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Tips for Shipping a Car Abroad

international car shipping tips

International Moves

Posted On : Jul 29, 2015

If you’re moving overseas, you have to make important decisions about what to bring with you and what to leave behind. Going through all of your clothes, books, and other possessions can help you whittle your must-haves down to just a small pile. This will help save on shipping costs. In some cases, though, it just might make sense to bring one additional large item along with you: your car. If your destination country will allow it, it might make sense to bring your car along with you. It could save you the time and hassle of having to sell your car, only to purchase a new one once you get there. But if you’re thinking about shipping a vehicle overseas, here are a few things to consider.

shipping car abroad tips


  1. Check with your destination country first. Before you get your heart set on shipping your vehicle, contact the nation’s consulate to ask about importing cars. Certain types of cars might be banned, older cars may be prohibited, and other restrictions may exist. Be sure to look into all taxes, tariffs, and duties that may be incurred by the destination country, as well as the U.S. Customs Service.
  2. Find an international moving company that you can trust. Make sure that you hire a moving company is licensed by the Federal Maritime Commission, or at least works with a shipper who is. For the easiest move, find a mover who will get all of the customs clearance services taken care for you. Look at the shipping contract and make sure that it states what items are covered, what is not included, and what the costs of these services will be.
  3. Check with your auto insurance company. Some auto insurance policies include overseas transport. If your policy does not include insurance, ask about additional coverage. Your moving company may also be able to help you find coverage.
  4. Make copies of your car keys. It can be easy enough to lose your keys during an international move, so make several sets. Give one set of keys to the moving company, and stash a few extra sets in different parts of your luggage so that you have a backup set in case a bag gets lost.
  5. Prepare your vehicle for transport. Before your car is packed up for shipping, make sure it is thoroughly cleaned. Check the glove box and storage compartments and remove anything that doesn’t need to make the trip, especially items that could be considered contraband. Take your car in for a tune-up one last time so you are sure that it is in optimal condition when it arrives at your destination. Remove anything from the outside of the car that might make loading your car into a container difficult. This includes spoilers and roof racks. Ask your moving company about draining the fluids from the car. Some companies might require that all of the fuel be drained, others prefer that you leave behind enough to fuel to drive the car a short distance.
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