By in Blog October 28, 2019

Are you planning on moving across the world and shipping a car overseas? Then you’re probably wondering what the process of international vehicle transport and other related services looks like. If that’s the case, we’ve got the answers. In this detailed step-by-step guide, you’ll learn all about what you need to do in order to have your car transported safely to your chosen international destination.

Book your pickup and delivery dates

The First Step to Shipping a Car Overseas – Getting a Cost Quote

Getting a shipping price estimate for cars and other services is the very first step in this process. By doing so, you’ll find out how much the whole thing is going to cost you and you’ll be able to plan your budget. More importantly, the quote will help you decide which auto transport company to choose.

Compare Overseas Shipping Estimates for Cars

Before you pick a company, you should do your best to get quotes from as many different international service providers as possible. Do your research and compare the prices you’ve been given in order to choose the best one for yourself.

Choose an International Shipping Company That’s Reliable

However, the cost of transport shouldn’t be the only factor you take into consideration when picking your service provider. In fact, as a rule of thumb, you should never pick suspiciously cheap companies, as they might be frauds. On the contrary, choose a service provider that has reasonable prices, but good reviews and recommendations.

Schedule the Date to Ship Your Vehicle

Once you’ve picked your international car shipping provider, give them a call to schedule the pickup and delivery dates. During this call, you should also request any additional information you might need, such as detailed instructions for the pickup, payment options, necessary paperwork, and so on. You should also ask whether it is your job to drop the car off at the port, or if the movers will pick it up.

Gather All the Paperwork

Speaking of the necessary paperwork, there are certain documents any auto transport company will ask from you. These include:

  • Personal identification. A document proving your identity, such as a driver’s license or a passport will be necessary.
  • Proof of ownership. The company will also need your vehicle title which proves you are the owner of the car or cars that’s you want to ship.
  • Client form. You will be provided a form that you need to fill out with all the necessary information.
  • Contract. Needless to say, a contract between you and the service provider will have to be signed.
  • Miscellaneous. Some providers may request additional documents from you.

Pro tip: Keep all the important paperwork, along with several copies, in a single well-organized, sturdy binder to avoid losing anything while service providers ship your car. Bring this binder to the port with you and give the movers any documents they need.

Prepare Your Car for International Shipment

One of the most important things you need to do when transporting your car overseas is preparing your vehicle for the container before you drop it off at the port. Here’s a quick step-by-step guide for doing that properly.

Thoroughly Wash Your Vehicle

Before you do anything else, you’ll want to clean your car. This isn’t because companies’ staff don’t like to get their hands dirty, but because clean cars make it much easier to spot any damage.

Record Preexisting Damage

Now that your car is clean, carefully inspect it and write down any preexisting scratches, dents, rust, or other forms of damage. Taking pictures of anything you find might be a good idea as well.

Fix Leaks

Is your car leaking any fluids? If so, it is crucial that you fix them. Leaks can be a serious fire hazard during transport in the container.

General Checkup

Even if there are no leaks, you should take your vehicle to the shop for a general checkup and let the mechanic know you’re about to ship it. If there are any undetected issues you weren’t aware of, make sure you get them fixed before the pickup date.

Get your car checked by a mechanic

Top Off Fluids

All fluids should be topped off before you ship the car. This excludes your gas tank, which you should leave at only ¼. A completely full gas tank will only increase the weight of your cargo, and therefore the price. Plus, a lot of gas is always a fire hazard.

Remove Personal Belongings

We all keep some personal belongings in the glove department, the container between the seats, or the little pocket in the overhead sun shield. Make sure you remove all these before you drive to the port. This is especially true for valuable items such as money, jewelry, or documents. Instead, learn how to pack jewelry and other valuables properly.

Final Touches Before Loading

Your vehicle is almost ready to be loaded in the container at the port now. There are only some final touches left, such as folding your side mirrors, retracting the antenna, removing the bicycle holder, and so on.

Wait for the Delivery

Once the company has picked up your vehicle to ship it, all you have to do is wait for the delivery. Ideally, you should be present for the drop-off, but if you can’t make it, don’t worry. You can always assign someone you trust to represent you by authorizing them in writing.

Car Shipping Services Are for Shipping Cars Only

Keep in mind that an overseas auto transport provider is just that – a company that ships cars. In other words, you shouldn’t try to ship anything else inside the trunk or the container in general, such as smaller pieces of furniture, valuables, and so on. The service provider will not be held responsible if any damage occurs from such practice.

Don’t leave anything in the trunk

Ship Your Car and Your Belongings


If you want to move overseas, and not just ship your car, you will probably want to find a company that provides reliable international moving services, along with auto shipping. In addition, you might want to use a storage container or packing services, as well as buy all the packing supplies from the same provider. This way, the whole process will be much simpler and easier to organize, as you won’t have to juggle between two or more different companies.