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HulksHeroes

Apr 5, 2005, 8:30 AM

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Driving in Mexico

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Greetings!! I just learned that my auto insurance does not cover me in Mexico. The agent was helpful to inform me that "I could buy my insurance at the border". Doh...is that the way to do it? I have a nice newer pick up that I was planning to live with down in the San Miguel area for a few months beginning in June, but if I can arrange insurance prior to hitting the border, I would certainly have more peace of mind heading down.

Also, any thoughts or suggestions on renting a car in Mexico City for a week to drive up to San Miguel? I am headed back down next week for only a week, and I was going to rent a car or take the arduous journey by bus to and from the airport. For a "few bucks more" it looks like I can rent a car and drive there. I realize the rules of the road are a bit difference. If anyone has any suggestions or warnings for me that I might be able to use I'd sure appreciate hearing them.

Thanks all. God Bless Mexico... :-) ..or yes, and "America too" for George...

Michael



Rolly


Apr 5, 2005, 8:43 AM

Post #2 of 18 (1449 views)

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Re: [HulksHeroes] Driving in Mexico

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Here is a link that will tell you a good bit about insurance and where to buy it: http://rollybrook.com/auto-insurance.htm

This one has some rules of the road that may be helpful: http://rollybrook.com/living_in_mexico.htm

Rolly Pirate


Bear

Apr 5, 2005, 8:56 AM

Post #3 of 18 (1446 views)

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Re: [HulksHeroes] Driving in Mexico

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Michael,
It really is not a uncomfortable ride on a luxury bus from the airport (or North Station) to SMA. These buses are top-of-the-line.
I strongly recommend that you do not drive the Mexico City area in any car until you get used to the
traffic rules? and drivers? in our area. I live and drive here.....it will take some time to learn this crazy place.
It can be a madhouse.
Cab and bus are the way to go in Mexico City area.
Sincerely, Frank


MG Rabon


Apr 5, 2005, 10:00 AM

Post #4 of 18 (1431 views)

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Re: [HulksHeroes] Driving in Mexico

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While 'public' transportation seems to be the norm in Mexico, I am of the opinion that the freedom of exploration that a car will give you will make any traffic hassle you may experience a minor footnote in your overall Mexican experience.

Do a search on Google or Yahoo for 'Mexican Auto Insurance' and you will find many sites with tools to help you compare available coverage from multiple insurance companies. I've found the online prices to be 40% (or more) less than the walk-in prices at the border. You may also find that a 6 month or 1 year policy will be the same price (or less) than the sum of daily coverage for the length of your intended stay.

Pay close attention to the wording of your insurance coverage. Coverage isn't the same as it is in the US. Very close attention should be paid to the term 'partial theft', most policies don't cover it and you must purchase a rider for coverage for it. Partial theft would be where they steal some or most of your car but leave some part behind - like a hubcap - under most of the policies that I have been quoted (especially the lower priced ones) there is NO COVERAGE for your vehicle if that happens.

If your vehicle is still financed you will need a letter from your leinholder giving you permission to take the vehicle into Mexico.

We've gone the rental car from the Mexico City airport route. It's just like driving in any other major city, in my opinion. From the airport you can get right onto the highway and if you stay on the highway until you are clear of the city I can't see you having major problems. Tell the rental car agent where you are going and they will give you a map and mark the route out of town for you. That being said, I will say that the worst traffic jam in my life was in Mexico city - but I wasn't on the highway and I WAS in a motorhome.... I would suggest that you steer clear of Mexico City in a motorhome unless you are very patient, brave, and/or crazy. ;-)

Enjoy your trip,

Compórtate bien, y si no puedes, invítame!
MG Rabon


Carron

Apr 5, 2005, 1:55 PM

Post #5 of 18 (1401 views)

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Re: [HulksHeroes] Driving in Mexico

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Remember that you are coming to Mexico, not New Mexico. This is not another state but another country (and one which I love and I expect you will also).

