You are embarking on an exciting journey in a new country but you are faced with a dilemma- how to ship your car overseas? Whether you are moving temporarily or permanently, you might want to bring your car with you to your destination country. The good news is that there are plenty of options available when it comes to international auto shipping. While the shipping company will take care of most of the logistics for you, it’s still helpful for you to understand how the process works so you can plan accordingly. Here are some important tips and things to know about having your car shipped overseas.
Start with Research
There are quite a few different companies that offer international car shipping services. However, you want to be careful to select a company that can meet your needs and has a strong reputation. When you begin your research, you need to be sure that the company is properly licensed, bonded, and insured. You can check this information along with complaint reports by going to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration website. Not only do you want to ensure the shipping company is properly licensed and insured, but you also want to confirm that any third parties involved (such as freight carriers) are also licensed, bonded, and insured. You also want to take the time to check customer reviews online and check with the Better Business Bureau for any possible complaints. If a company does not meet all of these requirements, you should check them off your list right away.
Once you have narrowed down your search to a handful of companies, you want to request a quote from each one. Be sure and ask about any additional fees and charges so there are no surprises on your final bill. Also, be wary of any quote that is drastically cheaper than the rest. This is usually a red flag that something is not right.
Check Insurance Coverage
Since your car is one of your most valuable possessions, you want to be sure it is protected during this overseas shipment. Most reputable companies will have some liability coverage, but it’s always good to confirm this information on the front end. You also want to check with your own insurance provider about possible coverage.
Car shipping takes a lot more time than shipping a package and this is especially true when shipping a car internationally. The exact time depends largely on where your car is going but it could take several weeks for your car to arrive. The fastest way to ship your car is by booking a sole shipping container, but this will cost you more as well. If you want to save a little money, you should go with a consolidated shipping container where your car is shipped with others. However, this option will extend the timeline of your delivery.
Gather Your Documents
As with anything related to international shipping, there is paperwork involved. You will need to provide export documents to the U.S. Port of Entry where your car will be leaving from at least 72 hours before the date of transport. These documents include a U.S. Customs and Border Protection Vehicle Export Cover Sheet and original Certificate of Title for the vehicle plus two additional copies. Additional paperwork is required if there is a lien on your vehicle. To ensure you have all the necessary documents,contact your Port of Entry so you know exactly what you will need.
Prepare Your Car for Shipment
As with any auto shipment, you want to make sure your vehicle is in proper working condition prior to shipping it internationally. You also want to clean it and take pictures of your vehicle’s condition and make note of any scratches, dings, or dents. Finally, resist the temptation to pack personal items in your vehicle when you ship it. Customs agents will be inspecting your vehicle upon arrival and you are not permitted to ship any personal items inside.