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Transporting Vehicles From Auction – How Vehicles are Transported to the Buyer

By Mike Richards Updated: 08/18/2022 Posted: 10/19/2015

Transporting Vehicles From Auction

The Internet has brought a world of convenience to consumers for all types of products. Businesses have expanded their reach to customers around the globe, giving them the ability to compare quality and prices to get the best value. Auction sites have also become increasingly popular as a place where buyers can place bids on items in the hope of getting an even lower price. You can buy and sell almost anything online, including automobiles.


How Cars Get to Auction

There are a number of reasons that cars end up at auction. Vehicles are just one of many types of items sold at auction by various government agencies according to The vehicles they sell often belonged to criminals and the government has seized them or they have been forfeited them. Some states also sell vehicles that are surplus property.

Government car auctions and public car auctions are open to the public. Some auctions are only open to dealers and require a dealer’s license before you can make a purchase. Using a car broker as the middleman can provide you with access to car auctions that would otherwise be off-limits to you.


Arranging Transportation

The National Auto Auction Association (NAAA) explains that transportation services are one of the many services car auctions often offer to buyers. There are a number of ways that the buyer may choose to arrange receipt of their vehicle.

One obvious factor that would determine the difference in delivery options is whether the delivery is local, domestic, or international.

When purchasing vehicles from a local car auction, delivery is often a provision by the auction company. In other situations, independent transporters may be available to deliver the vehicle to its destination. If you are transporting vehicles from another state, find out if there are storage fees that will apply to your vehicle. Also, learn the policies for loading purchased cars that pertain to that specific auction.

Another question that you will need to ask if you are taking care of the transportation yourself is whether there is a forklift available to load the car. You will also need to know the requirement for picking up the vehicle. Including a buyer or stock/lot number, the VIN number of the vehicle, or a gate pass.


Local transport

Transportation of the vehicle within the United States may be by a tow truck, truck, and trailer.  Or on open or closed car transport from an auto transport company.

Although it may tempt you to pick up the vehicle and transport it home to save money, you could end up paying more. When you fail to obey laws for hauling vehicles in any of the states that you will be driving through.

Professional vehicle transporters have the knowledge of the law and the equipment needed to deliver your vehicle safely and legally to you.


International Transport

Purchasing a vehicle online from a car auction sometimes means it will need to be shipped to or from the U.S. to another country. Depending on the company that you hire to transport your vehicle, the process may include travel by land and by sea as a single service or it may require two separate arrangements.

You’ll need to ship your vehicle out of the country after purchasing, from a departure shipping port. It will need to be picked up at the auction and transported to the nearest port. Hiring a transportation company that handles US Customs for you will make the process a lot easier.

Regardless of whether the transportation hiring is through the auction or you find one independently from the auction. You will need to get a quote for the costs including all fees. The price of transportation should be in the budget that you set for purchasing a car.


Learn the Rules Before You Buy

Different car auctions have different rules about picking up, loading, and transporting vehicles. Learn these before you purchase a vehicle to prevent paying additional fees that will make your purchase more expensive.

You will also need to know the rules of the transporters and provide them with accurate information about the vehicle. If they are not associated with the auction, you will need to supply them with information about when the vehicle needs to be picked up, where it is located, and what equipment they will require. It is your responsibility to coordinate the pickup of your vehicle as efficiently as possible.


Opting for a Broker

Despite the obvious convenience of buying a car online, there are many aspects that must be considered to get the vehicle from the auction to your driveway. A broker can handle all the details with expertise that most car buyers don’t have.

A broker can help you with every step of the process from finding the perfect vehicle to getting it delivered safely and efficiently to your location. Remember that transportation is one of the most important considerations you should make when purchasing a vehicle from an auction, whether it will need to be transported across the state, the country, or the ocean.

Explore our Vehicle Auctions, as well as finding more information about How These Auctions Work.