Car Rentals in Yucatan Peninsula

Renting a car makes it easier to see all of the sites the Yucatan Peninsula has to offer

Photo Credit: © Roger Wollstadt CC
 

With such a wide amount of area to cover in the Yucatan Peninsula, being able to get up and go whenever you please will likely save you lots of time, and if you want to get in as many landmarks as possible, you may even save money overall on transportation costs. Knowing a bit about renting a car and driving in the Yucatan is helpful in making the decision regarding whether or not you will go this route.

Renting a Car

Maps

Rental cars can be found in almost every town and city in the Yucatan. They are available at the airports, most major resorts, and in popular tourist shopping areas. In general, attendants speak Spanish, but are very helpful.

If you're staying in Cancun, you may find I to be a good idea to skip picking up your rental from the airport and reserve one from an agency in the shopping zone. The cost is generally cheaper at these locations than anywhere else. In Merida, you'll find agencies at the airport and downtown, and most are willing to deliver the vehicle to you at your resort. Playa del Carmen is known for having the cheapest rentals, friendliest attendants, and best maps.

There are some places in the region where rental cars are not so readily available, such as the areas that surround Chetumal (though you can get a rental at the Chetumal Airport and within the city), Campeche where there is only one agency at the Hotel Buluartes.

Wherever you rent from, make sure to ask for a vehicle with air conditioning and to purchase the personal liability insurance. If you're in an accident, chances are you won't be covered under you insurance from home, and local establishments with not accept credit cards to pay for damages. The insurance from your rental agency is recognizable to them, and they are more willing to accept it.

View the following table which identifies the many different local vehicle rental agencies.

Vehicle Rental Companies
Name Phone Location
Adocar Rentals (998) 849-4233 4.4 mi. (7.1 km) East of Cancun
Alamo car rental (52) (33) 36135531 Benito Juarez - Downtown Playa del Carmen
Avicar Car Rental (998) 887-0142 Downtown Cancun
Avis Hotel Dreams (998) 883-1500 Dreams Cancun Resort & Spa - Cancun Beach Hotel Zone
Budget Car Rental (998) 883-2612 Cancun Beach Hotel Zone
Budget Car Rental (998) 883-2612 LT 93 MZ 12 SM 25 - Downtown Cancun
Budget Playa del Carmen (52) (33) 36130027 Downtown Playa del Carmen
Easy Way Playa del Carmen (984) 803-3665 Tenth Avenue North - Downtown Playa del Carmen
Easy Way Tulum (984) 802-5570 Coba Sur Avenue - Tulum
Europcar Car Rental (998) 885-0483 7.5 mi. (12.1 km) Southeast of Cancun
Europcar Car Rental (984) 875-5000 Tulum
Europcar Car Rental (998) 885-0483 Downtown Cancun
Europcar Chetumal Airport (983) 108-3021 Chetumal International Airport - 1.5 mi. (2.3 km) South West of Chetumal
Europcar Playa del Carmen (984) 873-2820 Eighth Street - Downtown Playa del Carmen
Executive Car Rental (998) 887-4788 Yaxchilan Avenue - Downtown Cancun
Executive Cars La Isla (998) 176-8122 La Isla Shopping Village - 7.8 mi. (12.6 km) Southeast of Cancun
Executive Cars Playa del Carmen (984) 873-2354 Downtown Playa del Carmen
Executive Cars Tulum (984) 802-5371 Cancun Federal Highway - 1.8 mi. (2.9 km) East of Tulum
Executive Puerto Aventuras (984) 873-5492 Puerto Juarez Federal Highway - Puerto Aventuras
Executive Puerto Morelos (877) 389-0789 Puerto Morelos
Executive Villa Morelos (998) 206-9056 Cancun-Tulum Federal Highway - Villa Morelos
Hertz La Isla (998) 176-8077 La Isla Shopping Village - 7.3 mi. (11.7 km) Southeast of Cancun
Hertz Tulum (800) 709-5000 Tulum
Holiday Car Rental -- Downtown Playa del Carmen
Monaco Rentals Downtown Cancun (987) 884-6540 Yaxchilan Avenue - Downtown Cancun
National CUN (998) 881-8760 Cancun International Airport - 9.0 mi. (14.5 km) South of Cancun
National Cancun Hotels (998) 176-8117 7.2 mi. (11.6 km) Southeast of Cancun
Payless Car Rental (998) 885-2465 Carretera Cancun PuertoMorelos, Km.17 - 7.6 mi. (12.2 km) Southeast of Cancun
Platinum Exotic Car Rental (998) 883-5555 Cancun
Zipp Car Rental (866) 406-5601 4.7 mi. (7.6 km) East-Southeast of Cancun

As far are what is required of you to rent in the Yucatan; well, that will vary by location. Make sure to call the agency you plan to rent with or read the fine print when you reserve your rental on-line to make sure you are aware of any age restrictions or deposits.

