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Acquiring a car for driving in Mexico


Bill Hely
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Coming from Australia of course I would be arriving without a car. Yes, I'm aware many expats get by just fine without one, but I would feel more comfortable having one, even if it doesn't get used very much.

Secondhand cars in the USA are dirt cheap compared to Australia; Mexico situation unknown.

So are there any thoughts on buying a 2nd hand car in the US and driving down to the Lake area, versus buying a 2nd hand car in Mexico. 

Any tax/levy/duty penalties involved?

I have a weakness for old, big-iron V8 "muscle cars", but I should imagine it would not be advisable to be driving around Mexico in anything "fancy"?

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Bill:

I surmise that you would be coming in on a tourist visa. If so, you could could drive down from the US but would be required to leave with the car in 6 months. If during your stay you opt to change your status to permanent, you would also be required to return the car to the US.

Considering that one would have to register the car in the states, pay insurance, pay the $400 tourist auto deposit, and additionally purchase Mexican insurance, purchasing a car here seems a better move financially.

As to the type of car.... I am afraid that a muscle car may have difficulty navigating the narrow streets of Lakeside... Then there is the problem of parts and maintenance and the prevailing road conditions here in Jalisco. 

All in all, I would say that your best bet would be to purchase a car here in Mexico.

You could rent a car for a short time and discover the driving situation here and then look for a more permanent ride.....S&S Auto here at Lakeside could be of help here. 

Happy motoring !!

 

 

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New law or rule.  Only temp or perm visa may buy a car.  No on Tourist visa.  We are still trying to figure this out as its new. But you can go to consulate and get temp visa stamp in your passport and do the paperwork when you get here and get up to  four years on temp.  At end of four years you can go perm. easily without much paperwork.  To get another temp you would have to leave Mexico and restart the procedure for a temp. visa all over.

 You will probably ignore me but I suggest you not drive for six months to get use to local conditions like driving on the wrong side of road, poorly marked speedbumps (topes), poor surprising driving habits of locals like riding on your bumper on bald tires in the rain.  Don't assume anything.

 

 

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19 minutes ago, barcelonaman said:

You forgot to mention. Cars with no brake lights. Cars with no lights at all. Bikes with no lights at night. Motos passing on inside. Avoiding huge potholes . Cars coming wrong way down one way street. .driving in guadalajara in general !! The rest of mexico is fine.

Oh absolutely correct now if you want really scary driving try Mexico City Bill.  My first ride from airport to Downtown M.C. I wanted to turn around and go back to the airport and home LOL.   Actually I am used to all the things mentioned by Barcelonaman but Bill won't be so that why I am suggested a person wait a little.  

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Our local driving, excluding trips to Texas, averages less than 5000 KM per year.  But the convenience is worth a lot to us.

Bill, are you coming on a Temporal visa or Tourist Permit?

Having had a U.S. car here we only regret we didn't switch to a Mexican plated vehicle a lot sooner.  It is a hassle to own a foreign plated car here and it paints a target on your back for the mordida loving cops.

One other word of advice--the roads really are terrible and the topes are too often tall.  Stick to a compact sport ute.  Hondas and Nissans are made in Mexico and in plentiful supply new or used.

This isn't a great place for a heavy, wide, low slung gas guzzler.

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Just go to TX and buy a good used one, get plates and 30 day TX insurance, then get MXN insurance and come on down. Forget the Detroit iron, I left my Mark VIII in storage here in TX because I knew it would get torn up in MX. I bought a 2 year old Jeep Liberty, perfect car, smaller so fits down streets, plenty of tope clearance, tough, parts readily available and strong enough to drag a fully loaded 5X8 trailer to/from. It not only survived 7 years there, but is still going strong 2 years later up here, one of the best cars I've ever owned and basically cheap, but nice leather interior, stereo, sunroof (perfect in MX).

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11 hours ago, canmex87 said:

You can't purchase a Mexican plated car and register it in your name if you are on a Tourist Visa.

Sorry to disagree. I did this when I first came here on a tourist visa. I was able to register it with no problem. Had to produce a lease for where I was living. No problem.

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Many of us purchased and registered cars as tourists, many years ago.  Things have changed and registration now requires a visa, proof of residence, etc., as many have posted.

Would Bill also have a problem registering a car in the USA, if he could buy one, without being a resident?  It is something to check.

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There are plenty of decent Mexican plated small cars under $4000US on the market here on various Facebook pages thre is a cute Cabriolet for $3500 US.  And then specifically autos are available twice a year when the medical students come and go from Guadalajara.

 

There are inexpensive rentals available from locals.

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3 hours ago, RVGRINGO said:

South Dakota requires a US Social Security number.

 

No, it does not.... not through Clay County anyway. I've purchased maybe 15 titles/plates through them including one just this week.

Copy of one's Driver's License is all that is required identification-wise.

 

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4 hours ago, SmartTraveller said:

Buy it here.  S & S Auto. Buy something compact (think narrow vilage streets) that has a tough suspension (cobbles, topes) and parts are readily available.

Can you explain to us how the OP will transfer the ownership in to his name, or be able to purchase insurance for the vehicle. ???

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4 hours ago, TelsZ4 said:

Can you explain to us how the OP will transfer the ownership in to his name, or be able to purchase insurance for the vehicle. ???

If he buys through S & S Auto, not only are they a reputable car dealer, they will do all the paperwork and provide him with insurance...they totally make all headaches go away. 

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