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How to rent a car in Mexico? – Traveler’s Guide

Are you traveling to Mexico and want to rent a car? Read all about how to rent a car, and get ready for your next adventure!

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December 23, 2023

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Wondering how to rent a car in Mexico? You need to be prepared for what requirements companies within the country require.

Whether you want to rent a car in Mexico or rent a car in Mexico City, different requirements will vary depending on the company, such as the rates, T&Cs, and much more.

So, if you are planning on traveling soon to the country, this guide will help you out to complete your renting car process in Mexico faster!

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Why should you rent a car for your trip to Mexico?

Mexico is one of the most popular destinations in the world, and it is also one of the places where it will be much more practical to rent a car to explore the country at your own pace. With this option, you have the flexibility to enjoy your travel itinerary and stop anywhere without having to worry.

You will find various specialized car rental agencies, such as Avis, Hertz, Europcar, Sixt, Budget, National Car Rental, and Alamo Rent a Car.

With these companies, renting a car in Mexico won’t be something complicated to achieve. With peace of mind and security, your trip will become easier to enjoy!

Advantages of renting a car in Mexico

Comfort, flexibility, and savings are the main advantages of renting a car to learn about Mexico at your own pace. So, you can get to know other places and enjoy the gastronomy and local culture in different regions of this magical country.

Also, if you have internet on your mobile phone, you can activate the map that will guide you on each part of the journey so that you travel safely and without complications. In this case, a prepaid eSIM card with unlimited data for Mexico will greatly help.

Requirements to rent a car in Mexico

Find below the list of basic requirements to rent a car in Mexico:

  • Be over 25 years old. Additional charges must be paid if you are between 18 and 24 years old.
  • Have an international credit card (Mastercard, Visa, or American Express) with an available balance and deposit limit for the reservation holder.
  • Have a valid driver’s license or official identification (or passport).
  • Present the reservation number digitally or print it out.
  • Have the International Driving Permit (IDP)—optional.
  • Buy international travel insurance with coverage in Mexico.

How to rent a car in Mexico?

There are many ways to rent a car in Mexico. Travelers can choose from the following options which one is better for them.

  • Rent a car for Mexico before traveling.
  • Compare prices for Mexico renting companies to find the best price.
  • Choose a local or international renting car for Mexico agency.
  • Complete your renting process and pick up your car after arriving.

Alternatively, people can wait until they reach the country and rent a car for Mexico with a local agency.

Below, we will tell you more about each of these alternatives so that you know which one to choose.

1. Reserve a car online

You can include renting a car in the planning of your trip. You only have to search for the destination, confirm the travel date, choose the collection point and the car you need, and complete a form with personal and payment data.

Steps to reserve a car online

  • Choose an online car rental agency and visit their website.

Avis, Hertz, Europcar, Sixt, Budget, National Car Rental, and Alamo Rent a Car.

  • Look for the reservation module

Enter the information requested there: Place of rent, date and time of delivery, and return. Finish by clicking on the button that says search.

  • Select the car depending on the type of trip and number of passengers

Remember that the reservation fee depends on the type of vehicle you choose

  • Complete your personal information in the form

Name, surname, country, mobile phone number, email, and date of birth. Review the terms and conditions of the reservation policy, accept the privacy notice, and finish by clicking on Pay.

  • Enter a valid payment method

International card: Visa, Mastercard, or American Express, and voilà! You already have a confirmed reservation.

2. Rent a car with a price comparator

Price comparators such as Kayak, Booking, and Skyscanner are platforms that bring together the main offers from car rental companies on the internet to help users find the cheapest prices or with the best rating.

In this case, you have to fill in the basic information of the trip (destination, date of collection, and delivery), and you immediately have the search results organized by the best price. You also have a filter to customize your search.

You can see the offer, and if you meet the requirements, you can confirm the reservation by completing the required fields. Consider that they may ask you whether you want to include an insurance. So, we recommend including it according to your travel needs and budget.

3. Rent a car directly with an agency

In some cases, travelers prefer to visit an agency or company specializing in car rentals directly. In this case, it is best to avoid intermediaries and go to one of the most recognized companies in the country.

National Car Rental has a wide network of offices in Mexico, so you can find the branch closest to your location to receive personalized attention. Look for the opening hours so you don’t waste time, or contact an advisor by phone.

4. Rent a car at the airport

When making the online reservation, you can leave one of the main airports in the country as a pick-up point, but it can also happen that you have not done this process online and simply want to rent a car as a last-minute decision.

renting car offices in Mexico
Car rental agencies at the airport in Mexico. Source: yofederico.com

This option will be very useful because it gives you more security and personalized attention. However, you won’t have much time left to compare prices, so you might stick with the most expensive option due to a lack of information.

