Export cars from the U.S. Buyer Tips

The Total Cost of Buying a Car From a U.S. Auction

By Odet Garcia Posted: 11/06/2019

Thinking about buying a car? If you are, you’re probably wondering how much it will cost you. And if you have a budget, chances are you’ve considered buying a used car. Online car auctions are a great option to save money on a great used car that will fit your needs. Now, does it fit your budget? How much do car auctions charge? We’ll cover here what you need to know, and how much is the total cost of buying a car from a U.S. auction. 

It’s important that you remember that your budget doesn’t only include the cost of the car. There are other costs you need to keep in mind. For example, if you buy a salvage car or one that needs to be repaired, you’ll have to include repair costs in your budget. Additionally, don’t forget to include the fees that auction houses and shipping companies charge. Let’s see.

Online Car Auctions

Car auction sites are an excellent source to buy used and salvage cars. They give you access to dealer auctions that are generally not accessible to the public. This grants you the opportunity to find the car you want at wholesale prices. Which is great, right? Now, you can only buy smart if you’re prepared. 

Only register at a car auction site when you have your budget ready. This means, when you’ve added to your budget the fees that will be charged when you purchase your vehicle. These are the most common costs and/or fees.

Security Deposit

When you register at a car auction site, you’ll have to make a security deposit. The deposit must be 10% of the amount you wish to spend on the car. Usually, with a refundable minimum deposit amount of $400. You can also use this deposit to pay for the car you want to purchase. It acts as an assurance that you will complete the purchase of the vehicle if you are the winner of the auction.

Car Auction Site Fees

In addition to the security deposit, there are other fees that add up to the total cost of buying a car. One of them is the Auction Clearing House fee. These are buyer’s fees charged by the dealer auction where the car is located. The cost of this fee depends on the final purchase price of the car. 

cost of buying a car

Other fees also depend on the car auction site you decide to use for your purchase. There is a documentation fee than can go anywhere between US$75 – US$85. And there is a general fee that varies depending on the cost of the car, and can be between US$249 – US$299. Usually, these sites have a fee calculator that you can access when you’re searching for your car. 

Further Reading

  1. How to Choose the Right Used Hyundai for Sale 
  2. Your Guide to Buy Used Cars on an Online Auto Auction Site
  3. Everything You Need to Know about Buying Used Cars 
  4. How You Can Get Your Next Car from a Dealers Auto Auction

Shipping Fees

Last, but not least, there are the shipping fees. These will also vary based on the company you decide to hire to ship your car. You’ll also have to take into account the location of the car and the country to where it will be shipped. We recommend you request a quote as soon as you know your shipping company. This will help you add up the real numbers and avoid surprises. 

Total Cost of Buying a Car

Overall, buying a car from a U.S. auction will help you save up to 70%. Even after you add up all the fees, it will still be cheaper than buying a car from a dealer. Especially in countries where the used car market prices are over the roof. So, if you’re in the process of using a car auction site, this information will be very helpful.