Thanks to its unique, lively mixture of indigenous cultures and the culture of Spain, its diverse landscapes and its growing economy, Mexico is an interesting destination for many world travelers, as evidenced by the fact that it was the 10th most visited country in the world in 2014.
Apart from being a popular tourist destination, Mexico is also among the world’s 15 largest economies, as well as the most populous Spanish-speaking country in the world, with a population of over 113 million. The capital of Mexico is Mexico City, and Mexican peso is its currency, valued at around 15 pesos for $1 USD.
Car Rental In Mexico
In order to rent a car in Mexico, most car rental agencies will require you to be 25 years old or older, with a valid drivers license and a credit card. You will be able to choose between well known international car rental companies such as Hertz or Thrifty and smaller, local ones.
If you choose to use car rental in Mexico, use a local car rental agency, pay special attention to details and make sure that tax and insurance are covered. Furthermore, be especially wary of hidden or unmentioned extra fees and thoroughly check the car you’re planning to rent for any scratches or damages.
Driving in Mexico
Roads in Mexico are generally in worse shape than those in the nearby Guatemala (car renting in Guatemala) or Belize (rent a car in Belize)and are often badly paved, winded and filled with potholes. Livestock on the road tends to be a problem too, especially in rural areas where a big percentage of traffic accidents involves animals. In addition to it all, many Mexican roads are badly lit, so driving at night is not recommended.
Another reason to avoid driving your rented car in Mexico after dark are increasingly high crime rates. You can get robbed or carjacked during the daytime as well, but driving at night increases those chances drastically. It’s highly recommended for your car to have at least one anti-theft mechanism installed, and you should make sure to park your car only in well lit, visible parking spaces which contain other cars as well.
If you want to get to your destination faster, you can choose to drive on some of the newer toll roads, but you’ll have to pay for using them. If you’re not in a hurry or don’t mind lower quality roads, older toll-free roads should do a good enough job.
Your regular drivers license is valid for driving in Mexico and traffic laws and regulations are mostly as you’d expect – drinking and driving is prohibited, you shouldn’t use your phone while driving if you’re not using a hands-free kit and having your seat belt on is mandatory for both the car driver and the passengers.
Since Mexico has a lot to offer, you’ll have the luxury to decide which of its various aspects interests you the most – is it the busy life of Mexico’s big cities, its exotic beaches, the colonial towns or the awe inspiring temples and ruins ?
If big cities are what interests you, Mexico City and Tijuana should give you what you’re looking for. Mexico city is a huge megalopolis whose metropolitan area has a population of over 22 million, and Tijuana is the industrial and financial center of Mexico, as well as the most visited border city in the world, with over 50 million people crossing the border between Tijuana and San Diego every year.
For beach adventures, you should drive to Cancun (renting a car in Cancun), Los Cabos or Playa del Carmen, while Campeche, Puebla and Guadalajara will let you see some of Mexico’s colonial heritage. Last but not least, lovers of history and archaeology will enjoy exploring the Ruins of Palenque (Palenque ruinas), Temples of Uxmal and the famous Teotihuacan World Heritage Site.