Where to Rent a Car in Cancun: Useful Tips and Tricks to Find the Best Car Rental

Wondering where to rent a car in Cancun? Look no further.

In this post, I will tell you how I find the best car rental company in Cancun for a flawless trip.

I rent a car every time I go back to Cancun because it feels (and it is) safer and more comfortable to move around at my own pace without having to rely on taxis or the chaotic public transportation system.

I realized that Cancun is the only place in Mexico where I still struggle to find the perfect car rental.

With so many scam stories (which I will talk about in my posts on the most common Cancun car rental scams), the overwhelming number of car rental agencies, and the fear of hidden costs, choosing the right rental company can be overwhelming.

So in this post, I will try to break down my process of choosing the right car rental and what I research when it comes to deciding which car rental company works best for me.

Me in Bacalar.

Where to rent a car in Cancun?

There are several different places to rent a car in Cancun. There are over 16 major car rental agencies, operating out of over 60 different locations.

This means that there are a lot of options to search through to find the best price and car rental for you.

I usually prefer using local car rentals but they are not always the best deals.

What I usually recommend is using the Discover Cars platform, which takes a lot of the work out of finding a rental car.

Discover Cars is an online car rental platform that searches through hundreds of car rental agencies and the search result displays them in your preferred order, usually by price or type of cars.

The Discover Cars platform presents you with all available cars for your desired dates, shows you the price (including all fees), and lets you read customer reviews of the car agency.

This makes it easy to compare different car rental agencies- making your job of finding a rental car much easier. 

What makes me so fond of this platform is the number of positive reviews they receive.

In fact, they have more than 100,000 reviews, and a Trustpilot rating of 4.6 out of 5.

Then things can happen, unfortunately, but going through different car rental platforms I found this one with the best scores.

I wrote a detailed post about the pros and cons of using the Discover Cars platform if you want to learn more.

Booking your rental car with Discover Cars

Once you land in Cancun, you find people all over offering you rental cars- in the airport, at your hotel, and at tourism kiosks all over town.

While it is possible to rent a car without making a reservation, it is a good idea to book your rental car in advance, because you have the time to evaluate all the details of the contract and read the fine print (very important)

Using Discover Cars before you get to Cancun will let you compare prices and reviews- helping you pick the best value car for you.

Booking in advance can help you get the best price and make sure the type of car you want is available.

When you use Discover Cars to find a rental car, in addition to the date you want the rental car, you will need to choose a pickup location.

Here are the options for where to pick up your rental car:

๐Ÿ‘‰๐Ÿฝ Cancun Airport Car Rental

If you want a rental car for your entire vacation, it can be convenient and cost-effective to pick it up at the Cancun airport.

There are several different car rental agencies that operate at the airport, or very close.

Most of them have a free shuttle that will pick you up at your arrival terminal and take you to their office where you can sign paperwork and pick up your car.

Renting a car with an agency that is near the airport saves you the time, hassle, and money of having to get to a rental agency that is in downtown Cancun or in the hotel zone and also having to pay extra money for your transfer in and out of the airport.

At the end of your vacation, you can drive your rental car back to the agency, and their shuttle will take you to your departure terminal.

Tip: Always give yourself plenty of time to return your car rental and make it to your terminal on time. You donโ€™t want to ruin a great vacation by missing your flight because it took a bit longer to return your rental car than you anticipated.

View of Punta Cancun and its blue sea.

๐Ÿ‘‰๐Ÿฝ Where to rent a car in Downtown Cancun 

There are several car rental agencies in downtown Cancun.

Choosing to pick up your rental car in downtown Cancun is a good option if you are staying downtown and only want the rental car for part of your vacation, or if you had stayed somewhere else on the Riviera Maya and are passing through Cancun before exploring other areas.

When you search for downtown Cancun car rental pickups, Discover Cars will conveniently give you a map, showing where the rental agencies with available cars are located.

You can choose your rental car based on its price, agency reviews, and the convenience of the office. 

If you are not staying close to the car rental of your choice you can always get an Uber in Cancun.

After a huge dispute, Uber is now available in Cancun because it’s mainly used by taxis.

However, you should know that you cannot call a UBER if you are in the proximity of a taxi stand, in the Hotel Zone, or from the airport.

To learn more about getting an Uber from the airport, read my detailed post.

๐Ÿ‘‰๐Ÿฝ Cancun Puerto Juarez Car Rental

If you are staying in the Playa Mujeres section of Cancun or plan to spend a few days in Isla Mujeres before picking up a rental car, you can search Discover Cars for car rentals near Puerto Juarez.

There are fewer rental agencies in this area of town than at the airport, so if this is where you want to pick up a rental car, make sure to book your car early. 

๐Ÿ‘‰๐Ÿฝ Where to rent a car in Cancun Hotel Zone 

If you are staying in the Cancun hotel zone and want a rental car for part of your trip, you can search for rental cars in the area.

There are many different car rentals spread out along the Boulevard Kukulcan.

