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Renting a car?

Chicago, Illinois
Level Contributor
233 posts
Renting a car?

We will be renting a minivan from Cancun Airport this December. Is it ok to rent from Priceline, Orbitz etc? Or do you recommend a different rental company?

I'm also confused about the insurance, etc. Everything I read says you MUST buy the insurance. Are they talking about the CDW offered through Priceline for $11/day? Will that be sufficient? We also have a Chase Sapphire Reserve card. Do I need additional insurance besides this?? How do I go about getting that?

10 replies to this topic
Destination Expert
for Akumal, Riviera Maya, Cancun, Yucatan Peninsula
Level Contributor
25,869 posts
9 reviews
1. Re: Renting a car?

Renting through a third party (e.g. Priceline, Orbitz, etc.) is NEVER recommended; you need to rent directly from the company providing the vehicle.

By the time you factor in all the insurance experienced renters recommend, you're looking at around US$40 per day. Do NOT rely upon any insurance you think you may have with your credit card; odds are it's not valid in Mexico. Even if it is, the way their system works, you'll be held in jail until you pony up the cash to pay for all damages, lost wages, injuries etc. - yes, possibly even if you re not at fault. In the [unlikely] event your credit card insurance is valid in Mexico, you *may* be able to file a claim with them when you get back to the US for reimbursement ... but I suspect that will be of precious little comfort when you're languishing in a Mexican jail cell.

For more information about renting cars, I strongly recommend this thread - https://www.tripadvisor.ca/ShowTopic-g319884…

Edited: 08 August 2018, 01:15
Texas Gulf Coast...
Level Contributor
8,449 posts
134 reviews
2. Re: Renting a car?


I agree with HolaGata, and great advice shared with you by her. However one slight correction: if you are traveling around the holidays, you can expect premium pricing to be in effect. Also the quoted ~ $40 / day is for a small(er) standard 4 door sedan (maybe even manual transmission). For a minivan around the holidays I would expect somewhere in the neighborhood of ~ $75 / day, all in (including the necessary and required insurance coverage.

And I would DEFINETELY NOT rent from a 3rd party site around the holidays....... because like everything else..... when the inventory gets thin, is the rental company going to let one of their minivans go for < $40 per day through a 3rd party site or are they going to give the same vehicle to a family that booked directly with them for ~ $75 / day. Hope this helps; safe travels.


Southern California
Level Contributor
15,584 posts
1 review
3. Re: Renting a car?

Here is pricing from one local company I have used in the past which includes all insurance and zero deductible:


As you can see, a mini van will cost almost $100 per day and more if you are traveling over the Christmas holidays.

Liability insurance is mandatory by law.

Orange County...
Level Contributor
53 posts
1 review
4. Re: Renting a car?

We just got back from Cancun today and ultimately rented a car at the very last minute. And it was the most expensive one day rental we’ve ever had to pay for, including rentals in Europe and New Zealand. We had no other choice but to rent since we only had one day where we can go to xel ha and missed the cutoff for the tours. For an older super basic car, Chevy Aveo, we paid usd$80+ (1600 pesos) Automatic car with full coverage $0 deductible. Mind you that’s already after haggling it, the fixed price listed was 2100 pesos. We booked it from the rental car booth at our hotel at presidente intercontinental literally the day we were heading out to xel ha. Otherwise one way taxi quote we got from our hotel was usd$200 iirc! Our bad though for not planning the logistics before we left for our trip, but we rationalized it by having the flexibility to stay as long as we can at xel ha and not having to worry about waiting and unnecessary stops. FWIW, I also have chase sapphire reserve and specifically paid for the rental with it. Yes the t&c’s does not indicate Mexico as an exclusion therefore primary coverage kicks in. The country I see most commonly excluded is Ireland btw. For our peace of mind though we availed the comprehensive insurance. Anyone comment on whether we got ripped off with the rental charge? Definitely learned our lesson, no more last minute bookings if we can help it.

Destination Expert
for Akumal, Riviera Maya, Quintana Roo, Puerto Morelos
Level Contributor
46,153 posts
5. Re: Renting a car?

most expensive one day rental we’ve ever had to pay for,

That is what you get for last minute bookings or using 3rd party websites

I rent for many weeks every year - here are my recommendations


Cozumel, Mexico
Destination Expert
for Cozumel, Merida
Level Contributor
48,664 posts
159 reviews
6. Re: Renting a car?

You paid too much, D3. One thing you should never do is to buy or book rental cars with anyone at your hotel. You will always pay much more than you can get a similar service elsewhere

Halifax, Canada
Destination Expert
for Cancun, Puerto Aventuras, Yucatan Peninsula
Level Contributor
6,738 posts
27 reviews
7. Re: Renting a car?

Also travelfan, be sure to also research how to avoid gas station scams and what to do if stopped by police and they demand money.

Level Contributor
5,065 posts
265 reviews
8. Re: Renting a car?

No one asked, so I will - what do you need the vehicle for - are you traveling away from Cancun itself? You don't need a vehicle in the hotel zone itself, and often arranging a round trip transfer 9and organized tours) is less of a hassle than trying to drive yourself.

Dallas, Texas
Level Contributor
2,536 posts
51 reviews
9. Re: Renting a car?

Isis, Easyway and Avant are 3 companies that are highly recommended. Please don’t book thru 3rd party sites. So glad you got on and asked before your trip was a nightmare. Don’t let the name brand rentals like Hertz and Dollar fool you, they are not part of the US chain and not recommended at all.

Orange County...
Level Contributor
53 posts
1 review
10. Re: Renting a car?

Lesson learned for sure. I didn’t really pay too much attention and didn’t realize it was a third party rental. My credit card charge shows Thrifty. For next time, is it relatively easy to book direct from the local companies mentioned above? Even last minute or same day? Or are the offices located somewhere far? Just curious what would be a reasonable daily rate for an automatic car such as the Chevy Aveo?

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