Car Rental in Playa del Carmen
Cheapest Car Rental Rates
Most Popular Car Rental Deals
Why rent a car in Playa del Carmen?
The coastal city of Playa del Carmen has long been seen as a more laid-back alternative to its larger, feistier sister Cancun. The beaches are just as picturesque, but the smaller crowds create a different atmosphere; also, you can often find a better value for things like accommodation and rental cars. Located right in the center of the so-called Mayan Riviera, the city can serve as a hub from which to explore the surrounding region.
One-Way Car Rentals in Playa del Carmen
The most popular one-way rental options for pick up in Playa del Carmen and drop off in another city include:
- From Playa del Carmen to Cancun - 132 offers from US$ 22.30 per day
- From Playa del Carmen to Tulum - 53 offers from US$ 25.95 per day
- From Playa del Carmen to Merida - 61 offers from US$ 32.52 per day
- From Playa del Carmen to Chetumal - 10 offers from US$ 41.27 per day
Top ways to enter Playa del Carmen
- Cancun Airport: The second-busiest in Mexico, Cancun Airport handled more than 12 million travelers in 2019. The airport provides many connections with destinations in the Americas, as well as Europe. Cancun Airport is about 55km (34 miles) north of Playa del Carmen and the trip between the two takes 40 to 60 minutes.
- Cozumel Airport: Named after the nearby island on which it is located, Cozumel Airport is served by more than 10 different airlines and provides many domestic links, as well as flights to the United States, Canada, and other countries. The mainland and Playa del Carmen are a short ferry ride away.
Top destinations and activities
- Beaches. The beautiful beaches of Playa del Carmen are the number one reason why people visit the city — and there are plenty to choose from! Whether you have fun at the busy Mamitas Beach known for its bars and parties, go snorkeling at Coco Reef, marvel at the famous arch at the Parque Fundadores, or simply soak up the sea and the sun at one of the others, you’re bound to have a great time.
- Cozumel. Known for amazing beaches, world-class diving, and a fun atmosphere, Cozumel is a great place — and as it’s only a stone’s throw from Playa del Carmen, it would be a shame not to visit! Do keep in mind, though, that not every ferry company permits bringing a vehicle along, so make sure to look that up in advance. Also, check if your rental car company permits bringing a vehicle to Cozumel. Alternatively, you can leave your car in Playa del Carmen and explore Cozumel by taxi or on foot — the island is not very big and the distances between most of the popular tourist spots are small.
- Tulum. An ancient walled settlement of the indigenous Mayans, Tulum is one of the most notable historical attractions in Quintana Roo. The archaeological site can be quite busy but is definitely worth a visit. Other attractions in the area include great beaches for kitesurfing, the protected wetlands of Sian Ka'an, and even traditional Mayan spas. Located 65km (40 miles) south of Playa del Carmen, Tulum can be reached in about one hour.
Traffic and parking tips
There have been numerous reports of police officers asking for bribes in both Cancun and the entire Yucatan area. If you are stopped by the police, insist on going to the police to pay the fine along with keeping record of any details to be able to file a complaint. One particularly heinous scheme is to stop tourists as they are returning to the airport as it is known that they will not have time to go to the police station nor file any form of complaint. There have been reports of this happening near the Puerto Juarez ferry terminal. The best defense in this case is to return to the airport even earlier than you otherwise would to leave plenty of time in case anything like this were to happen.
In regards to legitimate police stops, note the changes in speed limits and follow them as speeding fines are common. While tourists used to be able to drink and drive without impunge, nowadays there is no tolerance for drunk driving. Many checkpoints are often set up in and around Cancun. Do not drink and drive unless you want a stay in a Mexican to be part of your vacation stories.
Mexico has a program called Angeles Verdes (Green Angels) which provides trucks that patrol the tolled highways to assist drivers of broken down vehicles. The operators of these trucks can fix basic problems or tow your vehicle and will do it for free. You can call the Green Angels toll-free at 01-800-987-8224 or dial 078 in an emergency. Do be sure to keep your receipt from the tolls, as this is funded through the tolls.
