Taking Uber in Mexico City: Is it Safe? 2024 Insider’s Guide

Taking Uber in Mexico City is not only safe, but it is also one of the fastest and most convenient ways to get around the Mexican capital. While CDMX has an extensive public transport network, it can be overwhelming to navigate, and getting from one side of the city to another can require multiple bus and metro changes. 

This is less than ideal if you are trying to get somewhere in a hurry. If you haven’t spent a lot of time traveling in Mexico, you might be concerned about whether or not it is safe to use Uber in Mexico City.

Rest assured, it is. In fact, this is most chilangos preferred way of getting around the Mexican capital and most locals consider Uber as being substantially safer than using street taxis.  

This article has been written by a British Travel Writer that has been living in Mexico for the last two years. I always use Uber in Mexico City and have used it in various other Mexican cities too – from Guadalajara and Puebla to Merida and Cancun.

Rest assured, you are in good hands here 😉 In this post, we will cover everything you need to know about using Uber in Mexico City, as well as some practical tips on how you can stay safe on the app. 

Uber in Mexico City
Uber in Mexico City

Taking Uber in Mexico City in 2024 and Beyond

The Uber app is very popular in Mexico City and for the most part, if you ask locals about the safest and easiest way to get from A to B, their answer will be Uber. Uber is a convenient way to get to various barrios (neighborhoods) within CDMX, as well as to take day trips from Mexico City out to places like Teotihuacan and Xochimlico 

Mexico is the third largest market for Uber with about 7 million registered users. A study by Statista found that it accounted for more than 80% of the country’s ridesharing market, even though alternative apps exist. 

Furthermore, of all the places in Mexico where Uber is available, Mexico City is the largest market. In fact, it is the city with the highest Uber use in the world – second only to São Paulo in Brazil. 

It might sound interesting that so many Mexicans regard Uber as being much safer than street cabs as in many countries around the world, the opposite opinion is held. But it makes sense when you think about it.

After all, when you order a car via Uber, you have the driver’s name, vehicle information, and license plate details. Uber also stores all of their personal information on their account profile so everything is transparent and traceable. You simply don’t have that when you get into a random street cab. 

Even solo travelers and solo female travelers can feel comfortable using the app.

Screenshot of using the Uber app in Mexico City to travel from the center to Mexico City Airport (MEX)

Downloading Uber before your trip to Mexico

If you are not familiar with Uber, it is an independent ride app that acts as a substitute for taking licensed taxis. Once you have downloaded the app, you can input your location and where you want to go. 

Then, the app will connect you with a local driver. It will display your waiting time, the price of the journey, the route to your destination, and your expected arrival time at your destination. 

You typically do not have to wait more than 5-10 minutes for a car and there is also the option to reserve one at a specific time in advance as needed.

It is a good idea to set up your account prior to traveling to Mexico so that it is all set and ready to go when you arrive in CDMX. You can sign up using your phone number, email, or Google account but you will usually need to receive an SMS confirmation code in order to activate your account.

After your journey, you can give a rating and review your driver.

Screenshot of using Uber in Mexico City

Paying for your Uber in Mexico City

Several different payment methods are available when you use Uber in Mexico City. You can opt to pay by either cash, credit card, debit card, Apple Pay, or Paypal.

Sometimes in Mexico, I have noticed that some drivers may refuse or cancel a ride if you are paying with a card. They prefer cash as otherwise, they have to wait weeks for their payments to be sent from Uber so keep this in mind and try to always have cash on you where possible.

Since short and medium-distances journeys rarely cost more than 100 pesos, try to always keep plenty of small bills on you. If you only have 500 peso notes for example, your driver may struggle to give you change.

Tipping in Mexico is commonplace but you are not expected to tip your Uber driver. If anything, you can just round up your payment to the nearest 10. 

How much does Uber in Mexico City cost?

Uber in Mexico City
Uber in Mexico City

Uber in Mexico City is very reasonably priced. This is true even if you take a cab all the way from one side of the city to another.

For instance, from Coyoacan to Roma Norte or Polanco, the journey is not likely to cost more than 150 pesos. 

Short distances in Ubers (e.g. from Polanco to Roma Norte/Condesa) cost as little as 60-70 pesos. Arguably the most expensive times to travel are at rush hour (4 pm – 7 pm Monday-Friday), Friday and Saturday evenings, and when it rains. 

If you are traveling at a peak time, the app will display a message that states “Prices are higher than usual right now due to increased demand”. If you see this, you might find that the rate becomes lower and you are able to save some money if you wait for a little. 

You can also use Uber to take day trips out from Mexico City. For instance, you can get an Uber to the pyramids at Teotihuacan for about 500-600 pesos each way. 

