I need some quick guidance. My mom recently bought my dad a vintage Porsche 959 for his sixtieth birthday, which is a pretty big deal. She struck a deal with a collector who lives in Germany since it wasn’t for sale in the US.
The issue now is getting it here. At first, he had business travels in Europe that overlapped perfectly, but the trip was canceled. So, my mom is freaking out about what to do.
She called yesterday to tell me about this and ask for my help. I didn’t have any immediate ideas, other than having the car shipped, but I know nothing about how long it will take, how much it costs, and how secure it is. Any insights or recommendations would be super helpful.
It sounds like your dad is in for an excellent surprise. There’s nothing quite like getting a vintage sports car. Unfortunately, the logistics of getting a rare sports car from Europe to the US isn’t necessarily ideal. You obviously can’t drive it across the Atlantic Ocean, which means shipping the vehicle is your only option.
The good news is that you aren’t the first person to explore importing a car from abroad. Countless people have been there and done that. Some of them published their experiences online for anyone to read. However, be wary of articles extrapolating possible outcomes based on irrelevant scenarios. For instance, you’ll discover many tips on shipping a luxury car from the US to Europe instead of the other way around, but that’s a different process altogether.
What you need is a car importer, which is a person who serves as a middleman between the buyer and seller of a car overseas. These professionals are essential when it comes to orchestrating the logistics and processing the required legal documentation. Staff writers at CarsDirect published a piece outlining the pros and cons of using a car import service. Convenience and peace of mind are the main advantages; the process is easy and highly secure. The major cons include unavoidable delays associated with lackluster service delivery and expensive fees.
Assuming everything goes according to plan, your dad’s Porsche should arrive stateside completely intact and unscathed. If the car were purchased through an official dealer or manufacturer, they might also arrange to have it delivered to a local affiliated dealership. However, since your mom bought the car from a private collector, that’s less likely. In other words, you should anticipate having to arrange the last leg of domestic transportation, once the car makes it to a major seaside port.
Domestic car shipping is much simpler than international shipping and, as you might expect, also much less expensive. Editors at The Drive wrote a piece explaining the basics. You’ll have to decide between an open or closed shipping container, which will determine whether the car is exposed to the elements, and this determines the price range. Opting for enclosed auto transport is the soundest strategy since the car is both a surprise and a gift.
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