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View Full Version : Rental Cars in Cozumel?


PotatoHead
09-06-2007, 06:30 PM
Hello, I will be traveling by cruise to Cozumel and would like to rent a car for a day. I have been doing a little research and have become a little concerned by the what I am finding. There are several rental places apparently but I am finding negative reviews about all of them. Has anyone had any experience with any of these car rental places?
Smart Car Rentals
Less Pay Car Rental
Executive Car Rental

Any help or advice would be greatly appreciated. Thank you!
Linda

mercwyn
09-06-2007, 06:39 PM
I can't say that I'm an expert on Cozumel and car rentals however I would stick to Hertz or Avis because if there is an issue it is generally easier to work with a US based rental agency. In travel, the cheapest is not always the best value nor is it always the cheapest when all is said and done.

CruiseExpert
09-06-2007, 07:06 PM
We rented a Jeep through Avis last time in Cozumel, nary a hitch. Enjoy your day.

wrp96
09-06-2007, 08:27 PM
I would caution you against renting a car in Cozumel unless you really don't want to do anything else. A lot of the places are easily accessible by taxi (for a lot less than it will cost to rent a car). I've seen too many stories of people getting into accidents and having major issues getting things sorted out.

I'm not saying don't rent a car, but definitely do your research before assuming that it will be the best option.

jfrenaye
09-06-2007, 09:26 PM
I always hesitate to recommend renting a car in Mexico for anyone. Their laws are different and if you are in an accident, you can be held in jail till the case is heard. That would be a bummer. The exceptions are organized excursions such as the jeep tours where you go caravaning all around with a gang.

Send a PM to MTP51. SHe is there often and does rent vehicles I believe. I am pretty sure she did when we were there last October. She would have some good advice!

mtp51
09-07-2007, 01:20 PM
Linda,
Of the companies you listed, I could vouch for Executive. I have rented from Avis 6 - 8 times and Hertz 3 or 4 in CZM. We had some iffy experiences with Hertz but it's been a few years. Avis has been very solid - their airport desk representative has been the same for quite a few years; even remembers our name!
Last Oct. was the first time I rented with Executive, scheduling the pick-up at the cruise ship terminal. It was truly seamless and I was initially very apprehensive. At the end of the dock was an Executive rep, we followed him to the parking lot behind Punta Langosta, completed the paperwork and we were in the jeep and on our way within 15 min. I would patronize Executive again if I arrived on a cruise ship.
A word of caution: If you have never been to Cozumel, make sure you get a decent map and figure out where you are going. The island is not large but you still need to have a plan. There are websites with detailed maps.
http://www.cozumel.net/maps.htm
http://www.travelnotes.cc/cozumel/links/mapisland.html
http://www.gocozumel.com/map.htm
Have your rental car rep explain the parking rules. If you get a ticket, which happens frequently, the rental company settles up with the police long after your departure and the surprise on your credit card won't be pleasant!

Enjoy your trip!

PotatoHead
09-16-2007, 10:15 AM
Thanks all for your great replies.
Marge, if I may... I actually went on line and booked a reservation for an Executive car but I am as you said a little apprehensive. In my confirmation that I received back from them nothing was listed on it except the "Estimated Total" :eek: Not even the location or pickup date. The reservation website is located in Cancun, apparently. I tried calling the 800 number and and 998 number that was on the confirmation but was unable to contact anyone. The 800 number was a number for some business in San Diego.

I was wondering if you might have a contact number for them. I would love to actually talk to someone in person, email would actually be okay if it were directly to someone in Cozumel. I think you understand my worries. I signed up for a Dodge Atos (I thought it was so cute and would be fun to drive a different kind of car) but on the confirmation it has the words Selected Vehicle: or similar and nothing else which means they could really give me anything on the lot.:eek: I am not picky. My daughter will be driving and she drives a standard but we are from Rockies area and are a little afraid of the humidity so the only thing we really care about is air conditioning.

Anyway.... If you don't mind and have the time any help would be greatly appreciated. You can email me if you aren't able to post the info at glenandlinda at mail.com. Thanks!

Linda

Kairho
09-16-2007, 10:42 AM
Estimated total is usual if quoted to you in US dollars. They will usually charge you in pesos and the actual final charge may vary according to exchange rate and any bank fees on your side.

