Shipping a vehicle overseas is intimidating if you have never done it before. Not only is the distance intimidating, but you also have to deal with a host of issues related to the particular country's regulations in terms of customs and import duties. Furthermore, logistical issues can arise, especially if the country that you need to ship to abroad is landlocked, such as some countries in Central Asia like Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan.
In order to avoid problems when shipping internationally after purchasing a vehicle, you should be aware of the common problems and the steps to take to avoid them proactively, rather than having to deal with them after the fact.
Keep in mind that a top auto shipping service, such as A-1 Auto Transport, can help you avoid these problems, as their experts can guide you along and have experience in navigating through the logistical issues present.
Do Your Research
Before officially purchasing the vehicle from a seller, you should do your background on that person or company. The first step should seem obvious - make sure to confirm the identity of the seller, as well as if the seller actually owns the vehicle that they're selling. One helpful way to do so is to ask for a copy of his or her driver's license, in addition to asking for a copy of the car's title.
If it's a company that you're buying from, do a Google search on the internet to see if they're who they say they are. In addition, you can visit sites like the Better Business Bureau at www.bbb.org to check out customer reviews.
Keep Track of Your Money
When dealing with a car sale that's done internationally, one of the most common methods of payment is wire transfer. Since wire transfers can take a few days to a week to clear, depending on the banking institutions and the countries involved, you should be in regular contact with the seller so that there are no miscommunications or misunderstandings. Make sure to check on a daily basis if the money has cleared or not. In addition, you should check the bill of sale in order to ensure that you and the seller have both signed on it. Being professional from your side will contribute to the sale going as smoothly and professionally as possible.
Get a Copy of the Car's Title and Other Documents
Always make sure to request a copy of the title of the car as soon as you can. Once you receive a copy of it, make an additional copy of it for your own records. Then, once you chose a car shipping company to deliver your vehicle, provide them with a copy of it as well. The title has to be used and provided to the relevant organizations of the country that it is being shipped to, as well as is departing from.
One way to make a copy of the car's title seem more official is to have it notarized. Make sure that there aren't any issues present with the title. For example, if the vehicle has past liens on it, you will have to get copies of the release forms of the lien or liens. Otherwise, the actual lender will have to provide you with authorization.
Many people also forget to obtain a copy of the bills of sale of the vehicle if it has been sold in the past. You will have to make sure that every bill of sale is documented from the past.
Specify the Delivery Method
Make sure that you specify every aspect of the vehicle's delivery. This includes making sure to chose exactly how your car will be transported via ground and water. For example, with ground transportation, you should be aware of whether or not it's in an open or enclosed trailer. If it's being transported via ship, you will need to know if it's being placed in an open or enclosed container. Depending on the car, such as if it's new, a luxury vehicle, or an older vehicle, this will make a difference in minimizing the damage that may on the journey.
Get the Right Insurance
The shipping company will have their own insurance options available for you, but you should always ask them to provide you with a detailed list of what it includes. You can always buy additional insurance on your own in order to protect your vehicle.
The U.S. Customs and Border Protection website has a helpful guide on exporting a vehicle, located at http://www.cbp.gov/trade/basic-import-export/export-docs/motor-vehicle.
While you should always try and follow the above tips, choosing the right auto shipping company will help you avoid these problems. A-1 Auto Transport can help!
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.