|Leaving Isla Mujeres – to drive to Progresso|
After four years of living on Isla Mujeres – it was time. Time to sell the car. Our 2008 Nissan Altima Hybrid that we had driven down from Canada was as close to perfect as we could get. It’s inexpensive to run, and trouble free – except for a few small details.
And as you know it’s all in the details.
We live on the oceanfront where clouds of airborne sea salt roll over the island and we are constantly battling rust and corrosion on anything made of metal. I had to wash the car daily to stop the rust. Plus ours was probably the only Nissan Hybrid in Mexico, so future repairs could be a problem. And finally, with four people in the car, we were barely able to drive over the, topes, speed bumps that are very common on roads in Mexico. The car just didn’t have enough ground clearance.
|Linea Peninsula Shipping|
What to do: We couldn’t sell the car in Mexico, as it had been imported on a temporary permit. We couldn’t sell the car in the USA as the gauges were in metric and the car didn’t have the correct EPA stickers. So the Altima had to go back to Canada. How to do this? We didn’t want to drive it back as we aren’t comfortable crossing the USA-Mexico border right now, and as much as we love driving trips we had other plans for a holiday this year. I started investigating on the internet for an alternative means of getting the car back to Canada.
|Banjercito – paperwork|
Step two was to export the car through Mexican Customs. We used Angie Winegar at Banjercito in Progresso, to process the paperwork. Angie was fantastic. She advised us that we had a slight delay before she could organize our permit. The bank computers were being updated and were off-line until later in the afternoon.
Angie suggested we have a nice leisurely lunch at one of the beach restaurants, and return at 1:30 in the afternoon. We did. She was late getting back to the office, but hustled and had our paperwork completed in twenty minutes.
Step three was to drive the car back to Linea Peninsular and continue the checking-in process, eventually driving the car out along the seven kilometre pier in the port of Progresso to leave it at the container ship. Linea Peninsular services were about five hundred ($500.00) US dollars. I would use them again, in a heartbeat.
|Port Authority in Progresso|
When the ship arrived in Panama City Florida, another extremely helpful person, April Parrish of Page & Jones Customs Brokers, expedited it through American Customs. They charged $300.00, but later advised me that they would be refunding $150.00 as it was not necessary to have the car inspected.
For the next part of the journey from Panama City to Blaine Washington, near the Canadian border, I used Montway Shipping. I found this company though a website called “U-Ship” where I requested on-line bids from several trucking companies before setting on Montway. They picked up our car from the docks and in short order it was in Blaine Washington. The total cost for trucking was one thousand and four hundred ($1400.00) US dollars.
So for around two thousand ($2100.00) US dollars we got our Nissan to the USA-Canada border. Sound like a lot to pay?
Well considering the shortest route via Goggle Maps is 3940 miles it would take us a minimum of ten days to drive back to British Columbia. We like to stop frequently. Plus we would have to pay for gas, food, lodging, a few cocktails, and return airfare to Mexico – we think the cost was a bargain!