Cancun

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 )
Car: Do you need a car in 3? No car: Is it worth hiring a car in 3? Slider: Should you rent a car in 3? Should you rent a car in 3?

Cancun car hire quick facts

Cheapest rate for one week Based on cheapest economy car hire deal with no added extras. [full notes - basic costs]

65

 #42/300

  • Price alone isn't the only factor in determining whether or not it's worth hiring a car in Cancun but clearly it's an important one. See our "why" section for more figures.
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]

 €

110

 46/300

  • During the peak holiday season, public transport is often better value, as many train and bus fares are fixed throughout the year. See our "whynot" section for more suggestions.
Free parking score Based on the number of hotels which offer free parking.Total 306 - of which 199 have free parking. [full notes - parking]

65

%

69/300

  • During the peak holiday season, public transport is often better value, as many train and bus fares are fixed throughout the year. See our "whynot" section for more suggestions.

Cancun public transport quick facts

"Top trumps" train score

Higher scores go to the systems which take you to the most amazing places.

0%

#300/300

  • [full notes - top trumps trains]
  • A good rail system doesn't mean you shouldn't hire a car, but it often means you have a decent range of options.

Overall public transport score {coming shortly}

This is a more practical rating based on bus and rail travel.

--%

#---/300

  • [full notes - overall transit] buses | trams | metro | local & regional rail | national rail
  • Is public transport in Cancun good value, or is it worth hiring a car just because it is cheaper overall?

Walking and Cycling Overview

Active travel score {coming shortly}

This overall rating considers walking and cycling in and around Cancun

--%

#---/300

Need, worth & should!

Whether you have come here asking "do I need a car in Cancun", "is it worth hiring a car in Cancun", or whether or not you "should" hire a car here, these are all slight variations on a similar theme:

Do you need a car in Cancun?

This is essentially based on whether or not public transport and other "non car" options are good enough to get around and beyond the city.

Is it worth hiring a car in Cancun?

Is car hire good value, especially during the peak season? How does this compare with transit fares?

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?

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

When someone asks "Do you need a car in Cancun?", this often breaks down to two key questions:

  1. Can you actually get around using public transport, or is a car all but essential?
  2. Is it worth hiring a car in Cancun? Is it good value for money, compared with non-car options?

Over the next few sections, we wil look at the pros and cons of driving in Cancun as a tourist, and ultimately weigh these up, so we can answer the key question of Should you rent a car in Cancun?

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?


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

Why not? Visiting Cancun without a car

What is public transport like in Cancun? What about local conditions for walking or cycling? Can you rely on public transport and maybe a few taxis for most or all of your trip? Are there some times of year when it's easier to get by without a car than others? When should you rent a car in 3?


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).

Ratings

Our slider ratings range from 0 (it isn't even possible to hire a car, e.g. Hong Kong) through to 10 (you really must rent a car here, e.g. Phoenix, Tampa). However, most places are somewhere inbetween these extremes, and this is where it gets more interesting! Further ratings breakdowns, including a much more detailed public transport rating, are currently being added. If you have any questions or comments, please leave them below.

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}?

Do you need a car in Cancun? For some or all of the time? 

Tell us what you think using the comments section below:


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