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Be a Smart Buyer When Shipping Cars Internationally

There are 'Smart Cars' & Smart Car Shipping

Shipping cars overseas, like any journey over international waters, gives rise not only to waves but to potential bureaucratic snafus that can impede smooth sailing. Savvy buyers avoid these problems by knowing what lies ahead and planning appropriately. In the opinion of an experienced shipping company like West Coast Shipping (WCS) there are ways to be smart about cars when shipping cars internationally. See Top 10 Questions to Ask an International Car Shipping Company


1.   Invest in Research - it Pays Dividends. Take time up front to look into the background of the seller. Start with the most basic - make certain that the seller is who he says he is. Confirm that he actually owns the car he is selling. Ask for a copy of either his driver's license or his dealer's license and make sure to obtain a copy of the car's title. Verfiy the origin of the photos of the car that is represented as being "for sale." Thanks to technology, verification can be realized using Google's reverse image search found at:  http://www.google.com/insidesearch/features/images/searchbyimage.html.

2.   Don't Wait to Get Lucky - Get Paid. It's easy to think that getting paid is the exclusive concern of the seller. But since most international cars sales are done via bank wire transfers, and these transfers often take longer to fund than expected, stay in constant touch with the seller. Be sure to know precisely when your money clears your account and keep the seller advised of any delays. Double check your bill of sale to verify that it has been signed by both the seller and the buyer. Don't count on good luck but show good faith so that trust will be established early and maintained throughout the transaction.

3.   A Title Means What it Says. Both the buyer and seller are motivated to prevent unnecessary delays. Smart buyers request a copy of the car's title from the seller as soon as possible. The copy should then be immediately sent to the international car shipping company so they can prepare the required paperwork for customs.

4.   Be Smart - Get Documented. Not surprisingly, as seems to be true in all cross-border affairs, documentation matters. To insure authenticity, make sure you get a copy of the car's original title or a notarized copy. The title must be clear and free of all encumbrances. If there were past liens it's necessary to obtain copies of the lien release. If that's not obtained, the lender must sign off for you. It's also possible for a car to have been bought and sold many times so there can be multiple bills of sale. In order to protect your ownership position, you need to have documentation for each sale. A reliable shipping company like WCS can assist you with this task.  Finally, take care to fill out your shipping form correctly and remember to submit an EIN, proper identification and POA. 

5.   Getting There. You may not be asking for your car to be wrapped in satin ribbon, but any savvy car buyer wants their car to be handled with care from door to door. Be specific about how you want your car to be shipped on the ground and on the water. Ask your international shipping company about seasonal variations in ground transportation that could cause delays. Once at port, make sure you are satisfied with how your car is being warehoused and explore all your options for overseas packing and loading. See Seasonal Variations in Ground Shipping Cars Domestically.

6.   Being There. Double check to make certain that the container number on your Bill of Lading matches your other documents. When your vehicle arrives, go through your checklist and affirm that all customs duties and port taxes have been paid. If you fail to do that correctly, your car will not be released to you, resulting in possible storage and other port-related charges you want to avoid.

Feel free to contact West Coast Shipping if you have any questions or to request an instant international car shipping quote.

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