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Rental Car in Puerto Vallarta

skiman

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What is a good a reliable rental car company in Puerto Vallarta?
 

king1

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We have used Avis--good service and what I thought was a fair price. Right in the terminal, and cars are just outside in the lot.
 

samsarmy

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Thanks, I'll probably give them a try when the wife and I go later this year too.

Mike
 

PStreet1

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We also like Avis, and their quote includes the mandiatory Mexican liability insurance. To compare other companies' quotes, you have to add $7.00-$10.00 a day for the liability insurance because they don't include it in the quote (and you will be buying it no matter what; Mexican law requires it before you drive the car off the lot). The liability is different from the insurance credit card companies provide; they cover the vehicle and any damage to it.
 

4dabirds

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Advantage = nice cars + good service + usually the lowest rates (they charge $7/day additional for PLI)

Alamo = Always have had some issue with the cars we have rented... slightly better service these days then in past years... usually the second to lowest rates + $4/day in PLI

Avis = good cars, good service with a slightly higher rate usually

Kim
 

Blondie

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Some PV experts would say you will not even need a car. First, the driving there is sort of scary. We drive on every vacation to Aruba and St. Maarten, but not in PV. Cabs are very cheap and busses just pennies and both are very acessible. we stayed at Westin in the Marina and could not possibly have even taken enough cabs and/or busses to even equal the cost of a rental car. Unless you are way out of town maybe you should rethink the car thing? Honestly- we spent less than $10 a day even using cabs. Lynda
 

Larry

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PV rental cars

Blondie said:
Some PV experts would say you will not even need a car. First, the driving there is sort of scary. We drive on every vacation to Aruba and St. Maarten, but not in PV. Cabs are very cheap and busses just pennies and both are very acessible. we stayed at Westin in the Marina and could not possibly have even taken enough cabs and/or busses to even equal the cost of a rental car. Unless you are way out of town maybe you should rethink the car thing? Honestly- we spent less than $10 a day even using cabs. Lynda
I agree completely with Lynda except for renting in Aruba. We have been to PV 3 times and never needed to rent a car. Buses run very frequently and cabs are very reasonable with no hassles with driving, parking, getting tickets or worry about planned "accidents".

I also rent a car in St. Martin were the traffic is awfull but there are no other viable choices. I never rent a car in Aruba other than for a day at the most. :)

OOPs just noticed that Lynda owns at CPV in Aruba which is not on the beach so I have to agree that if I stayed there I would rent a car. It just is not needed at the resorts we own at in Aruba. The same can be said about PV. If you are staying anywhere between the Marina and town you don't need a car. If you are further away a car may be best.
 
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skiman

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We are going this Friday and we were not planning on a rental car. We are spoiled on going somewhere when we want to go and wanted others opinions. Thank you!
 

4dabirds

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skiman said:
We are going this Friday and we were not planning on a rental car. We are spoiled on going somewhere when we want to go and wanted others opinions. Thank you!
I have always rented with the exception of my trip this last Spring Break... my take on it is this:

If you are staying at a resort that is right on the bus line (say Lindo Mar, Sheraton, anywhere in the Marina) you may feel that buses and cabs are the way to go. Buses are 50 cents and cabs are between $4-8 depending on where you are going (cabs have seen an increase in their fees over the last 6 months). This works fine as long as you are not staying out late and/or wanting to go to outlying areas.

Rental cars are generally in the $65-80 range for an economy car with ac. A convertible bug is $12/day with Advantage - no ac. Insurance is another $4-7 day. So you would be needing to spend $15 or more a day to break even. If you want to go downtown a couple of times a day then you are probably at that point or if you want to visit Boca, Punta de Mita, Sayulita, etc... then a car makes sense.

I like being able to hop in the car and go get munchies or go out to breakfast... come back relax... and if I forgot something it's no big deal, just go and get it without waiting for a bus. That's me... not everyone feels that way. Regarding driving in PV, I would equate it with driving in LA or anywhere where people drive defensively and aggressively at the same time. We have never had any "planned accident" issues... and the only real issue was when a federalie pulled me over with a hair dryer... I called him on it and it was no big deal - we both laughed (except my husband who was having a coniption)!

Kim
 

SciTchr

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skiman: Where will you be staying? We never rent a car at PV. Busses and taxis are plentiful and so cheap. Some like to explore the outlying areas around PV with a car, but if it is your first time there, you will be kept very busy with all the city has to offer. Great place...we go every October.
 

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We are staying at the Grand Mayan in Nuevo Vallarta.
 

SciTchr

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Skiman:
I have never stayed as far out of town as Nuevo Vallarta, but I hear the beaches are great there. You can catch a local bus to town - I believe you will have to transfer once as you get close to El Centro (downtown/Malecon area). From what I understand, you transfer near the Sheraton (where we stay). From there it is a quick bus ride to El Centro and a little bit more to the Romantic Zone. Many times we took the bus into town and a taxi back to the hotel. I would not rent the car, but that is just how we like to travel. I am like you right now - trying to decide if we need to rent a car when we get to Barbados next week. Until you have been somewhere, you just don't know. Have fun whatever you decide.
 