Or similar, again, is usual because it is very difficult to guarantee a specific vehicle will be available. This because of the nature of vehicle rental.

PotatoHead
09-16-2007, 11:06 AM
Kairho, I didn't even think about the dollar vs peso thing so the Estimate is about the only thing they can put there. I am such a novice traveler. Put me in the Rockies in an RV and I am at home and can pretty much answer any questions but on a ship that holds almost as many people that live in my town and anywhere out of the USA.... :eek:

This forum is so helpful. I am glad I found it.

Linda

mtp51
09-16-2007, 11:55 AM
Linda,
Don't worry about calling them. I don't think it's necessary. Just print out the confirmation email and take it with you. They have a location right across the street from the cruise ship dock - as I stated earlier. You will see many vendors with signs and you'll just need to look for the Executive rep. Just walk right up and say you need to pick up a vehicle. You'll have the confirmation number/email with you. That's all that is needed. If for some reason you don't like the vehicle they offer, just tell them and ask what else they have. The locals are very friendly and those dealing with tourists speak sufficient English. As far as the air conditioning, fagetaboutit! :)
You're on an island! Enjoy the breeze as there is always one. I have never used air conditioning in a car in Cozumel. I can't imagine being closed up. That's why we always rent a jeep.
Let me know if you need further information.

PS - you ARE actually emailing Executive in Cozumel - or at least I did.

weblet
09-16-2007, 02:31 PM
Welcome, Linda! Keep on posting...

You should know (if you do not rent cars often), that the Selected vehicle or similar phrase is pretty standard throughout the industry - here in the US, Europe, Asia... just about anywhere you rent a car. As Kairho said, they cannot guarantee a specific vehicle because someone may not return a vehicle on time, or there may be mechanical issues, etc. the only time I've seen a car company even come close to guaranteeing a vehicle is when you are renting a very high-end vehicle, like Hertz's Prestige Line (Jaguars, Porche, etc).

PotatoHead
09-16-2007, 09:30 PM
Marge, you are helping me to feel so much better about all this. I am glad to know that there will be someone right there as I get off the ship.
I actually took your earlier advice and ordered a super nice map from http://www.cozumel.net/maps.htm so I am all set there but wasn't sure which Executive office was the right one get the car. Meeting them right off the ship will be so much easier. Also, I am now thinking that you may be right about the open air car. That definitely sounds more fun!

Weblet, so actually all of this is making perfect sense! LOL

I didn't know you could be so nervous and excited about a vacation at the same time!

You guys are so great.

Thanks again so much for all the help.

Linda

mpg1226
09-29-2007, 07:46 AM
I just booked a Jeep Wrangler for clients traveling to the Riviera Maya from Hertz to be picked up at the Cancun airport. I checked the major car companies and Hertz's prices were among the best BUT is was for a manual transmission and if the clients don't take their CDW at $38.95 per day, the local Hertz rental agency will put a hold on their credit card for up to $1500 (approx 10% of the value of the vehicle).

I advised against renting the car for the length of stay since they are staying at a deluxe all inclusive resort but they think they will be out and about every day.

Any one have experience with renting cars on a daily basisi from the resorts?

bodega
09-29-2007, 11:16 AM
We had friends staying on Cozumel when our ship docked at the island. They rented a car from their hotel, picked us up and we spent the day seeing the island. Our favorite time was on the back side of the island. There were no tourists, the beaches were beautiful, the water was lovely to look at but not safe for swimming. The car was a manual transmission that required the driver to pop the clutch while the rest of us pushed the car. A small detail that was not mentioned at the time of rental:lol: Fortunately we had several strong backs and all had a good sense of humor!!

PotatoHead
10-18-2007, 11:19 AM
Well, we made it back from our amazing journey safe and sound. I wanted to come back here and say thank you for all your help and encouragement.
We got off the Carnival Conquest at the huge pier and made our way to the customs area. I had my reservation confirmation with Executive Rental Cars so we made our way over to where the rental car people were and a fellow told us to follow him to the Executive office in the mall. The mall is gorgeous and huge. It is very fancy and has every kind of souvenir, jewelry and household goods shop you can imagine.

