Mexico Connect
Forums  > General > General Forum


Georgia


Mar 8, 2008, 1:36 PM

Post #1 of 18 (2679 views)

Shortcut

A twist on vehicle importation queries

Can't Post | Private Reply
One of my kids is pondering the purchase of a SmartCar after seeing them here in Mexico. Here, tax included, they seel somewhere in the range of $12,500 - $13,000. In the US, where my son lives, you have to pay to get on a two year waiting list for the privilege of buying the same car for $27,000!!! So, here's the question: can he import a SmartCar from Mexico to the United States? I've looked at various usgov websites and can't seem to find an answer. What if we keep it registered to me in Mexico? Can I get it insured in the US, as a tourist, long term as we can here?



bournemouth

Mar 8, 2008, 2:34 PM

Post #2 of 18 (2657 views)

Shortcut

Re: [Georgia] A twist on vehicle importation queries

Can't Post | Private Reply
Georgia - I think it may depend on where your son lives. In Arizona, for instance, the state I know best, the only way you can keep a car on plates from another state/country is if you are a student or in the military - but that last category might not work for plates from another country. Otherwise it has to be registered there and it has to meet emissions/safety requirements. Does the locally made Smart Car meet US standards - that is your big sticking point.

The other big sticker is the question of insurance. With a nice, new, cute car you would want more than liability insurance, which is all one seems to be able to purchase when taking a car north.


johanson


Mar 8, 2008, 3:09 PM

Post #3 of 18 (2651 views)

Shortcut

Re: [bournemouth] A twist on vehicle importation queries

Can't Post | Private Reply
And also I heard that the US and Mexican version are somewhat different. The friend who said that also said that he understood that to be true, you know different safety standards etc. I sure hope for your sake that my friend was wrong


Ron Pickering W3FJW


Mar 8, 2008, 6:26 PM

Post #4 of 18 (2626 views)

Shortcut

Re: [johanson] A twist on vehicle importation queries

Can't Post | Private Reply
Don't think he's wrong Pete. Safety and emissions standards are cast in concrete up here. Can't import a Rolls from England either...
Getting older and still not down here.


Georgia


Mar 9, 2008, 8:15 AM

Post #5 of 18 (2593 views)

Shortcut

Re: [bournemouth] A twist on vehicle importation queries

Can't Post | Private Reply
Well, checking with the DOT website this is what I find: you can take a Mexican plated car into the US for one year and then it must come back, which is doable in our case. It is also possible to purchase insurance for one year. We can work with that. I would purchase a used car and title it in my name. I assume you can then bring it back in again later for another year. When I think about it, I see Mexican plated cars crossing into the US all the time. Many stay for extended visits. Since he lives in a house we own, it would work.


(This post was edited by Georgia on Mar 9, 2008, 8:17 AM)


Bloviator

Mar 9, 2008, 10:45 AM

Post #6 of 18 (2573 views)

Shortcut

Re: [Georgia] A twist on vehicle importation queries

Can't Post | Private Reply
Does that apply if the car meets US standards? Is it not possible to permanently import a car from Mexico to the US?

More hassle. If I don't get my Jeep cleared from my record, I will have to buy a Mexican plated car if I want to have a car to replace the Jeep. I was hoping that I could buy a Mexican plated car that meets US standards and then take in with us if we move NoB.

Is there such a thing as a Mexican plated car that meets US standards and is less than 10 years old? Obviously a car originally sold NoB and then nationalized here would meet US standards - assuming that they have not changed too much.


Mostley Lost

Mar 9, 2008, 3:43 PM

Post #7 of 18 (2537 views)

Shortcut

Re: [Georgia] A twist on vehicle importation queries

Can't Post | Private Reply
Where are you pricing Smarts in the US?? I ran auto dealerships for 35 years and you can always find the deal if you are wiling to put in a little time and maybe travel a little. Remember that a Mexico warranty will not be honored in the US and probably not have the the same safety and emission equipment.They are available starting at under $13K US and in stock at a lot of dealers. If you want all the options then the price can go much higher. May I suggest that you search on autotrader.com


jerezano

Mar 10, 2008, 9:59 AM

Post #8 of 18 (2480 views)

Shortcut

Re: [Randy & Elaine] A twist on vehicle importation queries

Can't Post | Private Reply
Hello,

Quote: May I suggest that you search on autotrader.com

You may, but autotrader.com was not a bit helpful. I did find out that the basic price of the Smartcar (Pure) is around $11,500 us dollars but the dealerships they suggest in Texas (San Antonio, specifically) offers a registration program for $99 us dollars, and does not offer--at least at this time--any cars off the lot. Now that is not an autotrader.com problem, but apparently a problem with the dealers, probably as a requirement of the manufacturer. I did not explore other sites, but so far the search has been a disappointment.

