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Palace of Fine Arts Mexico City
Palace of Fine Arts Mexico City
Chichen Itza
Chichen Itza

About Mexico (MX)

One of the most colorful and dynamic countries in the world, Mexico (MX) has great weather, delicious food, modern cities, amazing historical sites, and a diverse range of landscapes. Located between the U.S. to the north and Guatemala to the south, Mexico has 10,000 km of coastline on the Pacific Ocean to the west, and the Gulf of Mexico and the Caribbean Sea to the east. Some of Mexico’s most popular destinations include Acapulco, Cabo San Lucas, Cancun, Mazatlan, and Mexico City, but lesser known spots such as Monterrey and Guanajuato are worth a look as well.

  Getting around

Mexico is a lot bigger than many people realize. Aside from central Mexico City, the best way to get around this huge, magnificent country is to rent a car. An extensive network of roads in fair condition crisscrosses the country, although rural routes are on the rough side of the spectrum. Driving habits tend to be defined by regional boundaries, with drivers in the north being somewhat more respectful of road rules. Although the general consensus maintains that driving at night is not recommended, it’s not as dangerous as, say, rural Jamaica. There are basically two types of major routes in Mexico: toll roads (cuotas) and free roads (libres). The cuota roads are by far the most efficient way of traveling long distances. Libre roads tend to run through smaller towns and villages, and serve as feeder routes to the cuota roads.

  Choosing your car

Car rentals in Mexico are provided by Alamo, Dollar, National, Sixt, and Thrifty. Although you’ll find a comprehensive selection of car hire types to choose from, all-wheel drive SUVs are generally the wise choice for navigating variable road conditions. Of course, if you’re planning to do a limited amount of sightseeing in one general location, compact and economy cars are ideal. Otherwise, you’ll find 7-12 seater minivans, standard and fullsize 4-door sedans, premium and luxury sedans, and specialty vehicles such as pick-up trucks and convertibles.

  Tips and advice for renting a car in Mexico


If traveling near the U.S. border, and likewise the Guatemalan border, be prepared for increasingly invasive checkpoints where your vehicle and personal belongings are likely to be searched.


Roadside assistance is provided by a government program know as the Green Angels (Angeles Verde), which consists of green trucks operated by mechanics who cruise the highways looking for drivers in distress. These Green Angels are known for being able to resolve just about any sort of mechanical problem — for free! Dial 078 to summon an Angel.


When driving on two-lane highways, the car in front of you may use their left-turn signal without slowing down, indicating that it’s OK for you to pass them.


Due to changeable road conditions, most traffic — with the exception of long-haul trucks — moves below the posted limits.


Keep your toll road receipts. If your vehicle is damaged by road conditions, your Mexico car rental provider will want to see them for verification. Insurance is included in the price of tolls.


If you’re involved in an accident with injuries, Mexican liability is based on the condition of fault residing with the driver who hit the injured motorist — not the driver who caused the collision.

Are you driving a rental car in Mexico?

Urban Speed Limit


30 kph  | 18.6 mph
Rural Speed Limit


90 kph  | 55.9 mph
Motorway Speed Limit


100 kph  | 62.1 mph
Fuel Price




Road Driving


Driving Age


18 years of age
23 years of age to RENT
Emergency Services


Documentation requirements



Here's some more in depth Mexico driving rules and guidelines for car renters:

Driving in Mexico may be something drivers are wary of; however once you are aware of the general rules and regulations, then driving in this beautiful part of the world is certainly something to be enjoyed.

However, it is important to note that certain parts of the country should be avoided, especially during darkness hours, so be sure to heed any travel advice before you leave, and to monitor the situation whilst you’re away.

Let’s look at the specifics.


If you have a valid driving license or international license, then you are able to drive in Mexico. If your license isn’t in English then obtain a translation called International Driver Permit (IDP). You should carry your license at all times. You should also carry a proof of car ownership with you at all times. If you are renting a car, it is advised to purchase car insurance.

Age restrictions

The legal driving age is 18, and this applies to both natives and foreign drivers.

