Can You Drive a Rental Car from the U.S. to Mexico?


If you are taking a trip to Mexico, you may want to drive so that you can have your own transportation throughout the trip. However, you may also prefer to take a rental car instead of your own. If that’s the case, you are going to want to be sure that you are prepared in advance, as there are certain protocols you will have to follow, that are different than driving a rental in the United States.

There are several rental car companies that will let you drive a rental into Mexico (such as Avis, Budget, Dollar, Enterprise, Fox Rent a Car, Hertz, National, and Thrifty). It’s important to be aware that most rental car companies will have rules and regulations specific to their company when traveling to Mexico. For example, only select locations of the rental company will have cars available to travel to Mexico (typically in border states or towns). One way rental might not be an option, or there may be restrictions on how many miles you can drive into Mexico past the border. Be sure to check with the particular car rental company on their rules for traveling to Mexico.

Necessary Documentation to Drive a Rental into Mexico

Everyone needs to have a passport, or other proof of U.S. citizenship, in order to travel to Mexico. However, if you are driving a rental car, you will also need to have the following:

  • Government-issued tourist card
  • Documentation for the car rental
  • A temporary import permit
  • Auto insurance from a Mexican company (which you can purchase at the rental facility)

Mexican Car Insurance

Since your United States’ car insurance is not valid in Mexico, you will want to be sure that you purchase Mexican Liability Insurance for the rental vehicle at the rental retailer. There are also options for Mexican auto insurance through AAA, Geico, and other popular insurance companies.

Once you understand the process of driving a rental car into Mexico, it can be a great option for travel. For more information on traveling to Mexico, check out our FAQ page.

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