How to buy a car to ship overseas
If you’re buying a vehicle with the sole purpose of shipping it overseas for a friend or a relative, then follow our helpful & easy to follow guide. This guide will help you to avoid purchasing a stolen car and stop you becoming a victim to some unscrupulous individual that only wants your money.
International car shipping should be a stress-free occasion, however we all know of someone that’s been scammed out of their hard earned money at some time, don’t we? If you discover that the vehicle that you’ve just bought is stolen, your dream will suddenly become a nightmare. Avoid this by carrying out a few essential checks prior to purchase, stay safe and ship it in confidence knowing that you are now the rightful owner of it.
- Read documents carefully – Always check the V5C registration document to see who the car is registered to. If this is a private sale meet at the seller’s address and verify the V5C matches the details. Check the MOT document if applicable as well, is it current, does it match the car? Look at the service history as well. If there are no documents with the car how do you know it’s genuine and been looked after?
- Get a vehicle check – It’s worth paying for a data check on the vehicle to see if it has been recorded as stolen or been involved in an accident at some point. You can pay for this online, the RAC and AA offer this type of facility and the details will be emailed or text straight to your phone.
- Have a HPI check – Pay to have a HPI check as well. This will show if the vehicle has any outstanding finance on it, if it has and you buy it, the car isn’t yours, it will be repossessed and you’ll lose all your money.
- Verify the VIN – Look for the vehicle’s vehicle identification number (VIN), this is a unique reference number for the car. Modern vehicles display the VIN at the bottom of the windscreen, on older cars it might be on a metal plate in the engine bay so you might have to dig around a little to find it. A good tip is to know where the VIN is on the vehicle before you go to see the car, then you can verify the number matches with the VIN on the V5C.
- Avoid public meeting places – If the seller wants to meet you in a car park alarm bells should be ringing. If they’re a dealer they should have a showroom or yard where all their vehicles are kept, if they’re a private seller what’s wrong with meeting at their home? Genuine sellers won’t have a problem with this. Dodgy dealers want to meet at McDonalds as they’re harder to trace if things aren’t quite what they seem.
If the price looks too good, then usually it is. We are all looking for a good bargain, however I think caution should be used if the price is a lot lower than the normal market value. If you are still unsure if the car is stolen or not then ring the local police station (not 999) and ask them to check to see if the vehicle is stolen before you buy it. The police will be only too happy to assist you, if it is stolen and it is in their area they’ll be only too glad to get this back to its rightful owner.