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Dos and Don’ts of International Vehicle Shipping: What To Leave – and What To Stow

International Freight Costs

International Vehicle Shipping: Dos and Don’ts

Shipping your vehicle overseas comes with a number of key considerations. From cost to paperwork to everything in between, it may seem as though there are a million questions to be answered.

To help navigate the process, here are some do’s and don’ts of international shipping to better answer the question of what to leave and what to stow:

  • DO remove all attachments from the vehicle that didn’t originally come with it. Auto shipping companies take extreme care with your vehicle, but attachments often aren’t as secure and may fall off during the bumps and movements of the shipping process. Everything from removable mirrors to enhancements that can be stowed in the trunk should be removed from the exterior of the vehicle.
  • DON’T forget the interior of the vehicle. Auto shipping companies take great care with security measures, but no company is willing to be liable for any important materials left inside of the vehicle. Take out any important papers, documents and items prior to shipping the vehicle anywhere – but especially internationally.
  • DO ask about methods of auto shipping. This matters in terms of what you are likely to be able to leave in or on the vehicle. For example, if there is something special attached to the exterior of the vehicle that you absolutely do not want to remove, then consider asking about private shipping versus a shared container. This is the kind of decision that make it likelier for your vehicle to arrive just the way you want it on the other side.
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  • DO stow items in the trunk, if you are leaving a few things in the car. While it is not recommended to leave anything of value, if you do plan to leave a few tools or items, then do so in the trunk. It is the safest place for them. This shouldn’t be anything that is not easily replaceable; think tools and things of that nature.
  • DON’T leave money in the vehicle. For example, if you are anticipating tolls or anything of that sort upon arrival of the vehicle and want to ensure that you are prepared, keep change and other monies on you. This falls under the realm of keeping anything valuable in the car for any reason.
  • DO account for everything that you leave in the vehicle on paper. If you plan to stow, jot it down. This way, if anything is missing from the vehicle, you aren’t playing guessing games about it.

The more organized you are with your vehicle when shipping it overseas, the more likely it is that you will get your car back in the condition in which you shipped it. Taking steps to decide what to stow and what to remove is a key component of this process and leads to a more successful auto shipping endeavor. Companies will generally walk you through such a process, but if you know what to expect going in, you can prepare before you ever drop your car off to be shipped internationally.

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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.

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A-1 Auto Transport is a disclosed agent for the following shipping companies:

Trans Global Auto Logistics, Inc.
3401 E Randol Mill Rd
Arlington, TX 76011
NO. 018191NF
CFR Rinkens
15501 Texaco Avenue
Paramount, CA 90723
NO. 013055NF
ABC Worldwide LLC
2840 NW 2nd Ave #105
Boca Raton, FL 33431
NO. 025472F
CSI Logistics
435 Division Street
Elizabeth, NJ 07201
FMC 22206
Intl Cargo
45 Campus drive
Edison, NJ 08837
NO. 17858N
ShipYourCarNow LLC
1160 South Rogers Circle Suite 1
Boca Raton, FL 33487
NO. 025646
Merco Air & Ocean Cargo, Inc.
6 Fir Way
Cooper City, FL 33026
NO. 021869F
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