Puerto Morelos, Mexico is a tranquil, laid back beach town on the Yucatan Peninsula, and makes the perfect home base for a vacation in the Riviera Maya. Having a rental car in Puerto Morelos is a great decision for most people, since it gives you the freedom to jet off to Cancun or Playa del Carmen for a day whenever you feel like it, or explore the many amazing ruins and natural wonders at your own pace.
Driving a rental car in Puerto Morelos and the surrounding areas isn’t much different from driving in the US – the Yucatan is one of the safest places to drive in the country and the main roads are generally well-maintained. However, there are some tips that travelers should follow when driving a rental car in Puerto Morelos in order to have the best vacation possible.
Tips for rental cars in Puerto Morelos
1. Get CDW/LDW coverage from your credit card company
Collision Damage Waiver/Loss Damage Waiver is a pseudo-insurance policy that covers damage to the rental car itself (which is not covered in the mandatory Liability Insurance). Most major credit cards offer a certain amount of CDW/LDW coverage for free as long as you use it to make the reservation and pay for it. To get it from your credit card, you must decline that coverage from the rental car agency in Puerto Morelos. Car rental companies will offer this protection for an extra fee, but it usually includes a deductible of 10-20% of the vehicle’s replacement cost.
2. Keep a copy of your rental car insurance in the glove box
Always, always, always have a copy of your Mexican Liability Insurance, CDW coverage and your car and health insurance policies from back home, just in case. The most important is the Liability Insurance – if you’re in an accident and can’t prove that you have enough insurance to cover the damages, you could find yourself waiting in a Mexican jail while the police figure out who was at fault and how much coverage you have.
3. Gas stations in Mexico are state-owned
There is only one chain of gas stations in Mexico, Pemex, and the prices are the same everywhere in the country. Be aware that most gas stations will only accept cash, and there may be very few gas stations on some long stretches of highway. For example, the toll road to Chichen Itza has few exits and few gas stations, so plan accordingly.
4. Watch out for potholes on smaller roads
The major and secondary highways in Riviera Maya and the roads in the city of Puerto Morelos are in pretty good shape. But be careful with rural highways, side roads, and pulling off onto shoulders – you might get an unpleasant surprise from a pothole. Potholes are actually the main reason people in Puerto Morelos don’t recommend driving at night.
5. Map your route ahead of time
The Mexican government has an app called Mappir that not only helps you plan a route from Point A to Point B, it will also estimate how much fuel it will take and what the costs of the route are (fuel, tolls, etc.). For example, it Mappir suggests 2 possible routes from Puerto Morelos to Chichen Itza: one has tolls, with a total cost of 697 pesos but only takes 3 hr 45 min; the second has no tolls with a total cost of 424 pesos but takes 4 hr 25 min.