Export cars from the U.S. How to articles

How to Export a Car to India?

By Mike Richards Updated: 01/31/2023 Posted: 10/17/2015

If you are from India, and you want to buy a vehicle from the United States, chances are you have quite a few questions about the process of buying, as well as how you can actually export a car to India.

The rules are actually quite strict, so you need to know and understand them long before you start looking at online auctions in the United States for vehicles. The more you know before you buy, the less likely you are to buy a vehicle that you will not be able to bring into the country.

What Are the Rules?

In India, there are a number of rules and regulations in place that will determine whether you can export a used car to the country. You can only buy and import vehicles that were three years old or less, and it needs to have a roadworthiness certificate that’s good for at least five years after you import the vehicle.

In some cases, you may need to have the vehicle repaired and rebuilt before you can get this certificate. Also, the vehicle needs to have right-hand steering, and the controls and headlights need to be compatible with driving on the left side of the road.

If you are buying from an auction in the USA, this means you may need to have some substantial work done to the vehicle to get it ready before you export the car to India.

The speedometer needs to show km per hour, and the cylinder capacity can only be 3,000cc or less. The vehicle has to meet the guidelines set forth in the Central Motor Vehicles Act of 1989 as well. One of the other important things to note is that you will only be able to import the vehicle to the port at Mumbai.

Some vehicles are banned in the country. This includes cars that have an engine capacity from 1,000cc to 2,500 cc, scooters with a capacity of 250cc to 800cc, and motorcycles with a capacity of 50cc to 500cc.

What Are the Duty Rates?

The duty rates in India can actually be quite high when you export a car, so this is something that you will want to factor into your budget when buying. The duties are based on the value of the vehicle, so it tends to be cheaper when you are importing used vehicles.

The current duties can vary based on the vehicle from around 80% to close to more than 100% of the value. Since these can change, it’s a good idea to talk to the customs office to learn the latest duties and taxes you will have to pay.

When you export a used car , they will determine the value of the vehicle by taking the original value of the car when manufactured and then depreciating it. Currently, they will drop the value by 4% for each quarter during the first year, 4% per quarter during the second year, 2.5% per quarter for the third years, and 2% per quarter for the fourth year.

For example, if you bought a used vehicle that was $20,000 during the year of manufacture, and it is two full years old when you buy it, you would deduct 28% from $20,000 to $14,400 to determine the value at which they would calculate the duties.

Again, these percentages are current, but they could change in the future. It’s always in your best interest to know the latest rules and regulations.

Finding Vehicles at Auction

One of the best ways to find vehicles when you want to export a car to India is through online auctions. These auctions will give you access to a number of different types of vehicles. Just remember that you need to choose vehicles with the right engine capacity, and that are less than three years old. While this might limit your choices, you should still be able to find plenty of options through the auctions.

Once you choose a vehicle, it’s very important that you try to get the very best price possible considering the duties you will have to pay when you export a car to India. Keeping your bids well below the actual value of the vehicle can help offset the duty fees.

After you choose your vehicle, you will have to ship it from the US to India. Make sure you check out several of the different options for shipping companies to find the one that can offer you the best service and the best price. Keep in mind that since you will only be able to import to Mumbai, you may need to have a company that can ship from that port to your location, or you will need to be there to pick up the vehicle.

Even though it can be expensive to export a car to India, it’s possible to find some quality deals through auctions that make good financial sense.

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