My family and I rented a van from Caribbean Rent a Car during our Christmas family vacation. They met us at the airport quite late at night when our flight arrived. They were very nice and accomodating to my family and I. We also wanted to extend our stay in Mexico so I called the car rental agency and asked for a few extra days which they agreed to with no problem. I would definately rent a vehicle from them again and would highly recommend them to anybody interested in renting a vehicle in Cancun.
I would suggest that you rent a car- for longer trips, it would be the cheapest way to go. You can get one when you get there, or order one in advance. You can try priceline.com or some other sites for the best rate. They are fairly reasonable, I have gotten them for about $150/wk., depending on the season. There is also the $11 worth of insurance they tack on to keep in mind. But, it would still save you a bundle! You can also try www.beachcondocancun.com/thingstodo.asp for places to check on the best car rates. If you are just getting around Cancun, there are great buses at only 65 cents to use, that go up and down the main street regularly.
Take photo's of your vehicle for scratches and dents. Show it the person renting you the car and make sure he makes a note of the damage. I took all the insurance just in case. Driving out of the city is not to bad.
If you rent in Cancun, verify were they are after you get to Cancun.
We rent a car on the internet before we arrived in Cancun. It is much easier to go around when you have a car. We drove to Puerto Morelos for snorkling .(just hired a guide with a boat on the beach $ 25/person, they povide life jacket and snorkling gear).
We drove to Xcaret too. We came back around 7;30 PM . It is quite safe to drive on 307 toll road
Keep the tank at leat half full. Gas Stations are scarce in the HOTEL ZONE...Also on the expressway to Chitzen Itza and Merida...Gas can be hard to fine. Be prepared.
Also, insurance is expensive. Our insurance cost more than the car rental itself...
Also prepare for tolls on the expressway.
Convenient, but rather pricey...
Renting a car in Cancun is actually a really good thing to do if you are down there for a week or more. It provides convience to and from destinations that tour buses usually travel to, because with a car you are not stuck with their designed itenerary, and you can go when you want, and leave that particular place when you want. The price is not bad at all, it is actually quite reasonable. David's dad rented one for our trip to Tulum and Xel Ha. We also used the car to go to Playa Del Carmen. Using the car cut down time, and ended up being quite useful. The photo I provided was not of the our actual car, I still need to get that from David's dad.( so this will have to do for now) Sorry!
There are many car rental agencies around Cancun. And they advertise reasonable prices ($14 US a day). If you decide to rent a car in Mexico, beware. I have heard stories of tourists being pulled over by the police for doing nothing wrong. You cannot fight them and must pay them with a bribe. I've had this happen to friends and we saw a lot of tourists being pulled over by the police in the hotel zone.
My only advice on this is don't. There really is no need to rent a car for getting about the hotel zone. The only time you may want to consider it is if you want to go off exploring and do Chichen Itza, Tulum etc. on your own without the bind of an itinerary. If this is the case then shop around, preferably downtown, and check out the insurance arrangements in detail, also document in detail any scratches or bumps before leaving the hire place. Beware of the driving habits in Mexico, you will see what I mean when you have taken a couple of bus trips or taxi journeys, it is not like home. If you do go further afield bear in mind that gas stations may be infrequent and the roads may be in poor repair, don't be surprised to hit a speed bump/mountain without prior warning and be prepared to get lost, make sure you have a good map with you. On your travels you may encounter army checkpoints, at first site these can be pretty scary but don't worry, they are mainly checking for drugs and in my experience will wave you on without too much fuss. If you travel to Chichen Itza from Cancun along the main highway be aware that this is a toll road and you will need to make sure you have enough cash to pay the fees both ways, it's not a good idea to be turned off the main road and have to travel back along the jungle route.
You don't need it just to go up and down the Hotel Zone -- there's a terrific bus that does that and is half the fun. But to see other parts of the Yucatan coast, it is essential.
I got to show off my spatial skills in packing way too much stuff into our rented VW Bug! We made it just fine, from the Airport to our hotel and again back to the rental turn-in. Dollar Rental Cars needed two vehicles to ferry us (Mom, Dad and two teens) and our luggage to the airport upon departure.
Rent a Car is the better way to go around Can Cun, don't feel afraid to stop in small places as Playa del carmen in your trip, it make it fun.
Better if you are a spanish speaker, don't be affraid of ask directions, but always trust in your feelings about people and not go to hide roads if there aren't Big signs as in Chichen itza or Xel ha.
The buses around Cancun are great. There is no need to drive or take a taxi.
We took a tour bus to Chichin Itza. Because we were staying at a Palace hotel, this tour was included. It would have been worth the cost not to have to drive, particulalry since we stayed for the light and sound show at night.
We figured out the tours we wanted to do through the hotel and then rented a car for the remaining time in order to give us maximum flexibility in getting to various snorkeling spots and ruins (such as Muyil) where buses would have been far more problematic.
But make sure that you check your confirmation with the local office. We reserved a car through Thrifty, only to be told that there were no cars available. The agent said that this was not an unusual problem for them and refused to call other companies on our behalf.
RENTAL CARS : We rented a jeep from the hotel. Well, kind of a jeep! It was sooooooo dangerous to drive that thing! No speedometer, no gazline, the transmission and the direction were not answering very well...Look at my wrist, how much strenght I had to use to keep the car going strainght! And we couldn't adjust the seat. But I have to admit that it was worth it to visit a bit around!
There are plenty of buses plying the roads of the Riviera Maya. No need to take a tour folks, just grab a bus and go wherever your heart desires :).