Hi All - moving in the new year but still have some lingering questions on day-day items. Planning on making this a permanent move so some of the hacks people use for snow-birding for a month or two may not be the best long-term. If anyone has thoughts - I'd love to hear them please.
1. Take an unlocked phone with me from Canada (phones are expensive here) or buy a new phone with a new plan as a package (cheaper??) from an agent in MX so I can get exactly what I need?
2. Is there a better/cheaper way to access your money for long stays . I realize most do ATM's but my bank here will charge the exchange rate + 2.5% + $5 per transaction+whatever the local bank charges for their machine's use so it can really add up. Most of the better accounts seem to be U.S. based so I cannot access those.
3. Own a car or taxi around? I see that when an accident does occur both cars are impounded till it can be straightened out. I don;t have the Spanish skills to stick handle such an event so I'm leaning towards letting taxi drivers take all the risk but how do you give up that kind of freedom of mobility/ independence after 40 yrs?
4. I know things that involve labour are significantly cheaper but name brands are as much or more expensive- If I wanted to get new tires for the car, for instance, (good name brand ones) is it better to do before I leave or in MX?
5. We won't have family left behind to check our mail etc. Most of it can be done online anyways but I know that sometimes the bank sends me a new credit card sometimes a year or two before it even expires because they changed the look/branding on the card or something. So these come without notice nor are you expecting it for another 2 years and they often need to be activated in mere weeks. How do you cope with such things so they don't become invalid?
Priceclan, 1. if you already have a phone, just have it unlocked and buy a SIM card here in Mexico. 2. I use TransferWise to transfer money from my US bank account to my bank account in Mexico. They will give you the mid market exchange rate plus a less than 1% fee. You end up with more pesos than using Xoom, Western Union, and others, 3. I own a car, but many expats here do not. They use public transportation. 5. My mail and cards go to my sister in the US. I activate the cards online, or use my internet US phone to call the CC company to activate them. I use magicjack. Once you have the equipment, it is $99 USD for 5 years. That is the phone number I have associated with all my cards. Hope this helps.
Hi RV Gringo - yes we can qualify but I thought we'd first come and go under tourist Visa and leave each 6 month period so that I can make a couple of trips down there by car to bring some stuff along with us then start the process back home in Canada.
re car: it definitely depends on where you settle. w/o a vehicle it's best to live near el centro or near reliable public transport. You don't want to be out in the sticks and have to rely on a taxi or uber for your everyday needs. Please note that you can keep your vehicle on a temp. visa, not a permanent visa. Best to buy one in Mexico (and yes, in larger cities, there are parts available).
1) Either way with the phone,unlocked or purchase here 2) My life is pesos 3/4 Bring a car and purchase the tires before you start the trip. Might as well drive on new tires to Mexico. Keep an extra spare (from you old set) if you have room. Make sure your insurance has attorney/bail coverage. 5) don't know
I think it is smart to come on tourist FMM's to start off with. Best to avoid government as much as possible.
I have just picked up my Temporary Visa yesterday in Dallas! NICE lady at the Consulate. Regarding Temporary vs Permanent for owning your own car. Not so true if you go for Permanente you cannot keep your car!! In my situation, i decided to go ahead with the Temporary as I have 3 Old English Sheepdogs and myself to get down to my new home. So it wasn't practicle for me AT THIS TIME. IF you want to go in on a Permanente Visa, You CAN KEEP YOUR OWN CAR You CAN DO SO. You just need to be prepared to pay a whole lot. IF you have hired a International Mover, they can do this for you. You have to IMPORT the car and nothing over 10 years old (I just bought a XC 70 no way i'm selling it). YES it has to go thru a broker. They will take it over the border for you and deliver it to where you are moving to. (maybe even deliver it to you somewhere on the other side if possible closer to the border I don't know) . I intend once I get the dogs down to Mexico with someone that can care for thm, to drive the car back to the border and hand it over to a broker to bring back into Mexico as Permanente. It will not be cheap around $6000. BUT IT CAN BE DONE!
