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How can I ship my exotic car internationally?

Published by Joe Webster.

How can I ship my exotic car internationally?

Owning an exotic car is a thrilling experience, blending luxury, performance, and the joy of driving something truly special. However, when it comes to moving your prized possession across borders, the excitement can quickly turn into concern. How can I ship my exotic car internationally without risking damage or complications? This guide aims to answer just that, ensuring your vehicle arrives at its destination safely and securely.

In the following sections, we'll cover everything from selecting a reputable transport company specialized in exotic cars, preparing your vehicle for its journey, understanding shipping options, to navigating customs and documentation. Whether you're relocating, attending international shows, or simply bringing your dream car home, this article will provide you with the essential steps to transport your exotic car internationally with peace of mind.


How to Ship Your Exotic Car Internationally

When contemplating how to ship your exotic car internationally, the process may seem daunting at first. However, by following a few key steps, you can ensure a smooth and secure transition for your vehicle across borders.

  • Selecting a Reputable Auto Transport Company: The first step is to research and select an auto transport company with specific expertise in handling exotic cars. Look for a provider with a strong track record of international shipments and positive reviews from previous customers.
  • Understanding Shipping Options: You have two primary options for shipping your exotic car: container shipping and roll-on/roll-off. Container shipping offers the highest level of security and protection, making it the preferred choice for high-value exotic cars. Your vehicle will be safely enclosed in its own container, shielding it from the elements and potential on-board damage.
  • Documentation and Customs Clearance: Ensuring you have all the necessary documentation is crucial for a hassle-free process. This includes the car’s title, proof of ownership, and any export approval required by customs. Additionally, understanding the destination country's customs regulations will help you anticipate any duties or taxes.
  • Insurance Coverage: Lastly, securing comprehensive insurance coverage is non-negotiable. This protection will be invaluable in case you need to file a claim with the auto transport company or the insurance provider, covering any damages or losses during transit.
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Choosing the Right Auto Transport Company

When it comes to shipping exotic cars internationally, choosing the right auto transport company is paramount. Your exotic car isn’t just a vehicle; it’s an investment, a passion, and in many cases, a rare collectible. Hence, entrusting its transportation to just any company won't do.

  • Expertise in Exotic Cars: Look for a company that specializes in handling exotic vehicles. The right provider understands the unique needs and concerns associated with these high-value cars and offers tailored services to match.
  • International Shipping Experience: Experience in international shipping is crucial. The company should be familiar with global customs regulations, import and export requirements, and have established relationships with ports and customs agents worldwide. This expertise ensures that your exotic car clears customs smoothly and arrives on time.
  • Insurance Coverage: Ensure the transport company offers robust insurance options that cover the full value of your exotic car. In the rare event of damage or loss, you’ll want the assurance that your investment is protected.
  • Reputation and Customer Reviews: Finally, a company’s reputation speaks volumes. Look for reviews and testimonials from previous customers, especially those who have shipped exotic cars internationally. Positive feedback and a track record of success are good indicators that the company can deliver your vehicle safely and efficiently.

Selecting a company that meets these criteria will provide peace of mind, knowing that your exotic car is in capable hands for its international journey.

Preparing Your Exotic Car for Shipping

Before your exotic car embarks on its international journey, proper preparation is key to ensuring it arrives in the same condition it left. Preparing your vehicle for international car shipping involves more than just a wash and wax. Here are steps to ensure your exotic car is ready for the trip:

  • Clean Your Car Thoroughly: A clean car allows for a more accurate inspection before shipping overseas. This inspection will document the car’s condition and any pre-existing damage, which is crucial if you need to file a claim later.
  • Remove Personal Items: Clear out any personal belongings from your car. Most auto transport companies will not cover loss or damage to personal items left inside the vehicle during transport.
  • Secure Loose Parts: Ensure that all loose parts, such as spoilers or antennas, are securely fastened or removed if possible. This prevents damage during the shipping process.
  • Check Fluids and Battery: While it's important to maintain low fuel levels (about 1/4 tank) for shipping, ensure other fluids are at adequate levels and that your battery is charged. This ensures your car can be driven on and off the transport vehicle without issues.
  • Photographic Documentation: Take detailed photos of your car from various angles to have a clear record of its condition prior to shipping. This can be invaluable in the rare event of a dispute with the shipping company.

