You can buy a car from anywhere and ship it
If you are looking to buy a classic or special car, you may find that the only suitable units available are located a long way from your home. Many online services such as eBay, Collector Car and others list many cars that could appeal to buyers such as you. Since the listing services are not restrictive, you could search for cars and find a great deal. If you decide to buy remotely, you may want to consider one of the car shipping companies to move the car from the seller to your house.
Of course, if you are looking to sell a car, you may also want to check into the car transport business. As a seller, you will be asked to handle the initial shipping of your car to the buyer. Since you have the car, you will likely need to take the car to the depot, handle any issues with the vehicle and pay the loading bill. The receiver will take car of their own issues when the car arrives at the final destination.
When arranging the shipment of a car, particular attention will have to be made to any basic requirements that exist. For example, many shippers will not accept cars that are not operational. Cars that leak gasoline might not be acceptable. Most shippers insist that the car does not contain any loose items. Since the vehicle will be in transit for quite some time, anything left in the vehicle may be attractive to thieves. Often the cars are left unlocked during all, or part, of the shipping so the transport company wants to be absolved of liability from theft.
When a car is delivered to a shipping company, it will usually be inspected before being accepted. An employee will note any damage on a form. They will view the car in your presence, recording all scratches and other damage. They may also note the year, make and model of the car. They may also want to verify the car's serial number. You may need to help the employee find the number if the car has it in an unusual location, as older Mercedes-Benz cars do. When the inspection is complete, the employee will sign the form and have you sign or initial it as well.
This is a feature offered by some companies. Depending on the organization, they may be able to handle car shipments to or from Canada or to other countries around the globe. While they take care of the border crossing issues, there may be increased paperwork necessary for such shipments. People receiving the car should be aware that shipping a car to another country may be possible but there might not be a guarantee that the car can be registered in the new location. If you are shipping or receiving a car that has to cross the border, check the regulations prior to the close of the sale. When you find a transport company that is able to move cars over the border, they may be able to help you with the regulations. If this is the situation that you find yourself in, you should seek only those companies that are very experienced with border crossing issues. As you can imagine, there could be increased costs for this service.
There are several kinds of car shipping methods available:
Several companies operate automotive shipping using the railways as the basic transportation method. These companies have shipping points located close to major rail yards. In order to use their services, you will usually have to have the car taken to their location. Since these companies are connected to railways, and may even be subsidiaries of them, they only pick up and drop off at cities served by rail. This may mean that the car will have to be transported a fair distance to or from the transport company. Since rail transportation is often an economical shipping method for large and heavy goods, you may find that this option turns out to be the cheapest.
Other companies move cars around the country via truck transport. Standard car carriers are loaded with vehicles and moved as necessary. Often, these companies will collect a number of cars at a particular location until enough are available to fill a transport going the right direction. This may take some time. If a car is being shipped from Seattle to Miami, it may be held in a yard with other cars destined for eastern locations. Usually, there will not be a whole transport load of cars heading from Seattle to Miami. In this case, the shipper will fill the transport and send all of the cars to an intermediate location such as Denver. Once there, the cars will be taken off the transport and stored. When the Miami bound car is grouped with enough cars heading east, the lot of them will be loaded on a transport and taken to Atlanta, for example. From there, the car will again be stored waiting for more cars heading in the correct direction. Eventually, the car is delivered to the destination city. As can be imagined, there may be no way to estimate how long such a trip might take an individual car.
This type of shipping involves a container being loaded with your car and delivered to the correct destination. Usually, this method is quite secure. Depending on the company, they may allow the car to contain any amount of loose items. Often, the car need not be operational. Because the current owner is responsible for loading the car into the container, there may not be an initial inspection of the vehicle. This shipping method is often very expensive, compared to the others. This is because of the security of the car in transport and the need for the shipping company to provide specialized containers. On the plus side, container shipping is often very quick compared to other methods.
With the amount of heavy goods that travel long distances everyday, buying or selling cars between remote people should not be as much trouble as it once was. In fact, given the availability of suitable transport companies and electronic communications like email and web sites, it may be more difficult to verify the condition of the purchased car rather than arranging the shipment.