Mexico is renowned for its history, rich culture, beautiful beaches and great climate. The country has the world’s largest pyramid (by volume) and its capital, Mexico City, comes top of the leader board when it comes to museums. Mexico has everything when it comes to ecological diversity – sea, desert, mountains, and dense rain forests.
If you are considering moving to Mexico, the various costs listed below will help you make an informed decision on what costs are involved when moving and living in this part of the world.
Quick Mexico Facts:
- Population: 132,058,517 (2022 estimate)
- Official Language:Spanish is the official language of Mexico which is spoken by around 90% of the Mexican population. There are a total of 69 languages spoken in the country.
- GDP Per Capita:US$9,926.42 (2022)
- Mexico City is sinking: Mexico City is built on an Aztec sacred site which was constructed on lakes. The Spanish decided to build on to top of this site which is currently sinking at a rate of 12cm per annum.
- Currency: Mexican Peso (MXN/$-Mex$). As of 2023, MXN1 = £0.044, $0.050 (USD), €0.050, $0.068 (CAD), $0.078 (AUD).
1. Moving and Shipping Costs to Mexico
Here are some sample container shipping rates to Mexico from other countries.
2. Mexico Housing Costs
There’s a great selection of properties to buy and rent in Mexico and they are affordable compared with most countries around the world. Tourist areas and business centres tend to demand higher prices but they are still good value.
Monthly Rental Prices in Mexico
- 1 bedroom apartment in City Centre: MXN4,500 – MXN18,927.94
- 1 bedroom apartment outside the City Centre: MXN2,500 – MXN12,000
- 3-bedroom apartment in City Centre: MXN8,000 – MXN33,871.04
- 3-bedroom apartment outside the City Centre: MXN6,000 – MXN24,000
- Price per square metre to buy in City Centre MXN12,000 – MXN55,000
- Price per square metre to buy outside the city: MXN10,000 -MXN35,000
Mexico Housing Cost Comparison
Below are how rents in Mexico compare with other countries around the globe.
United Kingdom is 131.90% more expensive
United States is 272.68% more expensive
Australia is 166.64% more expensive
Canada is 159.8% more expensive
France is 91.57% more expensive
Germany is 101.3% more expensive
Spain is 62.29% more expensive
Italy is 57.2% more expensive
How to Save on Housing Costs
- Share an apartment or house. Living with a roommate or a flatmate is a good option for saving money on housing in Mexico. Have a look at the following websites for the room or flat sharing in Mexico – Erasmusu, Roomster, iroommates, Coliving, and Roommates.
- Different areas – different prices. Some of the most expensive cities include Mexico City, Los Cabos, Cancun, Monterrey, Guadalajara and Cuernavaca but they are still very affordable for the majority of expats. Cheaper areas include Tepic, Tlaxcala, Guanajuato and Zacatecas.
3. Mexico Food, Grocery and Restaurant Costs
Mexican cooking has many influences – Spanish, Portuguese, French, West African, Caribbean and South American – but corn remains Mexico’s staple and is the key ingredient in many Mexican dishes.
- Inexpensive Restaurant- MXN80.00 – MXN298.86
- Domestic beer: MXN20.00 – MXN69.00
- Coke/Pepsi: MXN13.00 – MXN33.00
- 1L of milk: MXN17.00 – MXN30.00
- Loaf of Bread: MXN20.00 – MXN54.91
- 12 Eggs: MXN20.88 – MXN54.00
- 1kg Chicken Fillets: MXN50.00 – MXN172.00
- 1kg Beef: MXN114.00 – MXN280.00
- 1kg Apples: MXN25.00 – MXN70.00
- 1kg White Rice: MXN17.00 – MXN40.00
Below is how food and restaurant prices compare with other major countries in the world.
- UK restaurants are 36% more expensive and groceries are 27.33% more expensive than in Mexico.
- United States restaurants are 45% more expensive and groceries are 98.69% more expensive than in Mexico.
- Australian restaurants are 38% more expensive and groceries are 88.66% more expensive than in Mexico.
- Canadian restaurants are 4% more expensive and groceries are 74.4% more expensive than in Mexico.
- French restaurants are 45% more expensive and groceries are 70.00% more expensive than in Mexico.
- German restaurants are 7% more expensive and groceries are 37.3% more expensive than in Mexico.
- Spanish restaurants are 51% more expensive and groceries are 5.97% more expensive than in Mexico.
- Italian restaurants are 79% more expensive and groceries are 6% more expensive than in Mexico.
Bonus Tips for Cheaper Food, Restaurants and Groceries
- Know your supermarkets: There’s a good variety of places to buy food in Mexico – supermarkets, independent grocers, health food stores and markets. There are three major supermarket chains in Mexico – Walmart, Soriana, Chedraui and La Comer. All four supermarkets in the major towns stock imported goods and they all offer value for money.
