bus you CAN as they stop anywhere along the road on request. After getting off it can be a long or a short hike at varying distances from from the road. The cenote or ruin can be just behind the trees (or role of buildings) by the road or a 3mi/4.8km (or more) hike along a dirt road (or trail) from the side of the main road. In more established and busier stops along the road there can be a taxi or several at your service (waiting for fares).
Oct 13, 2012 12:19 PM
12"Many independent travelers from US can afford extra spending on the rental car. Vacation time is what they severely lack" Not necessarily so. In America driving (or the 'need' to) is ingrained American psyche. Rather it be a two mile trip to the grocery store or long distances on a road trip people find it most convenient to drive. The infrastructure was built more around cars than people since the 1950s and the car is more than just a mean of transportation. It can be form of self expression and your status symbol. So with that said Americans are more conditioned to want to drive than consider public transportation. Buses (such as Greyhound) are for the poor & destitute who absolutely cannot drive and local government (or local council) funded (local) buses are limited or not available. I rent cars when I travel to places like Dallas-Ft Worth, TX; Phoenix, AZ; Los Angeles, CA; Denver, CO or wherever at the airport arrivals lobby or reserving one after booking my air ticket to get better rates.
"So I can say now, renting cars does save plenty of time and make travel more convenient. The argument about parking does not apply either: " The argument for parking WILL apply when they realize the hassle in trying to find a parking spot and navigating through heavy traffic in Mexico City or some other big city.
Oct 14, 2012 5:47 PM
13In America driving (or the 'need' to) is ingrained American psyche. Rather it be a two mile trip to the grocery store or long distances on a road trip people find it most convenient to drive.
I agree that this plays a significant role when a first-time-in-Mexico American decides to rent a car b/c s/he does not know any different. Makes sense. My point however is made to elders here who almost w/o exception would immediately suggest to use buses -- even when, upon a brief examination, car rental would indeed be a better choice for an OP, as in this case of #4 in this thread.
The argument for parking WILL apply when they realize the hassle in trying to find a parking spot and navigating through heavy traffic in Mexico City or some other big city.
This is a bit of a moot point. We are clearly talking here rural areas and inter-cities driving, cenotes, ancient sites, etc. (#4 and responses to it - also, elsewhere #4 provided his itinerary traveling through many places in Yucatan). In fact, most people who ask about rentals on this forum, are talking about visiting multiple cities and remote areas and not about driving in major cities. In fact, I can't even recall seeing a post where an OP would ask something like "I am in D.F. for 2 weeks - should I rent a car?" Renting a car for Mexico City appears to be as illogical as for any other major city in the world with congested traffic and good public transport and/or cheap taxi be it New York, London or Deli.
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