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Driving in Mexico.

A fresh, honest approach to car rental

Ancient ruins aplenty.

Located between the United States and Central America beaches, Mexico is full of diverse landscapes, consisting of mountains, jungles and deserts.

With ancient ruins built by the Aztecs at Teotihuacan or the Chichen Itza by the Mayans at Yucatan, the country is laden with historical landmarks. Mexico also caters to modern life however, with the beaches of Cancun bordering the Caribbean Sea, various resorts and famous nightlife, there is always something that can accommodate your stay. Watch out for pot-holes in Mexico, as some roads are not government maintained. 

You can find out more about the famous destinations in Mexico, or read our Mexican travel guide for more information.

Tips for driving in Mexico

Which side of the road do they drive on?

Drive on the right, overtake on the left unless stated otherwise. Many highways have left hand exits where if you wish to get to the opposite side of the road, you must use the returno system. This involves using particular areas to safely make a u-turn.

Seat belts

Where fitted, seat belts are mandatory for everyone in the vehicle when driving in Mexico.

Blood alcohol limit

The national drink drive limit is 0.8 mg per ml. Alternatively, the maximum level of alcohol in the blood permitted is 0.08%. In some states however, the limit is lower. These include:

  • Aguascalientes, Chiapas, Distrito Federal, Estado de México, Hidalgo, Jalisco, Michoacán, Tamaulipas, and Veracruz – the drink drive limit is 0.04%.
  • Chihuahua – the drink drive limit here is 0.05%


We would advise to stick to proper parking spaces in populated and well-lit areas to avoid possible car crime. There are a number of areas with metered parking now, which are marked with white lines in the road indicating where you can park. The hours of operation will vary but are clearly marked on the meters and signs.

What should I do if I breakdown?

Should you breakdown on a highway, especially where toll-roads are, a patrolling vehicle from the ‘Angeles Verdes’ may find and help you (Known as the ‘Green Angels’, they will patrol the roads, looking for broken down vehicles , trying to help out with minor repairs and at times, selling fuel. They will be in green trucks and will provide free help, towing you to the nearest town if necessary).

Tolled highways will have wired telephones posted every few miles, however if you are not on a tolled highway, you will need to walk back to the nearest town or village for help if the mobile phone reception is not available. In the event of a breakdown, please contact the car rental provider for more information. 

What should I do if I have an accident?

If you’re in an accident, you MUST notify the Police and the car rental provider and get an accident report for insurance purposes. Failure to do so may result in you footing the whole bill. It is recommended that you contact us at the same time to ensure you follow the correct procedure.

If you happen to be involved in a minor incident, the other party may simply drive away as a lot of local civilians will not have insured vehicles. Be careful and call the car rental provider immediately in any case. 

Toll roads

The total cost to pay on each toll road is dependent on how far along you travel it, meaning you effectively pay for the journey in separate parts, with booths set up along the highway.

Each time you go through a booth you pay a fee which then covers the cost to the next toll booth.

Driving distances

Chichen Itza to Coba – 107km (1hr 25mins)

Chichen Itza to Tulum – 149km (1hr 58mins)

Tulum to Cancun – 131km (1hr 46mins)

Cancun to Zocalo – 1607km (18hrs 17mins)

Cancun to Ik Kil – 201km (3hrs 1min)

Merida to Akumal – 284km (3hrs 4mins)

Ensenada to Tijuana – 105km (1hr 29mins)

Ensenada to La Paz – 1370km (16hrs 30mins)

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