Car Hire at Mexico City International Airport
This information is correct as of August 2015.
Mexico City has revamped and polished its image as a culinary capital, as well as a treasury of pre-Hispanic and colonial architecture. The downtown area reveals the city's rich history from its Aztec beginnings and the era of colonisation to its present-day grittiness. Traditional cantinas, museums, and ancient canals also add to the atmosphere, making Mexico City a major stopover point in the Americas.
Where to hire a car at Mexico City International Airport
Upon landing at Mexico City International Airport, also known as Aeropuerto Internacional Benito Juarez, and finishing with the procedures, you can check out the car rental counters located at the National and International Walkway of Terminal 1. There are also car rental agencies at the International Arrivals area near the banks of Terminal 2. You can call them ahead to discuss your car rental needs and make reservations for more convenience.
The general minimum age for driving is 25 years old, with many rental agencies insisting on drivers holding a full driving licence for at least two to five years before being allowed to hire a vehicle. Other companies may have different policies, so be sure to confirm with them about your concerns. Credit cards are the accepted mode of payment, with other requirements such as insurance, photographic IDS, and an International Driving Permit (IDP) if your licence is not printed in Western characters.
What to expect when hiring a car from Mexico City International Airport
Mexico City is usually extremely congested with traffic, affecting the journey times for even mid-range distances. Going to the nearby areas can exceed an hour and get considerably longer during the early morning rush hour and again between 6 pm and 9 pm. Major roads surround the airport, such as the Cto. Interior, Rio Churubusco, for instance. They connect Mexico City with surrounding communities such as La Paz, Ciudad Nezahualcoyotl, Naucalpan, Tlalnepantla, Atizapan de Zaragoza, Buenavista, Coacalco, Ecatepec, and more.
Most of Mexico's new interstate roads are tolled, with relatively expensive payments, in comparison to toll roads in the United States. The tolled roads are well maintained, however, except in very rugged mountainous stretches. Non-tolled interstate roads are also available, but some are slower to travel on. Congestion pricing is not implemented here, but it might happen in the near future. This makes it necessary that you carry additional funds for such expenses.
One-way roads may be found in old parts of Mexico City. Cycling is also a popular way to get around, making it even more essential to pay strict attention to the road. For refuelling needs, petrol stations are nearby the airport and can be found in different parts of the city.
Driving around Mexico City International Airport
When going to Mexico City, which lies approximately 11 kilometres away from Mexico City International Airport, you will have to go through Cto. Interior and Av. Oceania. The travel time can be 25 minutes, if the traffic conditions are light. Drivers stay on the right-hand side of the road, and are usually very cautious of other motorists. Defensive skills are necessary, as general traffic regulations are not followed. It is also better to use your mirrors and be additionally vigilant for the unexpected. Speed bumps or 'topes' are a common feature, making it necessary to watch out for the speed limit.
Getting to your destination
Going to Tepoztlan, Morelos can take an hour and 30 minutes due to the 87-kilometre distance. This route has tolls, though, making it necessary to prepare the payments. Upon arriving here, you will find a picturesque town crowned by the imposing Tepozteco hill. Charming cobblestone streets, quirky boutiques, and the traditional market offers a wide range of attractions to discover. It can be a bit difficult to arrange for parking here, so be sure to call ahead to look for possible spots to keep your car secure.
Tepotzotlan, another elegant town, lies north of Mexico City. It can take about an hour to get here via the Autopista Mexico-Queretaro/Mexico 57D, and Carr Mexico-Queretaro to your destination. Once you are able to park your car in a pre-arranged space due to the limited opportunities, you can check out the old Convent of San Francisco Javier. In here is the National Viceroyalty Museum filled with artefacts from the colonial times. There is also the Plaza de las Artesanias to see, where you can purchase some crafts for souvenirs.
Huichapan, around 172 kilometres away, can be traversed in around two hours and 20 minutes. To get here, you will have to get through Cto. Exterior Mexiquense/Mexico 57D and San Juan del Rio-Huichapa/Mexico 45. Tolls will be required along the way to this town northwest of Mexico City. This town is considered by many to be one of the most beautiful places in the country. The quaint streets are made of cobblestone, with colonial constructions. After checking out the area, you can turn to the Church of San Mateo and the Chapel of Our Lady of Guadalupe.