As I understand the process to get Mexico plates on a US vehicle is also dependent on the vehicle being not older than 10 years and older than 5 years. So between 5 and 10 years old. I also understand the fee is 10% plus paying tax of 16%. That equates to 1/4 the value of the vehicle. For a $50K value vehicle that is over $12K in fees and tax. Another factor is it has to be a NAFTA vehicle made in Canada, US or Mexico. Any others are not allowed. One of my problems was one of my vehicles was a 2016 full size 4dr pickup. It was just too long to maneuver well in Mexican towns and parking lots. Full sized rigs in my area are a pain in the a$$ to drive around. I once got stuck in the INM parking lot and could not move it for about 4 hours. With point in parking the tail end was always in the street half way to the centerline. Forget about U turns without backing up at least once. I heard lately maybe the rules to import a vehicle to Mexico may change so current information may be available.
GwyyneddOES, I have imported many vehicles over the years. What is commonly posted as facts about importing cars is just plan wrong. The same goes for consulate personal, they don't know anything about Aduana rules and regs.
I would speak with another broker to verify what your mover/broker told you. Give them your VIN# and they should be able to give you a quote quickly.
1. If you love your current phone, just get it unlocked and then get a SIM card here. Plans are cheap - we pay 200 pesos per month - and you can call US/Canada unlimited.
2. My honest recommendation is to change banks. Find a bank that is affiliated with a large Mexican bank. For instance - Citibank owns Citibanamex. Some accounts have totally fee-free ATM withdrawals with no fees. HSBC is in Canada and in Mexico - you should talk to them. Finally, virtual banks, like Schwab, have very generous ATM policies. Bottom line to me is you want to know you can get to your money easily and quickly when you need it. Transfer services sound reasonable, but their only source of income is the fees they charge you (and the currency plays they engage in). You are much better off finding a bank and using ATM fee free. Over the years, you will save thousands.
3. This will depend on where you plan to live and your immigration status (as that determines the rules around importing a car). We have a SUV and enjoy having it. We also drive around Mexico a lot. Many people we know never leave our immediate area or travel by bus when they do. They are content to not own a car. Gas is expensive here and looks to stay that way for some time. Parking is not always fun depending on where you live. Many factors to consider. As for the fear of having your car imported after an accident. That is the law, but almost rarely happens. Most people now have insurance and the adjusters arrive withing twenty minutes and straighten everything out. Uninsured people will hand you whatever money they have and get out of sight quickly. Body repairs are inexpensive here too.
4. The selection of tires in Canada/US is much better than here and they are cheaper too. Buy them before you leave.
5. There are a few businesses that will give you a US mailing address and forward mail to you in Mexico as needed. Some scan the mail so you can see it and decide if you want it or not. Some cities have a UPS store, mailboxes, etc., or similar that will get you a Texas address and ship stuff down to you once or twice a week. We are in Mazatlan and use a service like that. It works great. Like you said, new credit cards, ATM cards, tax notices, etc. Mexican mail works, but it is really super slow.
jojoishere - thanks so much for your great and detailed advice. How about the phones themselves. In Canada and US you can pick a 2 yr plan and higher that often will includes a decent phone. That's where my head was at with the phone question - just wait till there and get the new phone with new plan as a package deal is best??
I'm an iphone guy and I have always bought an unlocked phone from the States as it is a little cheaper and has a better variety of coverage bands for international travel (Europe and Asia). Phones may carry the same model number but have slight internal differences.
Anyhow, go to https://www.telcel.com/personas/equipos/telefonos-y-smartphones and you'll get an idea what phones cost here. I don't know what things cost in Canada, so I can't help a whole lot.
Most people I know (locals and foreigners) use an amigo plan which is a prepay plan. You can see the variety available here: https://www.telcel.com/personas/telefonia/amigo/todavia-no-tienes-amigo#!tarifas We go with the 200 plan which has never failed us. We can renew online or at any OXXO convenience store or at a TelCel store. Very simple. We can also predeposit money and then auto renew.
