Renting a Car in Puerto Vallarta

Getting around Puerto Vallarta and Banderas Bay is quite easy, even if you don’t speak Spanish. While public transportation is efficient and taxis are affordable, renting a car offers so much more freedom of movement and comfort. Here is a short guide to renting a car in Puerto Vallarta.

How to choose a car rental company?

If you are familiar with a particular brand and like to keep earning points, stick to the brand you are comfortable with. Most international companies operate in Mexico. Smaller “mom and pop” shops lack the service many are used to so you are recommended to stick with your preferred reputable brand. Read reviews before renting a car in Puerto Vallarta and compare prices.

Things to remember

  • Booking online can save you money and give you access to the best deals, just be aware that the prices quoted online do not always include the costs for obligatory insurance coverage. You are also recommended to opt for full coverage.
  • Make sure when receiving your vehicle you do a complete inspection for imperfections inside and out. Take photographs where necessary. You do not want to be blamed for dents and scrapes that were caused by a previous driver. Do your homework, even if you are in a rush to hit the road.
  • Some highways have tolls but the price is well worth it to enjoy modern asphalt roads. Use google earth to navigate the terrain prior to getting behind the wheel. This can give you a good idea as to what lays ahead.

Where to go?

Everywhere! Do some research and find out just what lays beyond those tropical mountains. We can assure you that those who dare to venture, find!  You can encounter forgotten magical towns nestled in the mountains, like San Sebastian and Mascota, where you will find that temperatures drop drastically from the Puerto Vallarta heat; venture into the cities like Guadalajara, stopping at the famous town of Tequila on the way (be sure to spend the night if you are tempted to tequila tasting); drive to the surf towns of Sayulita and San Pancho for a boho chic experiences or explore the coast around Punta Mita and Bucerias. The options are endless when renting a car in Puerto Vallarta.

puerto vallarta

Safety

When renting a car in Puerto Vallarta, you are advised to take caution, keep to the speed limits and respect traffic lights. As in many countries, using a mobile phone or texting while driving, drinking under the influence of alcohol or drugs and driving without a seatbelt are illegal in Mexico.

For your personal safety, you are recommend to avoid picking up hitchhikers and to travel during daylight hours. If you encounter a police or military checkpoint, answer questions cordially, follow instructions but we recommend to avoid getting out of your vehicle. While driving around town and sat at traffic lights, you should have the doors of your car locked (on highways, keep them unlocked).

Mexican Road Signs to help you when renting a car in Puerto Vallarta

Here is a short guide to familiarize yourself with Mexico’s Road Signs:

Alto – Stop
No Hay Paso – Road Closed
Despacio – Slow
No Rebase – No Passing
No estacionarse – No parking
Curva Peligrosa – Dangerous Curve
Ceda el paso – Yield
Conserve su derecha- Keep right
Topes – Speed bumps
Desviación – Detour

Most importantly, relax, take your time, stop and explore enchanting towns while making new friends. There is always a friendly Oxxo convenience store or family run store to grab staple items like coffee, snacks and toiletries on your way.