You want your road trip to Mexico to go off seamlessly. Still, nothing in life is a guarantee. Car trouble or breakdowns could happen at any time, even if you think you have done everything right. So, who do you call for help? Are there resources available for your benefit?
In short, yes. Just because you are a foreign driver it does not mean you cannot receive assistance on your trip south of the border. Assistance might come from your Mexican car insurance, roadside assistance and the local emergency services. Generally, you don't have to worry about getting help if you need it.
Preparing for Your Trip
Before any car trip, you should get ready. It doesn't matter if you will stay within the U.S. or go to Mexico, you will travel somewhere you likely don’t visit every day. Every driver is wise to take a few extra precautions to take care of themselves. Consider a few essentials that you need to put in your car in case of an emergency:
- Update your First Aid kit, and bring along water and a few snacks
- Check the car's spare tire to ensure it is still structurally sound
- Place a car jack in the trunk
- Make sure you have a wrench and your standard nuts-and-bolts kit to change tires
- Other essentials you might need include jumper cables, a small amount of oil and an emergency gas tank
- A map
- A remote emergency phone charger
One of the best ways to avoid problems once you hit the road is to have the car checked and serviced before you go. Take it to your trusted mechanic. They can check the oil, fluids, tires and other vital systems.
Your emergency kit might come in handy should you have car trouble on the road in Mexico. However, there are many other ways you can get assistance if you plan ahead.
Check Your Auto Insurance
Every American driver who travels to Mexico will need a Mexican car insurance policy. Mexican insurance law does not recognize American auto policies. However, it also requires all drivers, including foreigners, to carry coverage.
Most of the time, you can make a Mexican policy active only for the duration of your road trip. It will provide many of your most-essential car insurance needs, such as physical damage and liability protection. It can also contain a couple of other policy benefits that might prove essential in case you face car trouble.
First, many policies will include a roadside assistance component. Should you have a sudden breakdown and need some help, a call to the insurance company might be able to dispatch help to your service. In many cases, your policy will cover some or all of the costs of this mishap.
There are other perks that might also help you. For example, policy elements might allow you to have the vehicle repaired back in the States, rather than with a mechanic you do not know. Other policy elements might help you pay for a rental vehicle, plane tickets or other assistance getting back home.
Call Sanborn's Mexico Auto Insurance at 800-222-0158 to learn about policy option for your next road trip.
Keep in mind, however, some policies won't cover U.S. repairs or travel expenses for simple breakdowns. Many times, car trouble does not qualify for a claim in the same way that a wreck or vehicle theft might. Therefore, these specialty policy elements might not apply. However, roadside assistance coverage might still be able to help because that is its job.
Call the Green Angels
One perk about driving in Mexico is that there is a national roadside assistance service called the Green Angels, or Angeles Verdes. They got this name because of their distinctive green trucks. These are trained service mechanics employed by the Mexican tourism ministry. They travel on all toll roads in Mexico, which is the route that most Americans prefer to take.
The Green Angels are bilingual and can provide you with a variety of services, including towing, free of charge. Certain services are also available at a charge. They can also provide aid in case of wrecks. So, if you do experience a breakdown, you might be able to get service quickly and conveniently.
You can call the Green Angels toll-free, 24 hours per day, at 01-800-987-8224. You can also dial 078 in case of emergencies.
Contact the Police
In many cases, the Green Angels will serve as an alternative so that you don’t have to call the police for a simple breakdown. However, in case of a wreck or other emergency, call the police. In 2017, Mexico implemented a nationwide 9-1-1 system, just like in the U.S.
You can also call other emergency numbers:
- Police: 060
- Fire: 068
- Ambulance: 065
Do Not Accept Passersby Help
Many Americans are wary of accepting vehicle help from someone other than the police or roadside assistance. You should exercise the same judgement in Mexico. Never accept help from someone who you did not call for help. There are reports in many areas that highway thieves pose as both stranded motorists and those willing to assist others to entrap victims.
Let professionals help you whenever you need assistance. With the right attention to your resources before your trip, you'll likely have help available in case you experience a breakdown.
Also Read: Travel Essentials for Mexico in Summer