police preying on rental cars

Discussion in 'Cancun Forum' started by Ron in South Texas, Feb 3, 2008.

  1. Ron in South Texas

    Ron in South Texas Newbie Registered Member

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    I was reading another message board and came upon the following post:

    We have been going there for years. Just got back and will NEVER go again! The cops have taken over the 307 HWY from Cancun to Tulum. If they see a rental car they will pull you over, take all your money and make it look like they did you a favor! It was not just us, met two other couples with the same story and another emailed me after we left that they got shook down on the way to the airport!

    Have any of y'all heard of any problems like this. I'm returning to Cancun in July after an eight years. I'm having reservations about renting a car if stuff like this is going on down there.

    Thanks!!!
     
  2. raretail

    raretail Regular Registered Member

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    Yes, the police have taken over the highways and anytime they see anyone who looks like an American driving they pull you over and take your money. It is true. You should believe everything you hear. :roll: Come on. This is silly. I drove a rental car here for 5 months and took trips to the south and never got pulled over. I got pulled over once in town but it was because I was on my cellphone while driving. That is not allowed here. Anyway, I paid no fine and I received just a warning. From a very polite and respectful traffic enforcer. It is the only ticket in my life I have ever gotten out of.

    Whoever posted that message should just...nevermind.
     
  3. lambert13

    lambert13 Guest

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    that is just not true at all. Yes if you get pulled over down there you might end up paying a "fine" on the spot to take care of things. But that is not every time, and its not all of your money. If they paid more than $10-$20 to get out of a ticket (which would have never been written anyway) they probably panicked and just gave their money away.
     
  4. RiverGirl

    RiverGirl Guest

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    I think that you are more likely to get pulled over by the cops if you are driving a rental. I attribute this to the fact that tourists don't take the time to learn the driving rules in Mexico and so they often end up driving poorly here. But it's probably also true that sometimes cops think that tourists are easy prey.

    Mexico is a country with a lot of corruption. So bad things do happen. But Mexico has also passed a lot of laws to combat corruption. If you ever have a cop ask for a bribe be sure to write down his name and then report him.

    Corruption takes two, the cop has to ask for the bribe, but you have to pay it. If you refuse to pay on the spot then the cop will write you a ticket, which you can fight later.
     
  5. Steve

    Steve Administrator Owner

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    Kim's post is pretty much spot on.

    I've been driving for over 3 years here (admittedly not a rental car) been pulled over once (my fault - but didnt have to pay anything) and had one parking ticket (my fault - parked partially blocking a cyclepath, ticket cost me $6).

    There are some corrupt cops here, but if you can call their bluff and insist on the ticket then they'll probably send you on your way, it's not worth their time to process it. I wouldnt let this one report put you off from hiring a car, but I would carry a spare $20 in a separate pocket just in case. Worst comes to worst make up some story and tell him the $20 is all you have.
     
  6. T.J.

    T.J. I can choose my own title Registered Member

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    Here is the deal as I have experienced it:

    1. It gets worse at Christmas time as they need extra money but this applies to anyone driving here.

    2. When I rented before I brought a car here I ALWAYS removed the bumper stickers from front and rear with the name of the car agency.

    3. Never pay more than $50 PESOS, about $5 US for anything. They may pass a booklet in your window and ask that the money go in there.

    4. Do not talk on your cell phone while driving and always have your seat belts on. These are the #1 reasons you normally get stopped.

    5. They will ask for your driver's license which is OK. But when they turn up the heat looking for the bribe, they will tell you that you have to go to the police station to pay your outrageous fine AND to retrieve your license. At this point you get aggressive. You tell them that you are ok with going to pay your fine but that THEY MUST GIVE YOU BACK YOUR LICENSE RIGHT NOW AS IT IS THE PROPERTY OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA GOVERNMENT AND THEY CANNOT KEEP IT UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES. This may or may not be true, probably not but it works everytime. My friends and I have used this more than once and it baffles them. The important thing is to stick to your story and do not let them leave with your license. They can take your plate but who cares. If they give you trouble DEMAND that they call a supervisor. Pull out a pen and write down the name on their badge. I had a guy actually toss my $50 pesos back in the window and tell me to "just go" one time. Once I took a photo of the guy with my cell phone. It was so late it was daylight and he just got on his motorcycle and left us there laughing. As Frankie Valli would say - "Oh what a night."

    6. They just want your money and don't want to waste a lot of time with anyone giving them a rough time. There are too many easy marks out there.

    7. See 1 - 6.
     
  7. Jenniegirl

    Jenniegirl Guest

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    I've been going to cancun for about 6 years now and we've never run into that situation with a rental car. I mean seriously? Tourists are the bread and butter of Cancun do you really think the police would want to jeopardize that?

    Oh and we go to Mexico around Christmas time - a week or so before - and again never encountered that. We were just there this past November/December. I can't say I saw any tourists pulled over.
     
  8. NormsKid

    NormsKid Guest

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    Ron,

    If that post that you found was the typical experiance that most tourists face while in Cancun driving a rental car, the following would also be true:

    1) All of the cancun messege boards would be flooded with posts from "victims" of this sort of thing.

    2) The locals who live in Cancun, who are from places other than Mexico would surely tell you that they have seen this sort of thing over and over again.

    3) The car rental companies would go out of business for lack of demand in rental cars.

    4) By there being only one road mentioned where this supposedly happens, other tourists would be posting all the time asking why so many rental cars are stopped on the side of the road every time they venture down 307.

    None of that has ever happened in the 10 or so years that I've been surfing the cancun messege boards....so I wouldn't put much stock into this random, odd lot post you found elsewhere.

    I certainly wouldn't let the post deter you from going to Cancun or the Rivera Maya.

    Michelle
     
  9. T.J.

    T.J. I can choose my own title Registered Member

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    Hmm,

    I agree with most of what Michelle / Normsgirl posted. One thing I am seeing in Cancun that has never been obvious to me in the past is radar guns. And I have seen them repeatedly on the road from the airport to downtown, but mostly on the going to the city side of the street.

    And there are noticably more cars pulled over in December (for whatever reason) and my ex-g/f told me years ago that it is because the cops are looking for Christmas money.

    While I have really no idea about what is going on between Cancun and Riviera Maya, in Cancun it is most common to see cops with ticket pads in hand at major intersections and on busy streets, like Av. Tulum, at the topes. I am 99% positive they are looking for seatbelts not being on and cell phone usage by drivers. In these cases they are not singling out tourists. They will take anyone's money that they can.

    My buddy Michelle did not criticize or contradict my post, which was intended to tell you what to do to prevent being singled out as a tourist and what to do and what not to do if pulled over. For sure I would pull off the decals of the rental car company. An ounce of prevention . . .
     
  10. NormsKid

    NormsKid Guest

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    Nope, can't criticize or contradict your advise. I do similar here in the states. I don't tear off the decals tho, I cover them up.

    Some states have weird laws regarding "damage" to a rental car. So I use the obvious loophole in the law and cover them up temporarily by either using clear tape and a bumper sticker or a plain peice of paper and clear tape if I can't find a suitable bumper sticker. When I'm done with the car, I simply remove the bumber sticker or paper and turn in the car....with no "damage".

    Michelle
     
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