Car Rental Tulum

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Cheap Car Rental in Tulum: 2023 Guide & Tips

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Car Rental in Tulum for even just one day can seem like an insurmountable task, however we have the perfect tips to make sure you don’t get taken advantage of! Mexico is full of breathtaking sites that are hard to reach without your own form of transportation.

So why not take advantage and explore as many cities as possible while on vacation with a rental? We’ve got all the tricks and insights so you know exactly what kind of vehicle fits your needs, how much it will cost, and how long it’ll take from start to finish! 


🇲🇽 Mexico Travel Resources We Use:


Car Rental Tulum

If you are looking for an effortless, stress-free vacation experience, the renting a car is ideal! There are several car rental locations in Tulum and Cancun that offer both Mexican and American companies; some of these businesses can be found within town as well as at Cancun Airport (map). Once you arrive to your destination, picking up a car will be quick and hassle-free.

Our comprehensive reviews on the top car rental services in Tulum and Cancun will help you make an educated decision. We evaluate which company has the most competitive pricing for budget-conscious travelers, which one allows credit card reservations, and what kind of vehicles they offer – from economy to luxury SUVs that are all automatic transmissions. Get ready to hit the open road … Vamos!

Renting a car in Tulum

Exploring Mexico by car is one of the greatest ways to take in its beauty, however there are certain parts that may not be as secure for traveling. Thankfully, Tulum and the Riviera Maya along with all of Yucatan Peninsula provide travelers a safe haven when it comes to driving solo. With this knowledge in mind, let me answer some common queries you might have regarding your journey!

Rent a Car in Tulum

Do I need a car in Tulum?

Do you desire a convenient and cost-effective way to get around Tulum quickly and securely? If so, renting your own car is the perfect option! Taxi services in this area are known for their extortionate rates; therefore, having your vehicle will save you from these outrageous prices.

If you’re trying to navigate around town, public transportation is highly unreliable and can derail your entire dream vacation. Otherwise, when it comes to exploring the cenotes of Riviera Maya and all its attractions outside Tulum – taxis or organized tours are necessary forms of transport. While these methods have their benefits too, ultimately, it boils down to personal preference in terms of how one chooses to travel best. That being said – we won’t be delving into that here today!

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Rental Car Tulum

Is it safe to rent a car in Tulum?

Renting a car in an unfamiliar place can be a daunting task, so this post will ensure you are fully prepared. Despite potential risks associated with renting anywhere, from your home country to Tulum, securing extra insurance can grant peace of mind and provide additional safeguards for a safe rental experience. By following the advice outlined here, you’ll be able to rent Rental Car Tulum safely and effectively!

Which Vehicle Type should you rent?

Economy or Compact

If you plan to travel between major cities in Mexico such as Cancun and Tulum, this is the most cost-effective option. However, if your trip includes a journey more than three hours long, it’s best to book an upgrade model – Mexican roads can be uncomfortable so comfort should take precedence! With this option you will save some money on your travels throughout Mexico.


If you choose to rent this vehicle, you will have the assurance that it can take you almost anywhere. On the other hand, if your plans include mainly city excursions (Tulum gets congested easily), then a different car might be more suitable for your needs. But rest assured that this option is ideal when traveling without hiccups along the way!

Scooter or Motorbike

Touring Mexico on a scooter or motorbike is an excellent way to save time in the busy Tulum and beach areas. But be aware that if you’re planning longer trips, such as from Tulum to Playa del Carmen, public transportation may be your best bet due to highway restrictions for scooters. Additionally, sudden rain can often occur in these parts of Mexico, so having a car … even just for transporting items … could prove invaluable!

Car Rental Tulum

The best rental car companies in Tulum

There is no straight answer to finding the best car rental company, Discover Cars website provides a convenient way of comparing prices and selecting the most cost-effective option. Not only that, they also provide full insurance coverage – though you must pay for any damages upfront before seeking reimbursement afterward. With all these factors taken into account, it will depend on seasonality and availability when making your selection.