The Executive guy took us to the office on the second level and told us to show the reservation confirmation to the fellow behind the counter and he would take care of us. We showed him the confirmation, filled out a form and then were told to go down the stairs and out the back and Jose would take us to the car. We did what he said and sure enough there was Jose ready to help us. He took us all around the car to check for damage and then Jose told us about getting gas. We were to be sure make sure that when we got gas at the gas station that we checked that the pumps were set on zero and we were to get the green gas. In other words, we were to get the gas that was labeled in green. We were also told not to park in any place that was painted red or yellow and then we were off.

We made our way carefully south out of town. The air conditioner was amazing and we were so thankful for the cold air as the heat and humidity was extremely hot to us. My daughter was driving and she learned very quickly that the car didnít have power steering or power anything. We didnít really care, though, we were just glad for the air conditioning. LOL

We drove around the island, making a few stops along the coast, at a beach and at an area where there were some souviner stands set up, as we went around and then made our way to a really neat restaurant called Coconuts. This is considered the highest point on the island so we took photos and decided to eat lunch there. We shared a plate of scrumptious quesadillas and we each had a huge virgin pina colada. We had such a fun time at this place.

The restaurant was completely open all around and had a large thatched roof. There were funny signs hanging everywhere as well as all kinds, shapes and sizes of underwear and t-shirts that had been signed by fellow patrons. There was a rooster who was quite at home walking around under the tables, two dogs, a huge fat cat, a chameleon and a parrot. The people who worked there were very friendly and gave us plenty to eat and seemed very glad to have us there.

After we enjoyed our lunch we left and headed around the rest of the island. After arriving back in town we found a gas station, filled up the car and then returned it back to Jose who was waiting for us in the parking lot. He checked the car over and said he would vacuum out the sand for us and sent us on our way.

We did some shopping for vanilla at a local grocery store near the pier named Sedena. It was fun shopping there and we also bought some bottled water. The people running the store didnít speak any English but we managed to buy our purchases with no problem.

We made our way back to the mall area and found a post office where I was able to mail some post cards and then we made our way back to the ship. We went up to an upper deck and enjoyed sailing away from Cozumel, my favorite port of call.

If you would like to see a slide show of my cruise you are welcome to visit at these links. I think the second half would have the part where we visited Cozumel and rented the car. The slide show all total is about 16 minutes long so only go if you like to watch boring family movies. LOL

1st half

http://youtube.com/watch?v=q-xHfqW5e5c

2nd half

http://youtube.com/watch?v=gdzYEkSnsao

Thanks again for all your help. This web site was extremely helpful!

Linda

mtp51
10-18-2007, 08:18 PM
Linda,
I am so glad everything worked out for you with Executive. I felt certain it would. Just reading your post makes me miss CZM so much!! I can see you at Coconuts! The only thing I can't relate to is an air conditioned car on that island but to each his own!
Welcome back!

mtp51
10-18-2007, 08:20 PM
I just booked a Jeep Wrangler for clients traveling to the Riviera Maya from Hertz to be picked up at the Cancun airport. I checked the major car companies and Hertz's prices were among the best BUT is was for a manual transmission and if the clients don't take their CDW at $38.95 per day, the local Hertz rental agency will put a hold on their credit card for up to $1500 (approx 10% of the value of the vehicle).

I advised against renting the car for the length of stay since they are staying at a deluxe all inclusive resort but they think they will be out and about every day.

Any one have experience with renting cars on a daily basisi from the resorts?

Renting vehicles directly from resorts is convenient and painless. Just be prepared to pay a bit more.

tvl counts
01-14-2008, 02:57 PM
I have the funniest pictures of my grandson with the parrot at Coconuts. This brought back some funny memories...thanks!

Swtgypsy
04-13-2008, 04:07 PM
Well, we made it back from our amazing journey safe and sound. I wanted to come back here and say thank you for all your help and encouragement.
We got off the Carnival Conquest at the huge pier and made our way to the customs area. I had my reservation confirmation with Executive Rental Cars so we made our way over to where the rental car people were and a fellow told us to follow him to the Executive office in the mall. The mall is gorgeous and huge. It is very fancy and has every kind of souvenir, jewelry and household goods shop you can imagine.

