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.
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!
I rented a car in Cancun to travel to Playa de Carmen for the day. On the way back to our hotel we got pulled over because the police pickup truck could not catch the car speeding by us. After they shook my hand, called me amigo, and had me step to the back of the car, they said I could negotiate a deal or they would take my license. I ended up giving them 40 US dollars worth to get rid of them. Later on I found out from the police headquarters and US embassy, they are not allowed to take money, and they are not suppose to give turrists tickets. They said next time refuse to pay and let them take your license, not that you need it to get back to the states. We were also told by officials, to not give them a dime and let them know you need to contact the embassy to discuss this first, before giving them any money.
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...
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.
After everything I read online, I was extremely apprehensive about renting a vehicle in Mexico. We used Buster Rental Car out of Cancun and drove south all the way to Belize, as well as the entire counrty of Belize, and it was great. We paid $35 a day total, less than $400 for 11 days with insurance and everything. We were given a letter of authorization to cross the border and it worked without a hitch. Daniel and Daniel in Cancun and Ramon in PDC were all very helpful and I am happy to say that nothing went wrong. We were never hassled by police or anyone else. The car ran great and upon inspection the fluids and tires were all up to par. We felt safe and secure with or vehicle the entire time. Daniel was even kind enough to give us a ride to Puerto Juarez when we returned the car.
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.
We rented a car from America Car Rentals. Their web site promised a short shuttle from the airport. It took them an hour to pick us up. The car that we asked for was not available. We wanted an automatic and paid extra for it but it wasn't available and they refused to refund the extra money. We had also asked for a Tourist car in case we got a ticket and they were out of those as well. Don't use.
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.
Just down the road from The hotel, near to Aquaword are the offices of Eaglerider Cancun, a great bunch of guys who hire out Harleys.
I had a Heritage Softtail and it was superb but a bit pricey- $180 per day ( although worth it! )