🇲🇽 Mexico Travel Resources We Use:


To save yourself from the hefty transfer costs, you could always collect your car directly from Cancun Airport. A rental company representative will be available to pick you up at the airport and take you where your vehicle is parked. The most popular suggestions include American Car Rental or MEX Cars; both offer reasonable rates, although be sure to read all of their Terms & Conditions to avoid any hidden fees that may arise in the future!

Cost of renting a car in Tulum

When looking to rent a car in Tulum, you must be aware that prices vary depending on the vehicle and season. They can range anywhere from 15 USD to 80 USD; however, some offers may appear too good to be true … and they often are! Before diving right into these incredible deals, make sure you click through for all the details. Many times this “low” rate refers only to the cheapest vehicle option, while other costs such as taxes or insurance could get tacked onto your bill later – leaving you with far more than anticipated. So when it comes down to those tempting rentals advertised at rock-bottom rates: read up first before signing anything!

With DiscoverCars Rental, you can clearly view what’s included in each of the available rental options so that you can confidently choose the one best for your needs. Plus, it is highly suggested to take a screenshot of whatever is shown as being included just in case there are any discrepancies at pick-up time when they don’t follow through with their promises.

What do you need to be able to rent a car in Tulum, Mexico?

If you’re planning a trip to Tulum, Mexico (or anywhere in the country), here is a comprehensive list of documents that you must bring along if you’re looking to rent a car.

IDP (International Drivers Permit)

1. A Valid Driver’s License (or IDP)

If you’re planning on renting a car in Tulum, then it couldn’t be easier! You don’t need to worry about an international driving permit; just use your own license from home. However, if the official language of your country doesn’t feature Latin letters and symbols, then you will need an International Driver’s License for safe travels.

2. Minimum age for renting a car in Mexico?

In Mexico, you must be at least 21 years old to rent a car; however, if you are between the ages of 18 and 25, there may be an additional fee known as the “young driver surcharge” which varies from company to company. Additionally, many rental companies require that your driving license has been valid for one or two years before they will allow you to rent with them.

3. A Valid Credit Card

If you’re planning to rent a car in Tulum or any other part of Mexico, be sure to bring along your credit card. The rental agency will do an authorization hold on your Credit Card for the amount equal to the cost of damages and fines that may occur during use. This is why I always recommend getting full insurance coverage with no deductibles (deducible in Spanish), which reduces the amount held by the car rental company. For more information about this topic, feel free to read our section below!

When renting a car, you may be able to use your debit card, but not all rental companies accept them. This isn’t advised as it won’t hold the money on your account – instead, they’ll make a full charge before refunding if everything goes according to plan. However, this could take some time for that amount of money to appear in your account again. To avoid any potential issues when booking at Tulum, we recommend getting yourself a credit card prior to leaving home!

4. Car Insurance is mandatory

When it comes to driving in Mexico, Mexican Personal Liability Insurance is a legal requirement. Although different companies have varying costs for their insurance coverage, generally, you can expect to pay around $7-10 USD per day for the minimum required by law. Typically this cost should be included within your basic rental fees; however, there may still be an excess amount that needs paying should any damages occur during your journey. In such cases, Collision Damage Waiver (CDW) is usually also covered but includes its own deductible as well.

I always advise getting comprehensive insurance with no deductible for your own assurance. That’s what I do, and it is worth the cost. However, remember that each car rental has its own pricing and coverage policy in place.

What if I have my own insurance?

When deciding on a car rental in Mexico, it’s important to first determine if your credit card company offers insurance coverage. You’ll want to confirm this prior to departing from the United States because some vehicle rentals may require proof that you have coverage. Additionally, be aware that when you arrive at the car rental agency they may try and persuade you into purchasing full insurance but liability is all that is legally required by law and should already be built into the cost.

