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sisley669

Mar 9, 2009, 5:48 PM

Post #1 of 16 (5958 views)

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British students, buying versus renting a car in Mexico

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Hi, I'm a student from England and I'm planning a trip to Mexico this summer with my friend; we're both British citizens and will be 22 when we start the trip, which will probably last 4-6 weeks. Basically, we've looked into rental costs with the major companies and they seem astronomical. What would you say are the advantages of buying a car as opposed to renting one, and indeed would we be able to buy, register, insure and then resell the car at the end of our trip? We're completely flexible about our route at the moment, so if you think it would be better to rent/buy in a certain city then please say; however, we would prefer an A-B route to a circular route (and we've noticed that this increases rental prices even more if you drop off in a different city to where you pick up).

Thanks in advance for any help or advice,

Paul



tonyburton


Mar 9, 2009, 6:06 PM

Post #2 of 16 (5938 views)

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Re: [sisley669] British students, buying versus renting a car in Mexico

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IMO, you'd be wise to avoid the hassles of buying and selling a vehicle in the time frame you have in mind - take the bus! Mexico's long distance bus service is quite possibly the world's best with frequent services between all major cities. Secondary bus lines reach almost every village. All bus services in Mexico are relatively inexpensive (especially compared with UK train or coach fares). Enjoy your trip!


raferguson


Mar 9, 2009, 7:08 PM

Post #3 of 16 (5924 views)

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Re: [tonyburton] British students, buying versus renting a car in Mexico

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I have to strongly agree with Tony on this one, the bus system is excellent, from second class to Luxury.

If you combine the bus with inexpensive taxis, this should meet virtually all your transportation needs.

You will save so much money by not having a car that you can pay for all the beer that you could possibly drink. (Joke).

If you really want to visit remote spots, then a car is the way to go. But if you don't know the country well, you probably don't need to go to remote spots.

Note that driving in Mexico is more difficult and more dangerous than driving in the USA or Europe. You will make fewer miles per day than you expect, with more stress. Driving at night is a very bad idea in Mexico, for a dozen reasons, but bus rides at night are not that dangerous.

If you simply want to tour around and see the country, the bus is the way to go. The seats on first class and better buses are reserved; I generally ask for the right front seats, best for sightseeing.

For a bus based itinerary, I tend to favor a city to city plan, where you spend two or more nights in each city, and then hop the bus to the next city. Lots of interesting places to go, pick up any guidebook and a map of Mexico, and plot out a route.

Richard


http://www.fergusonsculpture.com


Rolly


Mar 9, 2009, 7:29 PM

Post #4 of 16 (5919 views)

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Re: [raferguson] British students, buying versus renting a car in Mexico

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I agree.

If you want to visit some remote place, chances are good that some kind of bus will take you there. You can hire a taxi by the day for trips into the country. If the taxi driver doesn't feel safe going there, you shouldn't either. Not all the back areas are safe!!!

Remember, buses and taxis don't get lost on poorly signed roads. You surely would.

Rolly Pirate


sisley669

Mar 10, 2009, 5:42 AM

Post #5 of 16 (5887 views)

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Re: [Rolly] British students, buying versus renting a car in Mexico

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Thank you all for your advice; you guys have made a lot of good points and cleared up some gaps in my knowledge. I'm definitely going to look more into buses. However, could I just ask one of you to confirm, as I've heard/read conflicting advice: would we be legally able to buy, register and insure a car if we did decide to do that, bearing in mind we both study languages and my friend has already learnt quite a lot of Spanish. The thing is, although we're only going for 4-6 weeks, we would like to visit some more remote areas and possibly camp some of the time (this website - http://www.ontheroadin.com/ - turned me on to that idea): a) to get a real sense of the culture, b) to find a guide and do some trekking, c) to see the best beaches. I realise from what you've said that this could probably be achieved using buses/private taxis, but I'd like to have the fullest possible picture of the different options available to us. Also, none of you seem at all keen on rental cars: is this for any particular reason. Oh, and if it helps your responses I do have some experience of driving in India, albeit in relatively remote areas, but that was done illegally as it's not practicable for a backpacker to do otherwise in India. But I'm certainly not suggesting I'd like to try that in Mexico!

Thanks again!

Paul


bournemouth

Mar 10, 2009, 7:18 AM

Post #6 of 16 (5882 views)

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Re: [sisley669] British students, buying versus renting a car in Mexico

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Paul - as you noted in your first post, rental cars are VERY expensive here and dropping off at another location is almost impossible. Renting a car would blow your budget and limit how much you could do. Buying and selling a car in the time frame you are talking about would take up a huge chunk of your time - also limiting what you could do.

Let me add my voice to the chorus telling you that bus/taxi is the way to go.


tonyburton


Mar 10, 2009, 8:14 AM

Post #7 of 16 (5876 views)

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Re: [sisley669] British students, buying versus renting a car in Mexico

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I believe that renting vehicles in Mexico when you are under 25 years old is extremely difficult - I'm not sure if that's because of insurance issues, or credit card issues - it is virtually impossible I believe from all the major firms, and only possible from lesser-known local rental companies (some of which may have dubious standards).


