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How to Ship a Salvage Car? 

By Mike Richards Updated: 11/09/2021 Posted: 10/23/2015

If you’re considering buying a car at auction, you might be wondering how you’re going to get it from the point of auction to where you are, and how much it’s going to cost.

There are actually a number of factors that you’ll have to consider. Much of the time, the cost of shipping has a lot to do with the make and model of the car. This is one of those instances where bigger might not be better. Usually, the larger the vehicle, the greater the cost. And the more expensive the car, the higher the cost.

Methods of Transport

You can use a transport truck to get an auction vehicle to pretty much anywhere in the United States, or from anywhere in the United States to a shipping port for transport to another country.

There are many car transport companies that will do this for you, and you’ll actually save money by using such a company as opposed to doing it yourself. If you transport the car on your own, you have to consider the cost of gas, loss of pay while you’re away from our job, hotel costs, and food. You can write off your time if you like, but realistically, it’s still a cost.

Think About the Distance

This is really important if you’re buying a car and having it shipped overseas. Keep in mind that professional buyers usually try to buy vehicles in areas that are close to the country of destination. If you’re shipping overseas, you might be in for the cost not just of shipping port to port, but also of having the vehicle offloaded and transported inland.

Also, think about what could go wrong. When cars are shipped overseas, large swells in the ocean could subject the car to damage. You should buy marine insurance, and that increases the cost of shipping the car.


Remember that the paperwork and the keys have to be shipped to the receiving port. You’ll also have to present a bill of lading, and authorize certain people to pick up the car. That person will have to present identification. Much of the time you’ll only get one key, so be sure that you don’t lose it.

Import Taxes

Import taxes are paid at the arrival port, and the amount can vary considerably from country to country. The person receiving the car should bring more cash than they think they’ll need.

Need Help?

If anything goes wrong, you should be able to contact the seller in the country of origin. If you’re using a reputable proxy bidder who is shipping on your behalf, this shouldn’t be an issue.

Explore our Vehicle Auctions, as well as finding more information about How These Auctions Work and Buying With Us.