How much does it cost to rent a car in Mexico?

Normally, car rental agencies charge a fee per day (24 hours) depending on the date, the type of vehicle you have selected, and the office you have chosen to pick it up.

Below you can find a table with the rates of different agencies for a 15-day trip for two passengers in Mexico.

AgencyType of CarPrice of the Online ReservationWhat does the price include?
AvisChevrolet Aveo (Manual)MXN 9,072Fees, charges, and taxes
HertzChevrolet Beat 4P (manual)MXN 7,676Fees, charges, and taxes
EuropcarBeat Sedan (manual)MXN 11.760Fees, charges, taxes, third-party liability insurance, collision insurance, damage, and theft protection
SixtChevrolet Aveo (Manual)MXN 6,363Fees, charges, taxes, and third-party insurance
BudgetRenault Logan (automatic)MXN 6,973Fees, charges, and taxes are not covered
National Car RentalChevrolet Aveo (manual)MXN 7,118Fee, Fees, Taxes, and Third Party Damage Protection (Limited)
Alamo Rent a CarNissan Versa (automatic)MXN 6,353Fees, charges, and taxes are not covered
Table 1. Comparison of car rental companies.

The previous comparative table shows that the rental rates do not vary much in Mexico. What changes is the type of coverage, which can be basic, standard, or full.

In some cases, these companies can rent the car without protection, but in any event, you must take 100% responsibility for the damages.

What type of car should I choose for my next trip?

If you rent a car in Mexico, you have to look at some important factors to know what type of car to choose, considering the terrain and type of trip, the number of passengers, and the comforts it must have depending on your budget and lifestyle.

Search filters for renting cars in Mexico. Source: avis.mx

For example, suppose you are traveling with your partner. In that case, a compact car for Mexico is ideal because it will let you move easily through urban centers and well-paved roads, saving gasoline while enjoying the main tourist attractions of each place.

On the other hand, if you plan to travel to rural areas or with roads that are difficult to access, an SUV or a 4×4 truck will be the best choice because of the space, comfort, and resistance needed to manage this type of journey, plus the load represented by the weight of the passengers and their baggage.

What to check when receiving the vehicle?

Once you have chosen the car, be sure to review the delivery conditions so that when you return it, you will not be surprised.

  • The exterior part of the vehicle: Check if it has scratches, sinking, or visible damage, and also that the lights work correctly.
  • Rims or tires: check that they are smooth and in good condition.
  • Vehicle interior: Check the condition of the seats, interior lights, and air conditioning.
  • Controls and documentation: The driver’s license of the lessee is up-to-date, as are the papers with the insurance, and all the controls and sensors of the vehicle are working.
  • Fluid and fuel levels: Check the type of fuel the vehicle uses and the amount of fluid it should have.
  • Road kit: emergency triangles, first-aid kit, and fire extinguisher up-to-date.

Finally, take photos of the vehicle with your cellphone from different angles to record pre-existing damage and report any news before leaving.

Tips for renting a car in Mexico

  • Renting a car in Mexico is a very simple process, so if you meet the minimum requirements, such as having a valid driver’s license, meeting the minimum age, and having an international credit card with a limit and sufficient funds, you can have the car that you need for your trip without any problems.
  • Getting the best offer to rent a cheap car is possible using a price comparator. For this, you will need to spend some time finding the best alternative, so do not leave it for later because you can lose a great opportunity to save money on your trip.
  • The all-risk insurance or civil liability policy provides you with the coverage and assistance you need before any eventuality or emergency. In some cases, the companies will include it in the reservation price, while in other cases, you must pay for it as an additional service. This will help you travel safely and avoid any problems.
  • Make sure to check the experiences of other travelers with the companies you are thinking of getting this service, this will help you make the best decision for your trip.

Frequently asked questions about renting a car in Mexico

Can the car reservation date and time be changed?

Yes. On the website, you must look for the reservation option and enter the reservation number plus the data requested by the company to modify the necessary information.

Can I pick up the car in one city and deliver it to another?

Yes. You can change the return point of the vehicle as long as the company has coverage at the destination. Remember that this change may increase the value of the reservation.

Can I cross the border from Mexico to the US with a car?

Yes, it is possible to cross the border, but extraterritorial insurance must be paid at a daily rate, depending on the days of travel.

What payment methods are accepted to rent a car?

An international credit card is the authorized payment method to rent a car in Mexico. It can be a Visa, Mastercard, or American Express card.