Moving to another part of the world is exciting. New adventures await you and any others that you are relocating with. Chances are you are either headed for better opportunities or to be closer to loved ones. Now, you have to think about moving your belongings and any vehicles you may want to take with you. But how do you do that? Here are some tips to help you move a car overseas:
Value of the Car
Before you start taking steps towards moving any vehicles overseas, ask yourself what the value of the car is. This will help you determine if you are better off relocating the vehicle or if you might want to purchase a new car at your new location. Remember the value of anything could either be monetary or sentimental. For example, if the car once belonged to someone you love or you grew up taking family trips in it, you likely can’t place a price tag on it.
Once you figure out the value of the vehicle, figure out the cost of shipping, potential import taxes and compare that to a similar car at the new location to see if moving it is worth your while.
Think About Storage
If your move is temporary and you know you’ll be back in a year or two, consider placing your vehicle in storage. Find facilities where you can leave your vehicle and figure out the cost to do so. Then do a cost analysis to see if it’s worth moving it. Of course, if you have family or friends who can give you a place to leave the vehicle during your absence, it likely will tip the monetary scale toward leaving it at home.
Research Shipping Companies
Once you’ve determined you definitely want to take your vehicle with you, you need to start researching car shippers. Always start by asking friends and family if they know any reputable companies. Internet research is your second line of defense: Find companies and read reviews on them, not just on their own site which tend to be favorably curated but also on third party sites like Yelp and on message boards.
Lastly, check the company credentials to make sure they meet moving industry standards. Make a list of your top choices.
Request and Evaluate Quotes
Ask your top choice shipping companies to provide you with quotes and contracts—do not sign anything yet. Carefully review what is included in each quote. For example, do they provide door-to-door delivery? Will your car be in a shared container or will it have its own? What are the risks associated with each? What are the additional fees (ask about customs clearance and other destination fees)? What kid of insurance is included in the fee? What type of additional insurance can you purchase separately and what are the costs associated with it?
Find Out About Shipping Times
Not all shipping methods get your car to its destination at the same time. Ask shipping companies what method they offer to ship the car and how long it will take to have your vehicle arrive at the new location. Typically, the fastest and most expensive method way to ship a vehicle is to book a container and have the container on a ship headed out. The less expensive, and slower, option is to have the car on a roll on roll off (RORO) ship where it will be transported with other cars. The least expensive option is a consolidated shipping container where your car will be packed with others in a large container. With this option you need to wait for the container to become full before it can head to its destination.
Prepare Paperwork for Shipping Company
When you’re ready to sign with one of the companies, make sure you have proper documentation with you. Typically, to have a car shipped overseas, you’ll need a passport, original car title and a bill of sale. Call the company ahead of time to ask if they require any additional documentation.
Inspect Before and After
Once you’ve picked your shipper, the ports and the method of shipping, and signed a contract you’re ready to send off your vehicle. But before doing so, make sure you inspect your car carefully. Note any dents or damage that the car already has and make sure to take photos. You need this documentation in the event that the car gets damaged during transport. Once it arrives at its destination, do another inspection to ensure that no damage incurred during the move.