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Car rental in Cozumel: arange in advance or pick one up at the dock?

Car rental in Cozumel: arange in advance or pick one up at the dock?

Feb 10th, 2009, 08:59 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Nov 2006
Posts: 325
Car rental in Cozumel: arange in advance or pick one up at the dock?

We'll either arange horseback riding or a jeep tour. But......I'm also considering the car rental and touring on ur own. If I do this, do we arringe the car in advance or pick one up at the dock? Which is a better price, not sure I want to spend the afternoon searching for the one I booked.

Couldn't we rent a jeep, drive the beach road & just stop on our own at Chakanaab, etc?
Kristinesonja is offline  
Feb 10th, 2009, 05:50 PM
Join Date: Apr 2003
Posts: 4,469
You need to fully understand and accept all the liability issues with a Mexican rental. Do your homework there first, then decide if you wish to continue with a car rental?? Always reserve in advance so you know all the restrictions in advance. Walk up is a big risk in Mexico.
BudgetQueen is offline  
Feb 11th, 2009, 03:19 PM
Join Date: Nov 2006
Posts: 1,233
We did it just as a walk up. We just made sure we also got the insurance because most U.S. (assuming you're U.S.) insurance (your own policy) won't cover Mexico. We also inspected the car. Didn't have any problems at all and set our own pace for the day. I've also rented in Playa del Carmen with no problems either. Took the ferry from Cozumel over, rented the car and drove to Tulum on our own.
patandhank is online now  
Feb 12th, 2009, 04:37 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 2,334
You need to be VERY, VERY careful renting a car/jeep in Mexico..If there is an accident your assumed GUILTY and can be put in jail...There are many horror stories about that..That said we did rent one more than 15 years ago and drove what was then the deserted part of the island.. and once we returned it I breathed a sigh of relief.
ParrotMom is offline  
Feb 15th, 2009, 05:29 AM
Join Date: Jul 2007
Posts: 9,285
I rented at the dock without planning.....it was $40 for a simple Jeep. Book in advance if you can get a better deal than that. Worked out fine for me.
ncounty is offline  
Feb 16th, 2009, 04:51 AM
Join Date: Oct 2003
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Our last time in Cozumel, (September) we got a cab driver who took us all over Cozumel, showed us parts of Cozumal we had never seen in our MANY cruises there. With the driver, he could tell us about things and one of us did not have to watch the roa, we could ALL look at the "scenery'. The driver must keep his eye on the road and the other WILD drivers! We never rent cars on cruises - let the driver, who knows where to go, take us all over!
bonniejns is offline  
Feb 18th, 2009, 01:25 PM
Join Date: Sep 2007
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Take a cab. you don't want to rent a car and deal with the "fallout" when things go wrong.
Eschew is offline  
Mar 19th, 2009, 04:40 PM
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 720

Where did your driver take you? We'll be there for only one day in October. (Off a cruise ship. Not my normal thing but this is a family wedding trip.) I'd really like to see the lighthouse at the end and go on the "wild side" of the island. (That's more my kind of thing.) But because of possible issues, I'd rather leave the driving to someone else.

Anything more you can tell me about this would be greatly appreciated.

Floridafran is offline  
Mar 20th, 2009, 02:46 AM
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 460
We asked someone on the upper level of the open air mall across from the ship. Think he was holding a sign about tours. We haggled until we got the price we wanted. Then he took us to our driver. But, I am sure you can just get a cab and tell him where you want to go, what you want to do/see. We went to the 'small ruins' not the real ones. They weren't worth it so go to the main ruins. I can't tell you how many times we've been to Cozumel but we went with my cousin and her husband who happened to be on another ship who switched to Western because of Hurricane Ike! They didn't even know we were cruising let alone docked across the pier from them! - another great story later...........
bonniejns is offline  
Mar 21st, 2009, 11:57 AM
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 720

That does sound like another great story.

Thanks for the info.
Floridafran is offline  
Mar 27th, 2009, 07:35 AM
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Renting a car in Cozumel, Mexico is no big deal. The horror stories told about Mexican car rentals are nearly all regarding the Western part of the country. Having said that, it is wise to have the extra insurance included. No worries that way. I can guarantee you that you'll get a better price if you reserve with one of the small companies in advance than what you will get just hopping off a cruise ship. Your cruise line has already set "deals" (for themselves) with any rental company that will be near the pier (which the cruise lines own). The rental companies must give a healthy kickback to the cruise line in order to do business there, so its much more difficult for them to give YOU a better price. Same goes for any shop that the cruise line has listed on their "safe places to shop" map. Those "get your map stamped for a prize" schemes are how the cruise lines keep track of you and were you shop so they know how much in kickback they are owed.

Having said all that, here's the deal. It is much more convenient for you to rent a car at the cruise dock than for you to pay for a taxi to take you to a small car rental company in town. You'll pay out your savings in taxi fares. So for just one day, take whatever you can get. I would advise you to reserve in advance as there will be a limited number of cars and a whole lot of people getting off that jumbo cruise ship -- not to mention there will be anywhere from 3-7 ships in port at the very same time.

Your cruise line will offer you excursions to the light house and/or the wild side of the island. They will include transportation and everything else. You'll pay more, but again, its about convenience. The wild side is made up of long stretches of beach, but be aware that they are somewhat erroded from the hurricanes now. The few beach clubs (Coconuts, etc.) on the other side will be filled with cruise ship passengers. So if you're looking to avoid that, its rather fruitless. Good luck and have fun.
TC is offline  
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