When traveling to Mexico or relocating to Mexico, it is always nice to know what your options are for transport. How well is a country organized and how well can you get around?
Public transport in Mexico is very well organized. You have connections to every major city through domestic flights and intercity busses, and islands are connected through ferries and Roro vessels.
And Mexico is even working on a public train system connecting the Pacific coast of Mexico with the Caribbean Coast and the Gulf of Mexico. Connectivity is very important for the Mexican economy.
In the cities, you have the choice of private cars, taxis, colectivos and city buses.
Apps like Uber and Indriver are popular in bigger cities and tourist areas.
Cost of Public Transportation in Mexico
Busses are by far the most popular transport in Mexico. You have them in all price classes and their network of bus companies covers the whole country.
City buses vary from hypermodern to old converted school buses and everything in between. The price for a city bus is usually around 7-10 pesos per trip, they do not do round trips, you hop on and off at either a bus stop or when you want to get off by calling “para”
City buses are what they are: busses that drive within city boundaries. If you want to go further you either take a colectivo, a shared taxi-van, or an intercity bus.
Prices for those depend on distance, company, and sometimes even luggage you take with you.
The long-distance intercity buses vary in price. Cheap budget companies ask only a few hundred pesos for a long-distance trip, while the more coach-like buses including toilets and aircon are a bit more expensive.
Most companies have areas that reach Mexico City, beyond that you have to transfer company.
Metro and Metro Bus
Metro and Metro buses are only found in Mexico City. You can check their website for more information
Taxis in Mexico are great. They take you everywhere. Some have a meter, while others do not. On average the taxi price within city boundaries is between 20-70 pesos.
In some tourist areas designated taxi drivers ride only for tourists and they ask for very high fares. Based on the type of tourism and the local price agreements with local governments. The syndicate will renew those prices every year with the city council and the board of Tourism. You probably pay 5x more for a ride when you take a taxi from the tourism syndicate.
It is wise to demand the meter if there is one. Or ask the price before getting in. You can negotiate the price, but usually, in my experience, most drivers are honest and just charge you the local fare.
Mexico has a fast-growing network of domestic flights, on a daily basis, planes fly between every major city in Mexico.
Mexican airlines like Volaris, Aeromexico, and Viva Aerobus provide very affordable intercity connections on a daily and sometimes even hourly basis.
Renting a Car
Renting a car is always a good idea in your holiday destination. If you have a valid driver’s license and you want to experience foreign traffic this transport allows you to ram around free and visit places tour operators or taxis will not go.
Be aware that Mexican traffic can be extremely chaotic, and there will be lots of “topes” (speedbumps) that will slow you down.
Most Mexican car rental companies require the driver of the car to be at least 25 years. and preferably those who have held licenses for over 2 years. Licenses from most countries are accepted in Mexico but it is always wise to inquire first. You need to have a credit card in your name, to make a security deposit.
When you check for rental services online be aware that the insurance is not included in the price. So prices might seem low. The cost of insurance, which is rather expensive in Mexico can easily double the rental price.
To have insurance with a minimum lawful required coverage is essential to drive federal roads, in Mexico drivers are imprisoned when accidents cannot be resolved due to lack of insurance or unlawful coverage.
Insurance for Rental Cars
The first thing most people do is check for car rentals online. Be aware that the prices will be quite low online if the insurance is not added to it. Make sure you can add the insurance online or at least ask how much it will be once you arrive at the rental car company. The cost of insurance can easily double the initial price.
Having Mexican insurance is essential because if you are involved in an accident, according to Mexican law, uninsured drivers may be arrested and held until the incident is settled.
Make sure the rental company gives you a quick look into Mexican traffic laws and road rules. Which can differ per State.