Driving Rules

  • Avoid driving at night and stick to the main roads if alone
  • Follow speed limits
  • Always wear seatbelts
  • Except hands-free system, mobile phones should not be used
  • Drive on the right hand side of the road
  • Keep to the right except when passing
  • Always use indicator while turning
  • Always carry license while driving

Speed limits

Mexico has both high speed and low speed roads, however both are policed by speed limits. Autopistas are a divided high speed road with restricted access, with four or more lanes, and supercarreteras are two lane roads. Low speed roads with open access, will display particular limits for that area, and be sure to adhere to any changes to the limit. The normal speed limits on Mexico roads are as follows:

  • The maximum speed on divided high speed roads is 110km/h (68mph).
  • The maximum speed on low speed roads with open access is 100km/h (62mph).

Drunk driving

Drunk driving is illegal in Mexico and the Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) is 0.08mg/per 100ml. Police are very keen on this and will take a very dim view, including imprisonment or fines if caught.


While parking in residential areas, do it safely and do not cause obstruction. When parking in town or city centres, park in designated spots that will often be metered. If you see a sign with an E in a red circle with a line though it, do not park there. If caught, your car could be impounded.

Once you know the Mexican rules, driving around this large, diverse and colourful country isn’t a difficult task. Simply use your common sense and heed travel advice, to truly enjoy everything Mexico has to offer.

Mexico Driving Ideas Guide

With its lengthy coastlines along the Gulf of Mexico, Caribbean Sea and the Pacific Ocean, Mexico offers a varying playground for tourists. Rich in both history and culture as well as a gastronome’s delight, Mexico is a popular tourist attraction for visitors around the world.

Popular attractions include the capital Mexico City, the beaches of Cancun, Riviera Maya and Cozumel, the resort at Puerto Vallarta, Guadalajara (an excellent place to visit for traditional Mexican culture, history and museums) and central Mexico, home of various Mayan pyramids.

Although some areas of Mexico are considered dangerous for tourists, keeping to the populated regions should not cause any concerns. Rental car hire is available at many of these locations, allowing for the exploration at your own pace.


The island of Cozumel, just off the Yucatan peninsula is well worth a visit. Not only is this one of the most popular destinations in Mexico. renowned for its scuba diving, but the scenic drive around the highway surrounding the island is acknowledged as one of the most beautiful in the world.

The highway itself runs very close to the golden sands of the numerous beaches on the island, with the ocean waves lapping a mere hundred metres away.

Accommodation in Cozumel is varied but mostly includes hotels and resort accommodation although lodges can be found on the island.

Cancun to Merida

3 hours 7 mins (303 km) (185 miles) via Mexico 180D

This lengthy trip takes you from the hustle and bustle of tourist orientated Cancun into the interior of the Yucatan Peninsula. Along the way, there are numerous little towns and stops that are well worth the time investigating. Here you can find a traditional Mexican way of life, shop for curios and try local food or tequila!

Merida itself is has a unique colonial charm and is filled with historical attractions including the Plaza Mayor, the Gran Museo museum, Merida Cathedral, Merida Art Museum and many other historical buildings and museums.

Merida to Uxmal

1 hour (84 km) (52 miles) via Mexico 261

Once in Merida, a trip to the ruins at Uxmal are a must. This famous Mayan pyramid complex, a UNESCO World Heritage Site dates back to around 600 AD.

Noteworthy attractions in the ruins include the Pyramid of the Soothsayer, which is over 35m tall, Temple 1, which has its date of origin chiselled into a door lintel (569 AD), the Queen of Uxmal sculpture as well as the Uxmal museum.

Cheaperthancars and Cheaperthanhotels are the leaders in providing cheap rental car options as well as budget accommodation. We help you to enjoy your vacation by ensuring your hotel bookings and car rentals are the cheapest available, putting money right back into your pocket!

Your Cheaperthancars Team

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Frequently asked questions about renting a car in Mexico

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1. What is the best time of year to book a rental car in Mexico?

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2. Is it possible for one way rentals in Mexico?

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3. Should I rent a round trip or one-way rental in Mexico?

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4. Which location should I rent my car from in Mexico?

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5. Do I pay more fees and taxes for renting a car at the airport in Mexico?

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6. What insurance do I require for driving a rental car in Mexico?

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7. What is the best way to save money on rental car insurance in Mexico?

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8. Should I prepay my rental car booking in Mexico?

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9. What are the largest numbers of vehicle seats available for a rental car in Mexico?

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10. What types of sports and special cars are available in Mexico?

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11. Can I take my rental car across borders in Mexico?

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12. How do I inform the rental company I will be crossing a border from the Mexico?