buy-car-overseas

How to Buy a Car Overseas with an International Money Transfer

Information verified correct on February 20th, 2017

Find out how to buy a car overseas by sending a safe and affordable international money transfer.

When you’re shopping around for a new or used car, sometimes you need to look a little further afield to find the best deal or that perfect set of wheels. Buying a car overseas to be shipped back to the States is actually not as complicated as you might think.

With the help of an international money transfer, you can safely and securely send funds overseas to complete your purchase. But regardless of whether you’re buying a vintage classic, a rare European marque, or even if you’ve just found a much cheaper sale price abroad, finding the most affordable way to pay for your new set of wheels is crucial.

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Rates last updated February 20th, 2017

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Save money on your personal or business international money transfer today. Fill in the form and you’ll be contacted by a foreign exchange expert to have an obligation-free discussion about your options.

With over 17 years of foreign exchange expertise and over $100 billion transferred, OFX can help with all your currency exchange needs, including:

  • Buying property abroad
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  • Regular overseas payments
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Min. Transfer Amount Transfer Speed Services Online Transfer Fee Rate Amount Received
Wyre International Money Transfers
No transfer fees for finder... No transfer fees for finder.com readers. Make transfers with Bitcoin.
OnlinePhone
Rates are always
changing, click to check
your price today
Go to site More
World First Foreign Exchange
Exclusive offer: $0 transfer fee ... Exclusive offer: $0 transfer fee
No-limit transfers with competitive exchange rates for more than 100 currencies.
USD 500 1 day
Online
Rates are always
changing, click to check
your price today
Go to site More
WorldRemit International Money Transfers
Fast... Fast, low-cost transfers to 110 countries for bank-to-bank deposit, cash pickup or mobile top-up.
USD 1 Within an hour
OnlineCash Transfer
Rates are always
changing, click to check
your price today
Go to site More
TransferWise International Money Transfers
Enjoy high maximum transfers into ... Enjoy high maximum transfers into more than 20 currencies while saving up to 90% over local banks.
USD 1 1 day
Online
Rates are always
changing, click to check
your price today
Go to site More
OFX International Money Transfers
Send safe... Send safe, no-limit transfers with no fees and competitive exchange rates.
USD 150 1 day
Online
Rates are always
changing, click to check
your price today
Go to site More
Payoneer International Money Transfers
Ideal for worldwide business payments ... Ideal for worldwide business payments to more than 200 countries and 150 currencies.
USD 20
Online
Rates are always
changing, click to check
your price today
Go to site More
RIA Money Transfer
No fees for bank account ... No fees for bank account transfers and cash pickup at 240,000 locations in 130+ countries.
3 - 5 days
Online
Rates are always
changing, click to check
your price today
Go to site More
HiFX International Money Transfers
Transfer money into 20 currencies ... Transfer money into 20 currencies and schedule regular payments. $5 fee waived for transfers over $5,000.
USD 100 2 days
Online
Rates are always
changing, click to check
your price today
Go to site More
Moneycorp Exchange Experts
Full-service specialist offering competitive exchange ... Full-service specialist offering competitive exchange rates on personal or business international money transfers.
USD 50 1 day
OnlinePhone
Rates are always
changing, click to check
your price today
Go to site More
TorFX International Money Transfers
No hidden fees and a ... No hidden fees and a best rate guarantee for 60 global currencies.
USD 150 1 day
OnlinePhoneAgent
Rates are always
changing, click to check
your price today
Go to site More
Wells Fargo Bank
While more expensive than other ... While more expensive than other options, securely send money to 13 Latin American and Asian countries.
USD 1 1 day
Online
Rates are always
changing, click to check
your price today
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  • If the provider quotes a different rate to the one above please let us know

Using a money transfer service to buy a car from overseas

If you need to send funds abroad, the first option you might consider is transferring money through your bank. But even though banks can send international wire transfers in a huge range of currencies to destinations all around the world, sending money via your bank will cost you.

Poor exchange rates and high fees are the norm when sending overseas transfers through your bank, so you can save a lot of dough if you shop around to find a specialist money transfer service. These companies offer markedly better exchange rates than the banks and in most cases also impose lower transfer fees, which can all add up to a significant saving — especially when you’re transferring a large amount.

Online money transfer providers such as Payza, USForex, World First, and WorldRemit all offer secure and reliable online transfers, combining convenience with affordability.

