5 Unexpected Car Import Costs to Be Aware Of When You Buy & Import a Car

5 Unexpected Car Import Costs to Be Aware Of When You Buy & Import a Car
April 10, 2019 Aldo Flores
a classic car sitting on the road

Common Vehicle Import Costs

Car import costs are a given, but you don’t always consider them when you’re about to import a new vehicle or a classic car. Few events can make you feel more like a member of the jet-set than buying a car from overseas. You’ve scoured the globe for your dream machine and now you’ve sealed the deal with a seller in a foreign country. However, after your initial rush from wheeling and dealing subsides, you’re left with the mundane details of shipping your new ride home.

Importing a vehicle to the United States means crossing every T and dotting every I, but it also means being prepared for how much it will cost. Beyond the price of the car and transportation, you may be surprised to find several other associated items on your bill. Trans Global doesn’t want you to be thrown for a loop by the price of importing and shipping. Here are five unexpected vehicle import costs that you should know about before buying your car abroad.

The Cost of Ground Transportation

cars lined up on an ocean freighter

You may be focused on all the details related to how your new purchase will cross the sea. However, it’s important to remember that the ocean voyage is only one leg of the journey. Other car import costs include the price of transporting the car to the shipper’s point of origin and a fee for getting it to your final destination.

International Bank Fees

Wire transfers sent through international banks often come with additional fees. In certain cases, your payment may be routed through several different institutions, each imposing its own fee. Using a U.S.-based account may cut down on these vehicle import costs.

Customs Inspections Fees

Customs officials may decide to inspect the container your vehicle occupies during its travels, if not your vehicle itself. If they do, then you’re responsible for paying thousands of dollars in inspection fees as part of your total car import costs. Fortunately, such random inspections are exceedingly rare.

Marine Insurance

Buying insurance coverage for your car during transit is a good idea, but it’s not often that international buyers are prepared to pay for it. They may assume the ocean carrier will pay for any damages incurred during the crossing, but that’s not the case. Carriers are required by law to pay only a tiny reimbursement for any damage to the contents of a shipping container.

In any event, spending a little more on insurance is better than paying to repair an expensive or antique vehicle. It adds to your vehicle import costs, but it’s not as expensive as repairing damages.

Various Destination Charges

vehicles lined up at a cargo lot

You may have to pay miscellaneous car import costs for storage, unloading, collecting the container, and transporting it to the warehouse. Whatever these charges add up to in your situation, they will most likely be included in your shipping company’s quoted rate.

The thrill of becoming an international car buyer can be tempered once you realize all of the associated car import costs that go with it. However, if you prepare yourself in advance, then you’ll enjoy a much smoother transaction. Chat with a shipping expert at Trans Global Auto Logistics to delve into the details of international vehicle transport.

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