Some commodities are advantageous for Americans to buy in Mexico and import into the United States thanks to the currency rate between the two countries. This leads a lot of individuals to consider whether it could be less expensive to buy an automobile in Mexico and naturalize it in the US.
Mexican auto prices are comparable to American auto prices. The majority of pre-owned vehicles fall inside the Kelley Blue Book value range. The cost of new cars is comparable; however, several are more expensive in Mexico. Additional travel, customs, DOT, and EPA requirements and expenditures are not included in this.
Those who choose to buy an automobile in Mexico and transport it across the border must thoroughly research the rules. Vehicles that don’t adhere to particular rules can’t enter the border. Buyers must make sure that everything is done right since if the car is seized or damaged at the border, it will be at their expense.
The article below from CarMats will assist you in knowing how much cars cost in Mexico.
Can a US Citizen Buy a Car in Mexico?
Although a US citizen can purchase an automobile in Mexico, the vehicle might not be allowed for importation into the US. For one year, automobiles that have been registered with customs are permitted entry into the US by US Customs and Border Protection (CBP). After that year, the vehicle must be either deported or registered in the US.
- Every car imported into the country is listed in a database maintained by the US Department of Transportation, along with all relevant contact details. The Motor Vehicle Importation Information (MVII) System is what this is known as.
- Every person who brings a car into the US is put in this database with information that can be used to find them.
- Using the MVII database, it is possible to keep track of vehicles that were brought into the US from other countries and send them back if they break the law.
- Failure to register the vehicle with the DMV and clear it through Customs within a year is an example of noncompliance.
- Noncompliance also includes vehicles that get special permission to come into the country for racing but aren’t sent back out within the time limit.
- Law enforcement has access to all MVII information.
Be advised that some non-compliant automobiles may be eligible for a customs exception to allow entrance into the US. These cars might never be able to achieve compliance because this exception is not the same as compliance. Vehicles that don’t meet the rules can’t legally get into the country and can’t be registered with any DMV because they can’t get through customs.
Is It Cheaper to Buy a Car in Mexico?
There are discounts on both new and used cars all around the United States and Mexico. Some people might choose to travel to Mexico rather than across the US in order to take advantage of a wonderful deal. People who live within a short drive of Mexico have a stronger incentive to buy down south and drive north.
Conclusion: If it is a commuter vehicle, there is no benefit to buying a car, truck, or SUV in Mexico and then importing it to the United States. Vehicles created in the US will be built to EPA and DOT standards, but because they were imported for sale in Mexico, they are more expensive to buy there.
Why Is It Not Cheaper to Buy a Car in Mexico?
As our chart above demonstrates, even though a vehicle’s sticker price might be lower in some cases, when taxes, fees, and travel costs are taken into account, the cost quickly escalates.
- Taxes like VAT and car taxes will be paid to the Mexican government on numerous levels.
- Customs and import duties in the US are different taxes that the federal government and state governments will impose, as well as the price of, if necessary, upgrading emissions and security features.
- If the buyer decides to use a vehicle broker to bring the car into the country, the broker costs will be high.
- the price of a flight or fuel to get there
- It can cost $1,000 to $2,000 to import the car from Mexico to a location in the US.
- Those without passports will need to apply for one and wait for it to come in.
- The costs add up quickly as the buyer works with the seller, two local and national governments, possible customs brokers, and auto haulers.
Brokers and sellers who assert that the car may be imported for little to no cost or that VAT taxes can be reimbursed should be avoided by buyers. Additionally, despite what the vendor may state, purchasers should never assume that the EPA and DOT labels are there.
The EPA Sticker and the DOT Sticker
Before considering spending any money on a vehicle, buyers must thoroughly inspect all of its components. The vast majority of automobiles sold outside of the US are produced in violation of EPA standards. It’s important to remember not to take these certificates for granted or to believe a dealer when they say something is in compliance.
Imports of vehicles from Mexico won’t be permitted if they don’t meet US EPA and DOT requirements.
