Rent a Car for Travel in Mexico City

As one of the largest metropolises in the world, Mexico City can be challenging to navigate. With heavy traffic, limited parking, and attractions spread across the extensive metro area, having your own rental car makes getting around efficient and flexible. Follow this guide on renting and driving in Mexico City.

Finding Rental Car Companies in Mexico City

Mexico City is served by all the major international car rental brands, including:

  • Hertz
  • Avis
  • Budget
  • Thrifty
  • Europcar
  • Alamo
  • National
  • Enterprise

You’ll also find local Mexican rental chains like Adobe, ACE, and Sixt. Compare rates across multiple companies. Reserve cars well in advance for best availability and prices, especially during peak seasons.

Documentation and Requirements for Renting

Typical documentation required:

  • Valid driver’s license from your country
  • Passport
  • Major credit card for payment
  • Proof of adequate insurance coverage

Some companies have minimum age requirements, typically from 18-25 years old. There may be extra fees for drivers under 25. Clarify all policies when booking.

Types of Rental Cars Available

Car TypeExamplesDescription
EconomyNissan Tiida, Chevrolet SparkSmall, budget cars good for 1-2 passengers
CompactNissan Versa, Volkswagen JettaModestly sized for city driving
IntermediateChevrolet Aveo, Toyota CorollaMidsize sedans fitting 3-4 passengers
StandardNissan Sentra, Kia ForteFull-size sedans with good trunk capacity
SUVJeep Compass, Honda CR-VUseful for transporting families and luggage
LuxuryAudi A4, Volvo S60Premium vehicles with luxury amenities

Both manual and automatic transmissions are widely available. Automatic predominates in larger vehicle classes.

Driving in Mexico City – Rules of the Road

Key driving rules and practices in Mexico City:

  • Drive on the right side of the road
  • Seatbelt use mandatory for all passengers
  • Drunk driving laws strictly enforced
  • Yield to pedestrians in crosswalks
  • Right turn on red light permitted after full stop
  • Headlights must be on day and night
  • Hands-free cell phone use only when driving
  • Speed limits ranging from 20-80 km/h depending on area

Road conditions can be hazardous. Drive cautiously and defensively since local driving culture tends to be aggressive.

Useful Rental Car Tips for Mexico City

  • Reserve well ahead for best availability, rates
  • Inspect car thoroughly at pick-up for any damages
  • Purchase adequate insurance – Consider maximum coverage
  • Ask about GPS devices or apps to avoid getting lost
  • Have offline maps downloaded just in case
  • Get an FMM tourist permit from INM to avoid issues
  • Use designated secure parking lots rather than street parking
  • Keep belongings and valuables out of sight in car

Following these tips will give you peace of mind during your Mexico City rental experience.

Top Day Trip Destinations From Mexico City

Having your own wheels makes it easy to access amazing attractions near Mexico City. Here are some top day trips:

  • Teotihuacan – See iconic pyramids at this archaeological site. 45 min drive.
  • Puebla – Colonial era city with beautiful architecture. 1.5 hr drive.
  • Cuernavaca – Charming city with excellent food and lush gardens. 1.5 hr drive.
  • Toluca – High altitude town with great museums and traditional markets. 1 hr drive.
  • Valle de Bravo – Scenic lake town in a forested valley. 2 hr drive.
  • Cholula – See the Great Pyramid and try delicious cuisine. 1.5 hr drive.

Just be sure to fuel up, have pesos for tolls, and follow maps or GPS carefully when venturing beyond Mexico City.

FAQ About Renting a Car in Mexico City

What documents do I need to rent a car in Mexico City?

You will need a valid driver’s license, passport, major credit card, and proof of adequate insurance coverage from either your credit card or the rental company.

What side of the road do Mexicans drive on?

Mexico drives on the right side of the road, the same as the USA and Canada.

What insurance should I get when renting a car in Mexico City?

Purchase maximum liability and damage coverage. This is essential as accident liability laws are different in Mexico than other countries.

Is driving in Mexico City difficult?

Yes, heavy traffic, aggressive drivers, poor signage, and limited parking make driving demanding. Get a feel for conditions and allow plenty of extra time to reach destinations.

What is the minimum age to rent a car in Mexico City?

The minimum age ranges from 18 to 25 depending on rental company. Drivers under 25 often pay daily surcharges.


While challenging at times, having your own rental car makes seeing Mexico City’s immense urban sprawl and nearby sights much more convenient. Reserve early, inspect cars carefully, purchase adequate insurance, and study local driving practices. With a reliable rental car and a bit of patience, you’ll be able to enjoy both Mexico City’s cosmopolitan energy and surrounding colonial towns at your own pace. Just queue up your favorite playlists for the road and go explore!


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