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Gstevenson

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About Gstevenson

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  1. Hi Simon, my wife and I drove from Alberta to Chapala about 5 years ago. At that time (and this is still true) we could and did buy Mexican Insurance online. However, once you leave the “Hassle Free Zone”, a Temporary Vehicle Import Permit was required for the car. I think that is still true. The government office where that could be acquired was not right at the border. We crossed at Lukeville/Sonoyta. There was another checkpoint over near Caborca where we stopped and bought the TVIP. On a 3 year old vehicle it was about $50 fee plus a deposit of $400 and the deposit was returned when we returned the TVIP on the way back north. Check the current details, but I would search on TVIP and Sonora (the State) for example. We stayed on the toll road most of the way. Tolls added up. Maybe $200 total. Many toll locations were cash only and required small denominations. TVIP was the big thing. Fears were over-blown. Average speed is likely a little lower in Mexico as the roads aren’t as good so plan less distance per day than you might in the US. I think we did the Mexico portion in about 2.5 days,
  2. Some US banks allow checks to be deposited remotely using an app on a smartphone or tablet where you take a picture of the front and back. I have used that approach for a few checks. It took about a business day for the check to be verified. That puts the money in the US bank account. Then, cash can be withdrawn at a local ATM in local currency. Not sure if that fits your situation. Just an idea.
  3. I actually went into the quote function on XE and requested a quote for transfering 9000 pesos...so it was real. The only thing I don't know is whether there would have been an additional fee anywhere along the line if I had submitted the transfer order. Yeah, PayPal is worth trying a couple of times. I suppose a service could be less expensive on one transaction and mor expensive on others...or the completion time might vary. If we build up a number of tests we can reach a fair conclusion.
  4. OK, I ran another test using PayPal as described above. This was done a couple of days ago (Dec 12), but I waited to see how much arrived before posting this. Here is the result: Transferred: 9,000 pesos (i.e. that is how much I wanted to receive in my Santander Account...and that is how much arrived) Withdrawn from my US (Midfirst) account: $534.27 USD... described as $52.20 MXN peso fee; and 16.94 exchange rate I then went to the XE website and asked for a quote on transferring 9,000 pesos...and was quoted $528.12 USD...described as 17.04 exchange rate. If I had gone through with the XE transfer, I don't know if I would have experienced a fee or whether the fee is embedded in the exchange rate. I vaguely remember being unhappy with the proposed fees when I looked into XE a couple of years ago, but I don't remember the detail, and it may have changed since then. Joco indicated there is no fee now. Anyway, the difference is pretty small...and the delivery time (3 days starting on a Saturday) is reasonable. Does anybody else have specifics of transactions that would show a comparison?
  5. I found wire transfers expensive. I forget the detail, but I also found XE expensive...I think it was a poor exchange rate at the time, or maybe it was an international transfer fee. Anyway I set up two PayPal accounts...one on PayPal US and linked to my US bank account; and the other on PayPal Mexico and linked to my Santander account. I was then able to send funds from the PayPal US account (pulling from the US bank account) to the PayPal MX account. Then I log on to the PayPal MX account and "withdraw" the funds to my Santander account. The currency conversion happens at PayPal: the PayPal MX account is set up in Pesos. Using that method the funds are at the PayPal MX account immediately, and then it takes 3 or 4 days to become available at Santander. I haven't checked the total costs including currency conversion lately but at the time I set it up it seemed the best option. Logistically it was a pain in the you know what to get the PayPal account linked to the Santander account because PayPal's linking process depends on them making a tiny deposit in the bank account and then you have to read the code supposedly listed on your bank statement (or online) and type it back into the PayPal system. Of course the code did not appear properly on the Santander system so I had to jump through a lot of PayPal hoops to get them to do the "verify" manually. Getting them on the phone was horrendous and then time after time they would promiss me they would initiate it...and then days would go by with no action. Oh yes, and the two PayPal accounts cannot be linked to the same email address. It makes me crazy when I think about it. But in the end it is easy to do the transfers and it works pretty well.
  6. I recently drove from Lakeside to Puerto Penasco. The route is the same as going to Nogales up to Santa Ana...which is almost to Nogales. At Santa Ana you go west to get to Puerto Penasco. My total for tolls was $1728 MXP...in a car with no trailer...one way trip. As I recall there was one, or possibly two tolls on the road west of Santa Ana that are included...so those would not be required if going to Nogales, but then there may be one or two tolls between Santa Ana and Nogales. My guess is that it's about the same. I did not try any alternate means of paying...just cash in pesos...so I can't comment on other acceptable means except to say that there were signs on some of the toll booths saying they did not take dollars.
  7. PayPal can also be used to transfer funds. Set up two PayPal accounts...one in Canada or the US and link that one to your NOB bank account. The second is with PayPal Mexico, and linked to the Mexican Peso account. Send funds from the NOB PayPal Account to the Mexican PayPal account and then withdraw those funds to your Mexican bank account. A bit of a PIA to set up and get verified, and requires two email IDs (one for each PayPal account) but it works well in the end. I originally set this up because when I investigated xe.com and others there were fees and an exchange rate difference that I didn't like. That may have changed, as another poster said there is no fee. I expect head to head comparisons to vary over time as fees and exchange rates change.
  8. I have been using a CuboxTV box from SolidRun. It is about 2" by 2" and runs Kodi on OpenElec Linux. It works pretty well, but as with all such devices success is dependent both on your local Internet connection and contention (busy) at the source end. Anyway, I am happy with the device.
  9. I am in Ajijic now. I am using an iPhone 5s with a T-Mobile SIM. It is on the new T-Mobile plan that covers Canada and Mexico in addition to the U.S. It works fine in Ajijic, and worked pretty well as we drove down to Ajijic from the U.S. Voice and texts are unlimited on that plaan, and coverage has been pretty good throughout the area. Data is usable but not blazing fast. It registers LTE sometimes and 3G sometimes spdepending on where I am in the area.
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