cancun car rental ripoff

As mentioned in this post, we are planning a quick summer trip to Cancun. Several times we have rented cars in Cancun to go exploring around the Yucatan peninsula. You car can be reserved online and picked up there quick and easy.

Twice we reserved with National Car Rental. Everything was easy and good. The last time we reserved with Budget. They were also easy and good, though they did rip us off a little in the end, not real bad, but some. I want to show the slight of hand that was used to inflate the price. We have also encountered this trick from some hotels. If I can find my old car rental receipt from Budget, I'll scan it so you can see.

OK, so you go to the car rental website and reserve your car for Cancun. It gives you everything in dollars. You get to the car rental place in Cancun to get your car. They write up the contract, again in dollars, and it exactly matches the online reservation you have. You think, "how amazing and honest!"

What you don't notice is that on the last page of the contract there is a dollar/peso conversion listed. If you read carefully, and it may not be in English, it says that your final bill will be priced in pesos using the rate written on the contract.

The dollar/peso conversion on the rental car contract looks high. You know from the local banks and looking online before the trip that one US dollar is buying 12.5 pesos. The Budget car contract lists the conversion as 14.5. Normally this would be a good deal if you were buying pesos with dollars or were buying merchandise priced in pesos, but here it is a rip-off.

You don't think it through, or don't really see it, so you let it go.

Here's what happens:

Your total for the entire rental might come out to $250 USD, for example. The car rental company *could* bill your credit card in dollars and everything would be fine, places do it all the time, but they want to bill you in pesos listing the favorable-appearing conversion rate they have listed.

$250 X 14.5 (their rate) = 3625 pesos billed to your credit card.

3625 Ă· 12.5 (the real exchange rate) = $290 The amount you receive on your credit card statement.

Your $250 car rental became a $290 car rental due to their conversion trick.

I suppose the only way around this is to pay with cash and insist that everything be done in pesos. The bad thing is that if you pay in cash, you will then need to purchase the collision insurance (CDW) which *more* than doubles the price of the rental. If you rent with a Visa or Mastercard, they cover the expensive insurance for you, so it's important to use the credit card even if you get ripped. There's no way out, at least not with Budget Car Rental.

One time in a hotel I saw this coming, so I tried to call the bluff and insist on paying in pesos. They tacked on a surcharge for paying in Mexican money inside Mexico! Weird, huh?

The end. lol.

4 responses to “cancun car rental ripoff

  1. holdencaulfield3

    when I was in Guadalajara… I took a taxi from the bus stationto the house of the family I was staying with…after arriving… they asked me how much I paid for the taxi…apparently the taxi really ripped me off…so they took me out in their car looking for the taxi to get my money back… and they were carrying guns…me being from Canada… I'm really not used to guns near me…so I was very happy that we never found the taxi…while there I took a bus once…the bus knocked over a pedestrian…the bus stopped…the bus driver and some passengers started yelling at the pedestrian to get up and out of the way…yea ! Mexico was a load of laughs…I think I got ripped off a lot while I was there…but I was always comparing prices to Canada…so even when I was ripped off…I thought I was getting a good deal… lol…

  2. wow. you get ripped off everywhere anymore. like in some drive thrus they have the drive thru tax/fee. that's BS. Or at some hotels they also have the "scenic view" tax or something. Probably millions of others. I don't know why they just don't make the prices higher, but be honest about it. If their service was really wanted/needed, we would have to pay it anyway. eh.

  3. holdencaulfield3

    clap…clap…clap…in Paris the menu for the sidewalk tables is higher…then the tables inside…

  4. I've had a few taxi drivers upcharge me in Guadalajara, but a great deal of them have been meticulously honest. I guess that goes for anywhere, well I don't know about New York City. I've always been amazed that many of the Guadalajara drivers are open and easygoing about extra services like waiting and return trips. I, too, have stayed with host families in GDL. Some of them lived a little far out in the burbs. It was my last day in Guadalajara and I wanted to run "home" to take a shower and get my luggage before heading out to the airport. Not many people in that neighborhood had a phone to call for a taxi, so I asked the driver as he was dropping me off if he would come back in 2 hours to take me to the airport. By golly, he did it! I made it worth his while, too.The only place I got really burned on an airport-to-town taxi ride was in Belgrade, but the driver was so hot, I almost didn't mind. đŸ˜€ I don't speak French, but one time I had a French taxi driver keep muttering "fucking American" as he drove me somewhere. I could understand those words from the commonality with Spanish and things I'd heard before. After I threatened to kick his ass in English, he calmed down some. hehe.

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