Renting a Car in Mexico

After arriving in Cancun in American Airlines 787-9 Business Class from Dallas, we followed the masses to the exit and located the Hertz counter just outside. After checking in we were escorted outside to a waiting van that would take us to the rental car facility.

a white and yellow van parked outside a building

After a 5 minute drive we were dropped off at Hertz and there was a separate line for elite members so we had no wait. We ran through all of the rental car paperwork, agreements, additional insurance and a bunch of other things they were trying to sell us. We were also offered an upgrade from our midsize reservation to a Jeep Wrangler Unlimited/Gladiator for $20 a day but we declined. In hindsight, the upgrade would have made life easier as the road between Cancun and Tulum, while a 4-lane divided highway, does have some unmarked speed bumps.

They went off to get our vehicle and returned with a bright Blue Chevrolet Cavalier, basically a Malibu branded for the Mexican market. The car had some minor scrapes and scratches but overall was in good condition. We had booked the equivalent of a VW Jetta and were pleased that this car came with all the bells and whistles including leather, Apple CarPlay, cruise control, and ice cold AC.

a blue car parked in a parking lot
a close up of a bumper
the dashboard of a car

Since I am a travel blogger, I took plenty of photos of just about everything, including the car. I can’t stress the importance of doing this with rental cars in Mexico as, when we went to return the car, the station manager tried to charge us for a large scratch on the lid of the trunk. Thankfully I had taken plenty of photos at pickup of the vehicle and the existing damages. I showed him the photos on my phone, along with the timestamp and finally he agreed that the damage was pre-existing. I kept an eye on my credit card statement and a few days after the end of the trip Hertz released the hold without issue.

a blue car with doors open in a parking lot


Unless you are going to the hotel zone in Cancun, which it would make more sense to take a taxi/Uber to anyway, the roads can be very rough on vehicles so most of them had some sort of scratches or dents. Documentation of this existing damage at the time of pickup on the rental form is a great way to cover your basis, but something like the scratch on the trunk was something that even I overlooked. Fortunately I had the photos on my phone for reference and, after speaking with the manager we were told everything was good to go.

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