Car Insurance for Driving in Mexico - QuoteWizard (2024)

Driving in Mexico can be anything from routine to exhilarating, but one thing you don’t want to be is uninsured when you drive south of the border. The country has strict auto liability insurance requirements and does not recognize American policies. Whether you’re making a quick visit into the country or a multiday journey into its heartlands, here’s what you need to know about getting car insurance for Mexico.

In this article

  • How to get Mexican car insurance before you travel
  • Types of coverage Mexican car insurance provides
  • Eligibility requirements for Mexican car insurance
  • How much Mexican car insurance costs

Do I need separate car insurance for Mexico?

In order to drive legally anywhere in Mexico, you need to carry liability car insurance issued by a Mexican auto insurance company.

The auto liability coverage you have in the States is not recognized in Mexico.

You can be fined or detained if you can’t show proof of Mexican liability insurance during a traffic stop or after an accident.

The Mexico endorsem*nts that some U.S. insurance companies offer typically only cover damage to your car, but not liability. Liability covers injuries and property damage you may cause in a car accident.

You can purchase car insurance for Mexico in person from a brick-and-mortar vendor near the border, but it’s often more convenient to get it online before you leave home.

Are you paying too much for car insurance?

How can I get car insurance before traveling to Mexico?

Several Mexican car insurance companies offer short-term, or temporary, insurance policies for tourists that you can buy online before you travel to Mexico. The choices include liability-only policies that meet the country’s legal requirements and comprehensive packages that also cover damage to your car and injuries to you and your passengers.

American Family, GEICO and Progressive are among the American insurance companies that offer Mexican car insurance for tourists on their websites, albeit through separate providers.

Specialty companies such as BestMex and MexPro also offer Mexican car insurance for tourists online. MexPro is particularly well known, because it operates the online shopping platforms that several American insurance companies use.

The companies that provide the online shopping platforms don’t issue policies themselves. Rather, their platforms provide quotes and allow you to purchase policies from licensed Mexican car insurance companies.

You can typically obtain quotes and activate a Mexican car insurance policy in about 15 minutes, as long as you have the following information and documents ready:

  • Your trip dates
  • The make, model and year of your vehicle
  • Your vehicle’s market value, according to Kelley Blue Book or the National Automobile Dealers Association
  • The declaration page for your existing car insurance
  • A general idea of the coverages and deductibles you need
  • Your car’s vehicle identification number (VIN)
  • Your credit card

Mexican insurance companies typically require you to pay for a tourist auto policy in full, upfront. You usually have to pay a fee to cancel the policy before its start date, and you have very few cancellation rights after the policy takes effect.

What types of coverage does Mexican car insurance provide?

All Mexican car insurance policies for tourists include liability protection and optional coverages are available for damage to your car and injuries to you and your passengers.

These different coverages are generally offered in tiered packages rather than a la carte.

Common auto insurance coverages in Mexican tourist policies
CoverageWhat it coversWhy get it
LiabilityOther people’s injuries and property damage in a car accident you cause.All drivers are required to have liability insurance from a Mexican company.
CollisionDamage to your vehicle in an accident, including overturning and glass breakage.Though optional, the coverage can spare you from significant out-of-pocket costs.
TheftTheft of the vehicle, but not possessions inside it.Car theft is a problem everywhere.
Partial theftTheft of parts or systems attached to the vehicle, not including audio systems.Theft coverage in Mexico does not automatically extend to partial theft.
Medical paymentsMedical treatment for injuries you or your passengers suffer in a car accident.Health insurance often excludes treatment outside the U.S.
Medical evacuation and vehicle returnThe costs of flying you to a hospital near your home and shipping your car home.A severe accident could leave you unable to drive back home on your own.
Roadside assistanceAssistance and a tow if your vehicle breaks down.Many companies include this at no extra charge.
Sources: BestMex and MexPro

The online platforms for Mexican car insurance also offer insurance for motorcycles, RVs and ATVs. Motorcycle coverage is typically offered on a liability-only basis.

Best Mexican car insurance companies

Based on financial strength ratings and policy offerings, the following Mexican car insurance companies are generally regarded as the best for tourist policies.

