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How to Ship Your Car to Another Country

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When moving to another country, many people decide to take their cars with them. Even though the process of shipping your car to another country isn’t simple and can be quite costly, it is probably still less expensive than buying a new car.

To help you out, we’ve gathered all the information you need in order to you ship your car safely and legally.

Find a Great Shipping Company

Use Google to make a list of the best international car shipping companies. You can also turn to friends or family members for references or go to websites like FMC.gov and forums.

In order to determine whether a company is reliable, check its certifications and credentials. See if it is bonded, licensed, and fully insured.

Don’t forget to consider all the parties involved in the process, i.e. to check if the company uses third party services which are also licensed and insured.

Discover How Much It Will Cost

To get a general idea of how much it costs to move your car to another country, go to the shipping company website.

Bear  in mind that not all car shipping companies choose to disclose their rates online. If there are any, they are usually rates for ideal shipments (small car, shipping to a popular destination, company’s best rate).

Another thing to take into consideration is that rates can vary depending on a number of factors (such as fuel costs), so the rates you’re seeing online may not be updated.

You can also find information on car shipping costs on forums to see how much other people paid for the service. The prices will vary depending on the company, car type, location of departure, and method of shipping. Don’t forget to check the response dates as you might be looking at responses from five years ago or older.

Compare Quotes

The next step is to require quotes from several selected companies and compare them in order to decide which one pays off the most. But don’t just look at the prices. You need to consider what exactly you’re paying for. Here are some points you need to consider:

  • Is it a port to port service or door to door?
  • Is the car shipped in a separate or shared container?
  • Does the quote include domestic transport or only ocean transport?
  • Are destination fees included in the quote?
  • Does the quote include services at the destination port, like customs clearance, unloading, and transport from the port?

Gather Insurance Information

Most international car shipping companies offer insurance through their own program or through an insurance company they collaborate with. Usually, the rates are from 1.8% to 2,5% of the value but, once again, the numbers vary depending on the provider or carrier.

Make sure you’re clear about what exactly the insurance covers and when the coverage starts.

Select the Shipping Method

Method 1: If your goal is to ship the car as fast as possible, then the best method is to book a separate container, supply the needed documentation, and pay. The car shipping company will then take over, load the car on the first vessel available, and ship it. The downside of this method is that it costs much more than the following two methods.

Method 2: Consolidated shipping is the most popular method because it is the cheapest one. In this case, the car is shipped in a container with other vehicles going to the same destination. This method usually takes longer because the company needs to wait for enough vehicles to fill the container before it gets shipped.

Method 3: The golden mean between these two methods is RORO (roll on roll off). With this method, your car is driven and secured into a roll on roll off vessel. While the RORO method is somewhat slower than the first method, it’s much cheaper.

It should be noted that with this method, the shipment is done to an intermediate destination, then to the final destination (and that’s the reason why it takes so long). In addition, since the car isn’t transported in a container it will be more exposed to the elements. And finally, the RORO method doesn’t allow anything to be left inside other than things that are part of the car, (first aid kit, factory-issued hand tools, permanent accessories, fire extinguisher, spare tire, and tire jack). Check with your shipping company what they allow inside the car during transport.

Gather the Necessary Documentation

Once you have chosen the car shipping company, you need to gather and send all the required documents. The sooner you send the documentation, the sooner the company will be able to begin the shipping process.

Here are the documents you’ll need to ship a car to another country:

  • Copy of your passport
  • Original bill of sale or a certified copy
  • Original certificate of title or a certified copy

Note: Certified copies must be issued by the Department of Motor Vehicles.

It should also be noted that some ports may require additional documents and/or forms.

Inspect Your Vehicle

Make sure to conduct your own inspection before shipping the car. Write everything down and take photos. We also recommend servicing and cleaning the car thoroughly. Ensure that the undercarriage has no debris or dirt as customs at the destination port will be checking for pests and contaminated soil.

By running an inspection, you’ll know your car’s running condition and you’ll be able to spot any damages when you pick up the car in the destination country.

Once you send your car and the necessary paperwork, it is ready to be shipped to your new country. You’ll receive an invoice by the shipper and once you pay it, your job is done.

In Conclusion

Shipping your car to another country is a rather complicated process. Being informed about all the details will definitely help things go more smoothly and make you less stressed.

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