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Sticky - Tips for renting cars and driving in Mexico & questions about renting/driving

dominidude

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I went to http://www.rentalcars.com/ and saw on that website that some quotes from rental car companies include: Unlimited Mileage, Collision Damage Waiver , Theft Protection, Primary Liability insurance, third party liability insurance and Local Taxes.

It seems to me that this is all the protection one may need when renting a car in Mexico. A credit card like AE or Visa may provide additional protection, but the primary seems to be already provided by the rental car company, especially the 3rd party liability protection and the CDW and theft protection.

Is that right, or am I missing something?
 
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dioxide45

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I went to http://www.rentalcars.com/ and saw on that website that some quotes from rental car companies include: Unlimited Mileage, Collision Damage Waiver , Theft Protection, Primary Liability insurance, third party liability insurance and Local Taxes.

It seems to me that this is all the protection one may need when renting a car in Mexico. A credit card like AE or Visa may provide additional protection, but the primary seems to be already provided by the rental car company, especially the 3rd party liability protection and the CDW and theft protection.

Is that right, or am I missing something?
Coverage like AE won't provide additional protection unless you can decline the rental car comparny provided CDW. Credit card CDW isn't in force unless you decline all rental car company provided coverage.

I have been looking at rental car rates for our trip. While rates are super cheap and usually include the minimum mandatory liability insurance, CDW is not included. When looking at some of the local companies vs the majors, I see that the locals offer full liability and CDW, but daily rates are much higher. $5 a day with some of the majors that don't include CDW where the local companies are $50 a day all insurance included. For a longer trip, $50 can really add up.
 

chalucky

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Going to rent from Thrifty in Cancun. Will use AMEX Premium Insurance for $17.95 (total one time) to act as Primary CDW.
Will pay with AMEX Platinum anyway which provides secondary coverage which is superfluous.
Will pay out of pocket for Thrifty SLE (Supplemental Liability Excess) at 16.99 a day.
Anything I am missing or should be concerned about??
Thanks is advance.
 

dioxide45

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Going to rent from Thrifty in Cancun. Will use AMEX Premium Insurance for $17.95 (total one time) to act as Primary CDW.
Will pay with AMEX Platinum anyway which provides secondary coverage which is superfluous.
Will pay out of pocket for Thrifty SLE (Supplemental Liability Excess) at 16.99 a day.
Anything I am missing or should be concerned about??
Thanks is advance.
You may get grief when you don't use the car rental CDW insurance. You don't need it and need to be firm. However, be prepared as they put a very large hold on the Amex card if you don't take CDW through the car rental agency.
 

easyrider

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Going to rent from Thrifty in Cancun. Will use AMEX Premium Insurance for $17.95 (total one time) to act as Primary CDW.
Will pay with AMEX Platinum anyway which provides secondary coverage which is superfluous.
Will pay out of pocket for Thrifty SLE (Supplemental Liability Excess) at 16.99 a day.
Anything I am missing or should be concerned about??
Thanks is advance.
If you rented the car using the Thrifty Car rental website, Thrifty is bound by the terms and conditions on their website. If you rented the car from an outside vendor Thrifty may no longer be bound by the same terms and conditions. Otherwise everything looks good. Thrifty will put a $2500 or so hold on your Amex which is big deal since you have the Amex enhanced auto insurance. I always purchase supplemental liability insurance in Mexico.

Bill
 

oldxr

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What's the current situation in Cabo?Every time I have rented a car there the guys at the rental counters make you buy all of their insurence or you don't get a car even if your Amex or Visa will cover damage on the car.The $80 or $100 a week online reservation always turns into a $250-$300 a week for the car.Any way around this?
 

T_R_Oglodyte

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What's the current situation in Cabo?Every time I have rented a car there the guys at the rental counters make you buy all of their insurence or you don't get a car even if your Amex or Visa will cover damage on the car.The $80 or $100 a week online reservation always turns into a $250-$300 a week for the car.Any way around this?
Your AmEx or Visa does not cover you for third party liability.

I've only rented in Mexico twice, and the last was about ten years ago. But I didn't have a problem getting the rental company (Avis or Thrifty) to accept the credit card coverage for primary coverage. But I still had to buy the third party liability. Everything was disclosed in the terms and conditions that were provided when I made the reservation in the US before leaving.
 

easyrider

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All rental cars in Mexico are required by law to have 3rd party liability insurance. All major franchise rental cars in Mexico are insured by the rental agencies through commercial insurance policies that protect the franchise. These franchises then sell products they call insurance to renters. This product is not an insurance policy but is an agreement from the franchise to provide the franchise insurance products. These franchise insurance products have terms and conditions that vary between different franchises.

Many of the rental franchises offer a CDW ( collision loss waiver) which has a deductible of at least 10% of the value of the car. This value is subjective to the franchise as they determine the damage and loss.

Many of the rental franchises offer a LDW ( Loss Damage Waiver) which has zero deductible.

The American Express Card, and many other credit cards, offer coverage that is good or better than the LDW with zero deductible.

Regarding 3rd party liability, some of the rental franchises include a basic third party liability in their rate, others do not and require you to purchase their product. Alamo requires renters to purchase their 3rd party liability. Most of the franchises sell a product called ALI ( addition liability insurance) which increases the third party liability in a range of about $265,000 to $1,000,000 USD depending on franchise.

