how do i get my vehicle to La Paz?
There are two options, you can drive your vehicle from the US to La Paz through Baja (an epic road trip), or drive your car to Tijuana and ship it to us via truck (we can assist with this). We ship vans for approximately $1000 from Tijuana to La Paz and $500 from La Paz to Tijuana through a third party truck transportation company (prices subject to change without notice). You could also ship it down, and then drive it back, flying into La Paz or Cabo San Lucas is very easy.
What are payment terms?
50% is required at vehicle drop off and the remainder is due at completion. Due to the nature of business in Mexico where cash is king, we ask for all payments to be made in cash in Pesos or USD. Payments made via bank transfer, paypal, venmo, zelle, etc will incur an additional 20% upcharge on top of the quoted price for services. This system is designed to save you money. Pay in cash, and save money.
Can you supply parts cheaper in mexico than in the uS?
No. In general most parts need to be imported from the United States and thus are much more expensive and difficult to get in Mexico than in the US. This is especially true for Vanagons which were never sold here. Your savings comes from the much lower cost of Labor here in Mexico, any parts that you'd like installed should be brought down with you. In an emergency where parts may be needed, they can be shipped to La Paz from the states via DHL, though there is often the need to use a customs broker, and pay import taxes (customs brokers fees plus 16% typically). Its a pain, so plan ahead and bring your own parts.
I have a Pop top tent, and some parts id like installed on my van, can they be installed?
Yes, we can install just about anything for you for an additional cost. You will save a lot of money on labor. The parts, you should bring yourself (see above)
I would like to have my camper painted inside and out, can that be done?
Yes, although a few things you should keep in mind. Disassembling and reassembling a Westfalia camper interior is a time consuming process, having us remove it, paint the inside of your vehicle, and then reinstall it can be done, but it will increase the cost of the service.
Can I change the color of my Van?
Yes, however based on my experience having painted many vehicles now, I can tell you that the best results will be had when you keep your Van the stock color. Inevitably with use, your van will get chips and dings, and you dont want to see a different color underneath when that happens. Also, it is nearly impossible to paint every nook and crevice of a van to change the color, for example behind the dash, without tearing the van down to a bare shell (think lots of time and $$$) so there will always inevitably be little spots that you see that were the old color. If your willing to live with those caveats, then go for it! I have! But that being said, the best results will be had by keeping with your stock color. There are things we can do to make it more interesting, for example adding some pinstriping.
What is the turn around time from drop off?
All depends on the scope of the work, however for a basic paint job and minor rust and or bodywork the typical turnaround time is 3-4 months. We've found this amount of time allows for us to do the best possible job on your Van while keeping the pace sustainable for us. Sure, maybe you can find someone who says they will do it quicker, but is this really something you want someone to rush on? More complex jobs, mechanical work, upholstery, etc will require more time than stated above. It is not uncommon for a full buildout of a Van to take 6 months to a year. Please do not schedule work to be done with us if you are on a super tight timeframe, need to get back home, and are in a rush. We work as fast as we can but things do come up and it's very stressful for everyone involved if there isn't some flexibility. If you have any concerns, please talk to us before booking. Most folks find it best to roadtrip or ship their van down to us, then return home while work is done, and then return to sunny La Paz and ship or road trip home in their shiny new VW.
Is my vehicle safe? Am I?
La Paz is one of the safest cities in Mexico and enjoys one of the highest standards of living. Your vehicle is absolutely safe and secure when it is here as are you! In addition, the baja peninsula from California to La Paz is VERY safe, really there's not much except open desert, and deserted beaches for almost 800 miles. Every single person who makes the drive (for paint or otherwise) comments how safe they feel here, and how wrong all of their friends/family and the media is.
Can I fly to or from La Paz?
La Paz is easily and very cheaply accessible via Tijuana with flights to be had often for $100 or less each way. Coming to or from San Diego is super easy via CBX (Cross Border Express) which allows you to access the Tijuana Airport from San Diego. Direct flights from the US can be had to Cabo San Lucas easily and inexpensively from many destinations. Cabo is approximately 2 hours from La Paz. Taxi service can be arranged and costs $50 to $75 each way.
I'd like to schedule to get my van to you, whats the next step?
In order to give your van the attention it deserves, and our full attention, we limit the number of Vans we work on at any given time. When we have agreed on a date for your drop off, we require a $500 non refundable deposit (this amount will be deducted from the full cost of the work) in order to guarantee you a spot on our calendar. This means we are setting aside this time for you and your van, and not double booking. This also means that if you later change your schedule, we will not have anything scheduled for your slot, so in order to help respect our time, we ask for a small deposit up front. If you pull out after the deposit is made, it will be forfeited.
Do i need to insure my vehicle when its in mexico
id like to stay in La paz during the restoration, what do you recommend?
