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How to buy a car overseas with an international money transfer

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

If you decide to buy a car overseas, paying via international money transfer is not as hard as you might think. There are many online transfer services that make it easy to send funds to dealers and private vehicle sellers inexpensively and securely.

Compare money transfer providers to help you buy a car in another country

Our table below lets you compare services you can use to send money abroad. Compare fees, exchange rates and discounts from different money transfer services, and when you have made your choice, click Go to site.
1 - 16 of 16
Name Product Filter Values Fastest Transfer Speed Fees (Pay by Bank Transfer) Learn More
OFX
24 hours
From $15

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Exclusive offer: Discounted exchange rates for your first and ongoing transactions. $0 transfer fee.
OFX has no maximum limit transfers, with competitive exchange rates for 45+ currencies.
TorFX
24 hours
$0

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TorFX guarantee to beat any competitor's exchange rate for a transaction. Conditions apply.
TorFX sends money overseas in 30+ currencies, with competitive rates for transfer amounts over GBP £100.
CurrencyTransfer
24 hours
$0

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CurrencyTransfer lets you shop around for the best exchange rate on its online marketplace.
XE Money Transfers
Within minutes
$0

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XE has fast transfers with low fees and a range of foreign currency tools.
Simplii Financial
Within minutes
$0

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Up to $300 off your first Global Money Transfer with our code GMTEVENT depending on the amount you send. For cash pickups instead, earn $50 using code CASH. Limits and regulations apply.
Send money without fees and at competitive exchange rates to 130+ countries.
Wise (TransferWise)
24 hours
From 0.35%

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Wise uses the mid-market rate and transparent fees to help you send money in 45+ currencies.
Remitly
Within an hour
$1.99

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Special offers like free transfers and better exchange rates available for new customers.
Remitly has quick, affordable transfers around the world, with both express and economy options.
Dunbridge Financial
24 hours
$0

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Dunbridge Financial offers competitive exchange rates and zero fees on transfers to more than 120 countries.
Africhange
Within an hour
$0

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Send money in CAD to Africa on this blockchain and P2P powered provider.
XE Money Transfers
Within minutes
$0

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XE has fast transfers with low fees and a range of foreign currency tools.
Wise (TransferWise) - Under 10k
24 hours
From 0.35%

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Wise uses the mid-market rate and transparent fees to help you send money in 45+ currencies.
Remitly
Within an hour
$1.99

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Special offers like free transfers and better exchange rates available for new customers.
Remitly has quick, affordable transfers around the world, with both express and economy options.
Instarem
Within minutes
From $0

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Exclusive: Use code FINDER10 to receive US$10 off your first transaction.
InstaReM offers simple transfers with a flat 0.5% transfer fee for most transfers.
Simplii Financial
Within minutes
$0

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Up to $300 off your first Global Money Transfer with our code GMTEVENT depending on the amount you send. For cash pickups instead, earn $50 using code CASH. Limits and regulations apply.
Send money without fees and at competitive exchange rates to 130+ countries.
WorldRemit
417 days

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Use promo code 3FREE to send your first 3 transfers with no fee. Conditions apply.WorldRemit sends money to 110+ countries for bank-to-bank deposits, cash pick-ups or mobile top-ups.
XE Business Transfers
XE Business Transfers
Within minutes
$0

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XE Money Transfer can help your business unlock international transfers. Forward contract and limit order options available.
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Using a money transfer service to pay for an international car purchase

When considering ways to pay a foreign car dealership or private seller, the first option you might think of is to transfer money through your bank. Even though banks can facilitate international wire transfers in a huge range of currencies to destinations all around the world, the cost can be high.

Poor exchange rates and high fees are the norm when sending overseas transfers through your bank. You can save a lot of dough if you shop around to find a dedicated money transfer service. These companies typically offer stronger exchange rates and lower fees than banks, which can add up to significant savings—especially when transferring a large amount.

Online money transfer providers such as Wise, Xe, Remitly and WorldRemit offer cost-effective, flexible ways to pay through secure channels, combining convenience with affordability.

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

Example: Don buys a MINI Cooper from the UK

Vintage car enthusiast Don wants to buy a restored 1960s MINI Cooper from a private seller in the United Kingdom. Having agreed on a sale price of $25,000 CAD, Don researches ways to send the funds directly to the seller’s bank account. He gets a quote for a bank wire transfer and another quote from an online money transfer service. Here’s how the 2 options compare:

Bank wire transferOnline transfer service
Exchange rate1 CAD = 0.5887 GBP1 CAD = 0.5985 GBP
Transfer fee$50$4.99
Speed3-5 business daysSame day
Amount received14,717.50 GBP14,962.50 GBP

In this case, using an online money transfer service is better for both Don and the seller. The fee is lower for Don, the seller will receive 245 GBP more and the transaction is faster. Note that this is just a hypothetical example. Actual rates, fees and transfer speed will vary.

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How to compare international money transfer services

When weighing different money transfer services, consider the following:

  • Exchange rates. Sometimes, companies recover profit lost from offering strong exchange rates by charging high transfer fees. If you find a service with favourable rates, be sure to cross-check its fees to get the full picture of how much your transfer will cost.
  • Fees. Some companies waive transfer fees for first-time transfers or transactions over a certain amount.
  • Supported currencies. Don’t take for granted that a given transfer service supports your sending and receiving currencies. Always double check before opening an account.
  • In person vs online. Some companies operate strictly online (like Xe and Wise), while others support online and in-person transfers at physical branches (like Western Union and MoneyGram).
  • Flexible transfer options. Do you want to schedule multiple payments? Do you need to pay by credit, debit, bank transfer or mobile wallet? Do you want to send cash? Do you want currency hedging options like forward contracts or limit orders to safeguard against unfavourable exchange rate fluctuations? Be sure to consider these types of factors when compare transfer services.
  • Processing times. How long will funds take to process? Make sure your seller agrees to the time frame required to receive your payment.
  • Customer support. What customer service options are available if you need help? Are there live chat, phone or email features? Is service available 24/7?

    Issues to consider when buying a car from overseas?

    • Make sure it meets provincial specifications. Check to ensure that the car you buy meets all the necessary requirements to be driven legally in your province. This includes safety and emissions regulations.
    • Outstanding warranty coverage. Does a manufacturer’s warranty still apply to the vehicle? If so, how much coverage is left? Make sure you know where to get your car serviced if it needs repairs. Some foreign-made vehicles require very specific parts from authorized mechanics, which can get inconvenient and costly if you don’t plan ahead.
    • Shipping. Are you responsible for making shipping arrangements, or will this be taken care of by the seller?
    • Extra expenses. Be sure to factor in the cost of sales tax, shipping (if the seller isn’t covering the cost) and import fees if applicable.
    • Ongoing maintenance. A car’s purchase price is only part of the cost of owning a vehicle. Research the average maintenance cost of the make and model you want, and don’t buy unless you can afford the ongoing costs.

    Compare international money transfer services

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