Mexican Law does have limits on how much a person can collect in civil actions regarding auto accidents. Each State sets its own limits. In Jalisco the limit is about $121,000 and in Nayarit the limit is about $212,000 USD. So if you drive from Puerto Vallarta to Nuevo Vallarta you will need the Nayarit limit depending on your comfort level regarding driving in Mexico.

No liability insurance in Mexico covers criminal liability. Criminal liability accidents would be any accident where you are found to be impaired or in the act of committing a crime.

https://www.mexperience.com/lifestyle/transport/car-rental-in-mexico/

https://www.mexperience.com/dealing-with-car-accidents-in-mexico/

http://www.avis-int.com/en/condiciones_generales.php?cpais=MX

Bill
 
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dioxide45

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Many of the rental franchises offer a LDW ( Loss Damage Waiver) which has zero deductible.
This is the important thing to watch out for. Not all of the smaller Mexican companies offer $0 deductible. So if you take the CDW/LDW and there is an issue, your credit card won't cover you since you didn't decline CDW/LDW offered by the rental agency. Someone correct me if I am wrong, but I don't think Avant in Cancun offers $0 deductible. Basically, if you rent from them and have a small amount of damage, it is coming out of your pocket.
 

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Once owned these: FirstFairway@Walden X 2; Lawai Beach; ManhattanClub; PuebloBonitoRose; 4 South Africa--now timeshare-free

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Hello, I booked a Full Size rental car with Budget Cancun for 10 days, $75 and opted not to purchase the insurance online. (I know, crazy low price) In the Important info section, it specifically states that Third Party Liability insurance is included in the amount of 750,000 Mexican Pesos($40,000 USD) is already included with the rental. I rented from Budget before with this stipulation and the rep at the counter still insisted I needed additional liability insurance, up to 4 million pesos. However, I believe the total rental still cost me about $200 fro 10 days. I was able to negotiate the price and he lowered the price with the insurance. Has anyone else encountered this?
 

dominidude

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I just made a booking with Brazil based rentcars.com for mexico. This site is not to be confused with London based rentalcars.com
I went through their fine print and could not find anything that could potentially come back to haunt me.
I also like that their receipt has a description matching what you originally see when you first make the booking.

For example, if you go to priceline.com to make a car rental booking for Mexico, you might see that some offers say "third party liability insurance included". However, when you go through with the booking, the receipt you get at the end makes NO reference to the included "third party liability insurance". That makes me uneasy because when I show up to the car rental agency I basically would have no proof that my booking is supposed to have this insurance, which by the way, is required by Mexican law.

Since I just made the car rental booking, I cannot really say how it all will turn out. But I do like that I the car rental reservation is through a major US based car rental company with a good rating in Mexico, and that I had to give NO credit card number to make the reservation.

I'll let you know what my experience is once I pick up and return the car. Fingers crossed.
 

easyrider

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I have an Avis reservation for SJD ( Cabo) coming up so I called to verify the third party liability. This year Avis has removed the verbiage on their website that the third party liability is included in the rate is the reason for my calls. If you rent from Avis , for now anyway, you will have to pay an about $15.00 per day for their additional liability insurance. I asked what this insurance was in addition too. They didn't know but on both calls I made to Avis I received the same answer that no insurance is included in their rate.

Hertz has the verbiage that states the minimum third party liability insurance is included in their rate. I made a reservation cor a compact.

Alamo has always charged for the third party liability and I made a reservation here for an intermediate.

Even though the car at Hertz is less money it is a lesser car. The difference in the price is about $80 for two weeks. My experience is that Alamo at SJD has better cars than Hertz so I think the Alamo car is the one I will take.

I did check autoslash but when you read the terms and conditions it seems obvious that there will be some gouging going on when you try to pick up the car.

Bill
 

easyrider

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I just made a booking with Brazil based rentcars.com for mexico. This site is not to be confused with London based rentalcars.com
I went through their fine print and could not find anything that could potentially come back to haunt me.
I also like that their receipt has a description matching what you originally see when you first make the booking.

For example, if you go to priceline.com to make a car rental booking for Mexico, you might see that some offers say "third party liability insurance included". However, when you go through with the booking, the receipt you get at the end makes NO reference to the included "third party liability insurance". That makes me uneasy because when I show up to the car rental agency I basically would have no proof that my booking is supposed to have this insurance, which by the way, is required by Mexican law.

Since I just made the car rental booking, I cannot really say how it all will turn out. But I do like that I the car rental reservation is through a major US based car rental company with a good rating in Mexico, and that I had to give NO credit card number to make the reservation.

I'll let you know what my experience is once I pick up and return the car. Fingers crossed.
How did it go ?

Bill
 

easyrider

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I called Budget today regarding a reservation at SJD. In the terms and conditions it reads that the minimum liability insurance is included in the reservation rate in paragraph 21. Paragraph 22 reads that an additional SLI ( supplemental liability insurance ) can be bought for $19.99 a day.

What seems to be happening is Budget Car Rental is now charging $10.00 a day for the minimum liability insurance that they included in the rate under paragraph 21 in the terms and conditions. There is no where to verify the extra $10 a day as it was verbal. I think it is a location scam so be careful with Budget Car Rental in Mexico.

Bill
 
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