Shipping a Car Overseas

If you’ve found your perfect auto in your home country, that doesn’t mean you’ll be able to find another one just like it if you move elsewhere in the world. Since car makes and models can differ so much from one country to another, many individuals choose to take their auto with them. Others find the perfect car on a holiday. In both of these situations, an international car shipping company should be hired for shipping a car overseas.

Transport Methods

Most international car shipping companies utilize one of two methods to ship cars overseas. The two methods are:

  • Container Shipping: Vehicles are shipped internationally in a 20 or 40 foot container. The containers are loaded at the dock and lifted via cranes onto cargo ships. Container shipping also has the advantage of being able to ship household goods in the same vessel.
  • Roll-On/Roll-Off Shipping: Vehicles are shipped internationally by driving them directly onto specialized roll-on/roll-off transport ships. These ships feature parking garage-like structures that make shipping a car internationally easy. This method is used predominantly for shipping across the Atlantic Ocean.

Shipping a Car Internationally

If you happen to own a domestic brand car and want to bring it with you to another country, you’re going to face a few major concerns. Before even considering shipping the car, know that most vehicles cannot be shipped internationally if they are not fully paid off. Otherwise, you will need the permission of the loan company to drive the car outside of the country. Next, you should be sure to investigate the customs regulations in the country you will be shipping your vehicle to, as there can be implications for tax and duty regulations depending on whether the car you are sending abroad is a new or used vehicle. A few countries, like China, may even disallow imports of used cars completely! Some countries may charge nearly a 100% of the vehicle’s current or original value as a duty fee when importing vehicles. As a result, shipping a car overseas can be prohibitively expensive.

How long will you need to cope without your auto? This is a concern you should discuss with the car shipping company you select, since exact timetables become increasingly unpredictable when moving a car overseas great distances.

Consider the insurance issues which may crop up when you move your auto to another country. Call your insurance company to find out whether your current coverage will be viable when your car is in transit, as well as when it reaches its final destination. Although your vehicle transporter should have insurance to cover the value of the auto, you may also have the option of purchasing additional riders for better coverage. Insurance companies may dictate that you change the deductible on your insurance, as well.

Finally, always schedule an international car shipment well in advance. Besides the lengthy process of shipping on a boat, the car may, initially, need to be shipped to a nearby seaport on an auto transport carrier.

Buying a Car Overseas

Travelling to countries famous for their great automobiles, such as Germany, Japan, and Italy, can give you a great chance to buy car models you might never have the opportunity to purchase at home. Shipping a car overseas back to the US is easier than shipping to most other countries. Besides adhering to US safety and emissions standards, which are somewhat strict, a small duty fee of 2.5% applies to all vehicles imported to the US permanently. Compared to most of the rest of the world, this fee is incredibly small.