Spending some time here at the beginning or end of your restoration can be a great way to get to spend some time in our beautiful city and explore more of Mexico. That being said, we have found its not ideal when folks are staying here solely to wait out our services as the exact timeframes involved in this process are typically not exact. Your best bet if you'd like to stay here is to book a monthly rental through AirBnb. There are lots and lots of options for every budget, from very affordable to fancy and everything in between. I would recommend a central location if your budget allows so you can walk around the city. Please understand when thinking of staying for the restoration, that we cannot guarantee a finish date, and things can and do come up that can increase the scope of the work and time required. For this reason we do ask that you remain flexible with your stay.
I'D REALLY LIKE TO BE A PART OF THE PROCESS, CAN I HELP? WHERE IS YOUR SHOP?
WHILE WE APPRECIATE YOUR ENTHUSIASM, WE KINDLY REQUEST THAT YOU LEAVE THE HARD WORK TO US AND REST AND RELAX WHILE WE COMPLETE THE WORK FOR YOU. OUR SHOP IS NOT OPEN TO THE PUBLIC AND WHILE WE DO NOT ALLOW VISITORS, WE MAKE SURE TO KEEP YOU POSTED WITH REGULAR UPDATES AND PHOTOS OF YOUR VEHICLES RESTORATION PROGRESS.
I'm in a rush, can you work faster?
Our focus is on doing the best possible job, not cutting corners and rushing jobs. Haste makes waste as they say. That being said our services are way, way faster than any comparable restorations that we're aware of in the states or elsewhere. Ask around, it's not uncommon for vehicles to languish at paint shops for 6 months to a year or more without progress or completion! While we work as quickly as we can and understand that you miss your favorite car, we kindly ask that you try to bring your vehicle during a time that you are not in a rush to get it back. There are also things that sometimes come up that are out of our control, such as discovering parts need to be ordered, more damage than stated before drop-off, etc.
What's the best itinerary/route to take from San Diego/California
We have a page of our website dedicated to our recommended Baja travel itinerary. Please check it out under the "Baja Guide" link at the top of this page.
Do you offer storage of my van before or after my scheduled drop off/Pick up?
Yes! We have safe and secure indoor parking available for your Van if you are unable to pick it up when it is finished, or if you would like to drop it off before your restoration appointment. The monthly cost is $125. We do ask that you please pay your invoice when the restoration is complete, at which point we can arrange for vehicle storage for you if needed. We do offer a grace period, as its not our intent for vehicle storage to be a money maker for us, rather its an option for folks who cant make it down or need more time. As always, if you have any questions or concerns, simply chat with us and we'd be happy to assist you with this.
What are your hours of operation?
We are open Monday to Friday from 9am to 5pm by appointment only. We only accept vehicle pickups and drop offs during regular business hours.
Do you have a shop? Where is it located?
Yes we do! We are conveniently located in La Paz, Centro a few blocks from our beautiful malecon. Since we are by appointment only, and in an attempt to keep our business small and focused, we do not have a public location, nor do we share our address publicly. This is so we can keep our focus on our work, and our prices reasonable for you.
What if my van arrives and it has more damage than what was stated or could be seen in the photos i sent?
From time to time vehicles will arrive to us with more (sometimes much more) damage, rust, poor bodywork, than was stated. Although this is always unintentional, the result can be a completely different restoration than was quoted. Often times this is the result of poor or improper bodywork in the past (read: globs of bondo over rust) and this is not always evident until we begin to peel back the layers of your van. Please understand that if this is the case, we will need to adjust your estimate to reflect the new level of work required. Our goal is always to offer you fair and affordable service, and you will be informed of what, if anything, we find that will change the quotation and we will have a discussion about it before any prices are adjusted.
I'd like to come down with my van fully loaded for camping, is that ok?
We completely understand the want/need to come fully loaded for adventure. After all, half the reason you're making the trip is for the experience of an epic Baja roadtrip! That being said, we will be completely tearing down your van. The windows will come out, the doors will come off, things will get dirty. We need the ability to climb in and out of your van, even if we are not painting the inside. We need to have unimpeded access to move around inside. Furthermore, we go to great lengths to ensure that nothing is lost or misplaced, for this reason everything that you drive down with, needs to stay with your van throughout the process. We have many vans in different stages or restoration, and we have found that this is the absolute best way to make sure that there are no issues. However, if your van is packed to the brim, we will need to take things in and out, everytime we need access, which is a lot. Not only does this make our job much harder, but it also increases the risk that something is accidentally misplaced or damaged. With all that said, we ask that to the greatest extent possible you pack your van in such a way that when you leave it with us all of your personal items can be packed away inside the cabinets of the van (if applicable). Blankets, pillows and bedding should be put in garbage bags so that they are not soiled by dust. If you must travel with more than can be packed away in your cabinets, then we ask that you rent a storage unit to store those items while we are working on your van. We have always recommended people inquire with La Paz Mini Storage which is next to the La Paz Airport, however there are others in town.