One of many people in Arizona’s favorite weekend vacation spots is Rocky Point. Mexico can be a great, fun place to visit, and being as close as it is, it’s out shortest way to the ocean! If this is your first time driving from Arizona to Mexico, you may have a few questions. Below, we will cover the basics of what you need to be sure to bring, and what you need to know before taking your road trip!
- Passport and other documents
All the passengers in your car need to have their passport – this is a requirement for leaving the US and entering another country, even though the countries border each other. Do not forget to take your vehicle insurance and be sure it is up to date as well. Get an entry permit if you are traveling 15 miles or over from the border or staying in the country for 72 hours or more. The entry permits are given by the immigration office located on the border when you cross.
- Auto Insurance
Mexican auto insurance is mandatory for all vehicles. You need to get it even if you go for rentals. Insurance can be bought online or at the border. There are roadside businesses where you can buy short term insurance coverage on the way as well. US auto insurance is not recognized in Mexico, so this is a much safer bet in case of accident.
- Follow Mexican traffic rules
Do not use your cellphone while driving, and when you see a yellow light, know that you cannot drive through slowly. A minor fault can land you in more trouble than you’d like being a foreigner, so be extra cautious.
- In case of emergency
There’s always the chance you may need roadside assistance, similar to our AAA. “Angeles Verdes,” which means “Green Angels,” are the ones you can call in case of an emergency. Just call 078! The drivers will arrive as quickly as possible and offer aid. They are bilingual and can help with repairs too, if your vehicle needs it. If you are not able to locate them, pull to the side of the road and lift your vehicle’s hood.
- Take the main roads
It is always safe to take the main roads, and they are generally better maintained. Toll booths do not accept cards or U.S dollars, so be sure to have Mexican currency as well!
- Read the road signs
You should do a little research on Mexican road signs while planning your drive. ‘Alto’, a red hexagon means ‘stop’. ‘Libre’ means ‘free road’ and ‘cuota’ means ‘toll road’. You should be familiar with some important words in roadside signage.
- Avoid driving at night
Mexican roads are not so well lit as most in the US – there are also a lot of twists and turns on backroads, as well as potholes and cattle. Between this, and driving on roads you don’t know well, it’s safer just to drive during the day.
- Renting a car
If you will be renting a car, be sure go through the contract with your lender carefully before you start your trip. This is because many lenders or car rental companies prohibit taking the vehicle across the border. Be sure you are allowed to travel out of the country with the car if you are renting!
- Waiting lines
It’s hard to predict how long you need to wait at the border. So if you need to be present at the destination at a specific time, better to give yourself plenty of time in advance.
- Watch for your behavior
Be cautious with drinking in public – don’t overdo it if you drink! Needless to say, fighting and public nudity is also prohibited.
Follow the tips above to have a hassle-free experience driving from Arizona to Mexico!