Frequently Asked Questions
Mexico Car Insurance
Why Do I Need Mexico Car Insurance?
Primarily, this insurance provides coverage when you are driving in Mexico and it is necessary because your existing California auto policy will not work once you cross the southern border. Even if your car rental comes with Mexican car insurance, it is typically not enough to fully cover you in certain cases of unexpected accidents or incidents.
Do I Need a Special License to Drive in Mexico?
If you have a driver’s license from California or any other state in America, you do not need a special license before driving to Mexico. However, those with driver’s licenses from anywhere other than the United States might have to apply for a special international driver’s license before they can drive.
Regardless of which license you are using, keep it close and protected. It’s easy for Americans to run afoul of Mexican authorities in the event of an accident, and you’ll want to make sure you have your license and registration in the event that something unexpected happens.
Can I Rent a Car in Mexico?
If you want to rent a vehicle instead of bringing your own from California, it’s quite easy. Once you enter the country, you’ll have a selection of rental companies to choose from, including most of the big names you recognize from their locations in America.
As we noted before, though, your standard auto coverage won’t protect you in Mexico, regardless of whether you rent an automobile or bring your own. So before you start driving a rented vehicle around town, it’s important to take out third-party insurance (such as Mexican car insurance) to stay safe while on the road.
Can I Bring My Own Car for Driving in Mexico?
It’s possible to drive your own car from California to Mexico. And so long as you are only driving around the “Free Zone” (sometimes also called the “hassle-free zone”), there are no additional steps that you need to take.
However, if you wish to venture further into the country, you will need to apply for a Temporary Import Permit. This permit typically costs around $50, but that’s just a drop in the bucket. You’ll then need to deposit a few hundred dollars that you’ll be able to get back once you are leaving the country.
On the bright side, the permit is valid for 180 days. If you plan to make frequent trips, you might be able to complete several journeys within that six-month window.
Are Motorcycles Covered by Mexican Car Insurance?
Yes. Mexican car insurance protects almost any kind of vehicle that you can think of. This includes cars, motorcycles, trailers, motorhomes, RVs, campers, and boats.
Are There Any Major Driving Differences in Mexico?
For the most part, driving is similar to driving in California or anywhere else in the United States. However, there are some key differences you should be aware of if you hope to stay safe.
As an example, many American drivers speed up in order to make it through a yellow light before it turns red. In Mexico, though, you must come to a complete stop at yellow lights, and you can tell when most lights are about to change because they will flash green. Speaking of lights, it is typically illegal to turn right on a red (something that often confuses California drivers).
Speaking of confusion, Mexican drivers often use their turn signals as a visual indicator that it is safe to pass their vehicle. This may cause confusion if you think the signal is letting you know which direction the driver is heading!