The Executive guy took us to the office on the second level and told us to show the reservation confirmation to the fellow behind the counter and he would take care of us. We showed him the confirmation, filled out a form and then were told to go down the stairs and out the back and Jose would take us to the car. We did what he said and sure enough there was Jose ready to help us. He took us all around the car to check for damage and then Jose told us about getting gas. We were to be sure make sure that when we got gas at the gas station that we checked that the pumps were set on zero and we were to get the green gas. In other words, we were to get the gas that was labeled in green. We were also told not to park in any place that was painted red or yellow and then we were off.

We made our way carefully south out of town. The air conditioner was amazing and we were so thankful for the cold air as the heat and humidity was extremely hot to us. My daughter was driving and she learned very quickly that the car didnít have power steering or power anything. We didnít really care, though, we were just glad for the air conditioning. LOL

We drove around the island, making a few stops along the coast, at a beach and at an area where there were some souviner stands set up, as we went around and then made our way to a really neat restaurant called Coconuts. This is considered the highest point on the island so we took photos and decided to eat lunch there. We shared a plate of scrumptious quesadillas and we each had a huge virgin pina colada. We had such a fun time at this place.

The restaurant was completely open all around and had a large thatched roof. There were funny signs hanging everywhere as well as all kinds, shapes and sizes of underwear and t-shirts that had been signed by fellow patrons. There was a rooster who was quite at home walking around under the tables, two dogs, a huge fat cat, a chameleon and a parrot. The people who worked there were very friendly and gave us plenty to eat and seemed very glad to have us there.

After we enjoyed our lunch we left and headed around the rest of the island. After arriving back in town we found a gas station, filled up the car and then returned it back to Jose who was waiting for us in the parking lot. He checked the car over and said he would vacuum out the sand for us and sent us on our way.

We did some shopping for vanilla at a local grocery store near the pier named Sedena. It was fun shopping there and we also bought some bottled water. The people running the store didnít speak any English but we managed to buy our purchases with no problem.

We made our way back to the mall area and found a post office where I was able to mail some post cards and then we made our way back to the ship. We went up to an upper deck and enjoyed sailing away from Cozumel, my favorite port of call.

If you would like to see a slide show of my cruise you are welcome to visit at these links. I think the second half would have the part where we visited Cozumel and rented the car. The slide show all total is about 16 minutes long so only go if you like to watch boring family movies. LOL

1st half

http://youtube.com/watch?v=q-xHfqW5e5c

2nd half

http://youtube.com/watch?v=gdzYEkSnsao

Thanks again for all your help. This web site was extremely helpful!

Linda

Hi Linda,

My Mom and I are planning a cruise and Cozumel is one of our stops and I was trying to figure out if we should rent a car and your experience and video helped me decide :) It looks like it was fairly easy to do and that you had a wonderful time. How was the traffic? I am a little nervous if we were to get into an accident.

Thanks,

Tanja

Ned
04-13-2008, 04:29 PM
Tanja, just make sure you rent from a reputable company, not a fly by night hole in the wall, and take full insurance. I had a fender bender in Mexico which wasn't even my fault, but if I had to prove it, well good luck on that, plus I'd have to come back to Mexico at my expense. No thank you. I rented from Alamo (not my favorite, but reliable) and I had full insurance. I will say that on a one day rental, watch out, because often the insurance cost will exceed the cost of the rental. Don't depend on your insurance from home, however.

I forgot to mention that Executive, recommended by Marge and used by PH is a highly reliable company. The only problem I have with them is they don't seem to have LDW (Loss Damage Waiver) available in their insurance package, so if you're in an accident there may very well be a $250 deductible payment due. I'm conservative enough about such things that I prefer to pay more, and in case of an accident be done with the whole thing.

Have a great trip.

Hi Linda,

My Mom and I are planning a cruise and Cozumel is one of our stops and I was trying to figure out if we should rent a car and your experience and video helped me decide :) It looks like it was fairly easy to do and that you had a wonderful time. How was the traffic? I am a little nervous if we were to get into an accident.

Thanks,

Tanja

mtp51
04-14-2008, 07:40 PM
Tanja,
Executive is a fine company - especially for those arriving at the pier. Unless you are completely challenged by rental cars or driving in general, the atmosphere in CZM is not nearly as cautionary as some might think. It all depends on your objectives. I recommend that you tour the island - at a minimum - get to the "wild" side. Enjoy the surf, fresh lobster, shrimp, cerveza and culture that is Cozumel. In 15 years of visits we have yet to encounter a rental car hiccup - okay maybe one parking ticket. :)