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What you need to know about renting a car in Mexico

Mexico is a big country, with plenty to explore and many charming attractions off the beaten path. No wonder many adventurous travelers decide to ditch the crowds and take to the open road on their Mexico vacation. While a few things about renting a car in Mexico may be the same as the US (they do drive on the right side of the road, after all), there are a few important tips you need to know before walking in the door of a Mexican car rental agency.

How do I rent a car in Mexico?

Most of the major international car rental companies operate in Mexico, including Budget, Avis, Enterprise, and Hertz. You’ll also find other reputable rental companies in Mexico in major tourist destinations across the country. You can either book online or try for a walk-in reservation, but you’ll want to plan ahead and secure a reservation if you plan on renting a car in Mexico during peak vacation or holiday times. If you plan on getting a walk-in reservation, it’s helpful to speak some Spanish so you can review the documents and understand any limitations.

Your car rental company may also have locations at major airports, such as Mexico City or Cancun. Always check the hours of operation so you aren’t left stranded without a car if you arrive on a late flight.

Will my regular car insurance cover me in Mexico?

When you rent a car within the United States, your regular car insurance often covers you. The same cannot be said about renting a car in Mexico. In fact, most US car insurance policies specifically exclude driving in Mexico from their coverage.

Some travelers also assume that if they make their Mexico car rental reservation with a credit card they’ll be protected. Some credit cards do offer rental car coverage, but not all cards do and those that do often exclude liability coverage, instead covering damage to the vehicle only. Even if the credit card you book with has some form of rental vehicle coverage, there may be some country-specific exclusions.

That’s why it’s important to have travel insurance that includes rental car coverage. With battleface, your rental vehicle damage coverage will reimburse you up to a maximum amount noted in your policy for events like collisions, vandalism, and theft. Plus, your travel insurance rental car coverage includes both you and your traveling companion as drivers, as long as you are both listed on the rental agreement.

What kind of car insurance do I need in Mexico?

While the rental car company you choose will likely offer you insurance coverage, it’s hard to be sure exactly what level of coverage is included–especially if you don’t speak Spanish. And, since your American-based car insurance probably won’t, and your credit card may not, cover you when renting a car in Mexico, it’s incredibly important to be protected.

It’s easy and affordable to add car rental coverage to your battleface travel insurance policy. And when you do, you can get comprehensive coverage with no deductible for minor expenses and only a $250 deductible for big-ticket repairs or replacements.

With battleface rental car coverage, your rental vehicle damage coverage will reimburse you up to a maximum amount for all kinds of unexpected events, like collisions, vandalism, theft, fire, and weather-related damage. You’ll also have peace of mind  knowing you have 24/7 access to our travel expert team, who are just a phone call away whenever you need help.

Is it safe to rent a car in Mexico?

Overall, yes, it is safe to rent a car in Mexico. However, whenever you’re traveling away from home, it’s important to be vigilant. Have a cell phone that works in-country both for GPS and in case of an emergency. If you’re driving in remote areas, particularly dangerous regions, or are traveling alone, avoid driving at night. Speaking at least a little Spanish comes in handy in any unexpected situations.

It’s also important to follow the rules of the road. Many of Mexico’s traffic laws will be familiar to American drivers. Just be sure to stick to the speed limit. It’s common for police officers to pull over foreigners and request bribes, so don’t give them any reason to pull you over. And speaking of money, be sure to have some pesos on hand–many of Mexico’s roads have inexpensive, but frequent, tolls.

In certain parts of the country, gas stations may be less frequent than what you’re used to in the United States. This is especially true outside of major cities. So remember to always have plenty of gas in the tank. Also keep in mind that gas stations in Mexico price fuel by the liter versus the gallon.

Read more about staying healthy and safe while traveling in Mexico.

Can you rent a car in Mexico with a U.S license?

Yes, if you have a valid United States driver’s license, you won’t need an international license and will be able to get a rental car in Mexico.

In summary, renting a car in Mexico for a road trip can be a great way to explore the country, but it’s important to plan ahead. Rent your car with a reputable company, map out your route ahead of time, and always have a travel insurance policy that includes rental car damage coverage.

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PRE-EXISTING MEDICAL CONDITION

Pre-Existing Medical Condition means an illness, disease, or other condition during the 180 day period immediately prior to the date Your coverage is effective :
  1. received or received a recommendation for a test, examination, or medical treatment for a condition which first manifested itself, worsened or became acute, or had symptoms which would have prompted a reasonable person to seek diagnosis, care or treatment; or
  2. took or received a prescription for drugs or medicine. Item (2) of this definition does not apply to a condition which is treated or controlled solely through the taking of prescription drugs or medicine and remains treated or controlled without any adjustment or change in the required prescription throughout the 180 day period before coverage is effective under this policy.
  3. required a change in prescribed medication. Change in prescribed medication means the dosage or frequency of a medication has been reduced, increased, stopped and/or new medications have been prescribed due to the worsening of an underlying condition that is being treated with the medication, unless the change is:
    1. between a brand name and a generic medication with comparable dosage; or
    2. an adjustment to insulin or anti-coagulant dosage.
If you, or someone you are traveling with, has a Pre-Existing Medical Condition, you can still buy a policy from us but there is no cover for any claim arising directly or indirectly from that condition.

