Export cars from the U.S.

What Are The Plusses and Minuses of RORO Shipping for Used Cars?

By Mike Richards Updated: 05/23/2019 Posted: 08/09/2017

International buyers are increasingly turning to online dealer auto auctions in the U.S. to buy used cars. The reason for this is simple. These auctions provide buyers with the chance to save upwards of 70% on the purchase of a used vehicle. Because of this – even after shipping, duties and taxes are factored in – an international buyer stands to save thousands on their purchase.

For that level of savings to be possible, though, one needs to get the best deal possible when it comes to shipping. This leads to many international buyers considering something known as RORO shipping. RORO stands for “roll-on roll-off”, which succinctly describes the manner in which a vehicle is loaded onto and then off of a ship.

So, why do international buyers turn to this method of shipping? Would this work well in your particular circumstance? We explore this below…

RORO Shipping is Cheap and Convenient

The two major benefits of RORO shipping for used cars is convenience and affordability. Because there is no container involved, there’s significantly less overhead and labor involved in the shipping process. Naturally, this most often makes RORO the cheaper option when compared to traditional container shipping.

This affordability may have a hidden benefit. If your country uses CIF to assess duties and taxes, then you stand to save double. CIF stands for “Cost, Insurance, Freight”, taking into account the cost of shipping and shipping insurance in addition to the vehicle’s value. Naturally, if you save on shipping, then you save on duties in taxes, too!

In addition to savings, consider the benefit of convenience when your used car bought in a dealer auction arrives in port. You will not have to wait for a container to be unloaded, stacked and then located. Because of this, clearing customs is often quicker, and you’re therefore able to take possession of your car much faster.

RORO Shipping Does Put Your Vehicle at Risk

There is one major drawback to RORO shipping as compared to container shipping. Your vehicle will be more at risk of damage during transit. A vehicle shipped via the RORO method may become exposed to the elements in transit. In addition, it may be necessary for ship workers to move your vehicle periodically.

For this reason, you may wish to pay the extra expense for container shipping if your vehicle is particularly valuable. Likewise, you may want to do this if the country to which you’re importing your vehicle has laws about visible damage on imports.

Talk to Your Auction Specialist About Shipping Options

Choosing the right shipping options for your needs as an important step in using online dealer auto auctions. In some cases, the right shipper could make a huge difference in how much you ultimately end up paying for your vehicle. For this reason, be sure you talk to your auction specialist about your options. He or she can review your choices and help you to arrive at a solution that will work for your needs and budget.