Parking is not much of a worry in this part of Mexico. Every hotel in Cancun and the surrounding area provides free parking for guests. Shopping centers also offer free parking (though it may be time-limited). It is also possible to park near the Punta Juarez ferry terminal. If traveling to Cozumel without your car, two paid parking lots and an underground parking garage are located near the ferry terminal in Playa del Carmen.
Though Mexico is known for cartel violence, the Yucatan area is not among the hotspots for this (though there has been an increase in violence in Cancun itself). Tourists are not usually the targets of this violence. It is advisable to avoid driving at night, particularly on rural roads. Bandidos are rarer now, but can still be a problem at night.
Mexico has an extensive system of toll roads due to a government program started in the 1980s to update the country’s road system. The Mexican toll road system is called Cuota. Toll booths are located along the highways at the end of sections of the road, therefore, on a long ride, you can pass through multiple toll booths. While credit cards used to be accepted, drivers can now only pay with either cash or an electronic tag placed on the car’s windshield. The electronic tags may be available from your rental car provider but usually comes with a fee. However, the fee is usually just a one-time fee for the tag, not a daily fee as in other places like many places in the United States. ATMs are few and far between along the highways, so be sure to keep plenty of cash to pay for the tolls.
Compared to other countries, Mexico’s tolls can seem rather expensive. It is possible, however, to avoid most toll roads as Libre (or free) roads usually go alongside them, though they are much slower to travel on due to going through many villages along the way. This may make for more scenic travel on short trips but would certainly hinder progress on any long trips.
Ideas for a day-trip
- Chichen Itza. The Mayan city of Chichen Itza is arguably one of the most impressive pre-Columbian sites in all of the Americas. Inhabited for more than 1,000 years, it was the home of Mayan kings and priests, but it was abandoned after colonization and was overtaken by the rainforest before being turned into a historical attraction in the 20th century. Located 185km (115 miles) west of Playa del Carmen, Chichen Itza can be reached in about 2 hours and 20 minutes. As a side note, many visitors to the Yucatan peninsula are surprised to learn that the Mayan people continue to inhabit the area to this day. There are many places in Quintana Roo and neighboring states where you can learn more about them and their culture.
- Valladolid. Named after a city in Northwestern Spain, Valladolid is a small town that punches way above its weight when it comes to scenic colonial architecture. Highlights include the 16th-century former convent of San Bernardino and San Gervasio Cathedral. Many of the town’s most beautiful buildings are located in and near the main square and Francisco Canton Rosado Park. The trip from Playa del Carmen takes about 1 hour and 40 minutes.
- Cenotes. The cenotes of the Yucatan are underground rivers, sinkholes, and craters that can be found across the peninsula. There are many tours that let visitors explore them, providing some of the most impressive and otherworldly experiences one can find in the region. The one closest to Playa del Carmen, Boca del Puma, is only a 50-minute drive away; others include Ik Kil and Zaci near Valladolid as well as some in both the northern and the southern parts of the state.
Most popular rental types and cars
The most popular rental car in Playa del Carmen is the Nissan March, followed by the Chevrolet Spark and the Chevrolet Aveo. The most popular rental car types are economy, compact, and intermediate.
Car Rental Prices in Playa del Carmen
- Large cars - from $31 per day
- Medium cars - from $26 per day
- People Carriers/Vans - from $59 per day
- Premium cars - from $14 per day
- Small cars - from $21 per day
- SUVs - from $56 per day
How can I save money on my rental car?
These are some good methods to save money on your rental car:
- Compare the rates of different rental car providers
- Book your rental car well in advance
- Plan your route before you go
- Know your fuel and mileage requirements
- Visit during the month when the rental prices are the cheapest. According to our data, visiting Playa del Carmen is the cheapest in February when renting a car is about 55% cheaper than the yearly average.
