(Driving in Mexico can be fun!)
WHY RENT A CAR IN THE COSTALEGRE?
If you're an adventurous individual with a free wheeling spirit and an open transportation budget, renting a car for a few days can be an exciting and rewarding experience. The main advantage is that you can have a wide-area overview of the Costalegre in a short period of time, and explore places that are impractical to visit by any other means. The disadvantages are primarily the expense of the rental, fuel and insurance, and the apprehension of driving on Mexican highways, and the few security risks this may involve.
Renter must have a major credit card in their own name, a valid drivers license and identification. Renter must be at least 25 years of age. There are various costs associated with car rentals; rental fees, taxes, vehicle license fees, surcharges & airport fees. Find out the cost of all individual fees before you leave with the car, so there will not be any financial surprises when you bring the car back. Know exactly what you are paying for!
There may be additional fees for:
1) Underage driver.
2) You must pay more to have more than one driver.
3) Mileage charges per km over set distance, usually 200 km.
4) Refueling charge (Always fuel-up before returning vehicle).
5) Optional physical damage waiver.
6) Late rental return fees.
WHERE TO RENT A CAR:
BARRA DE NAVIDAD
Crazy Cactus Car Rentals, Calle 21 de Noviembre No.60, Phone (315).355.6091
SAN PATRICIO MELAQUE
Vasa Costa Alegre Car Rental, Gómez Farias No.36-D, 315.355.8981
Located in San Patrico across from MexEco tours.
Rental Cars San Patricio, Emiliano Zapata No.119, 315.112.3347, 315.112.4586
Located in central San Patricio on MX-200 highway.
MANZANILLO AIRPORT (ZLO)
Local (3).333.3741 (Mexico 01.800.709.5000)
National & Budget here also.
PUERTO VALLARTA AIRPORT (PVR)
GUADALAJARA AIRPORT (GDL)
CAR RENTING TIPS:
• In Puerto Vallarta & Manzanillo citys, be wary of car rentals tied to timeshare promotions. The rental cost will be unbelievably low, but.....you may be obligated to sit through hours of timeshare sales pitches if you sign for their "low cost" rental.
• Make sure you view the vehicle before you sign a rental agreement. Some outstation rental establishments bring in cars from their main office, but only after you sign.
• Be sure you check the vehicle for damage before you drive away. Have the attendant write down any dint or blemish that you see. Refuse the car it they don't.
• If there are 2 or more people in your party, be sure to rent a four door model. A larger vehicle will also give you a more comfortable ride. Consider one with air-conditioning.
• Try to rent a car that does not have the rental companies name painted on it. You will stand out as a tourist and be a possible crime target, especially if you are going to drive to remote areas.
• Be careful about renting private vehicles. You may not be covered by the owners insurance policy. Deal only with reputable, well know rental agencies. Make sure you get a rental contract.
• If you know before hand that you will be renting a car in Costalegre, pre-book ahead of time (from home) to save money. A vehicle will be reserved for you when you arrive. Reservations are usually held for 2 hours after scheduled pick-up time. If your flight is late, reservation will be held for 2 hours past the new arrival time.
• Once on the road, be wary of TOPES (speed bumps), which are often unmarked and quite large. A Volkswagen beetle can actually become airborne driving highway speeds. Topes seem to appear out of nowhere, but you are sure to find them on both sides of small pueblos that only have a few buildings showing. Fortunately most topes are well marked with yellow/white painted stripes.
• Keep in mind the extra costs for fuel, and the location of gas stations along your travel route.
• During busy seasons, the selection of vehicle models, quality and size is limited. Sometimes the quality of the vehicles can be quite low, so pick your vehicle carefully.
• Always ask if everything in the vehicle functions - speedometer, brakes, emergency breaks, etc., and try them before you leave rental agency.
• It pays to shop around, as rental rates and vehicles vary widely.
• Learn and obey all Mexican traffic rules.