By taking these preparatory steps, you can help ensure that transporting your exotic car goes smoothly and without incident.


Shipping Options and What They Mean for Your Exotic Car

Choosing the right shipping option is crucial when it comes to transporting exotic cars internationally. The primary methods are container shipping and roll-on/roll-off (RoRo), but for high-value vehicles like exotic cars and classic cars, enclosed container shipping is often the best choice.

  • Container Shipping: This method offers the highest level of security and protection for exotic car transport. Your vehicle is placed inside a metal container, safeguarding it from external elements and potential on-board risks. For even greater security, consider using a single-use container, ensuring that your exotic car is the only vehicle inside.
  • Roll-On/Roll-Off (RoRo): While RoRo may be more cost-effective, it doesn't provide the same level of protection as container shipping. Cars are driven onto the ship and parked on the cargo deck, leaving them exposed to the elements and movement. For exotic vehicles, this option is generally not recommended.
  • Enclosed Trailers: For land transportation to and from ports, using enclosed trailers offers additional protection against the elements and road debris. This is especially important for exotic and classic cars that are sensitive to dust, dirt, and weather conditions.
  • Choosing the Right Shipping Company: Not all car shipping companies offer the same quality of service. It's essential to choose an auto transport company with extensive experience in exotic car shipping, offering the specific shipping options you need for international shipping. This ensures your vehicle receives the care and protection it deserves throughout its journey.

Navigating Customs and Documentation

The process of shipping an exotic vehicle internationally involves navigating through customs and ensuring all documentation is in order. The complexity of international shipping regulations makes it crucial to understand and prepare the necessary paperwork ahead of time.

  • Essential Documents: The list of required documents usually includes the original title, bill of sale, proof of ownership, and a valid ID. Depending on the destination, you may also need a letter of permission from any lienholders and a signed declaration of the car's value.
  • Customs and Duties: Be prepared to pay customs duties and taxes, which vary by country. An experienced car shipping company can provide guidance on the expected costs and assist with the customs clearance process.
  • Working with Professionals: To navigate this complex process smoothly, it's advisable to work with a shipping company that specializes in international car shipping and has expertise in transporting exotic cars. They can handle the logistics, advise on the best shipping routes, and help with the completion and submission of all required documents.

Ensuring all paperwork is correct and understanding the customs process are critical steps in successfully shipping your exotic car internationally. Partnering with the right auto transport company can make a significant difference in managing these challenges effectively.

After Your Car Arrives: Post-Shipping Considerations

Once your exotic car has completed its international journey, a few key steps should be followed to ensure everything is in order. Shipping cars overseas is a complex process, and the care shouldn’t stop once the car arrives at its destination.

  • Inspect Your Car Immediately: As soon as your car is delivered, conduct a thorough inspection, comparing the vehicle's condition to the photos and documentation you took before shipping. This will help identify any damage that might have occurred during transit.
  • Insurance and Registration: Now that your car is overseas, you'll need to arrange for local insurance coverage and registration. The requirements can vary greatly from one country to another, so contacting an international moving company or local authorities ahead of time can provide clarity on what's needed.
  • Adjust to Local Driving Regulations: Familiarize yourself with the driving laws and regulations of the new country. This includes understanding traffic rules, speed limits, and any specific restrictions that might apply to exotic vehicles.

Transitioning your exotic car to a new country involves more than just shipping; it requires attention to legal and regulatory details to ensure a smooth adjustment to its new home.


Shipping an exotic car internationally requires meticulous planning, the right auto transport partner, and a clear understanding of the process from start to finish. From choosing an experienced car transport carrier to understanding insurance coverage and customs documentation, each step plays a crucial role in ensuring your exotic car arrives safely and securely.

Remember, the journey doesn’t end when the car arrives; post-shipping steps are just as important to ensure your vehicle is ready to hit the roads in its new country. By following the guidance outlined in this guide, you can enjoy a hassle-free experience when moving your prized possession across borders.

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Joe Webster always knew the auto transport industry would be a great career option. And with decades of experience, Joe is now an established consultant for A1 Auto Transport.

Joe was born in Santa Cruz, California. During high school, Joe worked as a mechanic; a job continued to work part-time during his bachelor's degree.

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CSI Logistics
435 Division Street
Elizabeth, NJ 07201
FMC 22206
Intl Cargo
45 Campus Drive
Edison, NJ 08837
NO. 17858N
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
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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