Let’s just say that I procrastinated a bit before our honeymoon. We needed a rental car to travel from the San Jose Del Cabo (SJD) airport to El Pescadero but with the craziness of wedding planning it slipped off the radar. So a week or two before I remembered to get cracking and started to do my research.
Hitting up Google I found that overall people HATED renting a car in Mexico. Forums mentioned being over charged, hard selling tactics, hidden charges and more. This was our honeymoon and I didn’t want to deal with all that hassle and stress! I emailed the resort and asked which company they recommended and they named off a big retail brand at the airport. Cool! I emailed, got a quote and was set to go. I decided to Google the company and see how they stacked up and I’m glad I did. All the reviews were 1-star. There weren’t many, about 10, but they were ALL horrible. Needless to say, I didn’t rent from them.
Remember that even though we have popular brands in the US like Avis, Budget and Hertz it doesn’t mean that they’re always the best option in Mexico. Renting a car in Mexico can be tricky so read at company reviews and do your research!
I dug in a bit more and finally came across a list of reputable rental companies in Mexico. BBB Rent A Car was one of the top mentions. They’re located in Baja California Sur (and primarily serve the Cabo San Lucas area). They have a no frills website but they had a ton of great reviews across Google and TripAdvisor, had clear details on what they do (and do not) charge for and provided detailed info on insurance. The quote they give you is exactly what you’ll pay and is based on the car price and the insurance type you get. No hidden fees or random charges tacked on. Yay!
I emailed them for a quote and received an email a few hours later with my rate and options (and explanations of insurance). They don’t charge for an additional driver so I added the fiance on as a backup. The whole process was clear and they answered all the questions I had.
Once we arrived we looked for the green shirts that they mentioned for Josephine’s Taxi. Look for the wording on the shirts as we noticed that many drivers wore the same shade of green. BBB pays the taxi directly so you don’t have to worry about paying the driver yourself.
The paperwork at BBB was a breeze. The gas level was noted (bring it back with the same amount), scratches dents and other details were noted on the paperwork, we reviewed the insurance options and bam, done! There we no hard sells, trying to upgrade us or any of that nonsense.
If you’re renting a car in Mexico and are within their coverage area I highly recommend checking out BBB Rent a Car!
A Note on Insurance
The only MANDATORY insurance you need in Mexico is Basic Personal Liability Insurance (also called Third Party Liability Insurance). A lot of companies will push you to have additional insurance so research your options before you leave to know what you actually need to have.
Many credit cards will cover CDW (Collision Damage Waiver) aka Loss Damage Waiver (LDW) so check the cards you have to see if they will provide adequate coverage for you. I have the Chase Sapphire Preferred, a great travel card btw, so I declined this insurance at BBB.
Always play it safe and know before you go!! Renting a car in Mexico can be done without pulling your hair out so research companies and find one with a good reputation and honest business practices.
I’ve read that other reliable companies include Cactus, Ace, America Car Rental (in the Cancun area).
Have you found a reliable car rental company in Mexico? Let us know in the comments!