- Find Cheap Eats:Eating out is a favourite pastime for both Mexicans and expats therefore restaurants are always competing for business. Have a look online for advertised specials or keep an eye out for adverts in newspapers or fliers; alternatively ask people who’ve been in the area for some time for their suggestions. Have a look at the following sites for further suggestions – Trip Advisor, Wanderlog, The Culture Trip, Travel Noire, The Globetrotting Turtle and YELP.
4. Mexico Alcohol Costs
Mexico has much to offer in way of alcohol beyond tequila, although many of its cocktails are tequila based. Kahlua is another Mexican invention which forms the base of many well-known cocktails. Mexico brews a great variety of beers and has been producing wine since the Spaniards arrived in the sixteenth century. Imported alcohol is expensive due to high import duty.
- Bottle of imported beer at a restaurant/pub: MXN40 – MXN100
- Pint (0.5L) domestic beer at a restaurant/pub: MXN20 – MXN69
- Pint (0.5L) domestic beer at a supermarket: MXN15 – MXN45
- Bottle of imported beer at a supermarket: MXN20 – MXN75
- Mid-range bottle of wine at a supermarket: MXN120 – MXN00
How to drink for less in Mexico
- Have a look online, in newspapers and on flyers to see which shops are offering the best specials. Walmart seem to offer the cheapest alcohol in Mexico
- Most restaurants, clubs and bars in towns and cities offer happy hour specials – 2 for price of one or half price drinks. Have a look at the following websites for inspiration – City Seeker, Upscale Happy Hour, 10 Best, Slight North, and Viva la Travelista.
5. Mexico Transportation Fares
Mexico has a good bus and metro service, both of which are affordable but can be exceptionally crowded. For long distance travel there are air conditioned buses with wi-fi which are a good choice, allowing you to travel in comfort. Passenger rail services are almost non-existent since privatisation in 1995.
Below are some example ticket costs.
- One-way ticket (local transport) – MXN6.00 – MXN15.00
- Monthly Pass (Regular Price) – MXN250.00 – MXN600.00
- Taxi start (normal tariff) – MXN20.00 – MXN60.00
- Taxi 1km (normal tariff) – MXN100.00 – MXN250.00
How to save money on public transport
- Travel in Colectivos (mini-buses) on routes that don’t have a regular bus service
- Taxis are a good alternative
6. Cost of Internet in Mexico
Mexico’s internet providers are generally reliable and provide a good service. Free wi-fi is available in most major cities and even in some rural areas
7. Cost of Clothing, Personal Items, Gym and Leisure
Mexico’s climate varies considerably depending on the region and altitude. Coastal regions experience warm to hot humid conditions most of the year. Cities such as Mexico City, which is 7,545 ft above sea level, experience cooler weather and very cold winters.
The hottest temperature recorded in Mexico was in 1995 – 52C. Mexico gets rain throughout the year, but its main rainy season is from June to October. Rainfall varies depending on the region with the mountains in the south receiving up to 3,000 mm per annum, the dry north receiving less than 500mm and other areas having around 750mm of rain per annum.
Below are some clothing prices, along with other useful prices.
- Pair of Jeans (Levi’s 501 or similar ): MXN498.10 – MXN1,240.00
- Summer Dress: MXN320.00 – MXN1,175.52
- Running Shoes (Trainers): MXN950.00 – MXN2,000.00
- Business Shoes: MXN750.00 – MXN2,100.00
- Gym membership: MXN300.00 – MXN1,200.00
- Movie (cinema) ticket: MXN60.00 – MXN130.00
8. Cost of Owning a Car and Driving a Car in Mexico
To buy a car in Mexico you need to have a CURP which is a number given to residents and citizens of the country. You can bring you car into the country and drive on foreign plates for 180 days. Importing your car will cost between US$2,000 and US$8,000 in import duty which is why many expats are driving around Mexico illegally. See Mexico Relocation Guide for information on current rulings.
You can drive on your home country’s licence for up to one year after which you’ll need to get a Mexican driving licence. Some car hire companies ask for an International Driving Licence when collecting a car.
Driving in Mexico is for the brave. The rules of the road are rarely followed and the state of some of the rural roads is not good. The other major issue is safety. Banditry is an issue, with theft and hijackings being a fairly common occurrence in rural areas and at night.
Below are some other sample costs of owning and driving a car in Mexico:
- Volkswagen Golf:MXN270,000 – MXN412,900
- 1 litre (¼ gallon) of gas (petrol): MXN19.80 – MXN23.40
- Other fees (if any):The cost of owning and driving a small car in Mexico is around US$300 per month which covers tax, insurance and depreciation.
Ways to save money driving in Mexico
- Car sharing or pooling is one of the best ways to save money. Try Carpooling and BlaBlaCar.
