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Driving in Manzanillo

Driving in a new country can be daunting. These tips offer insight into what to expect when driving in Manzanillo.
|-Driving in Manzanillo

1. Understanding the Driving Culture

Driving in Manzanillo, can be a unique experience. The driving culture is different from many western countries. Drivers can be aggressive, and traffic rules are not always strictly adhered to. It’s important to be alert and cautious while driving. Always expect the unexpected.

2. Car Recommendation

It’s recommended to have a car that’s suitable for various terrains. A compact SUV or a car with good ground clearance would be ideal as some roads can be rough, especially in rural areas. Also, consider a car with good fuel efficiency as gas prices can be high.

3. Parking Situation

Finding parking in Manzanillo can be challenging, especially in busy areas. However, there are paid parking lots available. The cost of parking is not typically expensive, but it can add up if you’re parking daily. Always ensure to park in a safe and well-lit area.

4. Driving with an International License

Yes, a foreigner can drive using an international license in Mexico. However, this is usually valid for only up to six months. After this period, you will need to obtain a Mexican driver’s license.

5. Obtaining a Mexican Driver’s License

To get a Mexican driver’s license, you will need to visit the local Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) or its equivalent. You will need to provide proof of identity, proof of residency, and pass a written and practical driving test. It’s recommended to have a basic understanding of Spanish as the process may not be available in English.

6. Be Aware of the “Right of the Left”

In Mexico, there’s a unique driving rule known as the “right of the left.” This means that if you’re turning left, you need to move to the right-hand side of the lane and allow traffic to pass on your left before making your turn. This can be confusing for newcomers, so it’s important to be aware of this rule.

7. Watch Out for Topes

Topes are speed bumps that are commonly found on Mexican roads. They can be quite high and are not always clearly marked, so it’s important to drive carefully and watch out for these, especially when driving at night.

8. Keep Your Documents Handy

Always keep your driving license, car registration, and insurance documents handy. Police checks are common, and you will need to show these documents if stopped.

Betsy Burlingame Betsy Burlingame is the Founder and President of Expat Exchange and is one of the Founders of Digital Nomad Exchange. She launched Expat Exchange in 1997 as her Master's thesis project at NYU. Prior to Expat Exchange, Betsy worked at AT&T in International and Mass Market Marketing. She graduated from Ohio Wesleyan University with a BA in International Business and German.

Some of Betsy's articles include 12 Best Places to Live in Portugal, 7 Best Places to Live in Panama and 12 Things to Know Before Moving to the Dominican Republic. Betsy loves to travel and spend time with her family. Connect with Betsy on LinkedIn.

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