Can You Drive a Rental Car to Mexico?
The U.S. is getting ready to open the Mexico border to tourism again in November, after being closed since March of 2020. You may be starting to think about driving to Mexico, but maybe you’d prefer to drive a rental and save the mileage on your personal car. But can you legally drive a rental car to Mexico? The answer is yes, but not all rental companies allow it. And there are conditions and insurance requirements that must be met.
Which Rental Car Companies Allow You to Drive into Mexico?
You’re in luck! Most major car rental companies allow their vehicles to be driven into Mexico. There are some restrictions though:
- The trip may not be one-way, meaning you must bring the vehicle back into the U.S. to drop it off.
- Most rental companies also require that the vehicle be rented in one of the border states, so you must rent your car in Arizona, Texas, New Mexico, or California.
- Some companies also require that you stay within 250 miles of the border during your visit.
- You will be required to show proof of Mexican auto insurance to take your rental car across the border.
- You will need a letter of permission from the rental company to bring the vehicle into Mexico. (Most companies will not provide this without proof of Mexico insurance.)
- Other documents you will need include a valid driver’s license (for the person driving the vehicle), a valid passport, a tourist visa, and your car rental documentation.
Rental Car Insurance in Mexico
The most important thing to consider when thinking of driving your rental car to Mexico is the insurance situation. Your U.S. auto insurance is not valid in Mexico, and you must have Mexican liability insurance on a rental car being driven in Mexico.
Car insurance in Mexico must be issued by a Mexican company. Your rental car company may offer to sell you Mexican car insurance, but you’re better off purchasing insurance from a company that specializes in providing insurance for people driving to Mexico.
Insurance from Rental Company VS Managing General Agency
A Managing general agency (MGA) is a company that sells insurance coverage for other insurers. The advantage is they can alter or improve policies based on the needs of their customers. For example, since Mexico requires you be insured by Mexico domiciled insurers, the MGA can negotiate bilingual adjusters and claims agents. Or if a Mexican insurer does not have an online presence, the MGA can arrange to offer policies that can be purchased online, by phone, or in person by English speakers.
Mexpro is an MGA that provides A-rated Mexico insurance. We recommend your policy include the following:
- $300,000 to $500,000 worth of liability coverage: if you are in an accident, you may be liable for any damages caused. If you do not have insurance, or cash to cover the damages, you may be placed in a Mexican jail until you can fulfill your financial obligation. $300,000 is the minimum coverage allowed by Mexican law.
- Medical Payments Coverage for the driver and passengers in your vehicle: Mexican law does not recognize passenger liability in personal vehicles, so medical coverage is not included with your liability insurance.
- Legal Assistance: legal assistance helps keep you out of jail and assists you when dealing with the authorities. Bilingual assistance is invaluable when negotiating legal issues in Mexico. Mexico considers traffic accidents to be both a civil and criminal offense, unlike the U.S. where traffic offenses are primarily civil. If you are in an accident, you need someone familiar with Mexican law to help you navigate the system.
- Roadside / Travel Assistance: travel assistance insurance helps you navigate a variety of emergency situations, such as losing your passport, contacting your embassy, medical issues, or emergency situations with your vehicle.
At a minimum, your rental car company will require proof of liability coverage, and some will require you to carry full coverage to travel into Mexico.
Mexpro offers a variety of plans to meet your needs for coverage and price; from three different A-rated Mexico insurers.
Mexpro ONLY covers rental vehicles from the U.S. that are driven to Mexico. We do not insure cars rented in the interior of Mexico.
Mexico auto insurance will not cover your rental car while being driven in the United States.