Tips for Renting a Car in Mexico

If you’re planning a trip to one of Mexico’s many tourist destinations, somewhere off the beaten path or even dreaming about a road trip across Mexico, one of the things you’ll want to research and prepare in advance is a car rental. You’re no doubt very excited about your trip, but some prospective travelers start to get cold feet when they start researching because so many people have posted about their bad experiences with XYZ Company on sites like TripAdvisor and Yelp.

First, it’s important to remember that people are much more likely to write a review about a bad experience than a good one (no news is good news), so you definitely shouldn’t let that make you second guess your decision to go on vacation in Mexico. Second, many tourists from the US, UK and Canada have bad experiences because they didn’t do enough research before leaving town. To make sure that doesn’t happen to you, make sure you keep these tips for renting a car in Mexico in mind before you go.

1: Know what you need to rent a car in Mexico

The last thing you want is to show up at the rental car office to pick up your vehicle only to find you don’t have the required documentations. Here’s what you’ll need:

• Driver aged 25 or older

• Valid driver’s license written in Latin characters (not Chinese, Arabic, Russian, etc.)

• An international driver’s license if your original is written in another type of characters

• Credit card

• A second form of photo identification if your driver’s license has no picture

• Proof of CDW insurance (may be purchased at the rental office, may be included as a benefit on your credit card or travel insurance policy)

• Proof of PLI insurance (PLI MUST be purchased from the rental company)

2: Book your Mexican car rental online ahead of time

You’re more likely to get a better deal on your car rental if you have a rate locked in before you get to the counter. This also gives you plenty of time to comfortably read over the fine print and terms of the rental agreement so you know what is included and what isn’t. Which brings us to Tip #3…

3: Read the fine print on the car rental agreement

It’s important to know what’s included in the quoted price. You might find a major discount travel website offering rental cars in Mexico at rates of $8 USD a day – sounds great! Until you get to the rental office and learn that doesn’t include any of the required insurance coverage, or taxes, or fees. Insurance can double or triple the cost of a rental car, and Mexico has a fairly high sales tax called “IVA” (Value Added Tax in Spanish).

4: Don’t assume that a US-based car rental company is better than a Mexican one

Many of the worst reviews online are from US and European tourists who booked their car rental with a company they were familiar with from their home company, only to find that they operated very differently in Mexico. The lesson here is, you can’t blindly choose or rule out a car rental company by where it is headquartered. You have to do your independent research.

What to Avoid When Renting a Car to Help You Save Money

There are a number of things you must avoid when it comes to car rental, things that can save you money in the long run and ensure you only pay for what you were quoted and not for any unexpected extras.

One of the biggest mistakes people make when arranging car rental for their next holiday is to take out extra insurance. Insurance is expensive and reputable car rental companies will provide you with third party insurance. Remember third party insurance only covers third party property and vehicles and does not cover the vehicle you are driving. Speak to your own insurance company to identify if your current policy will cover you when on vacation and driving a rental car. Even if you do have to pay extra in excess, it may be a cheaper solution in the long run.

Another common mistake is when you receive a car rental with half a tank of fuel, ensure you return it with the same amount of fuel. Many car rental companies will provide you with enough fuel to get you to your hotel or to the next petrol station, but the contract will advise you are to return the vehicle with the same amount of fuel. If you don’t, the car rental company will charge you and in most instances, this charge is a premium rate as they have to send someone out with the vehicle to buy the fuel.

Don’t pay for extra services. When it comes to car rental, you will be given the vehicle you have chosen with the additions included. But what about a baby seat? What about GPS? Some companies charge for these extras at a daily rate, which soon adds up. If you have a baby or child, take your car seat from home, you can put it in with your other luggage and it won’t cost you, in fact it will only save you money. The same applies with your GPS, it may be cheaper to download maps for another country than to pay the rate the car rental company charges per day for rental of one of their devices, especially if it’s a country you visit or want to visit on a regular basis.

Before you hop in your car rental and drive off to your hotel to start your vacation, ensure you do a thorough inspection and write down and photograph any existing damage. You can write down the damage on the acceptance sheet you sign when you collect the vehicle, ensuring you and the car rental company have a copy. This reduces the risk of you being charged for damage when you return the vehicle.

Don’t ever return your vehicle late. If you are driving a fair distance to return the vehicle, leave that bit earlier. Once you arrive late for your pick up then you may be charged for an additional day, even if you only returned the vehicle back an hour later than expected. Be on time and don’t take the risk.