- Taxis can save on parking fees. Try Uber.
Need your car/vehicle moved to Mexico? Then read our guide to Car Transport & Vehicle Shipping
9. Taxes in Mexico
As an expat in Mexico, you have to pay between 15% and 30% of your Mexican source of income. For more information refer to Expat Taxes in Mexico.
Property tax varies from one are to another and ranges from 2% to 4.5%. Refer to ZISLA for more details.
VAT in Mexico is generally 16%, although, like all countries, it varies depending on the type of goods and services involved. For more information refer to Tax Summaries.
10. Flight Costs from Mexico
If you do make the move to Mexico, here’s approximately how much it will cost to fly to other major world cities based on the lowest, one-way fares from Skyscanner as of 2023:
- London: MXN7,680
- Paris: MXN7,440
- New York: MXN4,085
- Toronto: MXN3,227
- Berlin: MXN7,490
- Sydney: MXN19,281
- Rome: MXN7,259
- Madrid: MXN7,328
Other Mexico Relocation Tips
The above costs and pricing should give you a good idea of the cost of living in Mexico. But the following extra tips may make your move go more smoothly.
11. Relocating to Mexico Alone
Moving abroad is stressful but moving alone can be even more difficult. Mexico is a welcoming country and the friendly Mexicans will help you ease quickly into your new life. Below are a few tips on settling in Mexico:
- Meetups:Meet people in Mexico who follow your interests through Meetup. There’s a wide variety of groups to join from surfing and diving to IT and engineering.
- Attend local events: Mexicans enjoy events and festivals. Have a look at the following sites and see which events appeal to you – Best Festivals in Mexico, Frommers, Global Journeys, Events in Mexico, and Zona Turistica.
12. Moving to Mexico with a Family
Moving to Mexico with a family is exciting but comes with many challenges. If you are moving to Mexico with family, then consider the following.
- New parents (or parents-to-be):Connect with groups such Mexico City Moms, Local Moms in Mexico, Moms Groups for Expats, Moms in the Making, and Mexico City West Mission Parents.
- Live in a family-friendly area:Living in a family-friendly neighbourhood helps you settle and make friends more quickly. Have a look at My Amigo for recommendations on Toluca, Mexico City, Guadalajara Jalisco, Puebla, Monterrey and more.
- Find things to do with the kids:Mexico has many things for kids to do from enjoying everything the sea has to offer to visiting museums and soaking up the country’s history. Visit the following websites for inspiration – Travel Triangle, Anna Everywhere, Lonely Planet, The Family Vacation Guide, and Mexico with Kids.
13. Moving to Mexico for Work
Moving to a new country for work is one of the most common reasons people choose to move. While it is possible to move without a job, it makes sense to ensure there are jobs in your field before you make the move.
There are jobs available in Mexico in many sectors including education (including teaching English as a foreign language), tourism and hospitality, healthcare, engineering, finance, telecommunications, manufacturing and IT.
Below are a few things to consider when moving for work:
- Salary:The costs we outlined above should give you a rough idea, how much more you’ll want to be making to make the move worthwhile. You can also check salary ranges on sites such as Glassdoor and Payscale.
- How to find work: If you want to have a job lined up before you move to Miami, but aren’t sure where to begin, the following sites are good places to start: – Globalization Partners, Visa Hunter, Go Abroad, Target Jobs, and Pacific Prime. You may also want to Google recruiters in your industry, as they can often help land you some initial interviews as well.
14. Moving to Mexico from Australia
There’s a fairly large contingent of Aussies living and working in Mexico at any one time. If you are considering moving to Mexico from Australia and wish to meet fellow Australians, consider the following:
- Size comparison:Australia is 3.9 times larger than Mexico but its population is much smaller – 25,739,000 to Mexico’s 130,262,000.
- Join expat groups:Meetup, Internations, and Facebook offer ways of meeting up with other Australians in Mexico.
15. Moving to Mexico from Canada
There’s a large number of Canadians living in Mexico, many of whom just spend the winter there. If you’re moving from Canada to Mexico, consider the following.
- Size:Canada is around five times larger than Mexico but its population is much smaller than Mexico – 38,246,000 to Mexico’s 130,262,000.
- Expat groups:Connect with fellow Canadians in Mexico through Meetup and Internations.
16. Moving to Mexico from the United Kingdom
Around 15,000 expats from the UK are currently living and working in Mexico. If you are considering moving from the UK to Mexico and want to meet fellow Brits, consider the following.
- Size: Mexico is eight times the size of the UK and its population is much larger – 130,262,000 to the UK’s 67,327,000.
- Expat groups:Meet fellow Brits in Mexico through Meetup and Internations.
Hopefully, the tips and costs above are helpful. If want to get started pricing out how much it will cost you to move to Mexico you can start by comparing moving quotes here.