If you choose to use the insurance that comes with your credit card, be sure that it is valid for Mexico. Additionally, keep in mind that a credit card will not cover any costs associated with damages or accidents during travel. Therefore, anticipate having access to funds and know the process of getting reimbursed from your insurance company upon returning home. Ultimately, I recommend buying car rental coverage directly through the car company – it’s easier!

Car Rental in Tulum

Common Scams when you rent a car in Tulum

Be mindful of potential costs that may not be included in the initial price. Satellite radio could come with a daily $5 surcharge, whereas GPS navigation systems might cost around $50 each week. Additionally, if you’re traveling with others and plan to have them take the wheel too, don’t forget to account for additional driver taxes; otherwise any unfortunate accidents won’t be covered by insurance without their name on file beforehand!

Many car companies offer rates without taxes included – take advantage of this when possible! Lastly, don’t forget about purchasing separate insurances for tires, windows and minor damages; these are essential components in any good road trip planning kit.

1. Insurance

Despite the additional cost of full insurance, I find great comfort knowing that my car rental is completely covered. The only obstacle to overcome is ensuring it’s a genuine zero deductible plan – hence why asking: ‘What isn’t included?’ gives you all the information you need to make sure your coverage is complete.

2. Gas

When you rent a car, the rental company will provide an initial form indicating how much gas is in the vehicle when it’s picked up. To avoid any additional fees, ensure that upon return of your rental car there is no less than this amount; if more fuel has been added, sadly no refund will be provided! Therefore to save yourself from paying extra costs and penalties make sure to take note of nearby petrol stations prior to returning your rental so as not to miss out on filling it back up at its proper level.

3. Taxes, fees, and penalties

At first glance, the introductory rental rate may seem incredible; however, you need to factor in sales tax, local taxes, airport fees and licensing costs to discover what it’s really going to cost. Before making your reservation make sure you ask about these hidden expenses – it should be your top priority question or else risk a nasty surprise!

4. Missing information

When I rented my car with American Car rental, I found out that it was essential to report every single incident before returning the vehicle in order for my full insurance coverage to be applicable. Failures to do this could result in a lapse of protection and security – so make sure you ask plenty of questions and read all the fine print!

5. Other details

When renting a car, costs and fees can fluctuate depending on the duration of your rental as well as when you arrive. In case your flight is canceled or if plans shift unexpectedly, some agencies have zero cancellation fees while others may retain a small percentage. Additionally, certain companies may reimburse unused days should an alteration occur; however, other establishments might not offer such leniency.

When renting a vehicle, daily fares are typically based on 24-hour increments, so you’ll need to return the car at roughly the same time as when it was picked up. While some rental companies provide an hour of grace before charging for an extra day, others may charge per each additional hour after that window has closed. To avoid any hidden fees or unexpected expenses, ensure to ask about such policies during your pickup in case they don’t volunteer the information!

How to avoid Tulum car rental scams

With everything mentioned in mind, how can you safeguard yourself from potential fraud when renting a car in Tulum? To help protect your peace of mind while traveling, here are some practical tips:

1. Ask for hidden Costs

When you make a reservation, make sure to inquire about any hidden costs that may be excluded from the original quote. Additionally, double-check at the collection counter in case there were any miscalculations or omissions during your booking process. Apart from accessories, make sure you inquire about mileage restrictions and roadside assistance. Formerly free of cost, these services are now covered if you have bought a certain type of insurance policy. Furthermore, don’t forget to ask for any late fines that may arise – often commencing thirty minutes after the time your vehicle comes due back.

2. Gas

Don’t forget to verify the level of gasoline in your vehicle when you acquire it and make sure that this is accurately documented on the form they will provide. Make certain to fill up before returning back near the rental company, fueling along your route there.

3. Check penalty costs

Before renting a car in Tulum, it’s best to ask the car hire about their refund policies for canceled flights and early drop-offs. Make sure you know if there are any fees associated with this, as well as whether or not they can provide refunds on your rental. That way, you’ll have peace of mind knowing that your money is secure should something go awry during your trip.