It is standard operating procedure to purchase your Mexican car insurance in one of the border towns. Many offer maps, lawyers, personal representation, whatever you need. This is a legit business used by thousands who drive from the US into Mexico.

It sounds from your post that you are not familiar with Mexico. If that is the case, I would recommend that you take a luxury bus from the border to DF and rent a car there.

If you have not driven before in Mexico, you will find it very different from driving in the US. If this is your first visit, public transportation (which is much different from and also better than anything in the US) seems like a solution to your problem.


Cynthia7

Apr 5, 2005, 8:44 PM

Post #6 of 18 (1354 views)

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Re: [Carron] Driving in Mexico

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You can take a bus from the airport in Mexico City to Queretaro. A van can pick you up in Queretaro and take you to San Miguel.or you can take another bus to SMA. Believe me - you do not want a vehicle in SMA. There is no parking, lots of traffic and plenty of taxis. There are excellent drivers that can take you on excursions and adventures for much less than you can yourself. A friend figured that you can take 5 taxis a day and spend less than you can by bringing a car down here...There are buses in SMA that take you most places in town...


MG Rabon


Apr 5, 2005, 9:04 PM

Post #7 of 18 (1349 views)

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Re: [Cynthia7] Driving in Mexico

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I shudder at the thought of having to depend on taxis for my primary transportation. True maybe in SMA most things are walking distance. Also maybe in SMA the roads are so narrow and rough that the taxis seldom get up to fatal speed - but one ride in an antique VW cab, piloted by some hyperactive 13 year old driver with a death wish here in Acapulco, and you'll be at the nearest car dealer trying to buy a car. ;-) LOL

Also if you are long of stide and/or wide about the beam you'll find the VW and Tsuru cabs to be nearly impossible to get into. I'm not so sure about shareing an antique VW bus with 13 other folks either. How do you get big stuff home in a cab or bus? Seems I'm always buying something that I have to have folks load and unload for me - I can just see trying to get that 300# bronze statue that you think will look good in your fountain home.

Whatever you do, have fun!

Compórtate bien, y si no puedes, invítame!
MG Rabon


Cynthia7

Apr 5, 2005, 10:14 PM

Post #8 of 18 (1345 views)

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Re: [MG Rabon] Driving in Mexico

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Well- taxis work well for most people in SMA. Distances are not great and rides are not long. We have camionetas( small trucks) that transport larger items. The cobblestone streets keep speed down and I can say I have never had one frighting experience in a SMA cab. Having had a stroke and being broad of beam - I sit up front with the driver- no problem. We have Nissan taxis and no Volkswagens Beetles. There is one Smart car -I think. It is a walking town. Your comments make me realize more than ever - how lucky it is to be in smaller city. I have a car which I keep parked -most of the time- due to the parking problem- especially in the Centro. The car is useful for trips out of town. Many times if we go to Queretaro or Celaya- we park and take a taxi to more congested areas. It works well and beats looking for a parking lot or parking space.


raferguson


Apr 6, 2005, 8:53 PM

Post #9 of 18 (1294 views)

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Re: [HulksHeroes] Driving in Mexico

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I drive in Mexico city about once every ten years or so. It takes me that long to forget how tough it was the last time I did it. ;-) Maybe if you drive rush hour in LA every day it would not seem so bad. If you do it, be sure you have an excellent navigator and a good map of the city.

Not to mention the Mexico City mandatory no-drive days, the corrupt traffic cops, ....

Take the bus to San Miguel.

Richard


http://www.fergusonsculpture.com


Marta R

Apr 6, 2005, 10:28 PM

Post #10 of 18 (1284 views)

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Re: [raferguson] Driving in Mexico

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I don't know if it's still true, but AAA used to be very good at arranging for things like Mexican auto insurance. If you're a member, you might try giving them a call.

Marta


Bubba

Apr 7, 2005, 10:17 AM

Post #11 of 18 (1250 views)

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Re: [HulksHeroes] Driving in Mexico

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What I like about driving in Mexico is that you can drink beer and eat potato chips while driving.


