Driving Tips

Driving Tips

Informational Tips

  • Make sure your registration and driver's license are valid. Your vehicle can be impounded if these are not current.
  • Purchase Mexican insurance or check to make sure your insurance is up to date.
  • Make two copies of your Mexican insurance certificate; one to keep on your person and one to keep in the vehicle.
  • Make a copy of your vehicle registration and keep the copy in your vehicle and the original on your person. In case the vehicle is stolen, it will facilitate proving ownership.

Driving & Safety Tips

  • Traffic violation laws vary from state to state.
  • Remember you may request a written ticket from police officers in Tijuana, Rosarito, Ensenada and Mexicali and mail your fine from the U.S. More info...
  • Speed limits are stated in kilometers (1 mile = 1.6 kilometers).
  • Yellow lights are a signal to stop, not just to slow down.
  • You can get a citation for taking a right on red although you will see many drivers doing it anyway.
  • In many cases, the "fast lane" is a passing lane only. You should move back over into the slow lane once you pass someone.
  • Lanes can merge much quicker (with not much time to merge).
  • Construction sites can come upon you suddenly with little warning.
  • Using a cell phone while driving is a traffic violation in Baja California.
  • Watch for cross walks, in many areas pedestrians have the right-of-way.
  • Driving boundaries or "comfort zones" are smaller, people will drive closer.
  • Take notice of the vehicle's brake lights in front of you, many times they do not function.
  • Vigilance of the roads is necessary to avoid animals, people, and other obstacles.
  • It is wise to avoid driving at night.
  • The Green Angels (Angeles Verdes) patrol the toll roads to offer free roadside assistance. More info...
  • If you need any kind of assistance while on a trip in Baja (North), call the Baja California Secretary of Tourism's Tourist Assistance Hotline at 078, from 8am to 8pm M-F; 9am - 1pm Sat, Sun. They will be able to direct you to the assistance you require.
  • If you need roadside assistance or other travel information in the Mexican Republic contact the Travel Services Hotline. If you have a GE Seguros policy, call 01-800-904-2700, if you have an ACE Seguros policy please call 01-800-ACE-TOUR.
  • If you are involved in an accident or your vehicle is stolen, you must contact HDI or ACE before leaving Mexico and as soon as possible after the accident or theft occured. For more information read our "What To Do After an Accident" page or "What To Do After Your Vehicle is Stolen."

Gas Stations

PEMEX Pemex, Petroleos Mexicanos, is the state's oil company with franchises throughout the country. These stations are generally full service (tips are appreciated) and many do not accept credit cards so make sure to have enough cash. Watch the attendant to make sure that the pump is zeroed out before the attendant pumps the gas. Some attendants will try to pull a fast one and pocket the difference. Gasoline is sold in litres (1 gallon = 3.79 liters) and Pemex sells three different types:

Pemex Magna Pemex Magna is unleaded gasoline - 87 octane.

Pemex Premium Pemex Premium is unleaded gasoline - 93 octane.

Pemex Diesel Pemex Diesel for diesel engines.