EJC

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Skiman--I've stayed at Mayan Palace Nuevo Vallarta (Grand Mayan is on the same property) a few times and did not rent a car. If you don't rent a car, you will have to take the Mayan Palace free shuttle to the Sea Garden store. Then you walk around the corner and take the bus to Puerto Vallarta and get off at Walmart. THEN, you catch yet another bus to get to town. To be truthful, it got old fast. However, I personally don't like renting vehicles. I'm always paranoid something bad will happen to the rental. For example, two summers ago I rented a car for a week in Vegas. The first evening I had the car, I went to the grocery store. After getting groceries, I went back out to the car only to find a huge, wide mark all across the top of the hood. I don't know if it was there when I picked up the rental car or not; I didn't examine it. I worried all week about what the rental company would say. When I did return the car, the company did note the mark on the condition slip but did not charge me. If you don't think you'll worry about the rental car or driving in Mexico, it might well be worth renting a car. Personally, I'd rather the hassle of taking numerous busses than dealing with a rental car in Mexico. Perhaps you could bus it this vacation and decide if you want a rental car the NEXT time you vacation in Nuevo Vallarta. BTW, the Grand Mayan looks like a fantastic resort. You should have a wonderful time there.
 

4dabirds

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Mush said:
Where do you see a VW convertible with Advantage for $12.95 a day ???
After you key in your dates and PVR, I believe there is a drop-down with the various car types... choose convertible. It is a convertible vocho... the old volkswagen bug and the usual going rate is $12/day.

Kim
 

flowers1227

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Do you need extra ins?

When we rented in Cabo we declined the extra insurance. Do you need it in Puerta Vallarta? I just reserved a car with Advantage but in the small print it said the PLI was and extra 11 day.
Betty
 

SciTchr

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We never rent a car in PV. We going every October. If you don't like the idea of the buses (fun but not when you are tired after a full day in town, perhaps), the cabs are everywhere, all the time. They are so inexpensive compared to the cost of renting a car. My advice is to give the cabs a try.
 

flowers1227

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Staying in Nuevo Vallarta

Since we will be in NV, we are def. planning on renting a car. I just wondered what others do about the extra ins. Any info would be appreciated.
Thanks,
Betty
 

kristi

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rent a car!

Skiman,
If you are staying at the grand mayan which is a gorgeous resort by the way(stayed there last november), you should most definitely rent a car. I don't understand why people get so freaked out by driving in other countries. I come across crazy drivers in the states on a daily basis so I really see no difference. In my opinion, it's the only way to truly see PV. You have so much more freedom.
The bad thing about the Grand Mayan is that it's way the hell out in the middle of nowhere and it will take you a good 20 to 30 minutes to get to town (and that's driving yourself). Imagine being at the mercy of a bus driver. And I've seen these buses and I would much rather take my chances in a maintained rental car than in one those rickety buses. I don't car how cheap they are.
Again, the best part is you can come and go as you please. You'll only be frustrated waiting for the freaking bus to come at the Mayan. And you have to go down to the Sea Garden(not the shortest walk) at the hotel to catch the bus...you'll see when you get there.
One thing I will warn you about is when you go for gas and if someone is pumping it for you, WATCH the pump!!! We were filling up at a station just south of town on the road towards Boca and this attendant tried to price guage us. But I had been watching him and called him on it. There are these buttons on the pump where you can scroll thru and look at how much gas was pumped/cost on previous customers and he had changed it to a previous charge. Unbelievable! But that was the only time that happened. You live and learn. There are jerks everywhere on this planet - just don't be guillable :p
 

kristi

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oops. guess I'm a little late on my reply : )
oh well...someone else will be asking the same question again soon I'm sure.
 

LynnW

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We used Avis and were very happy. The extra insurance was included in the price and we are also covered with credit card insurance. It was nice to be able to drive north to Bucerias and Punta Mita. When we drove into PV we parked at WalMart and took the bus into town. Drivng that far into town is easy.

Lynn
 

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The PLI (personal liability insurance--for damage you do to another person or that person's property) is required by Mexican law. That is the insurance the police will ask to see if there is a problem. You can't drive the car off the lot without it. (That's why we rent from Avis; it's already included in the quote they give you.)

Call your credit card company and make sure their insurance applies in Mexico, and that the amounts suit you. That insurance will cover the rental car damage or theft. My credit card company has a $0.00 deductible; the rental car company's insurance normally has a $1000.00 deductible. Your insurance decision will be based on how you feel about this kind of insurance. Many people feel better buying in Mexico since they are in Mexico. Many (like me) feel better knowing Mastercard/Visa/American Express will fight any insurance battles that need to be fought. I think it's a personal decision about which feels better to you.

If you decide to use your credit card company's insurance, go to their web site and print a copy of the policy, and find out the toll free number to use when calling from Mexico if there is a problem. Take the copy and the number with you. (You may have to call their customer service number to find out the phone number and a web address for printing the policy.)
 
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