The island of Cozumel is about 10 miles wide and 30 miles long, which makes it quite small and easy to explore. Other than certain spots, it is also largely undeveloped. We had considered renting bikes but that would have limited us from riding from our hotel to town and perhaps a bit further, so we opted to rent a moped / scooter. In this post, we share tips and information about how to rent a scooter and get around Cozumel.
Who to Rent From:
We had read tons of reviews online and decided we’d rent from Pipian but we had trouble getting a hold of them so we rented with HTL Rentals, which was recommended by our hotel. Since it was close to New Year’s and there were also lot of cruise ships around, HTL told us they were sold out. We decided to take a taxi into town and check things out as most of the rental companies are within a few blocks from one another. As luck would have it, someone returned their scooter early and we were able to rent one with HTL.
Tip: Most companies will deliver the scooter / moped to your hotel at no extra charge but this was not an option for us due to how busy everything was.
We ended up renting a Honda Dio 110 scooter for $22USD per day which included tax and insurance (deductible was $500USD if I recall). Before turning on the scooter and driving away, we recorded a whole time stamped video of the scooter as a precaution.
Tip: Even if the rental includes insurance, take time stamped photos/videos. We do this every time we rent a vehicle.
You need to wear a helmet, it’s the law! You can park on the street as long as there isn’t red on the curb but it can be hard to see sometimes. We were also advised to pay for parking in supervised lots as people will watch your scooter if parking on the street was not available.
They will charge you in USD or Mexican Pesos and you can pay with cash or credit card. We asked to be billed in Mexican Pesos and pay via credit card. We authorized a deposit that was placed on our credit card and went through their briefing which was useful and pleasant.
One thing that confused us is they told us they’d give us free gas if we wrote a review about them online. This seemed confusing and sketchy based on the contract we signed, so we just brought the tank full.
We read the reviews online and all gas stations have been alleged to scam tourists. This wasn’t our first time fueling up in Mexico so we were aware of the scams and took the necessary precautions to minimize the likelihood of getting scammed.
Before fueling, make sure the pump meter is reset and keep your eye on the meter – don’t get distracted! Pay in pesos, give a tip, and when possible this is all easier done with two people.
Returning the Scooter:
When we returned the scooter, they did the most thorough inspection, like overly thorough which validated us taking the extra precautions of videotaping the whole scooter and making sure the gas was full. There is no doubt in my mind they would have charged us the deductible for any reason they could have justified.
Driving the Scooter:
We did the full loop of the island which was pretty easy and checked out some of the beaches to the south that are sandier. Unfortunately, it was super windy during the day on the east coast and that made me a little nervous. In total, we drove 87 kms the day we toured the island.
It gets really hot and there is no shade so lots of sunscreen and long sleeve top and pants are recommended even if you see lots of other gringos in bikinis and only swim shorts. We also used the scooter to get to town instead of a taxi to go have dinner twice.
Overall, we enjoyed driving the scooter because it gave us a lot more freedom and convenience. If you take precautions to drive safe, follow local rules, and act respectfully, you should be fine and avoid trouble.
Have you rented a scooter / moped anywhere? If so, how was your experience? Are there any other tips and information we should add to this post?
- 4 Days in Cozumel – A Travel Guide
- Getting to Cozumel by Ferry from Playa Del Carmen
- Getting Around – Renting a Moped / Scooter on Cozumel Island
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