Uber Mexico City Airport
Taking Uber from Mexico City Airport

Uber Mexico City Airport

Uber drivers are able to collect you from Mexico City airport and you will usually find that whatever time you land in Mexico City, there is an abundance of Uber drivers waiting around nearby. You can get from the city center to MEX Mexico City airport (and vice versa) for between 180 and 260 pesos ($8-$13 USD) depending on the time of day and the demand. 

MEX is Mexico City’s main international airport and it is probably where you are going to fly into. 

Your Uber driver can pick you up from the arrivals terminal. There is usually a swarm of airport cabs here so it does pay to just walk a little down the street so your driver doesn’t get stuck in all the chaos. 

It is worth noting that although MEX is Mexico City’s main airport that is just 13km away from the city center, some flights do operate to the new Felipe Ángeles International Airport. This airport opened in March 2022 and is 40km north of CDMX. 

Obviously, the new airport takes longer to get to and from so if you have the option, it is better to fly into MEX. An Uber from Mexico airport Felipe Ángeles International Airport will cost between 400-500 pesos each way. 

Is Uber in Mexico City Safe? 

Safety is the main concern for a lot of people when it comes to using Uber in Mexico City. The short answer is that yes, Uber in Mexico City is very safe and in fact, this is one of the safest forms of transportation you can use.

Not only can you see all the information about whose car you are getting into, but you can also check the driver’s profile and past reviews before your ride starts. If you are nervous about using the app, reading positive testimonials from other locals and travelers can surely offset some of your concerns. 

As the app has grown and developed across the globe in recent years, more and more safety measures have been introduced. While Uber may be the third-party platform that connects you with a driver, it is in their best interest that passengers arrive safely and have a pleasant journey. 

Another positive of using the app is its ease of communicating with your driver where you need to go. Spanish is the national language in Mexico and many people in CDMX do not speak English.

If you cannot communicate in Spanish, you would struggle to communicate with a typical taxi driver where you are trying to get to and the address information. And of course, being a tourist that cannot communicate a single word in the local language puts you at a greater risk of being ripped off. 

With Uber, there is no need to stress about trying to communicate an address, you simply enter it on the app and the driver follows the GPS. If you need to speak with your driver, you can message them via the app and it will automatically translate your messages from English to Spanish and vice versa. 

Why take an Uber in Mexico City over a regular cab?

The problem with street cabs in Mexico is the risk of express kidnappings. While these are the exception rather than the rule, it is not really a risk that anyone wants to entertain.

Express kidnappings happen when a passenger enters a taxi and agrees on the destination. The driver will drive a little distance and then a few of their friends will enter the vehicle, often armed with a gun.

The passenger will be forced to hand over any valuables and cash. Then, the drivers will drive around different ATMs requesting that the person make the maximum withdrawal at each machine. 

Of course, taking an Uber does not make you completely immune from having such an encounter. However, your chances of this happening to you are severely reduced when you have all of the information about the driver and vehicle.

It is easy to record your journey or contact Uber at the push of a button using the app. Meanwhile, when you get into a street cab, you are getting into an unknown vehicle.

Some hotels will have good relationships with trusted drivers and cab firms that can take you to and from the airport or to different parts of the city. This should be the only time you consider taking a street cab in Mexico City. 

Express kidnappings aside, you are more likely to get ripped off or scammed in a street cab, especially as a tourist. It is not unheard of for a cab driver to try and charge a tourist double or triple the going rate because they think that you do not know the correct price. With Uber, this can be avoided. 

Safety Tips for Using Uber in Mexico City 

There are several additional precautions that you can take when taking an Uber in Mexico City to ensure that you stay safe. Doing these small things can give you additional peace of mind. 

Check the driver’s profile 

It is good to always check the driver’s profile before he/she arrives to collect you. Simply clicking on their avatar will tell you how many rides they have done, how long they have been with Uber, and what their rating is.

If a driver has done thousands of rides and has a high rating of 4.8 and above, you can generally feel assured that you are in good hands. Some drivers also have additional comments and reviews from passengers displayed on their profiles which gives additional reassurance. 

If a driver is brand new, has only completed a few rides, or has a low rating, feel free to cancel and request a new driver. Uber will usually allow you to do this without incurring any fees as long as the driver is not already well on their way to get you. Don’t feel guilty about doing this, especially if you are traveling alone at night or if you are a woman traveling alone. 

Triple-check the vehicle you are getting into 

If you are taking an Uber from outside of a popular tourist spot (like the area around the Palacio de Bellas Artes), it is not unheard of for there to be several Ubers waiting for people, or even random drivers that pull up beside you when they are not even an Uber driver.