Top 10 Cities near Playa del Carmen
57.4 km / 35.6 miles away
Merida Car Rentals from $13.99 per day274.7 km / 170.7 miles away
Tulum Car Rentals from $14.75 per day66.9 km / 41.6 miles away
Tuxtla Gutiérrez Car Rentals from $14.40 per day778.6 km / 483.8 miles away
Veracruz Car Rentals from $16.27 per day971.5 km / 603.7 miles away
Cozumel Car Rentals from $16.27 per day20.8 km / 12.9 miles away
Chetumal Car Rentals from $13.99 per day275.9 km / 171.5 miles away
Ciudad del Carmen Car Rentals from $16.27 per day547.3 km / 340.1 miles away
Puerto Vallarta Car Rentals from $33.95 per day618.9 km / 384.6 miles away
Chiapa de Corzo Car Rentals from $43.02 per day779.7 km / 484.5 miles away
Top 20 Locations near Playa del Carmen
Playa Del Carmen Ocean Riviera Paradise Hotel Car Rentals from $11.92 per day
Playa Del Carmen Tucan Hotel Car Rentals from $13.99 per day5.9 km / 3.7 miles away
Playa del Carmen Sandos Playacar Beach Resort Car Rentals from $20.82 per day9.7 km / 6.0 miles away
Playa Del Carmen Riviera Maya Car Rentals from $6.31 per day13.5 km / 8.4 miles away
Playa del Carmen Airport Car Rentals from $18.11 per day20.8 km / 12.9 miles away
Cozumel Airport Car Rentals from $16.27 per day20.8 km / 12.9 miles away
Cancun Airport Car Rentals from $13.99 per day44.4 km / 27.6 miles away
Cancun Hotel Zone Car Rentals from $18.11 per day59.8 km / 37.2 miles away
Merida Airport Car Rentals from $13.99 per day274.7 km / 170.7 miles away
Chetumal Airport Car Rentals from $13.99 per day275.9 km / 171.5 miles away
Ciudad del Carmen Airport Car Rentals from $16.27 per day547.3 km / 340.1 miles away
Tuxtla Gutiérrez Airport Car Rentals from $14.40 per day778.6 km / 483.8 miles away
Chiapa de Corzo Airport Car Rentals from $43.02 per day779.7 km / 484.5 miles away
Veracruz Airport Car Rentals from $16.27 per day971.5 km / 603.7 miles away
Bahias de Huatulco International Airport Car Rentals from $16.27 per day1115.5 km / 693.1 miles away
Puerto Escondito Playa Zicatela Car Rentals from $24.61 per day1185.5 km / 736.6 miles away
Puerto Escondido Airport Car Rentals from $16.27 per day1187.7 km / 738.0 miles away
Puebla International Airport Car Rentals from $13.99 per day1196.8 km / 743.7 miles away
Benito Juarez International Airport Car Rentals from $13.99 per day1264.5 km / 785.7 miles away
Mexico - Santa Fe Car Rentals from $24.61 per day1285.6 km / 798.8 miles away
Map of Car Rental Locations
Which is the cheapest month to rent a car in Playa del Carmen?
What’s the usual rental length in Playa del Carmen?
What's the most popular month to rent a car in Playa del Carmen?
Most Popular Car Models of Rental Suppliers
|NUCarrentals||Holden Spark||4||1||Small cars|
|Thrifty||Chevrolet Beat||5||1||Small cars|
|MEX RENT A CAR||VW Polo||4||1||Small cars|
|NUCarrentals||VW Golf||4||2||Medium cars|
|Europcar||Renault Kwid||4||1||Small cars|
|Economy rent a car||Jeep Wrangler||4||2||SUVs|
|NUCarrentals||Chevrolet Beat||4||2||Medium cars|
|NUCarrentals||Nissan March||4||1||Small cars|