Although numerous consumers are now shopping for vehicles online, many still prefer to personally inspect their prospective purchases before buying. If you happen to share this disposition, several additional costs should certainly be factored in before signing any deals. On top of the vehicle shipping rates, you must also budget for travel, a professional inspection and shipping insurance.
Airfare and hotel accommodations will probably compose the majority of travel expenses and for the sake of this article all costs must be estimated. While rates fluctuate widely and date, distance and carrier all come into play; we will take the average round-trip flight to be $350. Similar variables affect the cost of a night’s stay, so we will settle on two nights at $75/night. Throw in $150 for car rental, food and everything else, and the trip comes in at somewhere in the neighborhood of $650.
Assuming the vehicle appears to be in the condition you expected, you probably want to have it looked at by a professional. For around $150 a certified master technician will evaluate all electrical, mechanical and structural aspects of the vehicle and give you a complete inspection report. This can be done through a national chain such as Lemon Busters, but this service is offered at most mechanics and automotive centers as well.
If everything has gone well to this point and you are ready to move forward with the purchase, you should now consider the cost of shipping insurance. Even though all vehicle carriers are required to carry liability and cargo insurance, it is always important to find out the exact terms. These policies are often limited and may not cover customizations to the car or only certain types of damage. Inquire about this, as well as the deductible amount, and you may determine that you want to purchase additional insurance. Some shipping companies will offer more comprehensive coverage for an increased rate, but you should also contact your personal insurance provider to see which option is best.
As evidenced above, there are many costs associated with remote vehicle purchasing that may not initially come to mind. While the breakdown is only an estimate, $700-1000 is not an unreasonable amount to expect to spend on this process, not including the shipping or any additional insurance costs.
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