Entering Mexico by driving is one of the most convenient ways to get in and explore the country. You may decide to drive because you are bringing pets, children, off-road vehicles, your motorhome, or you’re simply planning on staying for an extended period of time. Once you’re in Mexico, having your car affords you the luxury of easily exploring the countryside.
Let’s make your trip smooth. Here’s everything you need to know about driving into Mexico.
First, you’ll have to decide whether or not to drive your own vehicle into Mexico. And if you lease or finance a vehicle, you may need approval before crossing the border.
Most financing companies have strict policies regarding taking your leased or financed car over the border. Some allow it if you’ve been in good standing with them for at least 6 months. On rare occasions, they may prohibit it entirely. Check with your financing company first.
Second, consider the kind of car you have. You don’t want to bring a vehicle that has a high possibility of breaking down in a foreign land. While you can find mechanics in Mexico, the waiting list in a small town can be lengthy. Furthermore, you don’t want to break down on a desert road where it could take a while for help to reach you.
On the flip side, you may not want to bring a luxury vehicle either. Some roads in Mexico can be rough and could damage your vehicle. Furthermore, some luxury vehicles aren’t as common in Mexico as they are in the USA or Canada, which can draw undue attention.
Which brings us to our next topic. You will need Mexican vehicle insurance in order to drive into Mexico. Your American or Canadian insurance provider will not provide the coverage you need in Mexico. You can get insurance at the border, but you won’t have much choice in the level of coverage you can get.
We recommend getting Mexican vehicle insurance online before your trip. It’s more convenient and will help make the process of crossing the border a seamless transition. By buying Mexican vehicle insurance online in advance, you’ll have the opportunity to shop for coverage that is at the level you’d expect from your USA or Canadian insurance company.
Do your research when picking a border crossing. Some crossings are popular, and therefore very crowded. Others have you entering through areas that may pose security concerns.
There are 50 ports of entry by which you can legally drive into Mexico. You can find specifics regarding each one at the USA Customs and Border Protection website by clicking on the state through which you plan to enter Mexico.
You will not be able to enter Mexico without the following documents:
A valid USA passport
Mexico vehicle permit*
FMM tourist card*
Mexico vehicle insurance*
Your pet’s health and vaccination records
Passports of children in your company
*These items may be obtained at the Mexican border or online before you go