You can either walk in the 95ยฐF temperature and check them all out or you can book the best deal on Discover cars from your air-conditioned hotel room and then pick up your car from the selected car rental. ๐Ÿ˜œ

The search feature on Discover Cars allows you to search for the entire hotel zone, or for car rental agencies located at a few specific hotels and shopping centers including La Isla Shopping Village.

La Isla Shopping Village is a lovely open-air shopping center that is also home to restaurants, entertainment, and all sorts of services for tourists- including several car rental agencies. 

It is easy to move around the hotel zone to get from your hotel to the car rental agency.

You can use the public bus R1 or R2 lines which constantly move around the hotel zone or take a taxi.

Just like when you search for other Cancun locations, Discover Cars will show you a map of where the car rental offices are located. 

Discover Cars make it easy to compare prices and locations. You can also do a general search for all Cancun rental car pickup locations and look at them on the map.

It will show you prices and locations, so you can pick the best option. 

Drone view of Malecon Tajamar.

Types of available rental cars in Cancun

When you use Discover Cars to search for a rental car, it will show you how many cars are available, and what kind of car they are (including how much luggage they will hold). This is helpful if you are looking for a specific size car.

In general, the roads near Cancun are paved and in good shape, so you can do plenty of exploring with a car.

But, if you plan to explore far off-the-beaten-path cenotes, you may want to rent an SUV if it makes you feel safer.

Here are the kinds of cars available to rent on the Discover Cars site

โœ”๏ธ Small Cars

Discover Cars does not just break down rental options into cars, SUVs, and larger vehicles. It lets you search for small cars, medium cars, and large cars.

In the small car section, you will find mini and economic cars. These cars are a great option for solo drivers. couples or family. Because of their small size, they will have limited trunk space for luggage but are usually great on gas.

โœ”๏ธ Medium Cars

Medium cars are compact cars that usually have room for up to 5 passengers and 2 suitcases. Medium cars are a good option if you need a little more room for passengers or luggage.

They typically come in manual or automatic transmissions. Pay attention when booking what type of transmission the car has if you have a strong preference. 

โœ”๏ธ Large Cars

Large cars will be the most spacious option. They are a great option for groups that will have adults sitting in the back seat and need a little more room. Large cars have room for 5 passengers and 3 suitcases. 

โœ”๏ธ SUV

If you want to rent something bigger than a car, you can search for SUVs. SUVs typically have room for 5 people and 4 suitcases. Unless you plan to explore deep down jungle roads, you do not need to rent an SUV in Cancun.

โœ”๏ธ Vans

If you have a larger group, you can search for vans on Discover Cars. They have minivans that hold between 5 and 7 passengers.  

Aerial view of Cancun.

โœ”๏ธ Luxury Cars 

If you want to travel in style, you can search for luxury cars. Some rental agencies have sports cars available if that is something you are interested in! 

Discover Cars Cancun: Pros

Discover Cars is quickly becoming many peopleโ€™s go-to site for booking a rental car. Once you use it, you will see why. Here are the best parts of using Discover Cars:

๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿผ User-friendly comparison tool

One of the best features of Discover Cars is its easy to use comparison tool.

You save time because you can quickly see the different available cars, their cost, and customer reviews, without having to search each car rental agency individually. 

๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿผ Lots of affordable rental car options

If you search for a rental car in advance you will see up to hundreds of rental cars to choose from for your travel dates. You have plenty of options to compare features and prices and pick the best car for you.

๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿผ Complete rental car information

Discover Cars gives you complete and transparent information about the car you will rent- including mileage and gas policies- it is just your job to read all the information available.

You can also easily read other customersโ€™ reviews of the rental agency to help you make your decision.

๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿผ Less hidden charges

One of the worst parts of renting a car is seeing one price online only to be hit with hidden fees when you go to pick it up!

Thankfully, Discover Cars show the complete cost to rent the car so you can confidently book a car that is within your budget.

However, make sure you use all the platform features and read all the information they share about each car rental.

Many of the complaints about Discover Cars that I have been reading are from people that didn’t read the terms and conditions and had the wrong expectations.

Entrance of Coral Negro Flea Market in Cancun.

๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿผ 48-Hour cancellation policy

Sometimes your travel plans change, and Discover Cars allows you to cancel for a full refund up to 48 hours before your scheduled car pick-up.

This means you do not have to worry about paying for a rental car if your travel plans change. 

๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿผ Full coverage insurance

Mexico requires that everyone who rents a car carry insurance. Discover Cars offer affordable full coverage that you can purchase when you make your reservation.

Their insurance offers great coverage for damage to the exterior, lost keys, towing expenses, and any damage due to theft. Plus, if you have to process a claim, they will handle it quickly. 

๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿผ 24/7 customer support service

If you need any help with your car rental, you can call Discover Carsโ€™ 24 hours a day customer support for quick assistance. 

Entrance of La Isla.

Discover Cars Cancun: Cons

Discover Cars is a great platform to use to rent a car. To site is perfect though, and here are a few things to be aware of when you use their service:

๐Ÿ‘Ž๐Ÿผ Short grace period

Discover Cars is a platform that connects you with car rental agencies, so they do not have the power to help you if you return a rental car late.

