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Liesl

Jul 12, 2007, 6:48 PM

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Buying a car in Mexico

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I am moving to Guadalajara at the end of the month and plan on buying a car when I get there. I'd like to spend less than $4,000 (US) on a car. I'm wondering if there is anything I should be aware of with regard to purchasing a vehicle, getting the plates etc. Does anyone have any thoughts, experience in this area?

Thanks for the help.

Liesl



Mostley Lost

Jul 14, 2007, 7:50 AM

Post #2 of 8 (7259 views)

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Re: [Liesl] Buying a car in Mexico

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Just a thought.. Why not bring one with you.

Just as in the USA $4000US won't buy much of a vehicle here. Also cars in that price range here have probably seen a lot of use over not the best of roads.

You may also find nationalized vehicles, imported from the USA for resale. These vehicles are purchased at auction or from car dealer's wholesale areas (read cars they wouldn't keep for their lots) and "fixed up" in Mexico.


Gringal

Jul 14, 2007, 10:07 AM

Post #3 of 8 (7243 views)

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Re: [Liesl] Buying a car in Mexico

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I've heard from some Mexican acquaintances that buying a used car is Mexico is not smart. Various reasons, but mostly, they say they've seen very hard use.

At the $4000 level, you should be able to find a fairly decent used car in the U.S. from a reputable dealer who hasn't turned back the hands of time, so to speak. So long as your FM-3 is valid (assuming you're getting one), you can drive your car here without any problem. Be sure to get it "smogged" here, since they have been cracking down on that lately. Costs under $20 US. I don't know if they accept the U.S. smog assurance. Here, you get a little round sticker on the windshield that helps to repel greedy cops. Helps, anyway. Also see <www.rollybrook.com> for a wealth of info on the car issues; papers to carry in the glove compartment, etc.


windknot

Jul 15, 2007, 7:49 AM

Post #4 of 8 (7197 views)

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Re: [Gringal] Buying a car in Mexico

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Gringal....can you elaborate on this "SMOG" issue? I've never heard anything about it, even on Rolly's site. (Maybe I missed it)

And I was planning on purchasing a "second" vehicle (Jeep Wrangler) just to use around town, because it would be a lot cheaper to own than the Dodge 2500 truck that I need to tow my 28 ft. boat from time to time. My lone available permiso has obviously been used up with the truck! I hope I'm not going to have a problem with a Mexican-bought vehicle!!!


Gringal

Jul 15, 2007, 8:30 AM

Post #5 of 8 (7185 views)

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Re: [windknot] Buying a car in Mexico

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There's a law in place that you need to have a smog sticker showing your car has been inspected, every six months. I found this information on the <www.fallinginlovewithsanmiguel> site back in the first part of this year.

We got our sticker when we were still in San Miguel. They had a police check point on the main road doing a brisk ticketing business. I understand it is also required in Jalisco. Perhaps someone will elaborate on the law or the details.

If we can get the truck nationalized next year, we'll sell it and buy a Mexican car. When we do, somebody will get a good, one-owner vehicle with honest mileage and clear title. With some luck and lots of inquiry, maybe a friend or neighbor can direct you to someone who has a nicely pedigreed vehicle with papers and a repairs trail. Other than that "everybody" tells me to "look out" re used cars in Mexico. Particular warning was given re buying "chocolates": cars without proper titles, sometimes brought from the U.S.

How's all that for totally unsubstantiated "facts" and rumors? Let's hope somebody with more solid info chimes in here. Hey, I tried.


Rolly


Jul 15, 2007, 8:45 AM

Post #6 of 8 (7179 views)

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Re: [windknot] Buying a car in Mexico

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Windknot, I have not spoken to the smog issue on my website because it affects only a few cities and states, it is not a national requirement.

Rolly Pirate


Papirex


Jul 15, 2007, 9:40 AM

Post #7 of 8 (7167 views)

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Re: [Gringal] Buying a car in Mexico

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Rolly is right, smog inspections are a local issue and vary all over the nation. The equivalent of DMV offices in México are called “Transito” offices. A person that is not sure if smog inspections are required in their area should check at their local Transito office, and ask if verification is required. Smog inspections in México are called “verification” inspections. The requirements vary in every state and area. I have never heard of any requirement that a foreign plated car needed to get a smog inspection in any state.

You may need to get one every six months, or only once per year. In México City D.F., the stickers are issued in various colors, to indicate the level of the “score” the car achieved when tested. Only late model locally registered cars with a certain colored smog sticker are exempt from the Hoy no Circula law there. My wife’s van is registered in México City and it is exempt. She is out of town today or I would go out and check to see what color the smog sticker is on it. I’m too lazy to look it up again today.

If a local cop stops you in a foreign plated car and threatens to give you a ticket because you have no local smog inspection sticker, he may only be trying to solicit a bribe from you. Ask him to show you the law, or demand that he give you a ticket. If it is not a legal requirement that you have a local smog inspection, he will not give you a ticket, but he will give you a “warning” and send you on your way. It is best in any area of México to learn from competent authorities what is legally required, and don’t take at face value the things that “people” tell you. The guy in a shop that does verification inspections is almost surely not going to tell you that you don’t need one, he would probably rather do it for you and collect his fee.

Rex
"The supreme happiness of life is the conviction that we are loved" - Victor Hugo


alex .

Jul 16, 2007, 7:39 AM

Post #8 of 8 (7119 views)

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Re: [windknot] Buying a car in Mexico

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In Baja California there are numerous vehicles imported from the Republic of California. When the cost to bring a vehicle into smog compliance exceeds the value of the vehicle, off to Mexico it goes.
Alex
 
 
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