Forums  > Areas > Central Highlands
car rental


Jul 21, 2005, 2:51 PM

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car rental

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thanks for the info.. i guess i did not make myself very clear.. they actually need the car to check out
some of the colonial cities before they come to san miguel.
i guess it might be best if they contact the hotel they are staying at
thanks again
debbie mandt


Jul 21, 2005, 3:08 PM

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Re: [kenmandt] car rental

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Unless they are somewhat capable in Spanish and have had experience driving in Mexico, driving is not a great way to explore. Signage is iffy; the rainy season leaves roads full of potholes; topes/speed bumps are hidden everywhere and can destroy a car if hit at full speed; animals, drunk drivers, children on bikes, etc. are likely to appear around any turn--even on major highways; parking in towns is not always easy to find or even available; car theft is fairly rampant; the police can be problematic; etc. etc. etc. Travel by bus between towns, use public transit in town--it's the Mexican way.

NOTE: This does not apply to long time residents of Mexico, great explorers, etc.--just advice to tourists trying to have a nice time while visiting.

Carol Schmidt

Jul 22, 2005, 9:06 AM

Views: 2935

Re: [kenmandt] car rental

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I ran into someone else who had rented a car from Hola in the Hotel Posada San Francisco last year and he wasn't sure Hola still exists--he hadn't seen their sign lately.

But when he did rent a car in SMA, he said it was VERY expensive. I told him the story posted here about replacing the tire on a rental and then taking the tire back when returning the car, and he laughed. He said it sounded like the logical thing to do!

Another possibility would be to hire a driver and car to explore other cities as well as SMA. From the sounds of the prices for rentals, it might be about as cheap to hire the driver, too, and then you wouldn't have to worry about driving here, getting lost, etc. The driver could also give you a lot of info about the towns that you wouldn't read in tour books, even if the driver wasn't an official tour guide.

Carol Schmidt


Jul 22, 2005, 9:28 AM

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Re: [Carol Schmidt] car rental

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One August many years ago, I rented a car at the Guadalajara airport and drove to Uruapan for a few days. While I was in Uruapan, I drove to Angahuan to see the volcano Paricutín. In those days, the road to Angahuan was unpaved. The drive up there was uneventful. On the drive back, I heard something POP under the car. It wasn't the tires, and we drove back to Uruapan without incident. At the outskirts of the city, I noticed that the gas tank was nearly empty (strange, I thought, it had been close to full...) and pulled into the Pemex station to fill up.

As the employee started to pump the gas, six or eight men suddenly converged on the rental car and banged on the windows. "Señora, your gas tank is broken, gas is running all over the street! You have to move the car right now!" Yikes! Big dilemma: turn on the car and risk a spark? The men motioned me to a nearby curb--no way! Five or six guys smoking cigarettes were sitting there watching what was going on. Blow us all to kingdom come? I don't think so.

"Where's the nearest mechanic who could fix this?" I asked. Two blocks down the street... I gingerly turned the key and headed toward the mechanic's shop, trailing gasoline along the street.

Even though it was 2 PM and time for his lunch, the mechanic agreed to stay and fix the gas tank. Two hours later, the tank was patched--and tested for leaks with soap applied to the outside of the patch--the gas that he'd syphoned out was replaced, and I was on my way. Charge? 85 pesos--but that was way back then.

Did I ever tell the car rental company what happened? Are you kidding? That's been 20 years ago, and I'll bet that little rental Nissan is still running up and down the streets here in Guadalajara--complete with the lunch-hour patch on the gas tank.


Jul 22, 2005, 3:57 PM

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Re: [esperanza] car rental

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Great story, Esperanza. I really enjoyed it.

We chose not to rent a car on our first trip to central Mexico. And we're glad we didn't. We didn't speak any Spanish and we wanted to relax more and enjoy ourselves. We went by bus and it was just fine, except from Puerto Vallarta to Guadalajara, when I was banged against the bathroom wall several times before I got out of there. Those are some windy roads.

In the cities, we took taxis everywhere for $2-4 a pop. That was just last year.

This time we have our truck and my husband has learned to drive here. But it's not easy yet even after 2 months. If you do drive, don't leave your insurance policy in the car (AAA advice).

ETN is a great way to go.


Jul 26, 2005, 8:52 PM

Views: 2869

Re: [kenmandt] car rental

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My partner and I have rented cars in Mexico on a couple of ocassions and between rental and insurance the cost was easily twice, if not more, of renting in the U.S. I'd go for buses that would take you to the general vicinity of where you want to go and then take taxis or hire a driver. If you negotiate a daily rate with a driver it's a far more efficient and economical way of getting around than a rental car.