If there is one thing we get asked all the time, it’s about renting a car in Playa del Carmen. Many of our guests are confused and overwhelmed about the whole process, and we have had more than one person reporting back with horror stories of exorbitant fees being charged for insurance.
So to help you out we have carefully put together this guide so you can find the best car rental Playa del Carmen and not get ripped off!
Is it Safe to Rent a Car in Playa del Carmen?
Many people worry about safety when they rent a car, Playa del Carmen. They have read things telling them that driving in Mexico is very unsafe and should be avoided. But the truth is renting a car in Playa del Carmen it is really no different than renting a car anywhere else in the world.
Yes there are risks, of course, there always are when driving in another country, but generally speaking in The Rivera Maya, the roads are good, speeds are clearly marked and the road signs are easy to follow. If you are worried about getting stopped by corrupt police, kidnapping, and carjacking, please don’t. The police generally leave tourists alone, kidnapping is something you see in the movies, and carjacking really isn’t very common at all here.
So long as you are a confident driver you won’t have any problems driving here.
Things to be Aware of When Renting a Car in Mexico
That said there are some things you need to be aware of when exploring car hire in Playa del Carmen. More often than not things aren’t quite what they seem. The most common issue is that the price you get quoted on the internet is not anywhere near the actual price you will be charged when you go to collect your car.
Other common issues include:
- Putting huge (up-to $3000 USD) deposits on peoples credit cards
- The deposits not being returned until weeks after you have returned the car
- Overcharging for insurance
- Telling you that the insurance you get with your credit card doesn’t work in Mexico (this is mostly for people in the USA who get rental car insurance as part of their credit card deal).
Overcharging For Car Rental in Playa del Carmen
So let’s address the first issue, the online quote being very different from the price when you arrive at the shop. If you do a quick search online through rental car search engines you will probably notice some pretty amazing deals where you can rent a car for just a few dollars.
Looks too good to be true right? Well, sadly it is. Although if you are willing to skip the full insurance coverage (not recommended) or your insurance will cover you for driving a rental car in Mexico and you don’t mind them taking a $3000 USD deposit hold on your credit card that you probably won’t get back for a month, you may get lucky.
These cheap prices are just a gimmick to get you to book with them. Once you get in they will add on extra charges including insurance which will bump that price right up. Avoid booking with these companies.
Car Rental Deposits
That brings us nicely on to the next trap, deposits. It can be very difficult to find out what the deposit hold they will put on your credit card will be when you book online. If you pay for the full insurance then this will likely be just a few hundred dollars at most. Although if you get the full insurance they shouldn’t need a deposit.
The issue with these deposits is that some of the companies can be extremely slow at removing the hold and it can take weeks before you will get the money released. To make sure you avoid these companies do a thorough check of the companies online reviews to see what people are saying about them.
Car Rental Insurance in Playa del Carmen
Car insurance can be a bit of a headache, and it is where many people get caught out, as the daily insurance charge is often more expensive than the car itself. For people who live in the USA and normally get insurance cover from your credit card company, unfortunately, this insurance is not accepted in Mexico. So even if your credit card company tells you you are covered it is unlikely they will accept it.
If you decline all insurance then you will need to pay a deposit of up yo $3000 USD. I would strongly recommend getting the full coverage so you are going to need to check the cost of this before booking. Although you might find some great deals online it is always worth contacting them to check details before booking. Generally speaking, you are going to get a better deal in person than you will online.
Where to Rent a Car in Playa del Carmen
Ok so now we have talked about what not to do I hope you are coming to realize that the lowest priced car rental in Playa del Carmen isn’t always necessarily the best, or cheapest when you add everything together.
If you are wondering where to rent a car in Playa del Carmen then the company that we recommend is the one we personally use as a company, Fiesta Car Rentals. They are a small independent rental car company that is as honest as they come. They were first established in Cozumel back in 1977 and now have locations in Cozumel, Playa del Carmen, and Cancun. So they can get a car from them at the airport if that’s easier for you.
They have set prices if you book online and for more than 3 days the daily rate reduces. You can check out their rates here and as you will see they have two levels of insurance you can choose from.
We don’t recommend other companies lightly but we have a long relationship with the Fiesta team and know they will look after you as well as they have always looked after us at Kay Tours.
Have any questions? Drop us an email and we will get back to you ASAP.
P.S did you know we are now running small group tours to Puerto Morelos?