News & Media

Monday, August 27, 2012

Driving and Road Tips for Expats in Mexico


For expatriates living in Mexico, there are several adjustments to make when driving on the roads south of the border. Paying attention to speed and right-of-way will help expats in Mexico stay safe. There are a few things to remember when driving in Mexico that will make life easier and safer.

Accident Expenses
Mexico operates primarily on cash; pesos to be exact. Credit cards and American dollars are limited in acceptance. If a motorist is in a car accident and no one is hurt, it is common to negotiate the damage payment in cash. If someone is injured and the authorities are called, the vehicle will be impounded until it is determined whose fault the accident was. With injury cases, the driver will need a lawyer. Some international carinsurance policies offer legal representation as part of the policy.

Fuel
While there are plenty of gas stations available in Mexico, many of them only offer high octane fuel. Most of them are full-service fueling stations, which means the attendant will come out and pump the gas. A tip is expected in most places.

Mexico Car Insurance
In Mexico car insurance is required by law. There are variations on what is offered and what is required, similar to the United States. Having comprehensive international auto insurance is helpful in covering auto damage, as well as fire and theft.

Road Maintenance
While areas close to the city are often paved and easy to use, mountain roads in rural areas are frequently unpaved and not maintained. Some mountain pass roads have no roadside barriers to prevent motorists from going over the side. The local road signs and rules of the road vary from city to city and town to town.

Driving Hazards
Driving during the daytime in Mexico is preferred by most motorists unless they are very familiar with the roads. Toll roads are better maintained and are paved. One way to minimize risks of driving in Mexico includes using the toll roads. When that's not possible, traveling in daylight so that rural road hazards are more visible is recommended. Speed bumps going in and out of towns are common, and difficult to see at night. Cattle herds and other animals can be found wandering the countryside during the day and at night. At night, they are very difficult to see. 

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