Are you planning an international move? If so, you might be interested in bringing your car along, in which case you would need to utilize international car shipping services. It is important to begin planning and preparing well in advance so you can come up with a transportation plan that best fits your needs and budget. Though it may seem overwhelming, shipping a car overseas is actually a straightforward process. Here we will take a look at everything you will need to know in order to make the process as smooth and hassle-free as possible.

How Much Will it Cost?

Perhaps the biggest consideration will be the price of having your car shipped overseas. The price will depend on several factors. First, you will need to consider the distance from your home to the nearest seaport. The U.S. Ports of entry are located in L.A., San Francisco, Miami, Jacksonville, New York City, Norfolk, Charleston, Wilmington, and Baltimore. It could cost you several hundred dollars or over a thousand dollars depending on how far you are located from the closest seaport. Next, you will need to consider the distance to the foreign country. Obviously, the greater the distance, the higher the shipping cost.

Overseas Taxes and Charges

When estimating the cost, don’t forget to take into consideration import duties and customs taxes, along with delivery fees in the foreign country. There will be different tariffs and duties that are calculated based on the value of the vehicle and the size of the engine. An experienced international shipping company should be able to inform you about these additional costs.

Know the Laws and Regulations Regarding Importing Vehicles

Every country has different laws regarding what types of vehicles may be imported and exported. Keep in mind that many countries will not allow the importation of cars over a certain age. Prior to scheduling shipment, you should check with the U.S. Customs and Border Protection requirements for importing and exporting motor vehicles.

Finding the Right Shipping Company

The last thing you need is to feel rushed to find an international car shipping company. There are quite a few different companies out there that offer this service so you will definitely want to do plenty of research to find the right one for your needs. As with most things these days, your search will likely begin online. Here are a few things to consider when looking for a reputable car shipping company:

  • They offer services from your current location to your new one
  • They are properly licensed, bonded, and insured (The company should be licensed by the Federal Maritime Commission. You can verify licensure on their website.)
  • They only work with third parties who are also licensed, bonded, and insured
  • They have several positive reviews (check online as well as with the Better Business Bureau)
  • Their price is reasonable. (be cautious of prices that are too low, as this can sometimes be a red flag)

Gather Your Documents

Next you will need to consider what documents are required for international car shipment so you can be sure you have everything ready to go. As with most other international shipments, there is paperwork involved. You will need to provide the following documents to the U.S. Port of Entry at least 72 hours before the date of transport:

  • Original Title along with two notarized copies of the original document
  • Bill of Sale
  • A Shipper Export Declaration
  • A copy of your U.S. passport

Keep in mind that different ports have different paperwork requirements so check with your shipping company to ensure you have the required documents.

Types of Overseas Car Shipping Methods

You will need to consider which method of shipment will work best for you. There are two main car shipping methods for overseas transport. The first is Roll On, Roll Off (RORO) in which your car is driven onto a ship, secured, and transported. This is the cheapest method of transport, but your vehicle will be in the open and exposed to the weather elements. The second mode is a shipping container. It costs more, but is the preferred method because it offers much greater safety and protection because your car is securely fixed inside a metal container for the duration of the journey.