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What make of cars can be nationalized in Mexico


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I have a 2004 Jeep manufactured in the USA which I have been driving in Mexico for 4 years on a permit with my FM3. What would I need to do to import it? Is importing it going to reduce my cost of keeping it in country?

No in fact your insurance will go up with Jalisco plates versus NOB plates.

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Not only will your insurance go up, you may not be able to get full coverage. The cost to nationalize may be as high as 50% of the vehicle value, so it is usually more economical to drive the US vehicle to the nearest CarMax in the USA and sell it, returning by bus or plane.

Buy your next vehicle in Mexico and you'll be able to get full insurance coverage and also avoid the hassle and expense of temporary import stickers and easily lost deposits at the border. Driving a Mexican plated car into, and throughout the USA is hassle=free; just drive it in and drive it out. Of course, you can't register it or sell it in the USA if you ever leave Mexico.

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I've been working toward nationalizing my US plated car for several months now. I found a guy who worked with a broker in Laredo who could make the transfer for a price I could live with. It required driving to the border.

I recently checked on insurance with my agent who has covered the car for many years. The premium he quoted was almost triple what I had been paying and it only included liability. Evidently full coverage is not allowed on nationalized cars.

Then I get an email saying that this broker in Laredo passed some fake car papers causing all sorts of problems as one might imagine. While nationalizing a vehicle sounds good on paper, it isn't worth the risk or expense under current laws.

Now we're back to selling the US plated car and buying one in Mexico before applying for inmigrado in a couple of months.

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It seems that one could keep their US-plated non-Nafta car for the life of the car and keep paying for FM3 renewals - correct?

I drive so little here, my low-mileage Toyota will last for years. Only problem is if/when I go for MX citizenship, then what?

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"Then what?"

We're in the same boat, having a '99 US plated Japanese manufactured car. Since we intend to become 'Inmigrado', we'll take it to CarMax in San Antonio, TX and get what we can. We'll miss that handy SUV, which doesn't get much use here anyway, except for a few trips to Costco or a rare vacation at the beach with friends aboard. We've had a second car since 2007; an economical Smart Car bought in Guadalajara. It satisfies 99.9% of our needs, even though the insurance is more than for the US plated SUV.

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Not unless it is eligible to be registered in the USA. It probably isn't. It is more likely that you would have to regurn it to Canada.

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Anyone know if I could taken a Canadian-plated car to CarMax in Texas to sell it?

A Canadian friend two weeks ago phoned dealers in Texas (2010 Ford Fusion hybrid) and they won't do it unless previously registered in the US as was mine. They just drove to Vancouver to sell it and fly back Monday.

Those with older cars should note, car is tied to passport and when passport renewed, history goes away. I know people who became Inmigrado and citizens and they just kept old car here.

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Despite information to the contrary full coverage is available for nationalized vehicles. My nationalized Jetta has full coverage, only caveot is that replacement value is like 70% of blue book but that is better than nothing!

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A car that is worth less than approx $2000 wholesale (black book) hardly worth driving back as far as Canada and then flying back here based solely on the financial aspect. Of course other factors may come into play other than financial. :D

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Are you saying that insurance for a USA plated are in MX is cheaper than insurance here for a MX plated car?

"Then what?"

We're in the same boat, having a '99 US plated Japanese manufactured car. Since we intend to become 'Inmigrado', we'll take it to CarMax in San Antonio, TX and get what we can. We'll miss that handy SUV, which doesn't get much use here anyway, except for a few trips to Costco or a rare vacation at the beach with friends aboard. We've had a second car since 2007; an economical Smart Car bought in Guadalajara. It satisfies 99.9% of our needs, even though the insurance is more than for the US plated SUV.

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A few quick answers.....

As far as Canadian vehicles sent to the US for sale, very difficult to do. Even if it was previously registered in the US, vehicle must still pass smog and safety to enter the country. Once entered each state has there own separate rules and registration fees. And yes, you have to register your vehicle prior to selling the car. Then comes the fun part of finding a buyer. OR our firm does purchase American and Canadian plated vehicles in Mexico with better payouts than CarMax.

As far as what cars can enter..... VIN beginning with 1 - 9 ONLY / NO LETTERS FOR PRIVATE USE - ONLY FOR BUSINESSES. However this does NOT apply to recreational vehicles or motorcycles. Yes must be a NAFTA car but doesn't matter where it was built, assembled or pasted together. Has to do with which countries import taxes where originally paid by the manufacture to allow sale.

As legalizations go, its a personal choice. Some clients return car after car with us. Some just purchase cars from us without the legalization. Many pros and cons. Everyone is different and must do there homework and choose for themselves. But whatever you do, choose your legalization firm CAREFULLY. Many overnight outfits have no clue what they are doing and act as a middleman.

Thats all for know. Writing this from Normandy, France as we ship 15 Fiat's to Cancun!!!!!! Bon Jour!!!!!!

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  • 3 years later...

this is for ajijic2.  I have a 2011 Honda SUV 4 wheel drive. I just received an unbelievable amount to

nationalize my car.  You said to Irish Gal you might have an alternative. Could you please tell me as  well.

Thanks very much

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