Purchasing a Vehicle to Export
The following are answers to frequently asked questions pertaining to the
purchase of vehicles in the United States. The United States Federal
Government is responsible for any legal documentation for the purchase,
registry or insurance of a vehicle by a non-US citizen in the United
States. You can find specific information/requirements at the
following websites: www.dot.gov; or www.nhtsa.gov.
What is the best way to purchase a vehicle in the United States?
There are multiple options available when seeking to purchase a vehicle
in the United States. The first thing to determine is if you are in the
market for a new or pre-owned (used) vehicle.
For new vehicle purchases, you can visit any Original Equipment Manufacturer
(OEM) (e.g. Chevrolet, Ford, Honda, Toyota, etc.) dealership. Also, most
OEM dealerships sell both new and used vehicles.
For used vehicle purchases, the options include: OEM dealerships, Private
party sales (i.e. buy from another individual), and/or Used car lots.
Is it possible for a non-U.S. citizen to buy a car in the U.S.?
Yes, as long as you have access to certified U.S. funds, such as a wire
transfer or certified bank check. (Note: cash transactions greater
than $10,000 are not accepted)
The processing of a vehicle title takes time and is required to finalize the
sale, regardless of the State of issue. Typically if you purchase a
vehicle from an OEM dealer, the title will take approximately 60 days to
be processed and mailed to you.
Purchasing a vehicle from a private party, which typically has the
title, will expedite this process. If you choose the private party
option, you need to protect yourself and the easiest way to do that is
to secure a notarized bill of sale for any private party
After traveling around the USA for 3 months, is it easy to sell the car
in a same State or another State?
Much like the purchase options, you can typically sell
your vehicle to an OEM dealer, another individual and/or a used car lot.
Selling the vehicle it a dealer or a used car lot will not be as
profitable, as they will base the vehicle's value on the current
wholesale marketplace. Private party sales may be more profitable;
however, they will take additional time as you will need to advertise
the vehicle for sale.
Is it possible to buy motor vehicles of all types, including used cars, in
the United States from various outlets?
Yes, see above answers to "best way to purchase a vehicle."
Is vehicle insurance of some form compulsory throughout the United
Yes, vehicle insurance is required. Each U.S. state may have different
insurance regulations, please check the websites listed at the start of
this article for more detailed information. Also, check with your
current insurance company, as your current insurance policy may cover
the vehicle while driving in the United States for a brief period of
Does AAA recommend specific import/export agents?
AAA does not recommend vehicle import/export agents. Please visit the
National Highway Transportation Safety Administration website to find a
list of approved import/export agents
If you need additional information, please contact AAA International Relations.
If you are a AAA member, click here.