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Your Comprehensive Guide to Shipping a Car Overseas

Posted Overseas Vehicle Shipping / October 28, 2019

Are you planning on moving 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.

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

When moving across the world, 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 from.

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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 to choose the best one for yourself.

Comparing estimates from various international car shipping providers is crucial to ensuring you receive the best value for your money. Take the time to gather quotes from multiple companies to get a comprehensive understanding of the cost landscape.

By weighing these factors alongside the quoted prices, you can make an informed decision that aligns with your budget and shipping requirements. Remember, the cheapest option may not always be the most reliable or suitable for your needs, so prioritize finding a balance between affordability and quality service.

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 an international service provider that has reasonable prices but good reviews and recommendations. Furthermore, the location you are going should be a part of the areas the company serves.

Ship Your Vehicle in a Container or Roll-On/Roll-Off Service

Before transportation, you should check whether the company has the equipment, experience, and skills needed to carry out this job successfully. Whether you’re shipping the vehicle in a container or employing a roll-on/roll-off service, protection and safety should be a priority.

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.

Once you’ve selected your overseas moving company, it’s time to finalize the details by scheduling the pickup and delivery dates for your vehicle. Give your overseas shipping company a call to arrange these crucial dates. Use this opportunity to clarify any remaining questions or concerns you may have. Request detailed instructions for the pickup process, inquire about available payment options, and ensure you understand the necessary paperwork required for the shipment.

Additionally, it’s important to confirm whether you are responsible for delivering the vehicle to the port or if the shipping company will handle the pickup. Clear communication at this stage ensures a smooth and hassle-free shipping experience for your vehicle.

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 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, an agreement between you and the service provider will have to be signed.
  • Miscellaneous. Some providers may request additional documents from you.

Whether the vehicles are going to be shipped by roll service or container, they need to be prepared for customs clearance at the destination port. Sometimes the value-added tax (VAT) should be paid, and that depends on the country where you’re transporting your car. However, using auto transport services will mitigate and simplify the customs process to 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 documents needed to travel abroad.

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 pre-existing scratches, dents, rust, or other forms of damage. Taking pictures of anything you find might be a good idea as well.

Fix All the 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. Prioritize inspecting your vehicle thoroughly for any signs of leaks, including oil, coolant, or brake fluid.

If you detect any leaks, promptly address them by seeking professional assistance to ensure they are properly repaired. Taking proactive measures to fix leaks will not only safeguard your vehicle but also contribute to a smoother and safer shipping process overall.

Schedule 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 new, undetected issues you weren’t aware of, make sure you get them fixed before the pickup date.

Top Off All 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, you just have to 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 authorize someone you trust to represent you in writing.

As you await the delivery of your vehicle, it’s a good idea to stay in touch with the shipping company for updates on its progress. Most reputable companies provide tracking services that allow you to monitor your vehicle’s journey in real time.

Additionally, make sure to keep all relevant documentation handy, including your shipping contract, insurance policies, and any authorization forms. Being prepared and informed throughout the shipping process ensures a smooth and seamless experience, from pickup to delivery.

Discuss Auto Transport Insurance With The Car Shipping Company

When booking overseas vehicle shipping services, consider insurance. During negotiations with your carrier, find out all the details about insurance and what it covers. In case you’re not satisfied with the terms and conditions, you should check out other ways of insurance related to your current car insurance provider.

Understanding the insurance coverage provided by your car shipping company is essential, but it’s equally important to explore additional insurance options that can offer more comprehensive protection.

For example, your current auto insurance policy may have provisions for overseas transport, or you might be able to purchase a supplemental policy specifically designed for shipping. Such additional coverage could protect against scenarios not covered by the transporter’s insurance, such as extreme weather conditions or unforeseen incidents at sea. Make sure to compare these options thoroughly to ensure you have the best possible protection for your vehicle during its journey.

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.

When selecting car shipping services, it is crucial to understand their specific capabilities and limitations. These companies specialize in transporting vehicles securely, ensuring that cars arrive at their destination in the same condition as they were sent. Attempting to include additional items, such as personal belongings or household goods, inside the vehicle can lead to complications.

Not only is there a risk of damage to these items, but their presence could also potentially harm the vehicle during transit. Therefore, it’s advisable to adhere strictly to the guidelines provided by the shipping company to avoid any unnecessary risks or liabilities.

Additional Tips for Shipping Car Overseas Safely

You know what they say about safety: “Safety is a choice you make.” That being said, to ship your car smoothly to the desired destination, you should be familiar with several essential tips needed to perform this process straightforward:

  • Date. Plan your shipment ahead and for the middle of the month. Also, the best periods for shipping vehicles are spring and fall since prices and demands are lower.
  • Trackability. Your transporter should keep you informed during the moving about all conditions.
  • Reliability. Choose only reliable international moving services and rely on their auto shipping assistance.
  • Experience. Due to highly trained and skillful drivers, any kind of problem can be easily overcome, and your cargo will arrive at the desired destination without a scratch. Sometimes, to ship vehicles overseas can be complicated because of customs and port document requirements. Fortunately, trustworthy auto shippers are proficient in these issues, so they can handle most of the grunt work for you, including dealing with customs.

Call I Love International Moving Crew and Book Car Shipping Services

Once you’re ready to move forward with shipping your car overseas, don’t hesitate to contact I Love International Moving. Our experienced crew is here to assist you every step of the way, from providing personalized advice and guidance to booking your car shipping services with ease.

Simply give us a call or reach out via our website to schedule a consultation and discuss your specific needs and requirements. Our friendly staff will walk you through the process, answer any questions you may have, and ensure that all necessary arrangements are made to transport your vehicle safely and efficiently to its destination.

With I Love International Moving, you can trust that your car shipping needs are in expert hands. Contact us today to get started on your journey to hassle-free car shipping services.

Blake Shaw

Bostonian and residential moving and packing expert. Blake Shaw enjoys bar-hopping, music, and writing insightful content.

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