Sometimes we get some great updates from our community, well, we just got this one from some European loco travelers with some great content and recommendations:
Mexico: no problem-o. Driving in through Tijuana via Baja is a nice easy entry to Mexico.
It is so western it is like entering a pool from the shallow end walking towards the deep end slowly. Great for the nervous, like I was, Car-ferry from La Paz to Mazatlan comfy, mainland roads great, ability to go off and see great stuff non car travelers don’t, countless!
There were many military stops heading south but mostly they were not checking you (the tourist).
Speeding: plenty / caught by cops : zero, so no bribes paid (yet?). Car services required thanks to off-roading: 2 shock absorbers, 1 new tyre, wheel rotation/re-balancing. costs of that in mexico: pennies!
Seriously, in the UK you could not get a mechanic to put down his coffee for what we paid to get everything done here!
Anyway, thought I’d post some useful stuff to note if you are not from the US ( we are a Brit and a German) and want to do this.
a) it is easier to buy a car in Canada than the US because of the ease of Insurance as a foreigner there.
So if you want to drive Mexico or Central America, we recommend buying a car in Canada, adding an extra week driving down from Vancouver, for example, will make your life so much easier as you can just buy a car, get it insured as a foreigner in Canada—insurance is valid in the US—and drive on down to Mexico or Central America. We looked into rules to buy and get registration for United States bought car as a foreigner and decided we’d rather spend the months it would take do traveling.
b) If you enter by car into Mexico as a foreigner from the United States you need to go into the ‘something to declare zone’ to hand back your green United States visa card or else you will sail right through on green not knowing where to hand in the damn thing. (p.s personal experience means I now know you can hand this in at the foot crossing to a US official there but that means park in Tijuana and brave thousands of foot passengers in front of you to do so).
c) Make sure you learn to say “I am ‘German/Polish/English etc…” in Spanish. It is a faster ticket through any military checkpoint / awkward situation. You are not from the US—that is a bonus here—use it. Sorry for the US folk reading it, it’s true. Hey you got the cool land, let us keep our benefits.