Playa Del Carmen Rental Cars

…getting a car (if you must)…

When I was in the States I lived up to the classic lazy man stereotype.

I had one of those reclining vibrating easy chairs.

I would drive to the shop…even though it was only about 50 yards from my garage.

I got so lazy that Dominos would answer the phone and already know my name.

How things have changed.

Now that I live in Playa Del Carmen I usually travel by bicycle.

Playa Del Carmen is a town where you don’t really need a car.

However, I do get asked a lot about Playa Del Carmen rental cars, and they can be good if you plan a lot of activities or want to go on several excursions that are outside the general area.

Why Not To Get A Playa Del Carmen Rental Car?

Playa Del Carmen is a pedestrian-friendly small city.

You can visit most places on two legs or on two wheels.

In my opinion you really don’t need a Playa Del Carmen rental car if you plan to just stay within the city limits.

It’s not only going to cost you money, it’s going to be annoying and slow you down.

Where are you going to park? – for one.

Then you’re going to have to stay of the booze, which isn’t easy in this place.

On the main strip of Playa Del Carmen – 5th Avenue – you cannot even drive a car.

Furthermore, if you want to go somewhere that’s just a little out of town, then the local taxis are very cheap.

Reasons For Getting A Playa Del Carmen Rental Car

Playa Del Carmen is at the heart of the Riviera Maya and is surrounded by great attractions.

Visiting them can be expensive if you have to rent a private car with driver.

For example; Cancun is about one hour’s drive away, as is Tulum and the incredible ruins and beach you’ll find there.

The famous ruins at Chichen Itza are about 2 hours and 30 min. away from Playa Del Carmen.

There are also other ruins to explore at Coba.

Then there are all the cool “X-Parks” like Xplor or Xel-Haand no, this is not like a movie rating. These parks are safe for children and a real adventure for adults.

If you are planning to visit a few of these places, then it can make sense to get a Playa Del Carmen rental car.

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Is It Safe To Drive In Mexico?

Hmmm…yes it’s safe to drive in Mexico.

But you need to be a good and confident driver, as the local traffic isn’t quite what it is at home (for most of you).

Remember… in Mexico the cars drive on the same side of the road as in the United States.

Thus, if you are from any part of the UK, you will have to be very careful and adapt to the driving conditions.

Make sure you get good insurance when you rent a car here as well.

If there is an accident, then you’ll be blamed regardless of what happened – especially if it’s you (a foreigner) and a local Mexican.

Both the driver of the other car and the police will try to squeeze as much out of you as possible.

That’s just the fact of being a foreigner in Mexico.

Many Mexicans are sleazy like that – unfortunately, I would say most or nearly all.

And if that statement is not politically correct, I really don’t care.

You simply can’t have it both ways – it is either the truth or some politically correct nonsense that is nothing but a publically endorsed lie.

You have not lived in Mexico for 4+ years!

Trust me, if you lived here for that long, you would be saying the same thing!

Also, there is a good chance you will be stopped at a police checkpoint.

So you’ll need to have all of your papers organized properly at all times.

Don’t let them try to force a bribe out of you.

They are not supposed to be doing this, and the chief of police of the city has a great relationship with tourists, but he cannot control every officer.

Getting A Rental Car At Cancun International Airport

Probably the most convenient place to get a rental car is at the airport in Cancun.

There is a lot of competition, and you can get some very good deals, particularly in the off-season.

Doing this also saves money on your airport transfer.

I have never rented a car in Playa Del Carmen so it’s hard for me to recommend one.

However, the following few companies have had good reports from friends and offer some good deals.

  • You could try Caribbean Rent-a-Car.  They have offices in Cancun and the Riviera Maya.
  • Also try Ace Rent a Car.  They’re an international company with services from Cancun Airport.
  • Easyway rentals are also worth checking out.

Getting A Playa Del Carmen Rental Car

If you are already in Playa Del Carmen, then you can also rent a car here.

There isn’t quite as much competition as Cancun, but there are still several companies to choose from.

My recommendation would be to rent a car for just a few days and doing all your sightseeing at the same time.

The big rental brands are in Playa Del Carmen, like Sixt and Hertz.

They offer a bit more piece of mind than some of the more local firms.

But there are some cheaper local alternatives.

Try Econo Car Rental.

Their website is pretty terrible and doesn’t work that well.

But you can call them toll free and negotiate a good price:

  • From Mexico 01 800 282 7876.
  • From the US or Canada 1 888 90 ECONO.

How Much Does A Playa Del Carmen Rental Car Cost?

I would say that the cheapest Playa Del Carmen rental car you’re going to find will be $40 USD per day.

That’s for your most basic 3-door hatchback – and renting out of season.

If you’re in high season, then the costs will be slightly higher.

Of course, if you want something with a bit more room and decent A/C, then the costs are going to go up.

All being said, I would budget something like $70 USD a day.

That’s going to get you a pretty decent car regardless of the season.

As I said, you can save money by just renting a car for a few days and hitting all the attractions in one go.

So enjoy…and don’t go crashing into a Mexican cop car.

That might cost you more than a Playa Del Carmen happy hour drinks deal…

I hope to see you here soon!

Lots of love,


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Do you have any tips, suggestions, or advice about renting a car here? Please leave it in the comments section below!

2 comments on “Playa Del Carmen Rental Cars

  1. Any chance it would be cheaper for a Mexican national to rent the car? We’re heading down there in August to visit family; wondering if it’s cheaper for them to rent the car rather than an American tourist..

    • Daisy,

      Not sure about that. Some places offer discounts to Mexicans, but something like car rental, probably not.

      It’s kind of racist if you ask me. Imagine if we charged Mexicans more than US citizens in the good ole’ USA. Mexicans would be crying bloody murder!!!

      If you’d like, I can forward your name and email to a friend who has a car rental business here, and he would be able to answer any questions you might have.

      Send me an email and let me know….

      Have a wonderful trip and be sure to drive safe here.

      Lots of love,


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