  • ABA Seguros
  • ACE Seguros
  • El Aguila
  • Grupo Nacional Provincial (GNP)

All four companies are rated excellent or better by AM Best, and their products are available on most online Mexican car insurance platforms.

As you shop, make sure the insurance package you choose includes coverage for roadside assistance and medical evacuation. Mexico’s best auto insurance companies include these and basic medical coverage in all their tourist packages, including their liability-only packages.

Am I eligible for Mexican car insurance?

Americans with a valid driver’s license, vehicle registration and existing car insurance policy are generally eligible for tourist car insurance in Mexico. Most companies add a surcharge for those under 21.

Certain factors about your car and existing American car insurance policy may affect the type of coverage you can purchase.

  • If your vehicle is more than 20 years old, you may only be eligible for liability coverage.
  • If your insurance policy in the States does not include collision and comprehensive coverage, you are typically ineligible for physical damage and theft coverage in Mexico.

How much does Mexican car insurance cost?

The cost of Mexican car insurance for tourists can range from about $50 to $80 for liability-only coverage and $150 to $200 for full coverage.

The specific price you pay depends on factors such as the value of your car, the length of your visit and the coverages you choose.

Our review of quotes shows that the average cost of a 10-day liability-only policy for a 2014 Subaru Forester with a $15,000 blue book value is $85. The average cost of an extended-coverage package with physical damage, theft and partial theft coverage is $169.

If you only plan to be in Mexico for a few days, a short-term policy is usually your best bet. However, if you plan to visit for several weeks or make multiple repeat visits, you may be better off with a six-month or one-year policy term.

Mexican car insurance rates by policy length
Policy lengthLiability-only costExtended package cost
One-day policy$32$38
10-day policy$85$169
Six-month policy$184$380
Source: International Insurance Group, based on non-binding quotes obtained for a 2014 Subaru Forester valued at $15,000.

The Mexican car insurance companies we reviewed offer liability limits ranging from $50,000 to $500,000, with a combined single limit for bodily injury and property damage. A $50,000 liability limit meets Mexico’s minimum car insurance requirements. However, it’s typically worth spending a little more for a liability limit of at least $300,000.

Insurance for rental cars in Mexico

Mexico’s auto liability insurance requirements apply to rental cars, but the process for purchasing Mexican car insurance is different for a rental car than it is for a car you own.

  • If you rent a vehicle in Mexico, you can purchase liability insurance and other coverages at the rental car counter.
  • Major credit cards typically provide a collision damage waiver (CDW) for rental cars. A CDW covers damage to the car, but not liability. If your credit card provides a CDW, you may not need the CDW or loss damage waiver (LDW) that the car rental company offers. It’s best to check with your credit card company ahead of time.
  • If you plan to drive a vehicle rented in the U.S. across the border, you should let the rental car company know about your plans. They may require you to purchase the Mexican car insurance package they offer.

Rental car companies typically also offer medical coverage, which is good to have, particularly if your health insurer excludes or limits coverage outside the U.S. However, if you have travel medical insurance, you may not need separate medical coverage from the rental car company.

Tips for driving in Mexico

If you’re unfamiliar with driving in Mexico, it’s important to understand the country’s document requirements and driving protocols.

The following documents are required for entering Mexico by car:

  • Valid passport
  • State-issued driver’s license
  • Proof of registration
  • Letter of permission from your lender (if you have a car loan)
  • Proof of Mexican liability insurance

After you enter Mexico, you need to obtain a visitor’s permit from a National Migration Institute office. The document is called a Forma Migratoria Multiple, or FMM.

It’s also important to understand how restrictions change when you leave the Hassle Free Zone, which generally includes areas within 12 to 15 miles south of the border, plus much of Sonora and all of Baja California.

If you plan to drive beyond the Hassle Free Zone, you also need to get a temporary importation permit, or TIP, for your vehicle. You can obtain a TIP online from the Mexican bank Banjercito or in person at a Banjercito office near the border. A TIP is not required within the Hassle Free Zone.

If you’re involved in an accident anywhere in the country and don’t need medical treatment, remain on the scene and notify your Mexican car insurance company. In Mexico, insurance companies typically send a claims adjuster to an accident scene for an immediate assessment.

