About Mexico (MX)
One of the most colorful and dynamic countries in the world, Mexico (MX) has great weather, delicious food, modern cities, amazing historical sites, and a diverse range of landscapes. Located between the U.S. to the north and Guatemala to the south, Mexico has 10,000 km of coastline on the Pacific Ocean to the west, and the Gulf of Mexico and the Caribbean Sea to the east. Some of Mexico’s most popular destinations include Acapulco, Cabo San Lucas, Cancun, Mazatlan, and Mexico City, but lesser known spots such as Monterrey and Guanajuato are worth a look as well.
Mexico is a lot bigger than many people realize. Aside from central Mexico City, the best way to get around this huge, magnificent country is to rent a car. An extensive network of roads in fair condition crisscrosses the country, although rural routes are on the rough side of the spectrum. Driving habits tend to be defined by regional boundaries, with drivers in the north being somewhat more respectful of road rules. Although the general consensus maintains that driving at night is not recommended, it’s not as dangerous as, say, rural Jamaica. There are basically two types of major routes in Mexico: toll roads (cuotas) and free roads (libres). The cuota roads are by far the most efficient way of traveling long distances. Libre roads tend to run through smaller towns and villages, and serve as feeder routes to the cuota roads.
Choosing your car
Car rentals in Mexico are provided by Alamo, Dollar, National, Sixt, and Thrifty. Although you’ll find a comprehensive selection of car hire types to choose from, all-wheel drive SUVs are generally the wise choice for navigating variable road conditions. Of course, if you’re planning to do a limited amount of sightseeing in one general location, compact and economy cars are ideal. Otherwise, you’ll find 7-12 seater minivans, standard and fullsize 4-door sedans, premium and luxury sedans, and specialty vehicles such as pick-up trucks and convertibles.
Tips and advice
If traveling near the U.S. border, and likewise the Guatemalan border, be prepared for increasingly invasive checkpoints where your vehicle and personal belongings are likely to be searched.
Roadside assistance is provided by a government program know as the Green Angels (Angeles Verde), which consists of green trucks operated by mechanics who cruise the highways looking for drivers in distress. These Green Angels are known for being able to resolve just about any sort of mechanical problem — for free! Dial 078 to summon an Angel.
When driving on two-lane highways, the car in front of you may use their left-turn signal without slowing down, indicating that it’s OK for you to pass them.
Due to changeable road conditions, most traffic — with the exception of long-haul trucks — moves below the posted limits.
Keep your toll road receipts. If your vehicle is damaged by road conditions, your Mexico car rental provider will want to see them for verification. Insurance is included in the price of tolls.
If you’re involved in an accident with injuries, Mexican liability is based on the condition of fault residing with the driver who hit the injured motorist — not the driver who caused the collision.