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How to Buy at a USA Car Auction and Ship Overseas?

By Mike Richards Updated: 05/22/2019 Posted: 10/15/2015

When you are on a budget and you are looking for a vehicle, one of your best options is to choose a USA car auction. You have a wide range of different choices when it comes to these types of auctions, and one of the best things about them is the cost. It is possible to save thousands of dollars on the cost of a vehicle that you want.

However, those who are brand new to the auction scene tend to have quite a few questions about how it all works and how they should go about participating in the auction.

Getting the Most Out of the Auction

One of the most important things to remember when you are going through an auction is that a number of the vehicles they have available will be salvage titles.

Just because it is a salvage vehicle does not mean that it’s a bad option. You simply need to do a bit of research to determine what it was that caused the vehicle to get the salvage title and whether the cost of repairs will make it worth the purchase. In some cases, the cars may already have repairs completed when they go to auction, even though they may still have salvage titles.

When you start looking at the various auctions available, you will discover that there are quite a few out there, but you do need to be careful. If you are trying to go through an auction on your own, make sure you are dealing with a legitimate company that has been around for a while.

Another option, and ostensibly the better option, is to work with a third party dealer to handle the auctions for you. You can let them know the vehicles that interest you and they can do the bidding and take care of the work, making it a hassle free experience.

One of the benefits of working with these types of dealers is the fact that they can get into dealer auctions, which are not available to the general public. These dealer-only auctions tend to have an even wider variety of vehicles available, and you can still find some substantial savings.

When you choose to buy at a USA car auction, you can check into the vehicle to learn more about it before you make your purchase. It is possible to find the VIN number and to learn more about the car’s history. This lets you know what is wrong with the car and what types of repairs you might need to get it back on the road and insured.

Since so many buyers interested in purchasing at a USA car auction are from overseas, it is important to understand a bit more about how you will be able to ship the vehicle to your country.

Shipping the Vehicle Overseas

When you buy through a USA car auction, and you live in another country, you have to think about how you are going to get your vehicle. The actual rules for importing a vehicle will vary from country to country, so it is important that you check into the requirements and regulations for customs in your area. Here are some tips that you can use when you are getting ready to ship your vehicle.

The first thing you need to do is to look for a shipping company that is able to ship internationally. They need to be registered with the United States Department of Transportation, and they need to have a United States Department of Transportation Number, as well as a Motor Carrier Number. Check into the dependability and reputation of the company.

You also need to consider whether the company is able to pick up the vehicle. Since you are overseas, you won’t be able to bring the vehicle to the shipper. You will have to have someone who can take it to the shipping company, or ideally, they will pick it up for you. Keep in mind that this will likely cost an additional fee.

All shipping companies are required to carry insurance. While you could take this at face value, you may want to contact the shipping company’s insurance carrier to verify that they have insurance and that it is capable of covering your vehicle.

The rates for shipping the vehicle will vary based on a number of factors, including the type of vehicle. Shop around for shipping options, if you can, to see which ones offer the best rates, but don’t think that the rate should be the only factor that you should consider. The quality of the service is equally important.

Once you find a shipping company for the car you bought at the USA car auction, ask them about what else you might need to do to ship the car or truck. Some of the companies will have customs brokers who can make sure your vehicle gets through customs without much of a hassle, which can be extremely helpful.

Getting Your Vehicle on the Road

After the car is in your country, it will need to go through customs, get registered, and insured before you are able to drive it. As mentioned, the rules and regulations for imports, customs, registration and insurance vary by country. Of course, you might also want to import a vehicle simply for the parts that it has.

Buying through a USA car auction can be a fantastic way to find a vehicle that you really want and that will meet your needs. Just make sure you are buying through a quality auction and that you understand the rules for importing the vehicle. A little research will go a long way.

See Vehicle Auctions, International Shipping, and a guide to Buying With Us.