Car shipping from USA is different from local shipping in terms of the transport method and the regulations. Depending on the country of destination, several laws apply. Generally, here is what you need to know about Car shipping from USA.
- Payment of the car: Before leaving the U.S, your car must be paid in full. This means that you will have the certificate of title issued by the seller. The certificate will be required at the U.S customs. In addition, the document should be signed by the seller and the buyer in the case of old cars. For new cars, ensure that your name is on the title. Exceptions are only made for US Military and Government employees.
- Import duty: Depending on your country of destination, various duties apply. Usually, the rates are determined by the location, the size of the vehicle, and the year of manufacture. You can find out the exact rates from the U.S Embassy in Washington. Note that you pay the import duty when your car arrives at your destination.
- Restrictions: In some countries, cars of a certain age are not allowed. Also, shipping from some states requires additional documents. For instance, a special notarized statement of attorney is required when shipping out of Miami. Ensure that you comply with these requirements before shipping.
Choose your shipping method
Car shipping from USA has several options. You can choose air freight or sea freight. Air shipping is expensive and mostly used for fast deliveries or luxurious cars.
The most common and less expensive method is shipping by the ocean. Sea freight gives you the option to use Roll On/Roll off, Lift on/Lift off, and container shipping.
- Roll on/Roll off shipping: The Roll on/Roll off (RoRo) is a shipping method for wheeled vehicles such as cars and motorcycles. To load or unload, the automobiles are driven on to the ship. These vehicles are then securely tied to their positions. This method is ideal if you want your shipment to arrive at a scheduled time. Also, your vehicle will be protected since it will be parked under the ship’s deck. Most manufacturers prefer this shipping method.
- Lift on/Lift off shipping: The LoLo shipping load and unloads vehicles by cranes and derricks. The cars are lifted onto the top of the vessel or deck for transportation. This method is ideal for large cars as the ship has enough space on the deck. Since this method requires a crane operator on each end, it is more expensive than RoRo.
- Shared container shipping: As the name suggests, several vehicles are loaded onto a single container. The shared shipping is cost effective as the cost is spread among several clients. If you want to ship other items alongside your vehicle, the shared container allows you to do so. However, the method has no scheduled departure or delivery dates as the vessel has to be filled before beginning the journey.
- Exclusive container shipping: Here, your car will be shipped alone. As you can guess, this method is more expensive as compared to the shared option. With the exclusive container, you can ship personal belongings together with your car. If you are shipping an exotic car, the exclusive container is an ideal method.
Preparing your car
Before shipping your car, you must prepare it by;
- Degassing it to a ¼ tank full.
- Inspect your car and document any dents, dings, or scratches. To clearly see the condition of your car, service and clean it inside and outside. Taking photographs for back up evidence is advisable. Your shipper should prepare a bill of lading that agrees with the inspection report.
- Remove your personal items if not using the container method.
- Remove car attachments.
- Turn off the alarm.
- Have the proper documentation.
- Provide keys to your shipper.
When choosing a shipping company, ensure;
- They provide insurance for your car. You do want some peace of mind when transporting your car.
- They ship internationally. Some shipping companies specialize in local shipping. You can verify your company through the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA). You can also see their U.S Dot number on their website.
- You compare several companies before settling on one
- You get a nearby port for easier delivery
- You get the contact information of your shipper
- You know how to track your vehicle.
International shipping is a lot different from local shipping. By following the above steps, you will ship your car safely. If you need further assistance, contact us.
Written By:Joe Webster
Joe Webster began his journey in the auto transport field by attending the University of Southern California (USC), where he graduated with a Bachelor of Business Marketing.
After college, he started his career in the auto transport industry from the bottom up and has done virtually every job there is to do at A-1 Auto Transport, including but not limited to: Truck Driver, Dispatch, Sales, PR, Bookkeeping, Transport Planner, Transport Manager, International Transport Manager, Brokering, Customer Service, and Marketing. Working with his mentor Tony Taylor, Joe Webster has learned the ins and outs of this industry which is largely misunderstood.
With over 30 years experience in the industry, we've been helping people ship their vehicles, motorcycles, RV's, heavy equipment, household goods and more across the country or overseas without a hitch. Ask us anything.