Car buying can be a tedious task because it requires a great deal of time and research to find the right car at the right price. These days, however, consumers aren’t limited to the inventory at local car dealerships. Consumers have the capability of browsing cars all over the world to find exactly what they want. Sometimes looking a little further can help you get a great deal. Buying a car overseas is actually not as complicated as you might think and it can ensure you have the perfect set of wheels in your driveway. Whether you are looking for a rare European model or you have just found a much cheaper sale price, shopping overseas can prove to be a beneficial option. Here are a few things to keep in mind to make the process easier.
Make Sure You Are Dealing with a Reputable Seller
If you are considering purchasing a car overseas, this isn’t the time to seek out a Craigslist ad. Rather, look for established dealers that have a good reputation. Do a lot of research to be sure the dealer or seller is legitimate and try to work with a seller who has dealt with overseas transactions before so they can help guide you through the process. There is always the possibility of being scammed, losing money, and never receiving your car. Since there is always this risk, make sure you really do your research to avoid a possible scam.
Make Sure the Car Meets American Standards
You may have found a deal that seems too good to be true but there is a possibility that it actually is. When you are looking to purchase a vehicle overseas, you need to make sure the car meets American emissions and safety standards. You can run into this problem with certain European models. They might meet the requirements of their own country but you could run into potential problems when you bring that car home. You can visit epa.gov for additional details on the standards and requirements for purchasing a car overseas.
Budget for Taxes
Don’t be fooled by the price of a car overseas. Remember to factor in the taxes that you will have to pay when you bring the car home. There is a good chance you will not pay taxes on the vehicle overseas but find out what the taxes will be when you register the vehicle in the United States and don’t forget to budget for these additional taxes.
Check the Warranty Details
Many vehicles come with some sort of warranty so you need to find out if the vehicle is covered under the manufacturer’s warranty once you bring it home to the U.S. You will need to see if there is a local repair shop close by that can service your vehicle.
Shop for the Best Money Transfer Service
If you plan on purchasing a vehicle overseas you will need to send the appropriate funds abroad to pay for the vehicle. Although your first option might be to wire the funds through your bank, this will cost you a fee and sometimes these fees are pretty high. You could save yourself a lot of money by using a specialist money transfer service that offers better exchange rates and lower fees than most banks.
Get the Right Documentation
It is important to make sure you have the right paperwork for buying a car overseas and bringing it back home. You can visit the U.S. Customs and Border Patrol website for a listing of these documentation requirements. Typically you will need a bill of sale, the foreign registration, and the bill of lading from your shipping company. You will also have to pay the import taxes on your vehicle.
Find an Experienced Shipping Company
Again, this isn’t the time to be looking for the lowest possible price. It is much more important to look for a reputable shipping company that has experience dealing with international car shipping. Read reviews and online testimonials and even ask the shipping company to provide you with a few references. You also want to be sure the shipping company provides insurance for your vehicle during transport.
Frequently Asked Questions
Honest Answers to Your Car Shipping Questions
Yes, we always ask for your specific pickup and delivery addresses, if the carrier can get right to the addresses you provide, they will. If the addresses that you give us are not safely accessible for a Multi-car carrier, however, you will need to make arrangements with the driver to meet at a nearby location where the carrier can safely get in and out.
People do it all the time (rarely for free) but the official answer is no.
Not what you wanted to hear, we know, but that is the honest answer.
We are not licensed to broker the shipment of household goods and, likewise, no car carrier that operates in the USA is licensed to transport them from state to state either. Despite what you might be being told by other car shipping companies you may speak with.
Remember, at the end of the day we're all salespeople, and the true answer to this question is not a great selling point.
You will hear a lot of companies tell you that you can put up to 100 pounds of items in the trunk, but that is not entirely true. That fact is that items of that amount are fairly common and the department of transportation is probably not going to split hairs and fine the trucker over items of that amount, provided they are not over their weight limit. They could fine them, however, if they see a vehicle stuffed full of personal items so the car carrier will most likely try to negotiate something with you to cover themselves against any costs they could incur. It's not something we can build into your contract though.
We have a short and helpful video on this topic in our user videos.
Only in rare cases and car carriers will usually charge a premium to make it happen.
All dates given by car carriers are typically estimates and projections.
For this reason (and to keep your cost down) we ask that you build in some flexibility and give us the earliest possible date you would be WILLING to release the vehicle, even though it may not be your preferred date.
We'll put you in direct contact with your car carrier and the driver will also typically call you the afternoon or evening before your pick up and delivery (they won't just show up unannounced, and if they do we want to hear about it). However, car carriers are out on the road battling traffic, weather and any number of other factors that can and do throw them off of their pickup and delivery projections from time to time.
If the projected dates we give you come and you are unable to make contact with your carrier, please call our office immediately so that we may help resolve the situation.
The average transit time from pick up to delivery on any vehicle going coast to coast will average 7 to 10 days. From there you can figure your transit time based on how far your vehicle is traveling, i.e. from either coast to the Midwest might average 3-7 days.
Even better, we do not even ask for payment until we have you confirmed for pickup by a safe, reliable, fully insured, direct car carrier. If for any reason you do not ship your car with the carrier that we arrange for you, there is no fee.
The fees paid directly to the carrier however, (in most cases, their fees are not paid until your vehicle is delivered) are not directly controlled by us, so any requests for a refund of the carrier's portion would need to be addressed with the carrier directly.
Of course! And you are always backed by our Damage Free Guarantee policy.
Part of what you pay us for is to verify that the car carrier that we put you on is covered by the proper amount of insurance and that everything is up to date.
There is never any additional cost to you for this coverage, and their insurance is always primary.
We’re Loved by Customers