Driving in Mexico

Old Jul 7th, 2004, 10:46 AM
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Driving in Mexico

We will be driving from Mexico City to Taxco and Oaxaca. Any suggestions for routes, road conditions etc. would be appreciated. If you used a rental agency at the airport would like comments, especailly concerning optional insurance.
Should I use a US or local Mexican agency?
arbegold is offline  
Old Jul 7th, 2004, 01:41 PM
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First of all, BE CAREFUL! Mexico is more dangerous than you think. I have a very close friend from Mexico City, in Mexico city....a 32 year old male...and he's still weary to do it. If you're going to do it, make sure 1. that you don't have all your money on you at all times, and keep some smaller bills (like 20 USD) seperate. 2. Also, bring some playboys with you. You'd be surprised but they can be used as bribery for the cops and others that may stop you along the way and 3. I would recommend going through an american company if you are american, and getting insurance. I've heard of mexican car companies that work with the police...all of a sudden, your car will be stollen and you'll have to pay a HUGE fee. Please, BE CAREFUL!
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Old Jul 7th, 2004, 05:08 PM
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Although very familiar with your destinations, my driving experience in Mexico is only in the north. I used insurance from AAA and had no problems at all. Although I think the above message is a bit alarmist driving in Mexico is very different. In particular, from my observations as a passenger in Mexico City, it is wild. When I ride with my American friends in Oaxaca I often wonder if I would be as casual about driving around as they are. They just drive on through the lights and stop signs like everyone else. Anyway- you need to check with the rental company and see how you go about getting insurance- you may only be able to purchase it through them for a rental. Get the highest level availible, remember you will be under Napoleanic law and people do go to jail for accidents to get sorted out so good insurance is a must. Finally, unless you really want/need a car how about using the Mexican bus system? It will get you anywhere you want to go with little problem and at much less cost than a rental. You can bus directly from the airport to Cuernavaca, and on to Taxco. Return to Mexico City on the same route and take ADO GL or UNO from the Tapo bus station to Oaxaca. In both Cuernavaca and Oaxaca City there are plenty of city buses. VW vans are the buses in Taxco where a car is not much use anyway, likewsie the whole Oaxaca Valley is well served by various bus lines. Whatever you choose have fun.
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Old Jul 8th, 2004, 05:35 AM
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As always, excellent advice from Dude. The other post was indeed alarmist--the typical tourist line about avoiding everything in Mexico, the food, driving,etc. I have driven in Mexico for many years and don't hesitate to do it when needed.
However, Dude's point about using the buses is excellent. The bus system in Mexico is really good and you can usually get anywhere you want to go, in comfort , at a reasonable price.
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Old Jul 8th, 2004, 08:53 AM
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I'd avoid driving in Mexico City. Take a bus or have your hotel in Cuenavaca arrange for a car to meet you at the airport in Mexico City, then rent a car in Cuenavaca. It would be much cheaper and safer to have the hotel arrange for a taxi, rather than taking one from the airport in Mexico City.
The rest of the country is fine. It's safe and roads are good. Just don't drive at night to avoid cattles wondering on highways. Remember Mexicans behind wheel have death wish, just like in any other Latin countries I've noticed, so drive defensively. Other than that there's no problem. I'd say Iwinokur is alarmist, except regarding Mexico City. It's the only place we got stopped and had to give policeman modida(bribe), their main source of income. Traffic is a nightmare there. You'll see a lot of country and it's beautiful. Don't forget your sunglasses. Sun is strong in that altitude.
 
Old Jul 8th, 2004, 09:14 AM
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All the above posts are valid - I don't think Iwinokur is overly alarmist. You have to be careful and keep to the speed limit. We were pulled over, from hundreds of others zooming faster than us - we must have had a neon light saying tourist above our heads. Use a US agency, good insurance, and keep bribe money on hand. Have fun !
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Old Jul 11th, 2004, 10:01 AM
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Good posts form all. As I said, I have driven for many years all over Mexico and haven't had the first problem. I always make it a point to drive at or below the posted speed limit and am always passed by many locals driving much faster. But, they are in their own country, and I am not.
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Old Jul 13th, 2004, 12:59 PM
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I wouldn't recommend renting a car to go either to Taxco or Oaxaca, because Taxco and Oaxaca are small cities that you can easily go around walking. (Taxi fares range from 1.5 to 2 dlls a ride) and Taxco is on top of a very steep hill and driving there is an extreme experience, left to the very adept taxco drivers.
So...You can easily travel by bus, taking a cab at the airport to the Central del Sur
don't buy the taxi ticket at the ticket booth on the baggage claim exit,
(it's more expensive) there's another taxi service to your left going down the hall they have cheaper rates and they are authorized taxi's (they're yellow and white).
You arrive at central del sur, and there you can buy your tickets to Oaxaca or Taxco. There's a VIP zone to your extreme left, where you can buy 1rst class tickets. (There's a 2 dollar difference between 1rst and 2nd)

Have a great trip, I envy you! The food in Taxco and Oaxaca is great!!!!!
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