Buying a New Car in Mexico

Information on the paperwork and processes involved when buying a new car in Mexico...

A foreigner may buy a Mexican-registered car in Mexico provided they are either a temporary or permanent resident, and in possession of the relevant immigration visa.

New cars are usually sold at a dealership, which generally takes care of the paperwork in order to register the vehicles in the buyer’s name. The buyer must provide a photocopy of their passport, with the relevant visa, proof of address (recent utility bill or rental contract) and driving license.

Following the purchase, the buyer receives the following documents:

  • Original invoice (factura)
  • Registration document (tarjeta de circulación). See Registration Fees 
  • Receipt for payment of vehicle tax (tenencia) for that tax year, in states where this tax applies

Vehicle Tax (Tenencia)

A vehicle tax (Tenencia) is charged annually for the possession of a vehicle, with the cost varying depending on the vehicle’s purchase price and age. This tax is not levied at state level and only applies in some areas including Mexico City and the bordering state of Estado de México. It is important to keep all receipts of payment of this tax where applicable, as these receipts will be needed when selling a car.