Adiós. jerezano


esperanza

Mar 10, 2008, 10:20 AM

Post #9 of 18 (2474 views)

Shortcut

Re: [jerezano] A twist on vehicle importation queries

Can't Post | Private Reply
The Smart is available at the Mercedes Benz dealership here in Morelia. The price for the Pulse standard models is $13,700 USD and for the Passion, it's $14,800 USD. In Mexico, the car is priced in dollars, not pesos. No waiting, no $99 deposit.

http://www.mexicocooks.typepad.com









Georgia


Mar 11, 2008, 9:03 AM

Post #10 of 18 (2421 views)

Shortcut

Re: [esperanza] A twist on vehicle importation queries

Can't Post | Private Reply
Absolutely true, Esperanza. We heard from a friend that in certain states they have been able to register their Mexican plated SmartCars in assorted states ranging from California, to Louisiana to Florida. Their only problem is that people keep stopping them to ask if they will sell their cars for double what they purchased them for! The dealers I contacted in Florida, where my son goes to school, all wanted a $99 deposit to put your name on a waiting list ... a two year waiting list. That would purchase an additional Smart Car down here when you figure the price he is paying for gas now on his six cylinder Ford Escape.

Anyway, we bought the SmartCar in the Mercedes dealership in Guad right off the lot. Our only upgrade was a cup holder, which they threw in for free. They'll even deliver the car to me, because I really don't want to drive a brand new car in a section of Guad that I am not 100% familiar with. Truth be told, I am a sissy. We'll drive it up to Florida, leave it there for a year, and bring it back ... then we'll repeat the process until he graduates and can afford his own car. If he is able to register a Mexican purchased Smart Car in Florida, he'll come down here to buy one. The passenger area is surprisingly roomy, by the way.

He's 25 and thinks the car will be chick bait. This may or may not be an added bonus!!!


esperanza

Mar 11, 2008, 9:30 AM

Post #11 of 18 (2410 views)

Shortcut

Re: [Georgia] A twist on vehicle importation queries

Can't Post | Private Reply
Yup, I test-drove the Smart about a month ago. My partner and I loved it, but ultimately decided not to buy it. It was the chick-magnet thing that changed our minds--neither of us needs another chick! LOL...

http://www.mexicocooks.typepad.com









Bloviator

Mar 11, 2008, 11:10 AM

Post #12 of 18 (2386 views)

Shortcut

Re: [esperanza] A twist on vehicle importation queries

Can't Post | Private Reply
I stopped at S&S in Riberas two days ago and it seemed that they were selling Smart cars also. They had an inventory and literature about the car. I didn't follow up, but they said they were selling for about $14K US.


Linda in Morelia

Mar 11, 2008, 3:49 PM

Post #13 of 18 (2365 views)

Shortcut

Re: [esperanza] A twist on vehicle importation queries

Can't Post | Private Reply
Esperanza, your comment about Smart Cars being chickmobiles caused a laugh to bubble up my throat into my mouth, which unfortunately was holding a mouthful of coffee, which is now all over my shirt!


judithnpups


Mar 12, 2008, 12:23 AM

Post #14 of 18 (2332 views)

Shortcut

Re: [johanson] A twist on vehicle importation queries

Can't Post | Private Reply
Regarding SmartCar safety standards: The Mexican Smart does not come equipped with side air bags, which I believe are a requirement in the US now. (And, they are not an option here, either.) But they sure are fun to drive and feel surprisingly spacious for their small size.

On another note, MINI Coopers (and all BMW's sold in Mexico) meet international safety standards, including US standards. The MINI has six airbags! (As you may guess, we've been car shopping :-)
Judith in the DF (formerly in Morelia)


Georgia


Mar 12, 2008, 8:30 AM

Post #15 of 18 (2300 views)

Shortcut

Re: [judithnpups] A twist on vehicle importation queries

Can't Post | Private Reply
Side airbags are not required on all vehicles in the US and are not expected to be required until at least 2009 if at all.


Georgia


Mar 12, 2008, 8:33 AM

Post #16 of 18 (2296 views)

Shortcut

Re: [Bloviator] A twist on vehicle importation queries

Can't Post | Private Reply
There are two models being sold, the Pulse and the Passion, which has more horsepower. The prices at S&S are slightly higher than in Guad.


Moisheh

Mar 14, 2008, 2:26 PM

Post #17 of 18 (2237 views)

Shortcut

Re: [Georgia] A twist on vehicle importation queries

Can't Post | Private Reply
In order to import ANY car that was not built in the USA it must have a Federal safety label. I think it is called the FMVSS. The only exception is a car that meets the Canadian Safety Standard. It also has to meet the EPA standards for that car year. There are companies that modify cars to meet the standards but it is very costly. So it is real easy: If the car has the label it is OK. NO label not OK.


Moisheh


Georgia


Mar 15, 2008, 3:45 PM

Post #18 of 18 (2194 views)

Shortcut

Re: [Moisheh] A twist on vehicle importation queries

Can't Post | Private Reply
Well, we've decided that permanent importation is unlikely, but not impossible. We shall see. According to the DOT website, we can bring the car into the US for a year, which will work fine. Our son comes to visit periodically and we will make an "arrangement." I think it's just a matter of "touching the flagpole" and then you can go back again. We bought the car. We call it "La Pulga" ... it is funny looking, drives fine (but not over cobblestones), has a lot of pep, was made in France, and people will probably point and laugh at us all the way from the border, through Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, and Florida. I am taking a Tempurpedic pillow for my butt. The interior is much more spacious than you would expect. In my husband's family's town in Italy, they are all the rage. More on all this at a later date. In any event, what he saves in gas the first year will pay for the car.
 
 
Search for (advanced search) Powered by Gossamer Forum v.1.2.4