Starting today, the only used cars the Mexico government will allow across its borders for resale are those exactly 10 years old. That means your 1998 Hyundai Accent has appreciated in value for the first time since you drove it off the lot. But your 1997 Astro van is, believe it or not, worth even less than it was last year, and you 1999 Daewoo Nubira drivers will have to wait until next year to cash in.
There are two main reasons for Mexico's seemingly arbitrary automotive adjudication. First, its new-car dealers are tired of trying to compete with all manner of relatively inexpensive, recent-model used cars from the U.S. Second, the government says cars older than 10 years are wreaking havoc on the country's air quality.
Until now, it was legal to import cars into Mexico that were between 10 and 15 years old. The Mexican Association of Automobile Distributors fought for the newer, more restrictive law to, as quoted by The Detroit News, "stop the accelerated conversion of our country into the world's biggest automotive garbage dump."