Customs and Border Protection says that vehicles that come into the U.S. but don’t meet U.S. safety standards must be brought up to speed, sent back to their original country, or destroyed.
People usually start by looking at two stickers to figure out if it’s worth it to declare and import a car.
- First, look for an EPA emissions label in the engine compartment of the car.
- Next, take a peek at the door jamb on the driver’s side. This car adheres to all applicable Federal Motor Vehicle Safety and Theft Standards in place as of the date of manufacturing, according to a label that must be in English.
- These two stickers need to be authentic and written in English. These do not ensure that the car can be imported, but they are a start.
It is not worthwhile to go through the hassle of bringing the car up to importation standards if it lacks these stickers. If they go this route, buyers will spend a lot of money making changes, only to find out that the property still can’t leave Mexico.
It is crucial to realize that declaring and returning a car through customs will be simpler if it was initially produced in the United States and subsequently exported for sale. If it is made in another country, it will be nearly impossible and almost certainly not worth the cost.
Are There Any Cars Available in Mexico Not Available In US?
Many automobiles that are sold in Mexico but not in the United States are available there. The emission, safety, and theft-deterrent requirements for automobiles built for sale in Mexico differ from those for automobiles sold in the United States. They are therefore ineligible for registration in the US.
- The attitude of Dodge Although this vehicle is identical to the Mitsubishi Mirage, it falls short in some areas of safety and emissions regulations.
- Ikon Ford Hatch This entry-level vehicle, which is one of the least expensive brands available in Mexico, is similar to the Ford Fiesta but is made in India. However, it lacks adequate safety features.
- Matiz Daewoo. This is a lot like the Chevy Spark, but it doesn’t have the safety and pollution certificates it needs to legally enter the he country. RCZ PeugThe company that made this beautiful sports car didn’t care about EPA and DOT rules, so they let it go all over the world and skipped the US market entirely.
- Chevrolet CrossFox. This small SUV is very popular in Central and South America, but it can’t be sold in the US because it doesn’t have EPA certification.
This is just a small selection of the numerous vehicles that can only be bought in Mexico and cannot be sold in the United States. Automakers typically only steer clear of the US market when their products don’t meet EPA and DOT standards. Many times, the expense of bringing a vehicle model up to US requirements is not justified.
This also implies that vehicles that are exclusively sold in Mexico are typically ineligible for registration in the US. It must be a novelty car or an exact replica of one being sold in the US in order to buy a car in Mexico and then import it to the US; in this instance, the price will also be higher because this raises the value.
What Is the Cheapest New Car to Buy In Mexico?
The Mitsubishi Mirage is the least expensive new car that may be bought in Mexico and perhaps imported into the United States.
- The cost of the 2WD manual version is approximately $12,500 USD.
- The price of the US version is around $14,000.
- Even after paying the customs, VAT, and taxes for the Mexico version, the pricing is approximately right.
- When both models are registered in the US, the state tax and DOT fees will be the same.
If you want to buy a Mitsubishi Mirage in Mexico, you need to make sure it has EPA and DOT certifications. If it doesn’t, it can’t cross the border as a legal vehicle.
Are Cars Cheaper in Mexico Than Canada?
Mexico and Canada have much lower car prices than Canada. Due to the fluctuating exchange rates, the US and Canadian dollars are more valuable in Mexico than they are in Canada.
- In the US, the Mitsubishi Mirage costs around $14,000.
- In Mexico, the same Mirage goes for roughly $12,500 USD.
- The Mitsubishi Mirage will cost roughly $14,000 USD when purchased in Canada.
The price of the car in Mexico will initially be substantially lower. The DOT and EPA restrictions will apply to vehicles from both Mexico and Canada.
There are a few rare exceptions, such as vehicles intended solely for racing or antique vehicles that may qualify for an exemption from CBP, EPA, and DOT certifications. After a year, any more vehicles will be deported if they are not completely compliant and registered with the DOT.
I sincerely hope that this essay was instructive and beneficial. Thank you for reading!