Uber in Cancun 2023 Guide

SmartTransfers Team

SmartTransfers Team

March 1, 2023

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You probably want to know if Uber is available in Cancun and how it works.

Many news reports have been made about this topic. However, the truth is that the conflict between Cancun taxi drivers and Uber is only beginning.

Since it arrived in Mexico, Uber has tried to operate in Quintana Roo and a court recently granted Uber permission to operate in Mexico by allowing it to use an app-based transportation service.

From day one, taxi drivers in Cancun have been protesting this decision. They have taken to the streets to block the main entrance to the hotel district.

This is still a developing story. We'll keep you posted on any developments regarding the conflict between Uber and taxi drivers in Cancun.

Can you get an Uber to Cancun?

This question is more complex than most people think. Anyone Uber can hop on a ride in Cancun or other areas of Mexico.

Uber launched in Cancun for the first time in 2016. However, after a year of problems with local taxi unions, Uber was forced to cease operations in December 2017.

Uber, however, decided to get on the right track in 2019 and worked with local authorities to finally obtain permission to operate in Mexico's most popular tourist areas. But unfortunately, they had to wait almost four years before they were finally allowed to work in Cancun and all the State of Quintana Roo.

A local judge has ruled that Uber can be legally used in Cancun starting January 2023.

A local judge made this decision but has not concluded the conflict as the local taxi union took action against Uber drivers.

Cancun Taxi drivers barricaded the famous Cancun Hotel Zone entrance after the court's ruling. As a result, it was almost impossible for tourists and locals to get there. Even policemen had to give rides to tourists.

Officially, taxi unions claim Uber drivers don't have to pay the same licensing fees or regulations as them. This is true.

Uber claims that Uber is not a public transport service and, therefore, should not be subject to the same licensing fees or regulations as other taxi unions.

The main problem is more about money. Cancun's taxi companies are known for inflating the prices of each passenger. They make a lot of money by charging outrageous fees to tourists and locals they don't know.

Some Uber drivers have had their windows and mirrors broken by taxi drivers as a way to make it worse. Uber drivers in Cancun took preventive measures to avoid this.

Uber drivers are known for pretending that passengers are their family members. For example, if a driver offers you a ride, they will likely tell you to greet them like you are their sister, brother, or niece.

They will also ask you to get on the front passenger seat and put your bags on the back seats.

Let's not forget that Uber prices can change anytime and are not set in stone.

In Cancun this is really common. Why? Rain can often be common in the last days of summer or the beginning of fall. If you try to get an Uber when it rains, you will probably find that the price has risen.

Uber's brand is still stronger than local taxis. But ultimately, it is up to the users to decide which service they prefer.

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Why choose Uber instead of a taxi?

The short answer is that taxis are more expensive. Cabs in Cancun can be costly because they don't have meters.

They will charge you based on two factors: how far you travel and how you look. If you are a tourist, they will likely charge you more.

Uber is technically more affordable in terms of pricing. But remember that if it suddenly turns gloomy or starts raining in Cancun (which can be common depending on the season and autumn), you will need to pay a higher rate. Both services are charged the same in such cases.

Uber drivers are more likely to make long trips than Taxis in Cancun. For example, Uber drivers are more likely to take you from Cancun to Playa del Carmen on Tuesday afternoon than local taxis.

Uber is also a much more well-known service than local taxis. Uber users are familiar with the app, at least how it works.

Taxi drivers' interactions can vary from one country to the next. Mexico City taxi drivers, for example, use meters.

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How to get Uber in Cancun

To get online, you'll first need a local SIM card, or an eSIM can also work for your travel.

You should download the app next. We recommend creating an account before you travel to Mexico.

Uber Cancun works in the same manner as any other city. However, remember that Uber drivers often try to avoid being noticed due to all the issues with taxi companies.

Therefore, you may not be able to get one to pick you up at certain places, like the ADO bus station, ferry terminals, and the Hotel Zone in Cancun.

Wait until you are clear of taxis before you order an Uber. This will make it easier for you to get into one.

If you can catch an Uber, walk away from the taxi stand and order it. Sometimes it is enough to simply walk around the block.

You might prefer to be in the front passenger seat rather than the back. This will make you appear friendlier to Uber drivers.

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Uber to Cancun Airport

Many people have failed to get an Uber ride from Cancun Airport. This is normal, as Uber drivers are prohibited in Mexico's airports (or anywhere else).

Pre-booking a private transfer from Cancun Airport is one alternative to Uber at the airport. Many companies, such as Smart Transfers, offer this service. They will ask you for information about your flight so their drivers can pick you up when available.

You can also rent a car from any car rental company at the Airport if you need more freedom when visiting Cancun. This service will allow you to get a Mexican-plate car. These services can be obtained by having a driver's license from your country or an international license. Also, make sure to check the price of each vehicle.

Remember that the rental rate can change depending on the car model and how long you rent it.

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Is Uber Safe in Cancun?

The mentions of violence might put you off. We can assure you that Uber is safe in Cancun. Be cautious.

You could be more likely to get a ride depending on where you ask for it.

Uber drivers are familiar with the city's safest areas, so don't expect an Uber to take you to some unknown location.

Uber offers additional safety features such as recording the driver's name and license plate and GPS tracking of your location via your smartphone. This gives them accountability.

We recommend that you verify the Uber driver's vehicle matches his profile. Never get in a car without plates or registered on the platform.

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