How to ship a car overseas?

If you’re moving overseas for some reason or another – a new job, a career move, education, retirement, love, or any other type of valid reason to move temporarily or permanently out of the country, then you may wish to have your car shipped to that new destination as well.

At first, shipping a car overseas might seem like a very complicated affair but the truth is that you’re not really expected to play a very active role in that vehicle shipping process since the only way to transport a vehicle overseas is to find and trust an international car shipping company. Yes, you still have to prepare a few essential documents and get your car ready to be transported safely but other than that – you just let the pros do what they do best.

Read on to find the answers to the following 5 critical questions concerning international car shipping services:

  1. How do I ship my car overseas?
  2. How much does international car shipping cost?
  3. What documents are needed to ship my car?
  4. How to get my car ready for international car transport?
  5. Final words of advice on international car shipping.

Top rated international car shipping companies

The moment you reach the important decision that you don’t want to part with your vehicle no matter the move distance, it’s time to initiate the very first stage of your car shipping decision – browsing through the best international car shipping companies and finding the one that suits your needs and fits your moving budget.

Shipping your car overseas is not something that you can possibly do on your own, so bold DIY attempts are clearly out of the question. It’s more than obvious – you need an international auto shipper with years of experience and excellent reputation.

Your search starts here – a comprehensive list of international car shipping companies with reviews and ratings to help you make the right decision. Look for a car shipper that operates in your state and in the area where you live. Select a few companies (at least 3-4) with predominantly positive customer reviews and a good overall rating of their international car shipping services.

Once you’ve narrowed down your choices, it’s time to contact those vehicle shippers and ask them for international car shipping quotes.

SEE ALSO: How to pack for an international move?

How much does it cost to ship a car overseas?

Now this is the question that will surely preoccupy your mind until you receive the satisfactory answer you’ve been looking for. And mind you, the best way to get that answer is to contact the auto shippers you have pre-selected and ask them for international car shipping quotes. This is standard practice due to the numerous price forming factors that come into play:

  • If you live far from a major seaport, the distance from your home inland to that seaport (truck transport);
  • The distance to the destination country (ocean transport);
  • The size of the car;
  • The make and model of the car;
  • The shipping insurance rates;
  • Amount of destination and importation charges;
  • Other factors not listed here.

It’s important to know in advance how much you will have to pay to have your car transported to another country across the ocean so that you can prepare financially and mentally for the final bill. Generally speaking, the international car shipping cost can start from around $800 and go up to $4000, or even more depending on the specific circumstances.

What documents are required to ship my car overseas?

As far as paperwork and customs regulations are concerned, transporting a vehicle overseas can be something rather confusing. Fortunately, the international car shipping company you will choose to service you will take care of that painful aspect of the move. After all, that’s what you’re paying them, right?

Still, your auto shipper will ask you to submit the following documents:

  • The original Certificate of Title of Ownership of your car;
  • A Bill of Sale or a Notarized Bill of Sale depending on the port from which your vehicle will be shipped from;
  • The original Certificate of Origin if your car is purchased brand new;
  • A Shipper Export Declaration form.

By all means, contact your international auto shipper for more information about what documents you are expected to present.

READ ALSO: How to prepare for moving abroad?

How do I prepare my car for international shipping?

This is an important stage in your international car shipping adventure and its burden falls predominantly on you and you alone. Here are the major steps that will help you get your car ready to be transported to another country across the ocean:

  • Clean your car thoroughly both inside and outside;
  • Inspect the exterior of your vehicle for any signs of pre-existing damage such as dents, scratches, paint chips and so on. If you find any, make photos of them and, if possible, enable the date stamp on your photographs too. The idea here is to be able to recognize and prove, if necessary, any damage that might have occurred during transit;
  • Have your car serviced so that it’ll be in good shape when it reaches the destination port;
  • Make sure there are no fluid leaks of any kind;
  • Check the status of the car battery and the tire pressure;
  • Only 1/4 of fuel should remain in the tank;
  • Strip down your vehicle of any removable accessories such as roof racks, spoilers or any other extra elements from the exterior of your car. Leave only the standard equipment – the jack, the spare tire, the emergency kit, etc.;
  • Remove all personal items from the inside of your vehicle before the international car shipping takes place.

SEE ALSO: How to prepare my car for shipping (the complete list)

Bonus tips for shipping a car overseas

Finally, here’s some additional advice on how to ship a car overseas:

  • International car shipping insurance. You must contact your car insurance company and ask them if your car insurance policy covers overseas transport. If it doesn’t, then you have to buy proper international shipping insurance which should be around 2% of the estimated value of your vehicle. In most cases, you can purchase that overseas shipping insurance through your chosen international car shipper.
  • Extra set of car keys. Don’t forget to make an extra set of copies of your car keys as you’re supposed to give one set to your overseas vehicle shipper and you don’t want to say goodbye to your only set of keys, right?
  • Vehicle pick-up at destination port. You are expected to pick up your own car at the destination port. If you are unable to be there in person, you should nominate another person to do it on your behalf. To do that, inform your international auto shipper of that change of plans so that they can make the necessary arrangements.

For more information about shipping your vehicle overseas, visit the official page of the Federal Maritime Commission.

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