Depending on where you live some use a mail box service in the US. I live in Sonora state and it is 3 plus hours to Nogales from my town of San Carlos. Here there is a private service that lets packages and mail get delivered to them. There is at least 2 mail box services in Nogales that us expats have mail delivered to. Then anyone that is associated with the business in Mexico can pick up mail at the boxes and deliver them to the storefront in my town. The business then emails me when I have mail and I can go pick it up. That service is $10 USD/month plus you have to pay for the mail box in Nogales. It works well so far. My concerns originally were many including someone I don't know having my mail and packages before I do and really not accountable if something gets lost (let's say). Sometimes my packages are opened up when going thru customs in Mexico. Sometimes there is an extra fee if Mexico wants to charge something coming across. Keep in mind who ever is carrying it across in their car may be carrying a hundred packages and letters. Sometimes they get unboxed to same room in the vehicle. So far nothing bad has happened. I went to Nogales once and the woman that owns the business in my town asked me if I would bring back packages....I said HELL NO. I have no idea if drugs, guns, alcohol, tobacco or adult items may be in those packages (not too worried about the adult stuff :-)). But you get the concern. I know little old ladies that come back with many packages hidden thruout their cars and claim the agents at the border don't know where to look.....Right!!! So far all is well. This system works because we are close to the border and many are coming and going for business or pleasure quite often. I get a lot of packages from Ebay and Amazon just like I did before I moved down. Some come across so often they know the agents at least by face and get waved right thru. Also we are in the 'no hassle' zone and that makes it even hassle going across.
Up to Nov 1 only 2010-2011 model year NAFTA vehicles are eligible for legal import. After Nov 1 only 2011-2012 NAFTA rides. There was a short-lived amparo earlier this year that liberalized import eligibility but it has been suspended indefinitely.
ADUANA utilizes US resources (i.e. NADA guide) to determine vehicle value. A 16% IVA & a 10% import tax is assessed plus small misc expenses & the broker fee.
THANK YOU LOL. yes RVG...............what can many say? lmao.
I really have become less and less coming to this site. I've found other sites on moving to Mexico/Queretaro that are alot less "MY WAY or the HIGHWAY you don't know anything at all let me tell you how it is going to be".
Thank you. And yes all moving is going swimmingly.
Let me guess: The "swimming" involves relinquishing ownership back to a Volvo distributor, who will export and Anyw sell it to a Mexican Volvo distributor, who will sell it to a Mexican Volvo dealer, who will then sell it to you in Mexico, all nicely titled in your name. Close? "In Mexico, anything is possible" and there does seem to be a lot of 'grease' involved. Ni modo......
NO! *YOU* are NOWHERE NEAR knowing what is going on.
I am not "relinquishing' my Volvo back to ANY Dealership. My International Mover is handling EVERTYTHING from packing the house, doing the menaje, to Also being a Broker for auto etc. This company has been doing this for 3 generations. Maybe "Gringo" you just don't know it ALL.
Just make sure ABSOLUTELY the broker/moving company procures and delivers to you at the border ONLY a pedimento issued & verified by ADUANA and a readily available factura through an authorized ADUANA agent. . Good Luck!
GwyyneddOES.....Like I have said many times here the info you gather on a/any site is just some place to begin gathering more information. What someone tell you is only 'their' truth. Relying 100% on what is said here is just foolish. RVG and LTL both have plenty of experience which is why LTL has so many problems with RVG. Another reason for so many opinions is because facts are gathered by folks and they relay that back to the site. But the system functions differently based on those using it and the employees running the dept, etc. No two experience the same way because the system changes all the time. Like RVG says a little grease gets things done for some folks and not for others. Some on here know the real answers but like to play God and punish the newbies. Newbies, like me, think we know how something functions here because we think we did enough research. When we spout what we "think' we know as fact we either get humbled or pass bad info on to those who know less. This is why this, like any site, needs to be just more information to begin a process. I try never to tell someone how to do something I try to tell them how I got it done. Kind of like the newest weight loss pill.....Your results may vary!
I didn't think you could use MagicJack FROM Mexico, only calls from US and Canada TO Mexico. I was looking at their site a couple days ago and could find services to allow calling TO Mexico, but nothing about being able to use the service while in Mexico.
I have magic jack in Mexico. They give you a USA phone number. Not really needed anymore, as calls to USA are free, but nice to have a USA number for friends to call, and for business, like credit cards, etc.
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