In other cases, you may want to transfer the funds overseas in cash, either directly to a private seller or perhaps to a trusted friend who will buy the car on your behalf. Companies like MoneyGram, Western Union, and Ria can help in these circumstances, offering fast and simple money transfers to cash pickup locations around the world.

Case study: Finding the best deal

Vintage car enthusiast Don wants to buy a historic Mini Cooper from a seller in the United Kingdom. Having agreed on a sale price of USD $10,000 with the seller for the slightly damaged car, Don begins arrangements to transfer the necessary funds. But when he sees the poor exchange rate on offer from his bank, he decides to see if he can find a better deal from a specialist transfer service — he compares two services to see which one offers the better deal.

Money transfer company 1Money transfer company 2
Exchange rate1 USD = 0.6493 GBP1 USD = 0.637 GBP
Transfer fee$0$10
Transfer methodBank account transferBank account transfer
Turnaround time3 business days4 business days
Amount received (in GBP)£6,493£6,370

As this table shows, Don can send an extra £123 by using the first transfer service and also save USD $10 in transfer fees.

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How can I compare money transfer services?

Consider the following factors when weighing up the pros and cons of different money transfer services:

  • Exchange rates. How high or low are the company’s exchange rates? If their rates are often better than their competitors’, do they also charge high fees?
  • Fees. In most cases you’ll need to pay a transfer fee so it’s worth comparing amounts, but some companies scrap their fees when you send large transfers — for example $5,000 or greater.
  • Available currencies. Consider the range of currencies that the transfer provider offers for transfers — does it offer transfers in the currency you want and to the destination you need?
  • How to place a transfer. Some companies are online-only, while others will allow you to place transfers over the phone or by visiting a transfer branch.
  • Flexible options. Depending on your circumstances, you may wish to look for a range of transfer options that can help you save time and money. For example, you might want to schedule several payments to buy a car in instalments over time, or you may wish to place a forward contract to protect yourself against fluctuating exchange rates.
  • Processing times. How long will each provider take to deliver the funds you send to your beneficiary?
  • Customer service. How will you be able to access customer assistance if you ever experience a problem with a transfer? Is there an online help centre as well as phone and email contact options?
  • Pickup options. If you want to send cash and don’t need to send a large amount, there are companies available that offer transfers with cash pickups. Other providers specialise in online transfers from your bank account to your recipient’s overseas account.
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What are some Issues to consider when buying a car from overseas?

  • Make sure it meets US specifications. Check to ensure that the car you buy meets all the necessary requirements to be driven legally in the United States, including meeting any safety and emissions regulations.
  • Warranty. Does the car come with a manufacturer’s warranty? If so, where can you get it serviced in the States without voiding your warranty?
  • Shipping. Will you be taking care of the shipping arrangements or will this be taken care of by the dealer/seller? Remember to factor this expense into your purchase price calculations if needed.
  • How affordable is the car to run? Buying a car only represents a portion of your overall cost, so don’t forget to consider how much a car costs to run and whether or not it will fit into your budget in the future.

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Frequently asked questions

Where can I compare money transfer providers?

finder.com features a selection of trusted and reputable international money transfer providers. Start comparing their features and benefits today.

Can I schedule a recurring payment?

Yes, some companies will allow you to schedule recurring payments in order to buy a car in instalments. However, keep in mind that you can typically access lower fees and better exchange rates if you send the money in one large transfer rather than several smaller ones.

Can I track an international money transfer?

Yes. Your money transfer company will give you a transaction number or receipt number which can be used to monitor the progress of your transaction.

What information will I need to provide to send a transfer?

As well as your name, contact details and proof of ID, you’ll also need to provide your recipient’s name and country of residence as well as all the details of your transfer. This includes the currency and amount you are sending and where you are transferring the funds to.

Are there countries where I am not allowed to transfer funds?

Yes, there are certain countries which the vast majority of providers will not allow you to send funds. These include Iran, Iraq, Syria, North Korea, Myanmar, Sierra Leone, and more.

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US International Money Transfers Offers

Learn about our information service
HiFX International Money Transfers

Transfer money into 20 currencies and schedule regular payments. $5 fee waived for transfers over $5,000.

WorldRemit International Money Transfers

Fast, low-cost transfers to 110 countries for bank-to-bank deposit, cash pickup or mobile top-up.

World First Foreign Exchange

Exclusive offer: $0 transfer fee
No-limit transfers with competitive exchange rates for more than 100 currencies.

TransferWise International Money Transfers

Enjoy high maximum transfers into more than 20 currencies while saving up to 90% over local banks.

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