We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.
We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

Car Rental, yea or nay?

In cooperation with: Visit Mexico
Which Playa del Carmen hotels are on sale?
mm/dd/yyyy mm/dd/yyyy
See hotels
Central New Jersey
Level Contributor
5 posts
2 reviews
Save Topic
Car Rental, yea or nay?

We are going to the PDC area in two weeks and I am looking for some info on renting a car.

We are staying at the Mayan Palace about 15 minutes outside of PDC and I am wondering if renting a car is a good idea or just not worth the hassle. I have read a few stories of scams by corrupt policemen and shady gas station workers. Also, how much does Mexican car insurance tack on to the rental price? I just saw that Thrifty Car Rental is offering a week with a Dodge Neon "type" care at 22 dollars a week.

Thanks.

Kalamazoo, Michigan
Level Contributor
954 posts
7 reviews
Save Reply
1. Re: Car Rental, yea or nay?

Good idea? Well depends on what kind of vacation you are going to want. If you are just staying at the hotel, I wouldn't do it. Taxi into PDC. IF you want to get out and see Mexico beyond PDC, then of course do it.

My parents go to PDC a few times a year. THey have always rented a car. Last time (a few weeks ago) they rented a jeep and had a great time driving down the coast sightseeing. They have NEVER had a problem in doing so. Of course, common sense goes a long way no matter where you are. :)

Level Contributor
7,681 posts
10 reviews
Save Reply
2. Re: Car Rental, yea or nay?

$22 per week or day? Insurance should cost about $10-15 a day. You may need to get a Mexican license too. We were shocked when we got back from the Caymans and saw that our $150 a week rental jumped to $450 after they added on the $30 a day insurance. And this was for a 1987 Honda Accord.

Kalamazoo, Michigan
Level Contributor
954 posts
7 reviews
Save Reply
3. Re: Car Rental, yea or nay?

No ..no mexican licesne. I'll see where my dad rents from. He has usually paid $30 a day. Don't know what the jeep was.

Central New Jersey
Level Contributor
5 posts
2 reviews
Save Reply
4. Re: Car Rental, yea or nay?

$22 a week, I know, it's low enough to cause some concern. I found it on Orbitz and thought it was a typo until I went onto the actual Thrifty website and found the same thing.

We want to visit Tulum and perhaps the ruins site inland, too. Mostly I am concerned with all the stories about corrupt policemen requesting bribes after you havent broken any laws.

Kalamazoo, Michigan
Level Contributor
954 posts
7 reviews
Save Reply
5. Re: Car Rental, yea or nay?

Ok - my dad said DO NOT use one the the companies IN the airport. Very junkie cars!! Walk out of the airport, across the BLVD to one of the three well known rental places. He never takes their insurance. Be sure you mark NO to the insurance and get a copy. Most importantly, call your insurance company here and ask them what you should do for rental in Mexico regarding insurance.

I would be VERY skeptical about that price. Something isn't being included. He has never been able to pay under $200 for a car. He paid $350 for the jeep last time. It was $450 unless you had cash on the spot.

xm
los angeles
Level Contributor
409 posts
4 reviews
Save Reply
6. Re: Car Rental, yea or nay?

Yes - rent a car - we paid about 125.00 for 5 days and loved it. We had no problems what so ever and we did not use the rental company's insurance. We have a AMEX card and paid 20.00 for Amex's insurance to cover collision-- we used AVis and picked up the car in Playa. In regards to scams, you just need to be smart - drive the speed limit, no drinking and driving and drive during the day. A full tank came out to about 250 pesos so about 25us to refill the tank, however we drove all over the place, tulum, chichenitza, coba and the beaches between Playa and Tulum. When its time for gas, you have to pre-pay and tell the guy how much you want in, so I hope the 250 guide helps. You will save money and time if you do excursions yourself. Get informed and buy a Lonely Planet book on the Yucatan. If you want an idea of what we did, let me look up some of my old posting and I will post then again for you. Once you travel solo, you will never go back - the freedom is wonderful.

xm
los angeles
Level Contributor
409 posts
4 reviews
Save Reply
7. Re: Car Rental, yea or nay?

For day trips we went to Tulum, Chichen, Cozumel, and Coba. I highly recommend renting a car, we chose Avis and they had the best rate. The highways were great and we had no problems at all. Make a reservation from the states, you will get a better rate for playa and cozumel.

This is what we did Tulum - go early and check out the ruins and take a towl - you can swim directly under the ruins - very pretty and the beach is excellent. You can take a cooler and spend the day at the beach there or go to a palapa bar - we went to El Paraiso. You are going to have to leave the ruin site and go down the highway and make a left at the light before Tulum town - just ask and people will show you the way. El Paraiso has the same beach but with facilities and a bar with swings. We actually ate in Tulum at a chicken place for 5 bucks - very good and a cool experience - Dona Rosa Pollo - before bus station on left hand side.

Chichen Itza is long day trip - its about 3 hours to get there - we stopped in Valledolid for breakfast and had tacos in the plaza - there is one stand just full of people, so did the same - very good. We got a guide at the sight and split the cost with another couple, 24.00 us a couple. we toured for an 1.5. Go early because its very hot.

Coba about 1.5 from Playa is another cool ruin to go to - it predates Chichen. Its a big site and you can rent a bike or they have tricycles and a guide takes you on his bike. On our way back look for Casa Cenote - its a another palapa bar but I thought the beach was not all that but the Cenote infront of the bar/hotel is amazing - its one of the better cenotes. manate cenote was beautiful - you can also try the cenote grande that is on the way between coba and tulum - we did not go but I heard lots of good things.

Cozumel we took the ferry and rented a car for the day, we went to Dzul Ha and snorkeled most of the day, we saw lots of fish and swam out to the the snorkel boats when they cruised by - bring a banana or mango and you will find tons of fish coming to you. no need for for a tour. we cruised the island - it took an 2 hours, beautiful coast and stopped off at one of the palapa bars on the east coast of cozumel.

Cozumel at Dzul-Ha beach - we did not use their palapa bar because there is a small beach right next to it and we sat under a tree with our cooler and swam out. For free. Buy an underwater camera in the states - its much cheaper in the US then in Mexico - hubby bought one in Mexico and it was $10.00 us more. The snorkel boats drop off their people right in front of dzul-Ha so you know you are in a good place. We rented a car at Avis - reserve before in the US - and brought a foldable cooler and filled it with goodies and spent the day here and cruised the island. We did not see anything great in the waters off of Playa - we hit the motherload in Cozumel. I know that Akumal beach is known for turtles but we had no luck.

Plus I highly recommend going to Hidden Worlds, snorkeling in the Cenote/caves is amazing. This was the highlight of our trip, the caves are amazing - it was one of those one in a life time experiences - if you scuba dive you will have a better tour - amazing is all I can say. We traveled on a short budget too and did not do the water park but splurged on Hidden World - we payed 40.00 us each and snorkeled at 2 caves for 45 minutes each - we thought it was well worth it.

Central New Jersey
Level Contributor
5 posts
2 reviews
Save Reply
8. Re: Car Rental, yea or nay?

thanks for all the info xm, the 250 marker helps me judge just what it will cost.