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U-Haul

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FLgranny73
10/7/2018 11:57 EST

Has anyone pulled a U-Haul trailer behind their car when moving to Mexico? Problems with insurance, customs, permits?

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RVGRINGO

From: Mexico
10/7/2018 13:51 EST

You may not take a UHaul into Mexico.
When we moved, we did rent a UHaul trailer; filled it, and our SUV, and drove to Laredo, TX. We emptied the trailer into a public storage unit and returned it to UHaul in Laredo. We continued to our destination in Mexico and unpacked the SUV into a public storage unit in Chapala. After purchasing a house a few weeks later, we moved the stuff into our home from the Mexican unit. A couple of weeks later, we drove back up to Laredo and retrieved the stuff from storage and returned to Chapala with the remainder of our belongings.
It worked for us, and could be done at our schedule and capability. Total storage units expenses were less than $100 USD. No problems at all.

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FLgranny73
10/7/2018 14:46 EST

Great idea! Thank you!

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BlackForestgal
10/8/2018 13:02 EST

RVGRINGO, So you basically fit all the stuff in the UHaul in your SUV on the second trip? Or did you have anything else like a trailer to haul it with? Do they rent trailers in Mexico, and do they allow them to cross the border? It seems like the hard part is getting your belongings across the border, except what you can fit in your vehicle.

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YellowTail
10/8/2018 13:33 EST

We pulled a 5 X 8 trailer from Florida to Central Mexico. We paid something like $2000 USD for an almost new trailer (too small for the previous owner's needs) with the new spare, locking lug nuts, etc. We imported the trailer when we got settled in Mexico. We took photos - and - using an import broker visited Aduana. For years the trailer sat in front of our place until a friend made us an offer. You don't see many trailers in our neck of the woods - certainly not in the condition ours was. In the end, we probably got back half of our investment - money well spent...

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FLgranny73
10/8/2018 14:26 EST

How do you go about finding a reliable import broker?

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YellowTail
10/8/2018 15:27 EST

We asked Aduana for a recommendation.

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longtimelurker
10/8/2018 16:14 EST

If load is worth less than $3000 usd than you don't need a broker. Just do it yourself.

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BlackForestgal
10/8/2018 17:10 EST

Thank you for the replies. Getting some things down there has been a big concern for me. We were also thinking of buying about a 6 x 8 enclosed trailer. Do you find Aduana at the border or when you are settled in Mexico? Is there anything you need to do before you get to the border, or at the border (other than the list of your stuff)?

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YellowTail
10/8/2018 17:15 EST

We used a broker to import our car and trailer. We did not use a broker to import our stuff we arrived with at the border (manaje in hand). It was not anything terribly valuable - mostly computer/electronic equipment, clothing, tools, kitchen stuff, books etc. I do not recall the value. But I believe - in a sense - we paid the duties (in principal) at the consulate in the States (but I could be wrong).

My wife was working at the time, and I thought I might, so we really could not afford having an interruption to our computers and files. As it was we slept on an inflatable mattress initially and had to run out for bedding, fridge etc. We ate at plastic patio furniture for a long time until we had wooden furniture made.

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RVGRINGO

From: Mexico
10/8/2018 17:50 EST

Buying and towing a trailer into Mexico will have its downsides:
1. Your vehicle and the trailer become a single, temporarily imported unit and must leave Mexico together, not separately. If you can permanently import the trailer, that might be an option, but you should contact an import broker at Laredo or Nogales first, to find out for sure. Importing the car permanently is probably not an option, as it must be a certain age, NAFTA manufactured and empty. It will take about 3 days at the border and probably cost as much as the car is worth; around $2500-3,000 USD. Then, the hassle of getting Mexican state plates at your destination, etc.
That is why we did what we did. If you have a bigger load, you may need a bigger trailer, bigger storage unit, and more trips to pick up the stuff.
Frankly, if you have that much, you are bringing too much to Mexico. Everything you might need is available. Why bring "coals to Newcastle"?

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YellowTail
10/8/2018 18:37 EST

Our experiences differ from that. We came to Mexico at a time when things were a little in flux. Probably around the time RVGRINGO was heading back north. The car was brought into Mexico with my credentials and the trailer with my wife's. I have no idea how it worked out that way,

The day we arrived at the border was the first day we learned that we could not keep our car in Mexico as permanent residents. I remember them telling us that we would need to get the car out of Mexico within 3 months. At that time - our car was an 11 year old NAFTA vehicle.

We were the only owners for that car and we knew how reliable it was. To be honest - we purchased a new Subaru here in Mexico a couple years back and (although we enjoy it) our older vehicle is BY FAR the better car.

So yes. We paid a few thousand dollars to import our NAFTA vehicle into Mexico - but that is a lot less than the nearly 600,000 pesos we paid for the Subaru - and I would be willing to bet you that the NAFTA vehicle will have another owner long after I am gone.