Double-check that the number plate you see on the vehicle corresponds with the one displayed on your app. Check that the driver looks the same. If the driver is in a different vehicle, don’t get in the car and report it to Uber. 

Share your ride 

When you get into an Uber, you can easily share your ride details with a friend or family member. Then, they can see who you are with and where you are going. 

Uber now has the option to record audio throughout your journey. If your driver makes you feel uncomfortable or you feel that a strange situation is escalating, this can be done subtly at the push of a button. 

Follow your route 

The great thing about Uber is that your estimated price will be displayed before you get in the vehicle and your driver will be given a route to follow. You can open the app, or Google Maps every now and then throughout your journey to check that you are going in the right direction.

The good thing is, that you will find that Uber checks up on you if anything seems untoward, too. For instance, if you are stuck in traffic and are stationary for a while, a popup will appear asking if you are okay.

Obviously, if you find yourself in a situation where you feel at risk, you should try to contact the authorities. 

If a driver is rude to you in any way, you can also easily report them via the app. Uber takes such reports very seriously and will promptly investigate unprofessional drivers. (Of course, if someone makes you feel very uncomfortable, you can also look to leave the vehicle, provided that you are in an area where it is safe to do so).

Other Independent Ride Apps in Mexico City 

Uber in Mexico City
Uber in Mexico City

Didi is a popular Mexican alternative to Uber. It has similar safety features (audio recording, info sharing, etc) and it is often cheaper than Uber.

If you want to download the app, you will need to set your phone and Apple ID settings to Mexico. When you want to order a cab somewhere, you can then check between Uber and Didi and see which has the lower rates. 

Obviously, fares to different destinations fluctuate depending on demand, the time of day, etc. However, generally, Didi is much cheaper.

The only downside is that there are often fewer vehicles. 

InDrive is another ride app that you will hear Mexican people talking about. Here, you enter your start point and your destination, and then you offer a price for the journey.

Drivers will respond and either accept your rate or quote a slightly higher fare, essentially starting a bidding war among drivers.

You can choose the driver that you want and they will collect you. 

This app is often the cheapest of them all. You can see what the rate is on Uber and Didi and then quote less than the two on Indrive and see who responds.

However, this app does not offer safety features and is less established. It is generally better to avoid this unless you are with a group of Mexican friends that know the area well and use it often. 

Potential Uber scams in Mexico City 

Uber scams in Mexico City are not common at all and Mexico City is a relatively safe place, despite its media depiction. However, it still doesn’t hurt to always be vigilant. 

Since Uber drivers depend a lot on their ratings, it usually isn’t worth their time to try and be sketchy. They know that ripping off passengers or doing something untoward in the short term would harm them in the long run. 

Arguably you are more at risk of getting a shady driver if you are in a sketchy part of town so be mindful of where you order a cab from. When you exit the vehicle at the end of the ride, have a quick look at the app to make sure that the driver has also ended the journey and is not continuing to charge you. 

If you incur any unfair charges as a result of the driver, don’t hesitate to contact Uber support. It is always worth leaving a review. 

UberX, Uber Pool, and Different Options 

When ordering your Uber in Mexico City, you will see that there are several different options available. If you have used Uber in any other city across the globe, you will be accustomed to seeing these. 

UberX is the standard Uber and the vehicle can accommodate up to three passengers. Uber XL vehicles are larger cars and minivans designed to accommodate larger groups of friends and travelers. (If there are 4 or more of you, you should choose this option).

Uberpool is a car-sharing option. The Uber driver will pick up and drop off other riders along the route.

This can save you some money, but it can also take a lot longer – especially since the traffic in Mexico City ranges between mildly mad and horrendous. If you have to be somewhere at a certain time, this probably isn’t a great choice but you can weigh up your time vs cost preferences. 

Final thoughts on taking Uber in Mexico City

Do you have any experience with taking Uber in Mexico City? How did you find Mexico’s capital? 

As mentioned, Uber in Mexico City is a popular, safe, and comfortable way to get around. Of course, no transportation options are completely risk-free so it is still very important to be alert and use your common sense.

The tips contained in this article will help ensure that your experiences with Uber are positive and trouble-free!

Safe travels and enjoy your time in Mexico! Hasta Luego! Melissa xo

Melissa Douglas

Melissa Douglas is a British Travel Writer based in Merida, Mexico and the Editor-in-Chief of Mexico Travel Secrets. She has over seven years worth of experience in working in travel media and has travelled to 57 countries, mostly solo. Throughout her career, Melissa has produced written content for several high-profile publications across the globe - including Forbes Travel Guide, the Huffington Post, Rough Guides, and Matador Network.

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