HulksHeroes

Apr 7, 2005, 10:33 AM

Post #12 of 18 (1246 views)

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Re: [Bubba] Driving in Mexico

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Bubba,
You sound like a man on the same wavelength as myself.
My sweet girl friend was unable to get the week off, so I won't bother renting a car, as I'd be sitting outside her office waiting for her tyrant boss to let her go. I'll just take the awful "luxury bus" to San Miguel and deal with the local transportation and buses to get us around.
I WILL be driving down from Portland the first part of June, if anyone needs a lift. Let me know. I plan to swing through Vegas on the way, of course. I am considering driving my '71 Buick LeSabre "gas guzzler" though. It should go over well down there. I know it will have to have a special parking place in a protected lot if I want to find any of it when I come back to it.
Thanks for ALL the advice. It was often conflicting, but that's the way we are in this world. We all walks from different directions, but it did help.
Best wishes all,
Michael


gpk

Apr 7, 2005, 2:43 PM

Post #13 of 18 (1213 views)

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Re: [Bubba] Driving in Mexico

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Don't you know that eating potato chips can kill you?


Carron

Apr 7, 2005, 3:56 PM

Post #14 of 18 (1202 views)

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Re: [HulksHeroes] Driving in Mexico

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Honey--You will live with the Public Transportation option and you will think you died and went to Heaven. You just sound like the kind of flexible person who will manage beautifully in Mexico and if things don't work out exactly as you planned, you will at least end up with a fabulous story to tell at cocktail parties back in the US!


Papirex


Apr 7, 2005, 3:57 PM

Post #15 of 18 (1201 views)

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Re: [gpk] Driving in Mexico

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It is a proven fact that drinking beer neutralizes any negative aspects of eating potato chips.

Ask any bartender.
"The supreme happiness of life is the conviction that we are loved" - Victor Hugo


MG Rabon


Apr 7, 2005, 4:41 PM

Post #16 of 18 (1191 views)

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Re: [Carron] Driving in Mexico

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Public (actually it isn't public at all) transportation must be much better in Central Mexico than it is here in Acapulco because most Americans would balk at using what we have here. I was in awe the other day when I passed a bus that had tail light lenses, bulbs, and some actual tread on the tires - of course it was one of the Disco busses so the music was so loud it bothered me in my car so I would have never been able to actually get on the thing. Less than one in 10 has any sort of brake lights, even less than that with functioning taillights. They drive at night by the glow of their neon or even worse with strobe lights instead of headlights.

Nearly every time I go out I see some horid accident between one of these rusty Vochos and one of these decript busses. Yesterday's accident that I witnessed was a fully loaded bus that ran the redlight where 200 meets the Costera (the main coastal drag) and in the middle of it's highspeed left turn attempt it rolled over onto it's side. Hardly ever do you see one that doesn't have battle scars, usually from one end to the other. The Vocho cabs are hardly what I'd call crash resistant what with being designed in 1936 and all. Even the collective Tsurus don't have side impact beams or airbags.

No thanks, I'll take my chances in my nice safe big American car.

Compórtate bien, y si no puedes, invítame!
MG Rabon


manda405


Apr 8, 2005, 11:20 AM

Post #17 of 18 (1133 views)

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Re: [Bubba] Driving in Mexico

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Be careful that you don't throw the potato chip bag out the window because even though most people do and no one really cares, there may be a Federal de Caminos behind you and they don't appreciate potato chip eating drivers, especially if the can, er bag, hits the window of their patrol car.

Also a bit of advice I had to learn the hard way... After driving in Mexico for any length of time, be extra careful when returning to the states. The cops up here are not as forgiving.


What happens down in Mexico...Stays in Mexico.


Camille

Apr 8, 2005, 2:58 PM

Post #18 of 18 (1113 views)

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Re: [manda405] Driving in Mexico

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I can tell you from experience they are not so fond of apple cores either, especially if the core comes flying out of the passenger side, thrown by the driver whose window doesn't roll down..... in times like these, a prisoner in the back seat may be between you and a big problema!
Took the passenger several hours to begin speaking to me again.....
 
 
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