Each rental car agency will have its own policies and grace periods if you return a car later than the agreed-upon time, and late car returns could result in a penalty fee or being charged an extra day’s rental. 

๐Ÿ‘Ž๐Ÿผ Less special deal offers

Since Discover Cars is a large platform, you do not see special offers that individual rental agencies offer.

Many car rental companies offer member discounts and frequent renter perks, which you will not get if you rent through Discover Cars.

If you rent cars often, you may want to look at loyalty programs with specific agencies.

Drone view of Cancun Beach and Lagoon.

๐Ÿ‘Ž๐Ÿผ High-security deposit fees

When you pick up a rental car, you will need to leave a security deposit, which is a hold of a certain amount of money from your credit card, to pay for any damages or traffic fines you incur.

The higher your insurance coverage, meaning the lower your deductible is, the lower your security deposit.

I always choose the full insurance with zero deductible which must be purchased directly with the car company.

This usually increases the total price of the car rental but it gives me peace of mind and also reduces the security deposit significantly.

If you only purchase Discover Cars full coverage, you will still have to leave a high-security deposit for the car rental. Once you drop the car off, if there isn’t any damage, it will be released in a couple of weeks.

Renting a car in Cancun tips

Renting a car in Cancun can help you make your vacation the trip of a lifetime. Remember, whenever you are renting a car, you will need to present a valid driverโ€™s license and be over 25.

It is possible to find car rentals for drivers under 25, but you will be usually charged an extra fee for that.

Be prepared that Mexico requires renters to carry liability insurance. Discover Cars offer a comprehensive insurance plan when you book your rental.

If you do not buy the insurance with Discover Cars, be prepared to purchase it directly with your rental agency. 

You will find the best car rental options when you book in advance.

As soon as you know you want to rent a car, start looking for a rental.

This is especially true if you are traveling during the high season when cars will be in the highest demand.

Thankfully, Discover Cars offers a 48-hour cancellation policy, so if your plans change you can get a full refund. 

Remember to read the other customer reviews while picking a rental car.

It can be tempting to go for the cheapest car, but if the agency has bad reviews, it is probably worth it to spend a little more money and hope for a better experience. 

Driving in Cancun and the surrounding areas is safe.

The roads are generally in good condition, well marked, and there is not too much traffic.

Remember to always pay attention to things like the speed limit, where speed bumps are, and always drive defensively.

Always drive defensively and remember to follow the same rules you would at home- no drinking and driving, wear a seatbelt and do not use your cell phone while driving.

You want to avoid getting pulled over or in an accident. 

View of the sunset in Isla Mujeres and Carribean coast -where to rent a car in Cancun?

Frequently Asked Questions About Where to Rent a Car in Cancun

Should you rent a car in Cancun?

That depends on what you want to do while on vacation.

If you plan to spend most of your time laying on the beach sipping margaritas- you do not need a rental car.

Cancun has easy-to-use public transportation that can take you all over, including to the most visited tourist areas.

That said, having a car lets you explore on your own time.

You can visit cenotes (and enjoy them for as long as you like) and check out ruins and beaches.

Renting a car is a great option if you plan to spend most of your days outside of your hotel and want the freedom to move around without booking a tour or using public transportation.ย 

What is the average price to rent a car in Cancun?

The price to rent a car in Cancun varies by the time of year you rent it and what type of car you rent.

Many sites offer incredibly cheap car rentals- as low as a few dollars a day.

Prices this low should be a warning sign to you that there are hidden fees (a good reason to use Discover Cars and avoid hidden fees).

In general, once you include insurance and all fees small to midsize cars will cost around 60-75 dollars a day, larger cars will cost 75-90 dollars a day, SUVs will cost 100-120 dollars a day, and larger vans will cost between 220-300 dollars a day.ย 

Is Discover Cars in Cancun cheap?

Discover Cars show you all the available car rental options, so you can look for the best price.

When searching for a rental car, you may be able to find slightly cheaper rates if you look directly at an agency’s website.

The Discover Cars platform will help you search for a good deal and save you the time of checking every single car rental agency.ย 

Girl with car keys looking from the car window

Final Thoughts: Where to rent a car in Cancun?

When you are planning your trip to Cancun you want to spend your time looking at what restaurants, tours, and beaches you will visit- not spending hours checking every car rental agencyโ€™s website for the best deal.

Discover Cars is an easy-to-use platform that takes a lot of the stress out of renting a car.

It shows you all the available cars for whatever pick-up location you want, whether at the airport, downtown Cancun, or the hotel zone.

You can easily compare prices, read reviews, and trust that there are no hidden fees.

This means you can get back to planning the fun vacation stuff- like where you will go on your Cancun road trip! 

About the Author

Hey there! This is Isabella, the owner, and writer of this site. I have been living in Cancun for the past 12 years and although I have been roaming around Mexico, Cancun’s spectacular turquoise waters and pristine beach draw me back to this popular Mexican beach destination. That is why I decided to start this blog, to show you all the beauty you can find in Cancun and share helpful travel tips to help you plan a fabulous vacation in Cancun!

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