9 Things to Know Before Shipping Your Car Overseas

When you’re moving abroad or buying a vehicle long distance, you need the help of an international auto transport company to ship your car.

Even if the country you’re moving to shares a border with your home country, driving your car instead of shipping it is risky, expensive, time-consuming and inconvenient.

However, before you choose overseas car shipping, you should understand and consider some important things. These include shipping method and cost, which are also determined by the pickup and delivery locations.

Read this post to get some insight into what you need for a smooth international auto shipping experience.

What You Should Know Before Shipping Your Car Abroad 

If you’re relocating to another country or buying a car from a foreign seller, shipping your vehicle is smarter than driving it. Here’s what you should know beforehand.

1) Decide What You Want

Shipping a car isn’t as simple as giving it to the auto transport company and forgetting about it. For example, determine how you want to ship depending on your type of car and its destination. If you’re shipping an antique/vintage car, enclosed auto transportation is your best bet. If you’re shipping a heavy motor vehicle, like an ATV or truck, RORO shipping is the ideal shipping method.

2) Know Your Options

Once you’ve decided on shipping, get quotes from several companies and then decide which offers the services you need at the most competitive rate. Remember: cheaper may not be better, so don’t base your decision on price alone.

3) Understand the Risks

People new to international shipping are likely unaware of the risks involved in shipping internationally, whether by sea, air or road. Understanding them and educating yourself can reduce your risk of getting stuck in costly situations. Here are some of the risky situations you may face.

  • The shipment doesn’t arrive on time.
  • It’s refused entry into the destination country.
  • The shipment gets stuck at the port because of bad weather.
  • It gets lost in transit.

Once you know what can go wrong, you can anticipate problems and make arrangements accordingly. Choosing a reliable shipper with a good track record can minimize risks as they’re aware of import regulations and may have backup plans to ensure shipments arrive on time.

4) Check Your Insurance Coverage

Your standard car insurance probably won’t cover the shipping of your car overseas. Make sure the shipping company you choose offers marine or cargo insurance to provide coverage against loss, theft or damage. If you think your shipment needs more coverage, ask your shipping company representative.

5) Prepare Your Vehicle

Before you submit your car to be shipped, do these basic checks to ensure its safety.

  • Check your coolant level, oil, brake fluid and wiper washer fluid.
  • Check for leaks and get them fixed.
  • Keep the fuel at a quarter of a tank.
  • Check your car battery.
  • Remove all accessories and personal belongings.
  • Disable anti-theft alarms.

6) Arrange All Required Documents

You need to submit photocopies of documents to the auto transport company to prove that the vehicle belongs to you and is insured. You must also show them the originals for verification. Prepare them in advance to save time.

Here’s the list of documents you need.

  • Title and Registration
  • Proof of Car Insurance
  • Photo Identification
  • Vehicle Identification Number (VIN)
  • Bill of Sale or Notarized Bill of Sale (for second-hand vehicles)

7) Identify Red Flags

Have questions? Ask them. If the company isn’t willing to answer or you’re not satisfied with their answers, it could be a red flag. It’s important to identify these before you make a decision.

8) Understand How Payment Works

Some car shipping companies require you to pay the full amount upfront, while others will take a deposit before shipping and the balance on delivery. Make sure you ask about this and their methods of payment.

9) Be Present for Pickup and Delivery

It’s advisable to be on site for pickup and delivery of your vehicle. This way you’ll be able to inspect your car and sign off on the condition in which it’s been delivered.

International auto transport isn’t difficult if you hire a trustworthy car shipping company. However, knowing a few important things comes in handy. Hopefully, you now understand what you should be aware of when shipping your car overseas.

Want to learn more? Call us at 1-800-277-7570.