Beware the risks of renting a car in Mexico

  • Article by: KERRI WESTENBERG , Star Tribune
  • Updated: February 4, 2012 - 2:01 PM

Renting a car in Mexico can be costly and, in the case of an accident, it could land you in jail.

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danderson1966Feb. 5, 12 4:11 AM

I have driven all over the state of Quintanna Roo and Yucatan in both rental and a friend's car. I have never had a problem and rarely ever saw a cop. As far as rental car insurance, the most I paid for full coverage is $50 more. As far as going to jail if you're involved in an accident, you'll have it taken care of long before a cop shows up.

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snorkelqueenFeb. 6, 12 6:18 PM

I have been in the unique position of having had 3 (yes really, 3) automobile accidents in Mexico, all of which turned out to be only fender benders, but in the end were my fault. Mexican Liability insurance is required by law. If you don't have the liability insurance, they take you to the police department until fault is determined. You are NOT put in jail, but they will take your car and you may have to wait in the police lobby for several hours while they figure out what they are going to do. You will have to surrender your driver's license as well. In all 3 accidents, I was treated with respect and in one of them, I did NOT have insurance, as it had expired. The benefit of the times that I did have the insurance was that I could just walk away and let the insurance company take care of it. The liability insurance you pay for comes with a lawyer who is your advocate and can also assess the damage. I'm not the type to bribe anyone, so in all three cases, I let the system run its course. I just can't figure out why the media wants to paint Mexico in such a dangerous light. What "could" happen, rarely does. Is it different than in the US? Absolutely. Should you avoid driving in Mexico? Not any more than you should avoid driving anywhere. All accidents are an inconvenience, no matter where you are.

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eatmorpeachsFeb. 10, 1211:57 AM

I have traveled all around Mexico and never gotten behind the wheel of a car... The BUS system there is amazing! The first class lines are all clean, safe, comfortable, and cheap, and most of the first class terminals in the bigger cities will have someone who speaks some English working there. Or for a great cultural immersion experience try going second class - still safe and cheap but occasionally not quite as comfortable.

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