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Car Rental in Cancun
Car rental locations in Cancun
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Car Rental in Cancún: the Mexican Caribbean
Cancún’s location on the tip of the Yucatán Peninsula makes it a highly desirable location for beach lovers and resort-goers alike. Lined with 22 kilometers of beaches, Cancún also offers visitors boardwalk-like shopping and dining opportunities. But there is much more to see than the beaches. Make the most of your visit by staying mobile and heading inland as well to see, for instance, the Mayan ruins at Ek’ Balam, about 170 km from Cancún. Plan some road trips and book your rental car today!
Most tourists visit Cancún from December to April, when the weather is driest and most comfortable. June is especially hot, and hurricane season typically runs from July through November.
The de facto national language of Mexico is Spanish, which is the primary language of most residents in and around Cancún, in addition to Maya. Many of the employees at tourist destinations in Cancún also speak English, but road-trippers will want to learn some Spanish before they arrive, as police and tollbooth officers are unlikely to speak English, and road signs are typically in Spanish.
Cancún is located in the Eastern Standard time zone, UTC-5.
The currency in Mexico is the peso and is most easily received through currency exchange from American dollars or via ATMs, which are plentiful throughout Cancún. Credit cards are accepted at most hotels and some restaurants and shops, though Mexico still very much has a cash culture, and you should plan to have cash on hand for the remainder of your financial transactions.
Car hire is available in almost 40 locations throughout Cancún, including Cancún International Airport (CUN), downtown, Cancún East, and at the convention center.
Travellers arriving in Mexico from many Western European countries, Chile, Argentina, the United States, Canada, Japan, Australia, and New Zealand can enter without a visa. They should purchase a tourist card valid for 90 days (though you can extend this to 180 days for an extra fee). All other visitors are required to apply for a visa before they arrive.
Driving in Cancún
While buses provide the most convenient and inexpensive form of travel for people staying in Cancún throughout their visit, you will certainly want to rent a car in order to explore Cancún’s surroundings and the Yucatán Peninsula at large. Be sure to drive defensively, particularly in Cancún.
- Traffic proceeds on the right-hand side of the road throughout Mexico.
- On unmarked streets: typically 60 km/h
- On urban throughways: 60 to 80 km/h
- On rural highways: 70 to 90 km/h
- On major highways outside of cities: 110 km/h
- It is recommended to drive 5 to 10 km/h below the speed limit in order to avoid being stopped by the police, which is likely to happen anyway while driving in and through Cancún itself.
- Parking can be a challenge in Cancún, so booking a hotel with complementary parking is highly recommended.
- An international driver’s permit in addition to your valid domestic driver’s license is required for driving throughout Mexico.
- There are numerous toll roads throughout the Yucatán, and while they can be expensive, they do often save you a significant amount of travel time. Be sure to have pesos on hand to pay the tolls.
- The minimum driving age in Mexico is 18, and drivers are rarely permitted to rent cars under the age of 25.
- Purchasing Mexican car insurance for the length of your rental contract is required in Mexico; if you are stopped by the police or at any of the country’s frequent checkpoints, you will be required to show proof of insurance.
Cheap Car Rental in Cancún
Car hire in Cancún starts as low as $15 a day. Here are some of the best deals in Cancún:
- Nissan March or similar (economy class) – $15/day
- Chevrolet Spark or similar (compact class) – $16/day
- Hyundai i10 or similar (mini class) – $17/day
- Dodge Attitude or similar (intermediate class) – $19/day
- Hyundai Elantra or similar (standard class) – $21/day
Note that prices vary depending on the availability of each specific car and the season in which you rent. For the most accurate offers, use the search bar above.
Tips for Renting a Car Inexpensively in Cancún
There is some seasonal variation in the price of rental cars in Cancún, but you can often still rent cars cheaply by booking well in advance during the busiest seasons and by shopping around. If car hire is expensive in one location, such as Cancún International Airport, be sure to check prices elsewhere, such as at the Cancún Convention Center or Cancún East, where prices are lower from time to time.
The companies that often offer the cheapest prices for renting a car in Cancún include Hertz, Mex Rent a Car, and Europcar. Hertz’s prices vary according to location, so be sure to check a number of different locations to ensure you are receiving the best price.
Keep an eye out for discounts that make rental cars in Cancún even cheaper. You can also often save at least $3 a day by extending your rental period to over a week.