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Importing a car to Mexico

Posted in Mexico forum

Does anyone know about the regulations to import a car to Mexico? A friend of mine is moving there, and he's not sure whether it makes more sense to buy a car in Mexico or to import his car to Mexico.

  • Gabriela Zafira

    posted by  in Mexico forum 

    Hi Anne, I found some information on how to import a car to Mexico from abroad, maybe this helps: Foreigners driving into Mexico are allowed to bring their cars (also boats and motor homes) into the country after meeting certain documentary requirements including the payment of a “temporary import” permit.
    Foreign retirees (“inmigrantes rentistas”) or those in Mexico on working permits (“no-inmigrante”) may bring in one car (their own) for the duration of their visas and subsequent extensions. Tourists may also bring in one car, even if it’s not their own.Youl need to show proof of nationality, your Mexican visa or tourist card, as well as proof of ownership of the vehicle.
    In the event the vehicle isn't paid for, a letter of credit or invoice from the corresponding financial institution will be needed. If the vehicle is rented, the hire contract in the driver’s name and a description of the vehicle. If it’s a company car, the importer will need to show documental proof of a working relationship with the company, as well as company proof of ownership. Also required is a letter stating the driver’s intention to return the vehicle after the authorized period.
    The first steps for obtaining a permit can be taken online at the site of Banco del Ejercito where you will find a link from the homepage.
    Permits can also be processed at the following Mexican consulates: Chicago, Dallas, Houston, Austin, San Francisco, Los Angeles, San Bernardino, Sacramento, Phoenix, and Albuquerque, as well as at the Banco del Ejercito booths at Mexican customs on the border or at seaports. The online cost of the permit is $22 plus value-added tax, while the cost at consulates is $35.20.
    If the permit is paid for in cash, a deposit must be made against failure to take the vehicle out of Mexico at the right time. The deposit, which is returned to the owner when the vehicle leaves Mexico, is $400 for 1999 or later models, $300 for models 1994 to 1998, and $200 for earlier models. Detailed information is available in Spanish at the Mexican customs web site.

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