How to Ship a Car Overseas

When people move overseas, the decision on whether or not to take a personal vehicle is sometimes difficult. In some countries, it is cheaper to buy a vehicle there than to ship a personal vehicle, but in most cases, people do not want to go through the hassle of buying a car somewhere else, especially where the language and tax laws are different. Although it can be pricey, shipping your vehicle overseas is a pretty simple task.

The first thing that you should do is call several shipping companies to get quotes, and to find out the amount of time that it will take to get your vehicle from one location to your final destination. A few companies will charge extra to come to your home to pick up the vehicle. In most cases, you will have to take your vehicle to the shipping company. These companies are not always close, so be prepared to have to drive a long way, occasionally to a port, in order to ship your car.

You should have insurance that covers shipping. Most companies require this coverage before they will allow you to transport your vehicle. Anything can happen during shipment, so it is essential that you conduct a full inspection of your vehicle and list every scratch. Usually, a representative will walk around the vehicle with you to ensure that all damages are noted. The purpose of this is to be able to recognize any damages that occur in shipment. The company is liable for paying for these damages, so it is important for them to document everything.

Shipping companies usually will not allow you to have any items in your vehicle for overseas shipment. This is different from instate moves where you can sometimes pack your vehicle to the roof with personal items. For overseas shipments, it is better to remove everything that isn’t securely fastened to the vehicle. You will even want to remove the floor mats. By taking everything that is not secure, you avoid theft, and additional in-transit damages.

Before you ship your vehicle, you may be required to show the shipping company proof that your car is fully operational. Companies usually will not ship any vehicle that is disabled. In fact, many businesses will also inspect the vehicle prior to accepting it for transport. In addition, the gas tank should not contain more than a quarter tank of fuel. Part of this is because fuel is flammable. Vessels have weight limitations, but safety is the primary reason for not allowing much gas to be in the tank.

In order to ship your car overseas, you must provide the shipping company several documents. One document is the title. If you do not have the title, you need to get a certified letter from the location where your car is being financed that acknowledges that they are aware of the fact that you are shipping the car overseas. You must also provide the vehicle registration. As previously indicated, insurance paperwork is also required.

When you take the vehicle to the shipping location, it must be clean. Due to safety and environmental concerns, no mud or crud is allowed on the car. Most shipping companies will also require you to pressure wash the engine and vacuum the inside of the car too. By requiring the vehicle to be clean, it mitigates the risk of transporting diseases, etc. to another country.

When you drop off your vehicle, you have to provide a set of keys. It is important for you to also keep a set of the keys in the event that the set is lost in transport. You need to take this set of keys with you, along with the paperwork from the deal, and your driver’s license to show the business when you get to your overseas destination to pick up your vehicle. When you pick your vehicle up, you will need to complete another written inspection, pay any balances, and then the vehicle is yours again. The entire process is a little time consuming, but it usually is pretty painless.


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