How to Buy a Car Aboard


All of us like the sight, feel, and smell of a new car. Sometimes, the model you want simply isn’t available in your part of the world. Should you give up on your dream? Not a chance. You should simply look at cars abroad.

Of course, this comes with its own set of unique challenges. For example, when buying a car you need to know the legal documents required, the taxes and fees as well as other costs such as shipping.

But it’s far from impossible. Before you start browsing used cars in SA for sale from Carzaty here are a few things you should know about purchasing a vehicle in another country.

What to Know About Car Shopping Overseas

First of all, be aware that each country has its own curiosities and it is not possible to provide an exhaustive list of items. We will try to give some guidelines on how to proceed depending on the country where you buy the car and its origin:

– If the car is imported from a country belonging to the European Union, there are no particular documents required. You just need to fill in some forms at customs. For more information check on your national ministry of finance’s website;

– If the car comes from outside the European Union, you will need to obtain the documents from your national authorities; check with them about which documents you need. The seller will probably do everything for you, but it is a good idea to know how things work as this could ease the process later on during the transport and registration of your car.

– As for shipping, this depends on the location of the seller’s company and on how easy it is for them to transport the car from there to where you live. But it is also important to have in mind that if the car was not driven for a certain period of time, there might be some problems with the battery or it may take several attempts before starting. The seller will probably share these details with you.

How to Buy Cars Abroad Online

Curiosity makes many people turn to the internet when looking for a car abroad. Here are some tips to help you find your dream car online:

– When buying, there are no particular differences between buying across borders or domestically. But if you are not entirely sure about who you are dealing with do not hesitate to ask them to share their information with you. Legal protection guaranteed by your country’s law applies to all people who buy, sell, or exchange goods online;

– The seller is obliged to provide the car’s original documents (registration certificate or equivalent), any prior purchase contract, and/or receipt for tax purposes if applicable; in case of an online sale, make sure that there are no hidden fees before committing yourself to anything;

– It is possible in some instances, but not always, to check whether a car has been stolen via the National Insurance Crime Bureau service. If this site recommends against buying the car in question you should contact your national police;

– Although it is especially important when purchasing from private individuals, it’s still something you should be aware of when buying from a dealer. If you are not sure, ask the seller to provide you with some documents proving they have the right to sell the car in question;

– For information on how much is the VAT (sales tax) in your country check local customs or with national authorities. Bear in mind that if the car’s original purchase price included VAT, most probably this will be calculated based on its original market value at the time of importation into your country.

How Many Years Can You Keep Your Car Aboard?

This topic has nothing to do with buying a used car abroad but it is an important one nonetheless. The length of time you can keep a foreign-bought, the secondhand vehicle is limited by international treaties between different countries. So if you are thinking of importing a car or an old classic, check the rules on your national ministry of finance’s website.

Moving Your Car Aboard

There are several options for moving your car aboard:

– Container; this is probably the most common way to transport a used car abroad. Cars can be shipped with different types of containers (Open Top, Open Side, Flat Rack). If they are not properly sealed it is possible for them to “shift around” during transportation which can damage both the vehicle and other containers;

– Roll-On/Roll-Off (Ro/Ro); this type of transportation involves loading the car onto a ship like any other standard cargo. The car is driven on and off as such, but it can take up more space than if it was put inside a container;

– Air Freight; to transport your vehicle by air you will need to discuss with several companies that specialize in international shipping and ask for an estimate. Remember: sometimes the cheapest solution is not the best one and always ask for references and experiences from other people who have used those services before;

Closing Thoughts

Before committing yourself financially to the purchase of your car abroad, do whatever it takes to get as much information on the vehicle in question. Ask for all original documentation and check what repairs have been made before embarking on your final decision.

Also remember that if you are importing an old secondhand car its value is likely to decrease over time so don’t spend more than you need when buying one… unless, of course, you are planning to resell it later with a nice profit margin!


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