Am I Allowed to Drive a Rental Car Into Mexico?
You can’t argue that driving into Mexico is the best way to enjoy your trip. Likely, there are points of interest you want to stop at and what better way to do so than with your own vehicle? However, if you don’t want to drive your own car or don’t have one, you have another option — a rental car. Just make sure to speak with the rental company and your Mexico Insurance agent before you take your trip. You’ll also need to ensure you understand the border crossing regulations, along with the vehicle importation laws of Mexico.
Entering Mexico with Your Rental Car
As long as you stay in the Border Zone, which is 12 to 20 miles from the U.S. border, for no longer than 72 hours, then you won’t have to do anything. However, if you would like to drive further into Mexico or stay longer than 72 hours, then you are going to have to apply for a temporary import permit, as well as a tourist card. Before you are given a permit, you will have to pay a bond, which is refundable when you return your permit before it expires. Bonds typically cost a few hundred dollars, and depends on the year, make and model of your vehicle. All cars that enter Mexico are required to have Mexico auto insurance as well.
Know the Policies of Your Car Rental Agency
Not all car rental companies allow customers to drive their vehicles into Mexico. For instance, in 2014, Avis no longer allows its cars to pass the U.S. Border. However, there are other agencies that simply charge you an extra fee or place an additional hold on your credit card. Make sure to ask about the latest policies from the car rental agency you plan to rent from and make sure you secure the proper Mexico Auto Insurance.
Purchase Sufficient Auto Coverage
Since American auto insurance policies aren’t valid across the border, you’re going to have to purchase temporary Mexico insurance. Having Mexican auto insurance is important because without it, you won’t be able to pass the border. There are some American insurers that provide low-cost Mexican policies. Either way, you are going to need to buy your own insurance.
Things to Know When Crossing the Border
It is required that all U.S. Citizens, even minors, provide a passport or passport card at the Mexican border. If both parents aren’t present with the minor, the parent who is will need a notarized letter from the absent parent, giving permission to take the child across the border. You will also have to inform customs of all computers, video players, cameras and cell phones you have. There is a limit to one of each per person. If you have CDs and cassette tapes, then the limit is 20 per person. It is prohibited to bring firearms, ammunition and certain kinds of knives.
When looking for Mexico auto insurance for your rental car, make sure that the coverage provided is sufficient for your trip.