We often get questions regarding importing cars into Mexico so we decided to look into it and answer the FAQ´s we get.
Just as a note in advance all the information below was collected by interviewing people who work in the Mexican Customs, CIITEV centers, Transit office of San Pedro and the sat.gob.mx portal. This information is available to the public (in Spanish).
We also would like to clarify what we mean by New Cars and Used/Old
New cars: Of recent model or one year old ie. 2016-2015
Used / Older cars: They must be 8-9 years old from the recent year ie. 2007-2008. The only exception applied to this are Ford cars which they accept models from 2007 to 2012.
Last but not least is also to explain the Libro Azul (Blue book) which is a guide published every year in Mexico to establish the commercial value of new and used cars in Mexico. This book is used to calculate everything related to cars like insurance, taxes and in this case the cost of importing fees and taxes.
How long can I bring my USA/Canada plated car in to Mexico?
Around the border area of Mexico typically this is 16 miles / 26 km in to the Mexican territory you do not need a special permit. If you are going to be driving further than this you will need a TIP (Temporary Import Permit). The TIP is valid for 180 continuous days within a 12 month period and may not be extended within México. This applies for everyone entering under a tourist visa. The cost of the permit is 59.16 USD and you can pay in cash or card (debit or credit) only visa and master cards are accepted. The permit will be done under the name of the person who claims the property of the vehicle.
Additional to the permit cost they take a deposit which is charged based on the model of the car as shown below:
2000 or older 200 USD
2001-2006 300 USD
2007 or newer 400 USD
In order to claim the deposit back you must notify the CIITEV module when leaving the country and they will return the money in the same way you paid, cash or card. The exchange rate used is the one on the transaction day.
When you are coming in with a temporary residence permit, the TIP of the vehicle will be connected to the length of your temporary residence permit.
Who can drive my foreign plated car while in Mexico?
Direct family members. This includes parents, brothers or sisters and sons or daughters. All must be over 18 year’s old and have a valid driving license. It is irrelevant whether the owner of the car is on board as long as the person driving can prove the family link to the owner.
How long can I drive in Nuevo Leon with my foreign driving license?
This varies from every municipality, in San Pedro for example they told us that as long as you have a valid license you can drive here. You can also get your International driving license and that is valid in many countries. You need to get that in the country of origin of your license. However getting a license in Nuevo Leon is not that expensive or complicated. We wrote another article about it read it here.
As a permanent resident can I have a foreign plated car?
No this is illegal and you may be subjected to an expensive fine and the confiscation of your car. Also the insurance is not valid, so if you are already a permanent residence the best will be to just buy a car in México and get local plates.
How do I import a vehicle into Mexico?
There are different rules depending on the year of your car.
Older and used cars from 8 to 9 years older that the current year with their VIN (serial number) starting with 1 to 5 need the original title or invoice that credits you as the owner, pass the pollution control inspection, vehicle pictures, CURP and a Mexican ID.
Now because you may not have a CURP or a Mexican ID the best option is to hire a Comercializadora (Custom Broker agency). They will import it and invoice it to you in Mexico dealing with all the trouble of the import for you.
New cars 2015 – 2016 you need the invoice fully paid, certificate of origin, vehicle pictures, CURP and Mexican ID. Again the best thing is to hire a Custom Broker Agency.
What is the cost of importing a car in to Mexico?
We will answer this with 2 examples and after explain what each tax or fee is:
2016 Toyota Corolla 4dr Sedan Automatic L priced at 20,025 (all amounts in USD).
Broker honorary fee: 453.51
Trading Company 500.63
Total importing cost: 5,335.27
Then once your car has been imported you need to get your local plates and pay the taxes in the state you live in we checked to give you an example for Nuevo Leon.
Tenencia, plates refrendo and registering in REPUVE: 9777 MXN
You need an ID, the invoice of the car and import papers, utility bill of less than 3 months and your driving license.
2007 Honda Civic LX Sedan priced at 6,498 (all amounts in USD).
Broker honorary fee 226.76
Trading Company 85.04
Repuve sticker: 63.00
Total importing cost: 1,714.53
Then you need to get your local plates and pay the taxes in the state you live in we checked for Nuevo Leon. Cars from 2007 do not pay tenencia in Nuevo Leon.
Plates 1826 MXN You need an ID, the invoice of the car and import papers, utility bill of less than 3 months and your driving license.
The duties and taxes you need to pay are explained below:
ISAN Tax applies, it is calculated based on the value of the car according to the Libro azul (Blue book). Plus a fee that is set depending on make and model.
IVA 16% tax applies as well on the value according to the Libro azul (Blue book).
DTA fee. The right to process something through customs fee.
CNT and PREV fee which is currently set at 267 MXN.
For older cars (8-9 years older that the current year)
IGI is more of a fee than a tax but it is based on the value of the car again according to the Blue book.
DTA The right to process something through customs fee.
CNT and PREV fee which is currently set at 267 MXN.
REPUVE: A register in Mexico which helps identify through the serial number if a car has been stolen or has any other issues.
How does a “Comercializadora” or Custom Broker work?
A Mexican Customs broker is an authorised individual registered with the Mexican tax authorities (SHCP) to import products into Mexico, on behalf of a US company. They are specialized agents on international trade and they are responsible for the verification and accuracy of the information provided. This includes the assignation of which customs classification /rules the merchandise is being imported under. The correct classification of the products and fulfillments of all regulations and restrictions not related to import duties (according to the Mexican Customs Law and other laws that may apply).
Comercializadora is a Trading Company. They import any type of merchandise for commercial purpose into México. Applies for Non-Resident companies or individuals in Mexico. They can import goods permanently and takes care of paying all duties and taxes applicable.
How much would it be to hire a custom broker?
Each differ, but the few we contacted charge:
New cars (2015/16) 2.5% of the cost of the car (Minimum 8,000 MXN).
Used/Older cars a set fee of 4,000 pesos.
This of course does not include all the taxes and duties mentioned before these are just for their services.
How long does it take to import a car?
New cars can take from 2-3 working weeks. This is considering you are using a broker.
Used/Older can take 5-6 working weeks. This is considering you are using a broker.
Through out our research we came across some really helpful people who speak English and would be happy to help you with any further questions you may have. Contact us and we will send their details to you.