We were very lucky that we had a respected import agent who could relate to our situation and help us achieve our goals - at a cost. I should not suggest that you can, today, do what we did, but at the same time - sometimes it pays to try.

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BlackForestgal
10/10/2018 20:48 EST

Thank you. I appreciate your comments and insight into your experience.

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frickandfrack
12/21/2018 13:03 EST

Could you please tell me more about the rental? We are a retired couple in our 70's and have a jeep that we would like to fill up with totes, etc and then get a trailer to bring stuff like a bed, bureaus, lamps and a few other items. Where do we start?

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bigrio
12/21/2018 23:30 EST

I have purchased in the U.S. & imported into Mexico 2 eligble used vehicles over the years for extended stays; the most recent about a year ago. The import costs were less than $2000 per vehicle and very well worth the investment. Trying to procure a comparable ride in Mexico with similar quality, a documented clean history report, etc at a significant savings proved to be a challege I abandoned.

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longtimelurker
12/22/2018 07:41 EST

My experiences is more like bigrio, not like RVGingo's..

I also have imported several cars over the years. I went through the process, paid the fee;s, drove the cars for a year or two, then sold them. I broke even on everyone of them.

RVG, you constantly post negatives about car importing. Did you have a bad experience? have you ever tried to import a car?

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RVGRINGO

From: Mexico
12/22/2018 09:39 EST

No, not at all. However, the rules have tightened up in recent years, with really tight limits on what model years may be imported. Naturally, they must be cars manufactured in Mexico, Canada or the USA. Those two factors eliminate a lot of vehicles. The expense will eliminate the practicality for many folks, along with the difficulty, or impossibility, of getting full insurance coverage for some of those imports.
I feel that a person getting a Residente Temporal Visa is in a better position to use his foreign car for up to four years, then remove it before becoming Residente Permanente. By then, he will have had time to purchace a car in Mexico and enjoy fewer transito hassles and aduana requirements, etc.

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longtimelurker
12/26/2018 06:48 EST

RVG, There is so much incorrect info in your post about importing cars. My experiences have not been anything like the posts you write.

If you want to import a car, speak with a broker at the border.

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bigrio
12/26/2018 23:39 EST

RVG's input regarding the import process and rules/regs is quite acurate. I differ with him about buying in Mexico vs a quality import but he puts forward factual-based data & info.

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longtimelurker
12/27/2018 12:01 EST

Bigrio, in 2006 I imported a 1989 Ford F250 diesel pickup. I got it registered in my name with a FMT. That was the first time I had seen carbon paper in a long time

In 2014 I imported a 1989 mini-van. Took 1 day. Once I got home to Michoacan I received my placas without any inspection of the vehicle, just review of my paperwork.

Both those cars were outside the so-called regulations continually posted on forums. How did I do it? I went to a broker and asked. I have imported 2 other cars, golf carts and lots of other things over the years.

I live in QROO now. People are moving here from SOB and all over the world. They have imported non-nafta cars when relocating here. I have a vecino that imported a Jag (by boat) when they relocated from Spain a couple of years ago.

The regulations on the border are always in flux.

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YellowTail
12/27/2018 13:44 EST

I agree LTL. Rules are sometimes written in pencil. And the trouble with expat forum sites is people seem to believe that their experiences (possibly from years ago) are the only way things work. A lot of people probably don't want to/can't afford a few thousand dollars to import a vehicle. And - in our case it was not an overnight thing, from the time we first asked the broker to approach Aduana and the day we drove home from Transporte with our Mexican plates. It may have taken a couple months. For whatever reason SAT had a backlog of hundreds of cars (in our state).

I think it is very fair for someone on a forum such as this to convey their experiences with the intro - "When I did it..." or "For us that did not work..." but it is NOT fair to say things like "What you are trying to do is simply impossible...".

It has been years since we last visited the small town we left in the US. Perhaps once or twice a year I visit the local website to see what changes are happening. A couple times a year I look at our old neighborhood with Google Earth and see things like new boats behind old neighbors homes, formerly empty lots now built on etc. It is just me I guess - but at this point the only advice I might offer to a current/new resident there is what restaurants worked for us during our nearly 30 years living there.

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bigrio
1/9/2019 23:14 EST

I just returned the 7th exporting and delivering 2 vehicles - Sonora & Sinaloa. During transport multiple checkpoints inspected my documents and the pedimento and factura were copiously audited by the tax authrities prior to issuing plates and the underwriter before placing insurance coverage

Sept 1st 2014 all vehicle imports were temporarily suspended and the regs changed.. Judges on the take were arrested, brokers credentials were revoked,, and the MX government rearranged the house rules stipulating that effective immediately any U.S. import with any hope of legalizing ownership and securing plates and legitimate insurance MUST present the US CBP document of export at time of executing the pedimento & factura.

This measure certainly has not eradicated entry of chocolates, junk, graymarket rides,etc. but it certainly has changed the landscape regarding nationalizing an import.

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