What you need to know before renting a car in Yucatán, Mexico

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renting a car in Yucatan
Our little big car

Renting a car in Yucatan may not be the most ecological way to move around but trust us, it will save you a lot of time and take you to not so easy to be reached places. Don’t worry about the quality of roads or security because driving in Yucatan is much better and safer than in many European countries. Moreover, it is cheaper than you think.

Which agency you should choose

First of all, make sure you verify the agency you want to rent a car from. In case you have a lot of time to organize your trip, check the agency on travel forums or websites. There are a lot of them so choose carefully and don’t automatically decide for the one with the lowest prices.

We voted for Avant rent a car because we read a lot of positive reviews and we were also convinced by their price offer. The communication was very satisfying and we were given clear instructions on where we would meet the agency representative.

We expected to be taken to an office but we were greeted by our guy at the parking lot in front of the airport. The whole process of paying, blocking the deposit on our credit card and signing of the necessary documents happened right there outside on the sidewalk. Not exactly what you would call standard, but since the whole procedure ended with us sitting in the car, we didn’t feel like complaining. Renting a car in Yucatan is also this!

Which kind of car you need

Since GPS is not usually included (and it can cost you quite a lot, 5-8 USD per day) we recommend downloading an application such as Maps offline that will get you anywhere you need.

However, we have to admit that the road indications are very good, and you should not have any issues finding the main attractions. In case you need a car for a couple of weeks it is not necessary to rent the most expensive car in the offer. If you’re planning to explore the countryside in Yucatán maybe you should go for a jeep. Some roads are not covered with asphalt and with a little rain you can get stuck easily. If you want to stick to the standard routes, any type of car will do.

We chose Chevrolet DODGE I10 and somehow it managed to make all our wishes come true. By the way, driving in Yucatán is very relaxing since most roads are straight, well kept and you will meet very few cars. On the roads like that, who needs the traffic police? 🙂

3 things you need to be aware of when renting a car in Yucatan

First, the topes. Topes are speed breakers which are literally everywhere. For the sake of security the state has applied them in all towns and villages and they can be pretty annoying (c’mon, a tope every 10 metres???). If you go fast through the topes, you can either damage your car or your bum, since some of them are as high as a wall!

Second, speed limits. Don’t drive fast, the limits are between 70 km/hr and 110 km/hr, with 40km/hr in towns and villages. Well, it looks like the state is doing everything possible to make you drive slowly and they are doing quite a good job. We mentioned that the roads are pretty good, but there are many things that you must be careful about while renting a car in Yucatán. Small kids and stray dogs running around are everywhere, especially in small villages, and they often play (kids) or sunbathe (dogs) in the middle of the road. Moreover, a couple of times a lonely iguana or turtle crossed the road!

Third, the police. Before our travel, we heard a lot of stories about fake policemen that stop tourists and try to fine them. Fortunately, nothing like this happened to us, and we only saw the police (the real one) in big cities like Cancún or Mérida. The only negative experience we had when driving in Yucatán was being stopped by a bunch of local guys on our way from Isla Holbox to Cancún. They were blocking both sides of the road with huge trunks and each time tourists were passing by they asked to pay a “road fee”. The road fee was 10 pesos and there were so many of them that nobody felt the need to complain.

What you should know about the insurance

The car insurance in Mexico can be tricky. When renting a car in Yucatán, it may happen that the insurance cost will pop up just at the moment of paying. We want to give you a piece of advice: rent a car only with a total – coverage insurance. Explain to the agency you are renting the car from that you want to be covered for everything. This will cost you a bit more, but it’s for the sake of your travel. Without a proper insurance, you could end up in serious trouble in case of an accident. It’s better to pay 100 USD more and enjoy your travel without stress, don’t you think?

Which is the total price?

So how much did it all cost? Well, the rental fee plus insurance was about 450 USD for 12 days. The gas is really cheap, at least for us, European people: in March 2016, the price was 14 pesos, less than 0,80 USD. We had to visit a gas station quite often since our car was a little naughty consumer, but it didn’t really have a serious impact on our budget.

What is your experience with driving abroad? Tell us in the comments below!

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