4. Check the Car

Make sure you Check the rental with the car rental agent. Before releasing the car to you, the rental agent will carefully evaluate its body and features in order to document any existing marks or missing items as well as fuel level on a signed form.

It is essential that both parties agree upon this paper’s accuracy before signing it off; otherwise, make sure you keep your copy for when returning the vehicle later. Additionally, take photos and videos of every hint of damage so there’s no doubt about who was responsible if something goes wrong afterwards.

Renting a car in Tulum FAQ

Driving in Mexico

How are the roads in Tulum, Mexico?

The highway between Cancun and Tulum is one of the busiest, most well-maintained multi-lane roads. Additionally, two lane freeways link up to Coba and on from there to Chichen Itza. Although crime isn’t a major issue here, I strongly recommend avoiding driving at night since dangers such as bikes, wild animals or even people pop up unexpectedly.

Should you get a full coverage insurance for an additional price?

While the basic insurance that you purchase per day usually cover all your needs for a single trip, I strongly suggest getting additional extended coverage if traveling to other regions in Mexico or taking multiple excursions. For just 20 USD a day, this extra protection will be worth it should anything go wrong during your journey.

Is there Uber in Tulum?

Unfortunately, there is no Uber in Tulum. Taxis can be expensive and not worth the cost; I suggest that you rent a car instead to ensure your travels are convenient yet affordable during your time here.

How old do you need to be to rent a car in Mexico?

In order to be eligible, you must be at least 21 years old and present valid documents like a driver’s license or passport/ID.

Where is should you rent a car in Tulum from?

When you’re looking to book a car, Discover Cars is the ideal place. They offer the most reasonable rates by comparing all major car rental companies and finding you the best deal. After your booking, they will let you know precisely where in Tulum your chosen vehicle can be found!

Are car rentals in Cancun Mexico automatic or stick shift?

Although the majority of car rental agencies in Mexico have automatic vehicles, you may be able to get a cheaper price on your rental by requesting a stick shift car.

What side of the road do they drive on in Mexico?

Driving in Mexico is on the road’s right side.

Traveling to 🇲🇽 Mexico soon?

I recommend these travel resources for Mexico that I personally use:

🏨 Hotels: I have found that Expedia and consistently have the best deals on hotels and resorts in Mexico. If you prefer to stay at a vacation rental, check VRBO that is usually cheaper than AirBnB’s added fees!

✈️ Flights: To find the best flight deals to Mexico, I always use Kayak. Remember to subscribe to their price alerts for the travel dates you want. Another great alternative for flight deals is Expedia.

🚗 Rental Cars: I always use and highly recommend Discover Cars because it allows me to compare several car rental companies and view ratings on various factors such as overall value, pick-up procedure, agent efficiency, car condition, and total time taken.

🚙 Cancun Airport Transportation: For the fastest and easiest way to travel, I suggest arranging a private transfer with Cancun Airport Transportation. Honestly, no better way to travel from the airport to your hotel or resort.

🤿 Tours & Activities: For tours and activities in Mexico, I highly recommend using either Viator or GetYourGuide. These websites offer a full refund if you cancel your booking 24 hours before the start of the tour, and they also provide excellent customer service in case of any issues.

🚨 Travel Insurance: I always suggest purchasing travel insurance as a precaution before traveling, especially after a recent accident in a taxi in Mexico. For short trips, I recommend Travel Insurance Master, whereas for digital nomads, Safety Wing is a better option.

📷 Best Camera for your trip: I always carry with me a GoPro, It’s light, compact, takes great video and pictures, and most importantly, it’s waterproof! You just can’t go wrong with one. If you are interested in higher quality video and photography, I always carry with me on my trips and highly recommend the Sony A7IV which I think is the best travel DSLR Camera out there.

☀️ Biodegradable Sunscreen: Remember to include a good sunscreen to protect yourself from the summer sun. I always use and suggest Sun Bum Sunscreen, which is vegan, reef-friendly, and cruelty-free.