Leslie Kasperowicz holds a BA in Social Sciences from the University of Winnipeg. She spent several years as a Farmers Insurance CSR, gaining a solid understanding of insurance products including home, life, auto, and commercial and working directly with insurance customers to understand their needs. She has since used that knowledge in her more than ten years as a writer, largely in the insuranc...

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Melanie Musson is the fourth generation in her family to work in the insurance industry. She grew up with insurance talk as part of her everyday conversation and has studied to gain an in-depth knowledge of state-specific insurance laws and dynamics as well as a broad understanding of how insurance fits into every person’s life, from budgets to coverage levels. Through her years working in th...

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Reviewed by Melanie Musson
Published Insurance Expert Melanie Musson

UPDATED: Mar 24, 2022

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Just What's Essential

  • Liability insurance is required by law in Mexico.
  • If you are involved in a collision without insurance, you can go to jail until damages are paid.
  • Usually, mandatory insurance is included in the rental package.

If you are planning to travel to Mexico, renting a car is an easy and convenient way to get around. Since it is a foreign country, you will likely not be covered under your current car insurance plan. Finding affordable car insurance can be a challenge.

You might be wondering how to avoid paying car rental insurance in Mexico, but being uninsured is unwise. There are certain laws to be aware of, and if you are caught without insurance, you can face potential jail time until claims are settled.

Renting a car in Mexico can be cheap, but Mexican car insurance rates can be expensive. Looking for affordable insurance closer to home? Type your ZIP code into our helpful and free tool above to find affordable car insurance rates in your area.

What do I need to rent a car in Mexico?

Now might not be the best time to travel to Mexico, according to the CDC. Hopefully, that will change soon. Usually, in order to rent a car in Mexico, the driver will have to be at least 25 years old. A driver’s license from your home country is accepted to drive in Mexico, so long as it is valid.

Another requirement you need is to obtain basic personal liability insurance. This liability insurance is required by law when renting a car in Mexico. If you don’t buy car insurance and are involved in a collision, it’s possible for the police to put you in jail until it can be sorted out.

Sometimes, though, basic personal liability car insurance is included when renting a car. Other insurance types are frequently not, though these types are not mandatory.

If the rates for renting a car appear to be really low, they likely do not include insurance. When looking to buy Mexican car insurance, expect to pay double or even triple the amount listed. Finding affordable Mexican car insurance can be tricky, so it’s worth taking time to look around.

Enter your ZIP code below to view companies that have cheap auto insurance rates.

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What are reputable car rental companies in Mexico?

There are many choices when it comes to car rental companies in Mexico. It can be difficult to figure out which the best options are. Some names may be familiar, such as Hertz, Alamo, Budget, Avis, and others.

Be aware that companies such as Hertz Mexico are franchised though. These Mexican car insurance companies are not directly connected to their American counterparts, so quality may vary. In fact, local agencies may offer better rates, so it is worth looking around.

If you get a rental car at or near the airport, be aware that those rates are usually higher than can be found elsewhere. In essence, you are paying for convenience. It’s worth shopping around online, through sites such as Mex Rent A Car.

As there are different laws in Mexico compared to the United States, knowing what to expect when filing a car insurance claim can be difficult. This is another reason why getting car rental insurance is necessary. Sometimes, your current insurance coverage will cover you in some regards, so make sure you ask what is covered before you go.

Can you not pay car rental insurance in Mexico?

This is IMPORTANT! Mexican Liability Insurance is mandatory in Mexico. If you do not have proof that you have this insurance, and you happen to get into an accident, no matter how minor, you can be taken to a Mexican jail until the police can determine who was at fault (and who knows how long that may take). So it may seem like a good thing to avoid paying for rental car insurance in Mexico at first, you could be held liable for any property damage.

Will my auto insurance cover me in Mexico?

Most US-based regular car insurance plans do not cover rental damage in Mexico, but you would need to check with your provider before renting a car in Mexico. You can buy a separate Mexican auto insurance policy from an insurance company that specializes in it.

Protection coverage for the vehicle rented includes Third Party Liability with a maximum cover for personal injuries and material damages.

Enter your ZIP code below to view companies that have cheap auto insurance rates.

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 The Bottom Line

Every year, thousands of Americans drive into Mexico. Many may not know, however, that their American car insurance is invalid in Mexico. If you enter Mexico with a rental car or one that you own, you need a special type of car insurance. Whether you want to take a leisurely road trip through our neighbor to the south, or you need to conduct business, this is what you need to know about Mexican auto insurance.

Just beware of topes (speed bumps) when travelling on Mexican roads. They are notorious for causing very serious damage to vehicles.  You might want to buy extra car insurance from the Mexican car rental company.

Before you make a decision, know that the differences between car insurance requirements in the U.S. and Mexico are significant. Sometimes it’s just better to pay the extra insurance costs.

Searching for more car insurance quotes? Enter your ZIP code in our free tool below for rates in your local area.