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How Does International Shipping work for U.S. Dealer Auto Auctions?

By Mike Richards Updated: 05/22/2019 Posted: 07/18/2017

Nowadays it’s not just consumers in the United States who can take advantage of gaining access to dealer auctions online. In fact, a number of international buyers around the world are taking advantage of these auctions, too! They’ve found that they’re able to save thousands over what they’d pay when purchasing a vehicle in their own country… And that’s even after they’ve factored in the costs of shipping and import duties and taxes.

Of course, shipping and import duties and taxes are big factors when it comes to determining how much money you can save. Duties and taxes are, of course fixed. But, by making the correct decision when it comes to arranging for international shipping, one can ensure they’re saving the most money possible.

Getting Assistance from Your Auction Specialist

For those who are inexperienced, arranging for international shipping may seem like a daunting task. However, when you work with an online dealer auto auction website, it needn’t be! This is because these websites provide their users with access to auction specialists. These specialists, in turn, can help international buyers with everything involved in arranging for international shipping. While you could leave everything to the specialist, it’s important to have at least a basic understanding of your shipping options.

How to Choose the Right Shipping Method for Your Needs

Used cars that you buy in dealer auctions can be shipped by land, air or sea. For the most part, though, you’ll find that most prefer to go with sea-based shipping. While generally slower than the other two options, sea-based shipping is most often the most affordable.

Within the category of sea-based shipping, though, there is some degree of choice. One can opt for traditional container based shipping, which is definitely a good option if your vehicle is particularly valuable. One can also opt for something known as RORO shipping.

RORO stands for “roll-on roll-off”, an accurate description of how a vehicle is loaded onto and then off of a ship. Because there’s less overhead and labor involved than container shipping, RORO is often much cheaper. However, there is some risk that without the protection of a container your vehicle could become damaged in transit.

Why Price Hunting May Save You Double

That risk might be worth it, though, because saving on shipping can help some international buyers to save on import duties and taxes, too! This is because many countries around the world calculate duties and taxes based upon CIF. This figure represents the customs-assessed value of the vehicle plus the cost of shipping and shipping insurance. Naturally then if save on shipping, you’re saving on duties and taxes too!

The One Thing that You’ll Need to Handle

With all of the above, your auction specialist can arrange absolutely everything. There is, however, one thing that you’ll need to handle yourself. Your auction specialist cannot assist with clearing customs in your country. For this, you will need to read up on clearance procedures, or else you will need to hire a customs broker.