Benefits of Car Hire for Your Next Vacation

Thousands of people take advantage of car hire services each and every day. There are numerous reasons why people use car hire services when travelling for business and pleasure. There are so many benefits to take advantage of, so much you need to know which can help you decide if this is the best solution for you when planning your next holiday adventure.

The first benefit you will find is that when you use a car hire service you can travel as a group. If you are planning a weekend away as a group of friends, all driving your own vehicles can be disappointing and has you all arriving at different times. All travelling together in one vehicle is fun, you all arrive together and your vacation starts the minute you all climb in the vehicle to get going

In addition to the benefit of driving together as one group, when you take advantage of car hire for your group holiday, you will find you save money. Rather than everyone putting fuel in their own vehicles, there is only one vehicle that requires fuel, therefore saving you a considerably sum of money in the long run.

Car hire can help you reduce wear and tear to your own vehicle when travelling within you own country. Many people are under the impression that you only hire a vehicle when travelling within a foreign country or when flying to another town, but if you want to enjoy a leisurely road trip and explore your own country, taking advantage of a car hire service can ensure your car remains safely in the garage and doesn’t accumulate the miles in the process.

In addition to this, when you use a car hire service you will get roadside assistance included. Most reputable car rental companies include roadside assistance to all their clients, ensuring that they are provided with the convenience of having someone on call in the event of a breakdown or emergency when driving the car hire vehicle.

You will always get the benefit of driving a newer model. Most of the leading car hire companies will only stock top quality vehicles and usually the latest models to ensure that they have a reliable and safe vehicle for their clients to drive. The younger the model, the better the safety features, which is something that every car rental company focuses extensively on.

You can enjoy peace of mind when hiring a car that the vehicle will be well serviced and maintained. A car hire company doesn’t want to have to send out roadside assistance if they don’t need to. This means that they are going to focus on ensuring that they provide you with a car that is regularly serviced and repaired, the car is checked after each rental to ensure you get a vehicle that you can rely on and trust when taking it on the open road.

Car hire provides you with complete independence when on vacation. Rather than rely on public transport and being rushed around by tour guides, you get to explore the sites and enjoy all the area has to offer in your own time and at your own pace. When sitting at the hotel, you are in control on your itinerary for the day, where you go, what you see and how long you go out for.

Car hire offers a convenience that you can only really appreciate once you use it. There is no wasted time waiting for a taxi to arrive or for a bus, you get to where you need to go quickly and effectively and you save money in the process.

Five Benefits of Regular Car Service

The American auto fleet is in bad shape. A new report from the Car Care Council found that an incredible 84 percent of vehicles were in need of maintenance or repair. Low fluid levels, clogged air filters, and improperly inflated tires were the most common issues. Because all of those issues are checked during regular car service, it is reasonable to conclude that U.S. drivers are dropping the ball when it comes to vehicle maintenance. Here are just a few of the benefits of regular car service.

1. Prevention

Most of the parts in your vehicle will eventually need to be repaired or replaced. Batteries, fan belts, tires, and brake pads are just a few of the components that experience wear and tear at an accelerated rate. As such, they need to be inspected from time to time. Failure to do so not only increases the chances you will suffer a breakdown, it also puts other, related parts at risk. For example, a badly worn fan belt can cause your motor to overheat, resulting in possible engine damage. Addressing minor problems before they do major damage is one of the key benefits of regular car service. Always remember that when it comes to auto repair, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.

2. Safety

According to recent statistics, mechanical failure is a factor in over ten percent of auto accidents. Often caused by improper maintenance, things like worn tires, bad brakes, and steering issues are common culprits. As a licensed driver, it is your responsibility to ensure that your car or truck is indeed roadworthy. Failing to perform regular maintenance can put your life, the lives of your passengers, and the lives of other drivers at risk.

3. Economy

Many motorists incorrectly assume that regular car service is a waste of money. They often take the “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” approach. What they do not realize is that neglecting minor maintenance jobs inevitably results in unexpected repairs and premature replacements. For example, if you were to rotate your tires regularly, they would not experience the uneven wear that forces you to purchase new tires ahead of schedule. At the end of the day, most drivers end up saving money when they pay more attention to their vehicles.

4. Performance

It should come as no surprise to any driver that a well-maintained vehicle generally performs better than one that is neglected. With all other things being held equal, the former should get better gas mileage, have more engine power, and handle better than the latter. It is also far less likely to stall or break down.

5. Value

Most drivers eventually resell or trade in their old automobile for a newer ride. Having a complete set of service records can go a long way to proving that you took good care of your vehicle. In other words, you are far more likely to get a good deal if you have your car serviced on a regular basis.