How to Sell a Car in Mexico

by Simon BreedonUpdated May 30, 2018

The North American Free Trade Act means that a large number of used U.S. vehicles that many Americans would have had to pay to get towed away can now be sold for a pretty penny in Mexico. But it's not all it's cracked up to be; there are some stipulations. Here are some tips on how to sell your car in Mexico.

Check the year of your vehicle. While Mexicans are paying top dollar or used U.S. and Canadian vehicles, they still much reach certain criteria. They can only be exactly 10 years old to meet environmental mandates while at the same time not completely crippling the new car market in Mexico.

Check the vin number. The vin number of your vehicle must start with numbers 1 through 4 or it will not be permitted for sale in Mexico. Vin numbers 1-4 signify that the vehicle is a car built at least ten years ago and not a truck. If your vehicle happens to be a truck, that can work in your advantage since trucks are in high demand in Mexico and permitted for sale regardless of the year.

Estimate costs. Once you have certified that you car is eligible for sale in Mexico, estimate the cost-to-sale ratio and see if it's worth your while. You will be required to pay anywhere between $700 and $1,000 in tax depending on the vehicle. Also, you will have to account for gas or shipping costs, depending on whether you are driving it to Mexico or getting it shipped.

Check web forums, which are abuzz about this new sales trend. In fact, there are even U.S. companies devoted to buying these cars from U.S. citizens with the intention of selling them in Mexico. So, if you find that tax and shipping fees are too pricey, you can always find one of these companies or even a Mexican citizen with a temporary visa willing to travel to you to buy the vehicle.

Cross the border. If you do decide to go to Mexico and sell the vehicle yourself, you will be required to get a vehicle permit for your car. This can be pre-delivered to your home for $49.50, or you can endure an extra 10 minutes it will take you at the border and pay $27. The only way this may take more time and become a hassle would be if you try to cross through Laredo or El Paso, which tend to be very congested and time-consuming cross points.

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