By | 16th January 2018

Should you rent a car in Cancun?

Do you need a car in Cancun > Should you rent a car in Cancun Mexico > Cancun ( CUN )

Although many cities in Mexico have a substantially longer history, since the 1970s, Cancun has grown extensively around the tourism industry. This a destination which was largely developed around the car. Needless to say, airport transfers here are easy enough to come by. There are plenty resort shuttles travelling around and between the main hotel areas. However, no visit to Cancun can ever really do the area justice without also visiting some of the other coastal areas which are nearby and also venturing inland within the Yucatan Peninsula. In particular to visit the world heritage sites at Chichén Itzá.

Do you need a car in Cancun? Introduction

Why? Why not? Ratings Comments

Why should you rent a car in Cancun?

What are the main reasons for hiring a car here? Do you just want to drive locally? Do you want to go further afield, or should you even look at taking a road trip? In terms of factors like the cost of the hire itself, fuel costs, road tolls and parking charges, is it worth hiring a car in Cancun?

Cancun Car hire summary

Overall drive rating

Based on a weighted score across all cost and quality factors. [Full notes - drive rating]



Cheapest rate for one week

Based on cheapest economy car hire deal with no added extras. [full notes - basic costs]




How much should I expect to pay in the peak season?

Based on cheapest deal during the summer holiday season. (Unless otherwise noted) [full notes - seasonal variations]




Free parking score

Total 306 - of which 199 have free parking. [full notes - parking]



  • Felxibility to explore the Yucatan on your own terms.
  • No rail service in or around Cancun.

Why not? Visiting Cancun without a car

Why? Why not? Ratings Comments

Cancun public transport quick facts

Train score



Water travel score


Overall public transport score



Walking and Cycling Overview

Active travel score

This overall rating considers walking and cycling in and around Cancun. 


It’s also worth pointing out that many of these historic sites can also be done as part of a packaged day trip, but they are much harder to do by scheduled bus. Although there are various different scheduled bus services to and from Cancun, there is no rail service in this part of Mexico.

  • Most places can still be visited using taxis, local buses, coaches or organised tours.
  • No car needed for any beach activities.
  • Daily first class buses to Chichén Itzá will take you there in around 3 hours. You can also take cheaper, slower and less comfortable standard bus services or collectivos (large minibuses).


Car rental in - Cancun Need v worth & should!

Do you need a car in Cancun?

  • Based on comparison with transit and walking/cycling?

Is it worth hiring a car in Cancun?

  • Based on value for money?

Should you rent a car in Cancun?

Weighing up the above questions, if you are here for the first time AND asking about hiring a car, is it a good idea?

Who is travelling?

Is it worth renting a car in Cancun if I am a solo / budget traveller?

What about for 2 people travelling together?

What about for families?


Where are you staying?

Do you need a car in Cancun if we are staying in the city centre / main resort area?

What if we are staying on the edge of the urban area?

What if we are staying in a rural area?


What is your attitude towards driving?

Should I hire a car in Cancun if I prefer not to drive?

What if we are easy either way?

What if I prefer to drive?



What is our final score for Cancun on the Carornocar scale?


Go back up to:
Why? Why not? Ratings Comments

Should you rent a car in Cancun? On balance, Cancun is the sort of destination where our advice leans towards getting a hire car, but it’s certainly far from essential – verdict yes.

Would you hire a car in Cancun?

Have you driven in Cancun? Do you agree with our advice on whether or not it's worth hiring a car in Cancun?
Tell us what you think using the comments section below:

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