Rolly


Mar 10, 2009, 9:12 AM

Post #8 of 16 (5865 views)

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Re: [sisley669] British students, buying versus renting a car in Mexico

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Buying a car is easy if you have the money. BUT registering it may not be. Registration (required for insurance and the by the law) is a state matter, so the rules vary. It some states it will be impossible to do with a tourist visa; in other states it will be possible if you can arrange a local address, and it will be very time consuming. Then there is the matter of selling it -- that could take much longer than you have.

Bottom line: Don't plan on buying a car.

Rolly Pirate


sisley669

Mar 10, 2009, 9:31 AM

Post #9 of 16 (5857 views)

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Re: [Rolly] British students, buying versus renting a car in Mexico

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Thanks again everyone, you've been really helpful and incredibly quick to reply! I better get cracking on some bus/taxi research!

Paul


ken_in_dfw

Mar 10, 2009, 10:03 AM

Post #10 of 16 (5850 views)

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Re: [sisley669] British students, buying versus renting a car in Mexico

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Paul,

Another option for the more remote locations (once you've settled at a larger town or city) is to scout out local guides whom you could hire for the day. The peso has taken a pretty good hit recently against most major currencies - you'll get about 22 pesos to the quid. In a lot of places, you can easily get an excellent driver/guide for a 1000 pesos per day or about £47.

Have fun on your holidays.

Cheers,
Ken



jerezano

Mar 13, 2009, 6:44 PM

Post #11 of 16 (5771 views)

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Re: [kenhjr] British students, buying versus renting a car in Mexico

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Hello sisley669,

Britain! Driving on the left! In my opinion a driver used to left hand driving would be tempting suicide here with Mexican drivers. Sometimes it seems to me that I am tempting suicide and I have been driving on the right now for some 64 years.

Buses are the way to go. I have not yet met with an intercity bus which charges for extra baggage--your camping equipment--. When you were told that buses go almost everywhere in Mexico that is correct. For the really remote locations you may wonder how the decrepit bus will ever make it there but it always does. I live in the country in a town of about 20,000 people and there are lots of small ranchos far away from main highways and with populations of say less than 50 to 100 people and there are buses that go there and return. And the buses are cheap, especially if you are attending a Mexican school of some sort and can get student credentials.

And in the large cities you wouldn't want to drive anyway. It's too dangerous.

jerezano


(This post was edited by jerezano on Mar 13, 2009, 6:47 PM)


tashby


Mar 13, 2009, 8:24 PM

Post #12 of 16 (5754 views)

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Re: [sisley669] British students, buying versus renting a car in Mexico

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What they said. Use the busses.

But.

Despite the common refrain that "busses go everywhere in Mexico", the truth is that they don't. They go *almost* everywhere.

However, for those truly more remote places that don't have bus service, there's ALWAYS another way to get there. Oftentimes, there will be an enterprising local who puts a couple benches in the back of a truck....when the benches fill up, you're on your way. I think these vehicles are commonly called a pasajera. (??? Anybody???)

And hitchiking is still alive and well here. (This is a personal choice based on risk tolerance obviously, but I'm 47 and have traveled in Mexico since I was young. I still hitchike on occasion if a) I know exactly where I'm going and, b) there's no bus service or I don't feel like waiting.)

The fact is half of the population in Mexico drives a truck. If you're comfortable doing it, throw yourself and your stuff in the back and you're on your way. Offer the driver some money when they drop you off.

Have a great trip.


Marlene


Mar 13, 2009, 11:41 PM

Post #13 of 16 (5736 views)

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Re: [tashby] British students, buying versus renting a car in Mexico

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I have never seen a hitchhiker in my 9 years of living here in Mexico. I hadn't even thought about it until I read your post. Interesting.


Anonimo

Mar 14, 2009, 5:44 AM

Post #14 of 16 (5730 views)

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Re: [Marlene] British students, buying versus renting a car in Mexico

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We often see Mexican college age students looking for rides at the salida a Pátzcuaro at Morelia.

We occasionally give rides to people we know who have been waiting for the combi van.

Probably the word Tashby is looking for is "pesero", but that's used more in Mexico, DF and not here in the Pátzcuaro area. Here the van transports are "combis".



Saludos,
Anonimo


Hound Dog

Mar 14, 2009, 7:05 AM

Post #15 of 16 (5717 views)

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Re: [Marlene] British students, buying versus renting a car in Mexico

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I do not hitch as a rule but when I go to remote areas to reach some indigenous villages without public transportation you either walk..a long way or you hitch a ride.
I have done that on occasions in order to get to a place where I can get a van or a bus: the custom is to offer some money for the ride or gas. Since you are young you will probably will meet young local people, ask them what to do in the area you are in.
Brigitte


mcm

Mar 20, 2009, 10:49 AM

Post #16 of 16 (5581 views)

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Re: [Rolly] British students, buying versus renting a car in Mexico

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Re, Rolly's point that it may not be possible to register a Mexican-plated car in some states with only an FM-T.
That is the case for the state of YUCATAN! I think the law was laxer, or different in the past (friends who are regular visitors to Yucatan, on FM-T, had been able to purchase and register a car, but this year were unable to get new plates), but as of 2009, registration/plate change requires an official Mexican identification (e.g.,FM-3, FM-2, Mexican driver's license).

Again, as Rolly said, regulations for driver's licenses and car registration vary from state to state.
 
 
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