Do’s & Don’ts of Buying a Used Car in Mexico

Sept. 19, 2017

Let’s begin with a few general principles:   Local Mexican used cars pricing can seem to be all over the map, unless you first check out Kelley Blue book values from the USA & check Mercado Libre prices for similar models across Mexico.

Next, Mexican used cars don’t lose value like United States or Canada-sold used cars.    Then consider that even while the MXN peso dropped 50% in value from $13 MXN, falling to $18MXN : 1 USD,  like Mexican real estate, the older Mexican cars purchased at $13 MXN: $1USD car prices have not generally risen the 50% that  one might expect from the MXN peso losing value.  This can mean that Mexican used cars can now cost less than the same US car.

Still, talk is cheap … What’s possible in the real world? …  For us,  our most recent personal purchase of a very good condition 6-year-old used Nissan Altima came in at just $90,000 pesos (about $5,000 USD) with just 50,000 miles.

Do’s & Don’ts:
Sharp people seek insider tips on how to value and buy a used car in their local market – which bring us to gently used cars, being sold by 40-60 yr old Middle Class women.  General used cars are likely to be beaten up by topes (our ubiquitous speed bumps), randomly appearing batches (potholes) that weren’t there last week, as well as the damaging vagaries of a tropical climate,  hot sun and proximity-to-the-sea marine influences.

 … So, why seek out gently used cars, being sold by 40-60 yr old Middle Class women?  … Typically, well-educated 40-60 yr old Middle Class women drive conservatively,  they know where the batches & topes are, and they take good care of their vehicles … plus, one more beneficial quirk:

There’s an old 1960’s maxim quietly running in their minds:

“Sell your car before it hits 100,000 km “, because supposedly “Cars with over 100,00 km have lots of parts that break.”…

That maxim made a lot sense back in the 1960’s – 1970’s, when US cars were notorious for starters, timing chains, automatic transmissions, radiators, brake master cylinders, ball joints  & alternators ALL failing between 60,000 – 120,000 miles. … But … due to competition~pressure from Japanese & German better-made cars,  pretty much all cars (except VWs) now run very reliably, with few problems, between 60,000 – 120,000 miles.

This means that gently-driven, well-maintained  Mexican cars being sold by 40-60 yr old Middle Class Mexican women can be EXCELLENT BUYS …

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Feel free to copy while giving proper attribution: YucaLandia/Surviving Yucatan.
© Steven M. Fry

Read-on MacDuff . . .



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2 Responses to Do’s & Don’ts of Buying a Used Car in Mexico

  1. Meir Gershenson says:

    Libro-azul-gratis is Kelley blue book Mexican version. I am on my way with my mechanic to buy a used car today. I opted to from a new car dealer as you get two month warranty and the famous 150 points check.

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