How to Ship Your Car Overseas

Posted on July 21, 2022
Categorised as Freight Forwarding Services

If you’re moving overseas, you could find it’s cheaper to ship your car abroad with you rather than buy a new one when you arrive. You might think that because cars are such large items, shipping them overseas will be a challenge. But with our below guide, you can find out all you need to know about shipping a vehicle overseas.

Research international shipping companies

Perhaps the most important part of shipping your car overseas is picking a reliable international shipping company. You should research companies to check they’re properly licensed and insured and look at customer reviews to see what their experiences have been. You should also look into whether they are able to ship your vehicle from your current location to your new destination.

You will also need to consider how you want to ship your vehicle overseas. Air freight shipping will be the quickest method but can often be more expensive. Sea freight, on the other hand, will usually be cheaper but can take much longer.

When you find a company that looks to be reputable, contact them to ask any questions you might have. Some companies are able to provide extra services – for example, PBS International can offer advice and guidance on export paperwork, as well as other specialised services.

You should aim to get a few different quotes from various shipping companies. Compare these quotes to see which company suits your budget and timeframe best.

Organise your vehicle documents

There will be paperwork required for all sorts of international exports, including shipping vehicles. What documents are required will vary depending on which country you’re shipping your car to –your shipping company should be able to advise on your specific requirements.

The main documents you’ll need to ship your car overseas include

  • The original title and registration documents
  • Vehicle insurance documents
  • Certificate of origin
  • Bill of lading
  • ID, such as a driving licence and passport

Extra documents will involve tax and duty payments or exemptions.

Prepare your car to be shipped

You will usually have to empty your car for it to be shipped. This is due to insurance reasons, as well as safety when transporting. You should only leave your spare tyre and jump leads in your car unless otherwise agreed with your shipping company.

It’s also a good idea to have your car serviced prior to it being transported, to prevent any leaks or other issues during the journey. All fluids should be topped up above minimal level, but you should only leave a quarter of a tank of petrol, due to safety and weight limits. Your tyres should be inflated, and any security systems disabled. Your car will be checked numerous times over the journey, and a security alarm could cause disruption.

You might also be asked to clean the outside of the car. This will help to bring any cosmetic flaws to your attention, so you can note them prior to the journey. It can be helpful to take photos of your car before it is transported, so you can compare when it reaches the destination and see if it has been damaged at all over the journey. Any mechanical flaws will also be noted before transportation and should be made aware to the shipping company. You may be asked to remove awkward additions, such as spoilers.

How much does it cost to ship a car overseas?

Shipping a vehicle overseas will vary in cost. The size and value of the car, the destination, and how you choose to ship your car will all affect how much you have to pay. On top of shipping costs, there will also likely be customs duty and other taxes and fees involved, depending on the destination country.

PBS International provides competitive rates for international shipping, with a complete range of international freight forwarding and logistic alternatives to suit all budgets and timeframes. Contact us for more information about our freight forwarding or get an international shipping quote today.

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