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North America > Mexico > Acapulco

See: Why rent a car in Acapulco ? | Why not? | Ratings | Summary | Comments

(All of these pages will look a lot nicer when they are tidied up later in the spring)

Your key questions for any destination:

Do I need a car in Acapulco?

Strictly speaking, there are very few travel destinations anywhere in the world where it's absolutely essential to rent a car in order to see the main points of interest.

That's why we give you loads of ratings scales from 1 to 10, rather than just yes or no answers!

  • The need question is generally answered by looking at public transport (transit) options. Is it good enough for visitors who are happy to consider using it?
  • How many public transport routes are there, and are they mainly rail or road (bus) based?
  • Is public transport fast, frequent, safe, reliable and cheap?
  • Does public transport actually take you to the places you'll probably want to see?

Is it worth hiring a car in Acapulco?

This question is usually more about value for money. For this, we look at Acapulco car hire options, and consider how rental costs compare with using transit.

How far are you likely to drive anyway, and how much might you expect to spend on fuel, road tolls, parking and any other charges. We compare Acapulco with other destinations locally and around the world.

This is obviously much more of an issue if you are planning a longer road trip than it is on a small island.

Should I rent a car in Acapulco? 

This is basically a merging of the two questions. Everything else might be about giving certain facts about the costs of car rental or using public transport in Acapulco, but answering this question is very much a matter of opinion.

The city of Acapulco is hot and hilly, and it has a terrible reputation for gang related crime. On top of this, streets are often ravaged with traffic, and footways are generally poor.

This means that getting around is something that leans heavily towards motorised transport, but this doesn’t make a rental car the natural option either.

Whether or not you want to actually go loco down in Acapulco, this is not a part of the world that is served by trains in any shape or form. Acapulco has little to offer in terms of cycling facilities or walking trails.

Please note that is currently being revised and updated in preparation for the Summer 2022 (northern hemisphere) tourist season. 

We do not intent to include detailed covid information, nor do we intend to suggest hiring a car, just because public transport might still have a mask requirement. Our advice will be based on the same criteria we've always used, ie whether or not you can get a better travel experience, or at least a better value one, by choosing not to hire a car.

Quick Ratings

Price band

Acapulco is in car rental price band: 5/10 (1 = cheapest car rental location)

General comment - based on price alone, is it worth renting a car in Acapulco? 

Sometimes. Economy rental prices are average by global standards.


Can you expect big swings in car rental prices in Acapulco between the peak and the off peak season?

5/10 (0 = stable prices)

Driving score: 3/10

Non car score:3/10

Balance: 3

(0 = car hire not advised / 10 = rental car essential)

General comment -


  • Acapulco is a relatively densely packed city, constrained by hillsides to the east and the coast to the west, and the major resorts are actually relatively close to each other.
  • There’s a perfectly adequate bus service serving Acapulco, and taxis are plentiful and relatively cheap.
  • There are also plenty of activities based around the beach and waterfront environment, so driving isn’t really necessary.

Why? Visiting Acapulco using a hire car

Why do you need a car in Acapulco ?

Why do you need to rent a car in Acapulco?

  • Public transport is very poor outside of the city.
  • No trains or trams of any kind – not within the city, and not to other cities.

Venturing inland from Acapulco

  • Acapulco is a good starting point for Mexican West Coast road trip.
  • For visitors who want to start exploring further afield and who want to take a road trip inland, then a hire car becomes a lot more useful.
  • Scheduled coach services are available, but they are primarily aimed at providing intercity service between major urban areas, rather than for touring.

Why not? Visiting Acapulco without a car

Why don't you need a car in Acapulco ?

  • For all the beach and resort stuff, a hire car is never really going to come into the equation – it’s much better just to stick to buses, walking and taxis.
  • Buses are often crowded, but service frequencies tend to be very high.
  • Plenty to do within the city, especially around the beaches.
  • No real need for a hire car if doing planned excursions.

Ratings: How does Acapulco compare?

Is it worth hiring a car in Acapulco? TBC

This is based on a rough consideration of the costs of renting a car in Acapulco, and how this compares with the costs of using public transport. The answer to this varies hugely from one destination to the next, based on a wide range of factors. It's based on renting a car at the airport (TBC), and driving for an average of 2-3 hours on open roads on most days.

How does this compare if:

You are travelling:

Solo / As couple / small family / larger family / senior couple etc

Does car rental make sense on different budgets?



Do you need to hire a car in Acapulco? TBC

This is based strictly on whether or no we think it's possible to visit Acapulco (and the surrounding area) without using a car. Of the three key questions, this one is the most likely to be a "no".

Should you rent a car in Acapulco? TBC

This is a balance of all factors. Remember this is an answer to the question for people who are already asking it. That's why the answer might still be a "yes", even when public transport is good. 

See global comparisons

Hiring | Driving | Parking

Trains | Buses | Local travel


Car hire basics:


Public transportation basics:


Regular bus services: YES

Coach (inter-city): YES

Tram: NO

Metro: NO

Commuter Rail:

High Speed Rail:

Rail type (end stub / through / junction / hub):


As you start ....

Does Acapulco airport have a direct rail link?

(Yes - within terminal / adjacent / short walk) (Yes - bus transfer / other) No






Has our advice for Acapulco car rental changed over time, or has it been pretty constant?

2017 - 2

2019 - 4

2021 - 3

Average score - 3



Do you need a car in Acapulco? On balance, our Acapulco car hire advice is that there isn’t really any need to get a rental car here. Acapulco is the type of destination where there’s a lot more going on within the city than there is around it. If you do choose to hire a car in Acapulco, you might prefer to focus on a single day rental. You should pick up and return your car in resort, rather than at the airport. Acapulco car hire tends to be reasonably comparable in value to other coastal resort destinations in Mexico.


Do you or don't you need a car in Acapulco ?

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