Reader Question: Hello - We are currently building a house in Loreto, Baja CA Sur. We look forward to spending much of our time there in the future. I've read in past blog posts your advise about purchasing cars with Mexican plates vs. 'importing' our US cars. We have an Airstream travel trailer that we may want to have with us in Loreto. Can we keep it there with us with US plates? I've been digging around online and I'm hoping you can steer me to a source of accurate info.
Manny's Answer: We generally don't advise on importing U.S. vehicles, the process of legalization is very difficult. But you can drive your cars into Mexico for the length of your tourist visa (180 days) while you decide what to do. You don't have to decide right away. I'm not sure about the travel trailer, you should probably speak to a professional in Cabo that can advise you on that. As we mentioned in prior blog posts, we merely purchased our vehicles in Mexico, which were very cheap as the exchange rate is very good right now for U.S. dollars.
I know that there are many offices that specialize in importing cars and household goods in Cabo and San Jose del Cabo. I would consult with an attorney on the matter. It is very cheap to seek legal advice in Mexico, we paid only about 1,000 pesos for a consult (about $50 U.S. dollars). If you want to import a car and "legalize" it in Mexico, you have to hire a custom’s agent (an agente aduanal). A google search turned up several of these processionals in Cabo and all over Baja. That's what I would recommend.
No website or company has paid a fee to be mentioned in this blog. Any suggestions you see are based solely on our own experiences and personal preferences.
Just a middle-class dad and mom with three young kids, looking to escape the rat race. This is our journey!
If you have a question for us, please contact us directly using our contact form here.