Ever since Jack Kerouac took the Beat Generation south of the border on his masterpiece “On the Road”, driving in Mexico has always had some mystical allure to foreigners. In reality, driving in Mexico is much easier than in any other part of North America or Europe. This is a laid back country, with laid back laws, and laid back police officers. So everything should go smooth while you drive South with the wind hitting you in the face; that is until you get in some kind of trouble…
Getting in any kind of trouble in Mexico is not nice, the same laid back laws that applied before don’t look like that when you are the one in trouble. You can avoid most kind of troubles, by getting a Mexican Auto Insurance. If you have an accident, your foreign auto insurance policy won’t be accepted. You need a Mexican one, that include claims adjusters coming to the scene of the accident and an attorney. It is important for you to know that Mexican liability theory, operates from the starting assumption that one who hits pays. That’s the most important thing you need to know about driving in Mexico, get a Mexican Auto Insurance!
Besides that, well, you must have a driving license, don’t drive when drinking and respect the traffic lights…You should also get a map. Nowadays with the advent of smartphones, Google Maps are of great help, but you have to consider that in Mexico you may not get 3G network access everywhere. The GuiaRoji maps are one of the best options in Mexico and they’ll take you anywhere. Safety dictates that you should stay on the toll roads. These are the “Cuota” highways, that are similar in quality to those in the U.S., they won’t take you everywhere, but as long as you have to choose between a “Cuota” and a “Libre” (Free), choose the “Cuota”; that’s money well spent. You should also avoid driving at night, and never stop for hitchhikers or when you see some foreign object in the road, these are normally place there by bandits who are out for your cash.
Most Mexican highways operate an outstanding roadside assistance program called the “Angeles Verdes” (Green Angels). This is a Federal Government service completely free of charge and if you have any kind of trouble they will surely help you out. You can call them by dialing 078. If you’ like to drive your own car into Mexico, you will need a tourist card and a temporary vehicle importation permit, both of which you can get at the border.
There are a few routes that are very interesting to drive through:
1.Baja: the Baja California Peninsula is an amazing drive. The desert landscapes mix with the stunning ocean views providing a fascinating experience.2.Yucatan Peninsula: driving up and down the Riviera Maya and the Yucatan Peninsula is an unforgettable experience. Cancun-Playa del Carmen, Merida-Cancun, Cancun-Chichen Itza, there are so many places to go…3.Veracruz-Mexico City: this is the route first taken by the Spanish Conquerors and it is still as impressive as back then. Go from sea level to over 7,000 ft in less than six hours. Snowy volcanoes included.