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Los Cabos Tourists Warned Against Using Unregistered Transport Operators

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Local authorities seem to be very concerned about the growing presence of unregulated transport operators in Los Cabos.

In a recent meeting, the mayor of Los Cabos acknowledged that this was a growing problem that needed to be addressed. The issue for him was that this was a situation that needed to be policed at the state level.

Van Waiting For People At Airport

In any case, what does this all mean for tourists? How can you know if you’re booking a service from a regulated transport company? What are the risks of getting into one of these vans used by unregistered transport operators? 

There’s Actually A Good Chance You’ll Get Into An Unregulated Transport Vehicle 

Perhaps the most concerning issue is that the problem has gotten so big that there’s a good chance that, as a traveler, you’ll be getting into one of these unregulated vehicles.

According to local authorities, there are at least 300 unregulated transport vans roaming around Los Cabos.

Many of them offer their services through popular websites like Viator where many travelers go to book, particularly airport shuttle services and even tours around different parts of Cabo.

Passenger van in front of mall in cabo san lucas

What Are The Risks Of Getting Into One Of These Vehicles?

There’s no question that authorities are mostly concerned with this situation because these companies that operate outside the law are not paying taxes.

There are special permits that companies need to have in order to legally transport tourists across Cabo. This is similar to the dispute that has taken place between Uber and other ride-share apps and local Taxi unions. 

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uber car driving down the street

What the unions argue is that these fake transport vehicles are not paying for the permits that they are forced to purchase in order to legally provide their services.

As a user of one of these fake transport companies, the risks aren’t truly evident until something bad happens.

Since the company is not properly registered, if you have an accident while riding with them, you’re not going to be covered by any type of insurance.

van driving down a highway

When these worst-case scenarios have taken place in the past, what tourists have found is that on top of the fact that there’s no insurance, it’s hard to even figure out who you’ll need to sue to be able to get any form of reparation.

traffic in a beach city

Since the company operates completely outside the law, it’s rather easy for them to just vanish into thin air if something goes wrong.

Typically, that leaves the drivers of these vehicles in the most vulnerable position when something bad happens since they end up being the only visible face that can be held liable in case of an accident.

Cars blocking traffic

Tell Signs To Spot A Fake Transport Company

As previously stated, many of these fake transport companies may be found on some of the top sites that are used to book these types of services.

What’s worse is that they could certainly have good reviews and even offer lower rates for their services. Since they are not paying any government fees, operating a fake company is cheaper than operating a real one.

A quick way to figure out if you’re using a fake company or not is to see if they are allowed to park in the same spots as the certified taxis or other transport companies. 

Local Backroad Traffic

What a lot of these companies do is they’ll have someone waiting for you at the arrivals gate at the airport, and then they’ll walk you to the van, which is typically parked further away from the terminal.

If it’s not parked further away, what they’ll do is pick you up in the area that’s meant for regular cars to pick people up.

Road That Leads To San Jose del Cabo

They’ll never use the designated spots that are typically closer to the terminal because they don’t have access to those.

The problem with this is that you’ll only figure it out once you get to the airport. You can, of course, ask each company for their credentials to see if they are certified.

That’s another big issue: most travelers don’t read the fine print. In not doing so, they may be putting themselves at risk.

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Jeff Rearick

Tuesday 16th of May 2023

If the govt knows of 300 or more unlicensed transport companies why don’t they go after them instead of putting it on the tourists to spot them which is never going to happen !