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Car Insurance for Driving in Mexico - QuoteWizard (2024)


Car Insurance for Driving in Mexico - QuoteWizard? ›

In order to drive legally anywhere in Mexico, you need to carry liability car insurance issued by a Mexican auto insurance company. The auto liability coverage you have in the States is not recognized in Mexico.

What insurance do I need to drive my car in Mexico? ›

To have coverage while driving in Mexico, you need to buy a separate Mexico tourist auto policy. Mexico car insurance is competitively priced and offers customizable short-term or extended coverage options, including physical damage, liability, vandalism, partial theft, medical payments, roadside assistance, and more.

Do you need separate car insurance for Mexico? ›

Your U.S. car insurance policy alone will not be sufficient to satisfy Mexican Federal Liability Law. To satisfy this law, you must buy a separate Mexican liability insurance policy from a licensed Mexican insurance company.

What rental car insurance do I need in Mexico? ›

Personal Liability Insurance, also referred to as Third-Party Insurance, is mandatory when renting a car in Mexico. You cannot rent a car without this coverage. Although this is the only obligatory type of insurance, it's not always enough. In fact, it's highly recommended to opt for additional coverage.

How much does car insurance for Mexico cost? ›

Similar to car insurance policies in the U.S., Mexican car insurance costs will vary from provider to provider and from person to person. For most providers, rates can be anywhere between $1 to $70 per day depending on your length of stay and vehicle type; we'll do a deep dive into both below.

Does my US car insurance cover me in Mexico? ›

No, U.S. auto insurance policies aren't valid in Mexico. If you'll be driving in Mexico, even for a short time, auto insurance is required by Mexican law, and you could end up in jail if you're involved in an accident and don't have it.

Does my auto insurance cover driving in Mexico? ›

Your U.S. auto insurance won't cover you after crossing the border of Mexico. You'll need a special Mexican auto insurance policy to legally drive in Mexico, which can be acquired through an insurance agent.

Does my AAA insurance cover me in Mexico? ›

Since U.S. liability insurance is invalid in Mexico, you'll need proof of Mexico auto insurance for a road trip south of the border. AAA can help you get what's required through one of Mexico's largest and most reputable insurance companies.

Does Geico work in Mexico? ›

The GEICO Insurance Agency can help you get affordable insurance in Mexico. So, whether you need a policy for a few days, 6 months, or a year, you can get the coverage you need.

Is it safe to drive in Mexico with US plates? ›

The short answer to the titled question is yes, it is safe to drive in Mexico with US plates. No major issues will present themselves.

How much is Mexican car insurance per day? ›

How Much is Mexican Car Insurance Per Day? The costs average between $2 and $40 a day. The cost depend on several factors including type of vehicle, length of stay and the type of coverage you choose. You can purchase a policy for a day, a month, or a year.

Does my Visa credit card cover car rental insurance? ›

When you use your Visa card to book a car and pay the full price of the rental, you are covered by this insurance. To access this coverage you must decline the Collision Damage Waiver (CDW/LDW) or similar coverage offered by the car rental company in its rental agreement.

Does US medical insurance work in Mexico? ›

Your employer-provided health plan may have limited or no coverage in Mexico, and Medicare doesn't cover health care outside the United States, except in rare cases. Travel health insurance pays for emergency medical expenses during a trip. These expenses include the following: Ambulance service.

How does insurance work in Mexico? ›

Public healthcare system in Mexico

Those employed in Mexico are automatically enrolled in the IMSS system and their contribution to the scheme is deducted from their salary. Those who are not formally employed may voluntarily enrol in the IMSS system, in which case they will have to pay an annual contribution fee.

What do I need to cross my vehicle to Mexico? ›

Driving to Mexico
  1. U.S. citizens must present a valid U.S. passport book or card, and an entry permit issued by Instituto Nacional de Migración.
  2. Enter Mexico with valid proof of automobile registration, even if remaining in the border zone.
Feb 15, 2024

What do I need to legally drive in Mexico? ›

As a US citizen, driving in Mexico is relatively simple. All you need is your US driver's license, registration, and proof of insurance. However, it's always a good idea to have a passport on hand in case you're stopped by Mexican authorities.

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