How to Send a Car to Mexico

Title: How to Send a Car to Mexico: A Comprehensive Guide


Sending a car to Mexico may seem like a complex process, but with the right knowledge and resources, it can be a smooth and hassle-free experience. Whether you plan to relocate to Mexico or simply want to transport your vehicle for a temporary stay, this article will guide you through the step-by-step process of sending a car to Mexico. Additionally, we will address seven frequently asked questions to help address any concerns you may have.

Step 1: Research and Choose a Reliable Shipping Method

Before sending your car to Mexico, it is crucial to research and choose a reliable shipping method. Some common options include:

1. Roll-on/Roll-off (RoRo): This method involves driving your car onto a specialized vessel, where it is secured for transport. RoRo shipping is cost-effective but offers limited protection.

2. Container Shipping: In this method, your car is loaded into a container and securely fastened for transportation. Container shipping provides better protection against elements and potential damage.

Step 2: Prepare the Necessary Documentation

To ensure a seamless process, it is important to gather and prepare all necessary documentation. The required paperwork includes:

1. Proof of Ownership: Provide the original vehicle title or a notarized copy.

2. Valid Photo ID: Carry a government-issued identification document, such as a passport or driver’s license.

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3. Vehicle Registration: Present the vehicle’s registration documents.

4. Bill of Sale: Include a bill of sale or invoice if the vehicle was recently purchased.

5. Vehicle Import Permit: Apply for a temporary or permanent import permit from the Mexican consulate or online.

Step 3: Meet Safety and Emission Standards

To comply with Mexican regulations, your car must meet specific safety and emission standards. Consider the following:

1. Safety Inspection: Get your car inspected by a certified mechanic to ensure it meets safety standards.

2. Emission Standards: Verify that your vehicle complies with Mexican emission standards. If necessary, make any required modifications.

Step 4: Purchase Mexican Auto Insurance

Mexican law mandates that all vehicles have valid Mexican auto insurance. Purchase a policy from a reputable insurance company that covers your vehicle during its stay in Mexico.

Step 5: Choose a Reliable Customs Broker

Hiring a professional customs broker is highly recommended to navigate the complex customs clearance process smoothly. They will handle the necessary paperwork, tariffs, and taxes, ensuring compliance with Mexican customs regulations.

Step 6: Select a Port of Entry and Delivery Method

Select a suitable port of entry in Mexico. Most commonly used ports include Tijuana, Ciudad Juarez, and Nuevo Laredo. Determine the most convenient delivery method, either door-to-door or terminal-to-terminal, based on your location and preferences.

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Step 7: Arrange Transportation and Pick-Up

Once your car arrives in Mexico, arrange transportation from the port to your desired destination. Hire a reputable transportation company or drive the vehicle yourself if you are present in Mexico.


1. How long does it take to ship a car to Mexico?
The duration depends on various factors such as the shipping method, distance, and customs clearance. On average, it takes approximately 7-14 days.

2. Can I ship personal belongings in my car?
No, it is not advisable to ship personal belongings within your car. Mexican customs regulations prohibit the transportation of personal items.

3. Do I need to pay import taxes and duties?
Yes, import taxes and duties are applicable when bringing a car into Mexico. Consult with your customs broker to determine the exact amount.

4. Can I ship a leased or financed vehicle to Mexico?
It is possible to ship a leased or financed vehicle to Mexico, but you need to obtain written permission from the leasing/financing company, as they hold the title.

5. Can I drive my car in Mexico with a foreign license plate?
Temporary import permits allow foreign-plated vehicles to be driven legally in Mexico for a specified duration. Otherwise, you may need to register your vehicle locally.

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6. Are there any age restrictions on importing vehicles to Mexico?
Yes, vehicles over ten years old are subject to additional regulations and restrictions. Consult with your customs broker for detailed information.

7. Is it safe to ship a car to Mexico?
Shipping a car to Mexico is generally safe when using reputable shipping companies and following the necessary precautions. Choose a reliable shipping method and secure proper insurance coverage for peace of mind.


Sending a car to Mexico requires thorough planning and adherence to specific regulations. By following this comprehensive guide, you can navigate the process smoothly and ensure a successful car shipment. Remember to research shipping methods, gather necessary documentation, meet safety and emission standards, purchase Mexican auto insurance, hire a customs broker, and select a suitable port of entry. With patience and proper preparation, you can send your car to Mexico with confidence.