Shipping any vehicle overseas, be it an exotic car, motorcycle or truck, isn’t easy, especially if it’s your first time. The process can be especially confusing if you don’t know how to maneuver it properly.
To make sure the move goes smoothly and your vehicle reaches its destination undamaged, you need to know the best practices surrounding the process. First and foremost is to hire an experienced vehicle shipping company with a reputation for international auto shipping. Once you’ve picked a company you trust, say goodbye to stress.
In this post, we explore shipping mistakes to avoid.
9 Mistakes to Avoid When Shipping Your Vehicle Overseas
Transporting a car overseas is simple in theory, but there are many challenges. Here are the mistakes you need to avoid.
Choosing the Lowest Bid
When looking for a reliable shipper, you’ll receive many quotes. Make sure you know about all the inclusions within the quote so there are no surprises or hidden costs. It’s a good idea to get quotes from at least four reputable companies to ensure you have options. Remember, just because a company is offering a low bid doesn’t make them it perfect for the job. Likewise, the highest bid doesn’t necessarily ensure the highest level of security.
Failing to Do Proper Research
It’s your job to find an international transporter with strong credibility and great reviews from existing customers. Since it’s a critical service that requires protecting a valuable asset, it’s vital to know that the companies you’re short-listing have a strong history of satisfied clients. Reputable shippers generally have a ‘testimonials’ section on their website where clients can describe their experience. Their reviews may make it easier to decide who to hire.
Not Reading the Entire Quote
When hiring an international auto transport company, it’s vital to go through the entire quote to properly understand what is and isn’t included. Thoroughly read everything, and if there’s something you don’t understand, ask questions. Some items typically not included in the quotes are:
- Customs clearance.
- Terminal handling charges.
- Destination port fees.
- Vehicle delivery (after it’s reached the destination port).
- Packing materials (used to secure the vehicle in its container).
Not Asking Out About Insurance Coverage
A reputable international shipper will be licensed, insured and bonded to cover damage during transportation. Ask the company you want to hire to provide an official document that helps you understand exactly what coverage the vehicle will have while it’s being moved. If what’s being offered isn’t sufficient, you may be able to pay an additional fee to extend it. Alternatively, you can hire a broker who isn’t working for the shipping company to insure your vehicle.
Packing the Vehicle with Personal Belongings
Though it might seem smart to pack your car with personal belongings to save space in the container for items like furniture, don’t. Most shipping companies prohibit transporting vehicles that contain household items. There may be inspections where your belongings could be seized.
That said, some shipping companies allow a certain weight limit worth of personal items but won’t guarantee their safety. Nor will they take responsibility if any items are stolen, damaged or misplaced. Your insurance won’t cover this either as it’s your car packed with your things.
Underestimating Transportation Time
Moving your car to another country can be a slow process. As the owner, you’ll want a sense of how long it will take to get your car to its destination.
If you’re in a hurry, opt for a 20-foot transport container and get your documents in order before paying the shipper the full price. Then the shipping company will get your motor vehicle through customs and on the boat. This can be a fast way of physically protecting your vehicle while it’s en route.
If this is too costly, you can alternatively choose:
You can choose to have your car transported in a container shared with other cars going to the same location. However, the shipper may need to delay transport until they have a certain number of cars ready for the trip. The cost is lower, but you may have to wait longer.
RORO or Roll-On/Roll-Off
Roll-On/Roll-Off (RORO) shipping involves the shippers driving the car into the hull of the vessel. Once inside, it’s braced and secured but not contained. This is an affordable option, but your vehicle won’t have the protection it would when in a container.
Neglecting a Last-Minute Check
This an important step that many vehicle owners skip, generally because they’re short on time. But, it’s better to have your car checked and fixed (if needed) before shipping. By taking the vehicle to a mechanic, you’ll ensure there’s nothing wrong with it, so you know any damage occurred in transit. Also, make sure your motor vehicle doesn’t have any loose bits hanging that might come off during the move.
Not Disabling the Alarm
Before handing over your vehicle to the shippers, make sure you disable the alarm system. Skipping this step could result in your car posing a disturbance while in transit.
Overlooking Small Details
Ensuring that the tank is at least a quarter full, checking that the car is in good working order and providing an extra set of keys are all vital details. Although they may seem inconsequential, they all need to be looked into before shipping. Failing to pay attention to any of these can result in unnecessary delays. So, double-check that everything’s in order before sending your car to the shippers.
Transporting a vehicle overseas can be a major undertaking, and there are many ways it can go sideways. However, if you pay attention to these simple rules, there’s a lot less reason to worry. By using this advice, you’ll avoid mistakes commonly made by vehicle owners and ensure your car gets a hassle-free and on-time transportation.