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Cabo Airport (SJD) Rental Cars, Pricing, etc.

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Chicago, IL
posts: 116
reviews: 43
Cabo Airport (SJD) Rental Cars, Pricing, etc.

Although there are several discussion threads on Cabo Auto Rentals, I thought it might be helpful to re-post a few links from this forum and other resources related to the often confusing prospect of renting vehicles at the San Jose Del Cabo Airport (SJD).

Although our family has been traveling to Cabo, typically twice per year since 2006, I don’t claim to be an expert on this matter – so others please jump in with suggestions based on their experience. We have learned a great deal reading the forums and taking advice from the Cabo destination experts’ posts.

We prefer to rent a car when in Cabo, giving us greater freedom to explore at our leisure, rather than depending on taxis and airport transportation. (I’ll copy a line from the most interesting man in the world: I don’t always use airport transportation in Cabo, but when I do, I use Cielito Lindo (Adrian & Angeline at cielitolindo2007@gmail.com ) .

The link below is from a good article providing an overview of car rentals in Mexico. sfgate.com/mexico/…page-1

If you go to Priceline or Hotwire and search for a rental car for Spring Break – Pick up on Saturday March 23, and drop off on Saturday March 30, you find what appears to be a terrific deal. When you "check out" on Hotwire, in my "test case", you are offered a Thrifty rental car for $75.09 per week including tax as the “Estimated Trip Total”. You are also offered the option of purchasing a third party CDW/LDW rental car insurance through Allianz for $72 (providing up to $40,000 Collision/Loss Waiver Damage). Interestingly, when you go to Thrifty’s website and read the fine print, Thrifty states that their Mexico car rental licensees do not accept third party insurance, and you will either be required to place a hold of $2,500-$3,500 on your credit card, or you will be required to purchase CDW/LDW from Thrifty for $30-$50 per day (in addition to the mandatory liability). Hotwire does not include the Airport Concession Fee in their “Taxes and Fee’s total (Approximately 18%). So now your $75.09 Hotwire weekly rental deal including mandatory liability, CDW/LDW, Airport Concession Fee, and Tax could approach $380. One important fact to be aware of is that most of the rental car agencies at the Cabo airport, including Hertz, are operating as independent licensee’s, using the corporate sites for booking and marketing. So you are not likely to get anywhere with the corporate rental car company if you have issues with the licensee in Mexico.

Regardless of what type of coverage your credit card or personal auto insurance policy covers, you will be required to carry the mandatory liability insurance of approximately $12 per day. However, most American Express/Travel Rewards/Visa cards include the LDW/CDW coverage in Mexico. Personally, I use the LDW/CDW coverage provided by my Visa Travel Rewards card, and decline the optional coverages offered by the rental car company. (For your credit card to provide coverage, you must pay with the card that provides the coverage and decline the CDW/LDW offered by the rental car company). Visa has an explanation of rental insurance benefits at the Visa website: …visa.com/personal/cards/benefits/bft_dmg_wa… (I carry this explanation of benefits with me when traveling).

Visa also provides a toll free number for for assistance if you have an accident in Mexico: 001-800-847-2911. Check first with your card issuing bank or credit card company to verify your coverage.

This sounds like a broken record, however, there is a reason you see so many recommendations for the trusted “go to” providers: Luis at Alamo, Antonio at Cactus, and Dominic at Dominic Los Cabos (Find the contact info in a reply by PacificNWFamily at: http://www.tripadvisor.com/ShowTopic-g152515-i84-k5021823-Rental_Car_question-Cabo_San_Lucas_Los_Cabos_Baja_California.html)

I have not used Dominic, however, he gets positive raves for his convenience, pricing, and service. I have repeatedly used Alamo and now Antonio at Cactus, and have had consistently positive experiences and great customer service. The price you are quoted is the price you pay. (Fortunately, I have never had an accident, so I cannot speak to the response of the rental car company in that situation).

Driving in Cabo is relatively easy (just don't assume a stop sign means that cross traffic will actually stop!), however, as with anything, you improve your chances of a positive experience when you are prepared and deal with a reputable agency.

124 replies to this topic
Bay Area, CA
Destination Expert
for Cabo San Lucas
posts: 7,527
reviews: 34
1. Re: Cabo Airport (SJD) Rental Cars, Pricing, etc.

Your post is excellent and concise and very helpful. Only comment is that the thread you reference has outdated contact information. Rather than providing yet another link to another thread, here's the contact info for the three best liked rental car companies:

◦ ◦ ◦ ◦ ◦ ◦ ◦ ◦ ◦ ◦ ◦ ◦ ◦ ◦ ◦ ◦ ◦

• Antonio Miranda. He is the manager at Cactus Car / Economy. Ask for an "Mexican Liability insurance included TripAdvisor rate.” At the airport. Possible to arrange for delivery or pick up elsewhere; contact Antonio to ask.