The Cost of Renting a Car

As a general rule, the further south you drive, the more expensive your rental wil be, but it is still advisable that you avoid renting from the airport in Cancun if you want to save money. As previously mentioned, Playa del Carmen is also known for having the lowest rental rates but there are other ways to save including visiting during the off-season, renting from a local agency, and booking your rental as part of a vacation package.

The tables below provide a general indication of what sort of rate you will pay. The lowest rates in each table are typically only available from the least expensive agencies when plenty of cars are on hand. The highest rates are what you can anticipate at one of the busier agencies during the high season.

Vehicle Rentals, Daily Rates
Rental Type Low Rate High Rate
Compact Car $ 10.00 $ 75.00
Mid Size Car $ 13.00 $ 85.00
Full Size Car $ 19.00 $ 192.00
Economy Car $ 20.00 $ 30.00
Light SUV $ 30.00 $ 135.00
Mini Van $ 48.00 $ 185.00
Standard SUV $ 50.00 $ 250.00
Vehicle Rentals, Weekly Rates
Rental Type Low Rate High Rate
Compact Car $ 60.00 $ 450.00
Mid Size Car $ 78.00 $ 510.00
Full Size Car $ 114.00 $ 1152.00
Economy Car $ 120.00 $ 210.00
Light SUV $ 180.00 $ 840.00
Mini Van $ 280.00 $ 1230.00
Standard SUV $ 300.00 $ 1500.00

Driving in the Yucatan

As you drive about the Yucatan, you'll notice a great difference in roadways throughout. The main highway, Federal Highway 307, is considered to be the best option, with flat, paved roads that can have up to four lanes going at a time. This road is well-marked, and the government participates in the upkeep, so appearances are generally good. Local roads can be less desirable, with pot holes and poor signs that make it easy to get lost.

Local drivers are known for speeding and driving aggressively, but tourists are encouraged to maintain a calm demeanor and avoid trying to keep up. Look out for the posted speed sign and stick to it. Police officers tend to target rental cars and will be happy to pull you over if you are going slightly over the limit.

You shouldn't have any trouble finding gas stations as you make your way around, but finding gas is another story. Stations are not always full of fuel, and you could stop at half a dozen locations before finally being able to fuel up. For this reason, you should plan to stop and fill up any time you get near half a tank.

Check the table just below which displays a selection of fueling locations in this general area.

Gas Stations
Name Location
PEMEX Tulum Tulum
Pemex Cancun North Highway 91 North - 0.6 mi. (1.0 km) North of Cancun
Pemex Cancun South Las Torres Avenue - 2.3 mi. (3.7 km) South of Cancun
Pemex Cancun-Valladolid Cancun-Valladolid Highway - 22.5 mi. (36.2 km) West-Northwest of Puerto Morelos
Pemex Gas Station 2.4 mi. (3.8 km) Northwest of Chichen Itza
Pemex Gas Station 0.8 mi. (1.3 km) West of Playa del Carmen
Pemex Gas Station Downtown Cancun
Pemex Hotel Zone Kukilkan Boulevard - 7.8 mi. (12.6 km) Southeast of Cancun
Pemex Mahahual 34.2 mi. (55.1 km) North of Xcalak
Pemex Tulum-Cancun 1.6 mi. (2.5 km) East of Tulum
Pemex Xpu-Ha Xpu Ha
Taquitos Gas Xcalak

Unless you're participating in a regional tour or plan to make good use of the bus, exploration of Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula is made miles easier by having a private vehicle at your disposal. Keep this in mind, as well as cost and personal preference in mind as you consider whether or not to make it official and book a rental car.

Even as just one region of Mexico, the Yucatan Peninsula is one of the largest and most developed areas of the Caribbean. As such, you can expect some variation in rental car policies and prices as you travel along the coast. To help narrow the information, some of the most popular destinations' rental car guides are assembled below.

Rental Agencies in Specific Areas
Guide to Cancun Rental Cars
Guide to Chetumal Rental Cars
Guide to Chichen Itza Rental Cars
Guide to Cozumel Rental Cars
Guide to Isla Mujeres Rental Cars
Guide to La Gloria Rental Cars
Guide to Playa Del Carmen Rental Cars
Guide to Riviera Maya Rental Cars
Guide to Tulum Rental Cars
 

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