PRE-EXISTING MEDICAL CONDITION

Any Medical Condition that, within the last 12 months, required any:

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  • medical advice or treatment for any heart, stroke or diabetic condition;

Hypertension or high cholesterol controlled by 1 prescription drug only and where the dosage has not been changed within the last 12 months will not be considered a pre-existing medical condition

Coverages Available:

*not all coverages are available in all states
Travel Protection Benefits Limits
Trip Cancellation 100% of trip cost (up to a maximum of $20,000)
Single Occupancy Up to trip cost
Cancel for Any Reason Up to 75% of trip cost Up to 50% of trip costs in FL(CFAR not available to NY residents)
Trip Interruption 150% of trip cost
Delay Package
Trip Delay
Maximum $200 per day up to $2,500
Missed Connection Maximum of $1,000 per covered trip
Baggage Package – Excess
Baggage and Personal Effects $2,500 $100 Deductible
Baggage Delay $100 per day up to a maximum of $500
Travel Medical Package – Excess AK, CO, ID, ND, NH – Primary
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Emergency Dental $750
Emergency Evacuation and Repatriation of Remains Up to $500,000
Up to $1,000,000 in NH
Accidental Death & Dismemberment $100,000 or $250,000 or $500,000
Pet Medical Package
Pet Medical Expense Up to $2,000 $100 Deductible
Pet Return Up to $500
Rental Vehicle Damage – Primary Up to $35,000 per rented vehicle- Primary $250 Deductible for loss greater than $2,000
Vacation Rental Damage $1,500 or $3,000 or $5,000

Travel Medical Insurance

Some benefits are subject to an excess (aka, the deductible, or what you have to pay before we pay), as stated in the Policy Schedule, and are per Policy Period.

Benefits Limits
Cancellation and Curtailment 5,000
Emergency Medical Expenses, Evacuation and Repatriation of Mortal Remains 10,000,000 (excess 250 or 50)
Hospital Benefit 25 per day, maximum 100
Personal Accident up to 250,000
Baggage Loss or Delay up to 5,000 (excess 250 or 50)
Personal Money and Passport, limited to 250 in respect of cash 500 (excess 250 or 50)
Personal Liability 500,000
Travel Delay 500
Optional Benefits Limits
Business Extension up to 1,000 (excess 100)
Winter Sports (Ski Equipment) up to 750 (excess 50 or 100)

Travel Medical Insurance

Some benefits are subject to an excess (aka, the deductible, or what you have to pay before we pay), as stated in the Policy Schedule, and are per Policy Period.

Benefits Limits
Trip Interruption 2,000
Emergency Medical Expenses, Evacuation and Repatriation of Mortal Remains 10,000,000 (excess 250)
Hospital Benefit 25 per day, maximum 100
Personal Accident up to 5,000
Baggage Loss or Delay up to 2,000 (excess 250 or 50)
Personal Money and Passport, limited to 250 in respect of cash 500 (excess 250) *** Limited to 250 in respect of cash
Personal Liability 500,000
Optional Benefits Limits
Business Extension up to 1,000 (excess 100)
Winter Sports (Ski Equipment) up to 750 (excess 50 or 100)
Personal Accident up to 250,000
Baggage up to 10,000

Travel Medical Insurance

Some benefits are subject to an excess (aka, the deductible, or what you have to pay before we pay), as stated in the Policy Schedule, and are per Policy Period.

Benefits Limits
Cancellation up to $20,000
Trip Interruption $1,000
Medical and Emergency Expenses $5,000,000 (deductible $250)
Hospital Benefit $25 per day, maximum $100
Personal Accident up to $50,000
Baggage $2,000 (deductible $250)
Personal Money and Passport, limited to $250 in respect of cash $500 (deductible $250)
Personal Liability $500,000
Optional Benefits Limits
Business Extension up to $1,000 (deductible $100)
Winter Sports (Ski Equipment) up to $750 (deductible $50 or $100)

Travel Medical Insurance

Some benefits are subject to an excess (aka, the deductible, or what you have to pay before we pay), as stated in the Policy Schedule, and are per Policy Period.

Benefits Limits
Cancellation and Curtailment 5,000
Emergency Medical Expenses, Evacuation and Repatriation of Mortal Remains 10,000,000 (excess 250 or 50)
Hospital Benefit 25 per day, maximum 100
Personal Accident up to 250,000
Baggage Loss or Delay up to 5,000 (excess 250 or 50)
Personal Money and Passport, limited to 250 in respect of cash 500 (excess 250 or 50)
Personal Liability 500,000
Travel Delay 500
Optional Benefits Limits
Business Extension up to 1,000 (excess 100)
Winter Sports (Ski Equipment) up to 750 (excess 50 or 100)