AMiranda@CactusCar.com

www.CactusCar.com

◦ ◦ ◦ ◦ ◦ ◦ ◦ ◦ ◦ ◦ ◦ ◦ ◦ ◦ ◦ ◦ ◦

• Luis Ceseña. He is the manager of Alamo at the airport. Ask for a TripAdvisor rate that includes required Mexican Liability insurance. Possible to drop in Cabo or SanJose; contact Luis to ask.

aeropuertoloscabos@alamorentacar.com.mx

http://en.AlamoMexico.com.mx/

◦ ◦ ◦ ◦ ◦ ◦ ◦ ◦ ◦ ◦ ◦ ◦ ◦ ◦ ◦ ◦ ◦

• Dominic Macalusso. He is a local businessman who specializes in customer service. Will pick up or deliver anywhere; insurance & full tank of gasoline included. Cash or credit; charges a higher price, but folks rave about the personal service. Help available any time (lock yourself out, lose the key, get a flat tire, get lost on the way to Todos Santos, total the van in a rainstorm/flood, whatever.)

DomoSanLucas@prodigy.net.mx

http://DominicLosCabos.com/

◦ ◦ ◦ ◦ ◦ ◦ ◦ ◦ ◦ ◦ ◦ ◦ ◦ ◦ ◦ ◦ ◦

Olympia, WA
Destination Expert
for Cabo San Lucas
posts: 7,842
reviews: 9
2. Re: Cabo Airport (SJD) Rental Cars, Pricing, etc.

Excellent post SailChicago. I think it will be really valuable to be able to send people to this thread when they post that they have gotten a really cheap deal by booking through Priceline or Hotwire, or some of the bigger name rental places for that matter.

You are also correct that the reason that many here recommend the "go to" businesses is that they are completely up front with costs and do not surprise their customers. Thank you for taking the time to look at the real costs of some low cost rentals.

Bay Area, CA
Destination Expert
for Cabo San Lucas
posts: 7,527
reviews: 34
3. Re: Cabo Airport (SJD) Rental Cars, Pricing, etc.

Ha ha, beat you to the punch, Eljefe -- added it as a Top Question. :)

Fresno, California
posts: 4,686
reviews: 27
4. Re: Cabo Airport (SJD) Rental Cars, Pricing, etc.

I guess Dominic doesn't like me anymore. I emailed for a car to be delivered to Cabo Azul in San Jose in March, and his response was, "if I have any cars left from the people that are renting them at the airport, you may get one, not sure though" Gee thanks sounds like a firm reservation to me. So I guess the delivery is when he feels like and and has extra cars.

Bay Area, CA
Destination Expert
for Cabo San Lucas
posts: 7,527
reviews: 34
5. Re: Cabo Airport (SJD) Rental Cars, Pricing, etc.

Bummer. But if you're flying in... you can't just pick it up at the airport?

Seattle, Washington
posts: 2
6. Re: Cabo Airport (SJD) Rental Cars, Pricing, etc.

If we book online through alamo, do we still get the tripadviser discount when we arrive? OR is that book at airport ONLY? How much on average is it per day/week through them? I've read so many different forums I'm deathly afraid of the rental people over there at this point (haha) and Dominic is booked up.

Thanks!

Olympia, WA
Destination Expert
for Cabo San Lucas
posts: 7,842
reviews: 9
7. Re: Cabo Airport (SJD) Rental Cars, Pricing, etc.

Do business directly with the Alamo or Cactus representatives above. I have never had a problem using either. Ask for the Trip Advisor price, including insurance and mandatory liability insurance. Please don't be afraid to use the local company Cactus either. They provide outstanding service.

I couldn't tell you how much the price difference might be as I always do direct business with these guys.

Chicago, IL
posts: 116
reviews: 43
8. Re: Cabo Airport (SJD) Rental Cars, Pricing, etc.

Galen D - Eljefe is correct - book direct through Luis at Alamo or Antonio at Cactus - use the contact info DM Walker provided above. They are very close in price, and you will know precisely what your total cost is - no surprises. On a recent quote for our upcoming Spring Break trip - the Trip Advisor price through Cactus for a VW Jetta including mandatory liability, taxes and fees is around $200 per week. Alamo was within a few dollars for the same package (and Alamo offered full insurance, 0 deductible for around $300 per week). You won't go wrong with either. Antonio (Cactus) and Luis (Alamo) are both fine gentlemen who take good care of their customers.

Seattle, Washington
posts: 2
9. Re: Cabo Airport (SJD) Rental Cars, Pricing, etc.

Thank you!

Portland, Oregon
posts: 1
10. Re: Cabo Airport (SJD) Rental Cars, Pricing, etc.

Hi folks - We appreciate your information and comments very much! Before we read this we booked a car for a week directly with Alamo online - Priced very reasonable. Includes fee and tax but not mandatory insurance mentioned above. Is this going to be the same as booking directly with Luis? Should we follow up with an email to him as the local person? Thanks all!

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