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How To Export A Car

How To Export A Car

Just sold your vehicle to a foreign country? Now you start the process of exporting your car. Exporting your car can be a complicated process, but it's important to know how to do it legally so that you do not get in trouble. Many people think that exporting a car from the US to a foreign country is illegal, but it's quite the opposite if it is done in the correct way.

If you need to ship your car for export, it's important that you know step by step what to do and that you work with the right company to ship your car expertly and quickly. Here is your ultimate guide for knowing how to export a car from the US to a foreign country as quickly as you can. 


Understand The Legalities

Exporting your car comes with certain legalities that will look different depending on where your car is going. For example, you may have to pay extra fees or taxes to ship your car somewhere in Europe. The process may look different for everyone, which is why your company will help you by telling you the specific items you need to ensure everything is handled legally. Foreign counties all operate differently for the exportation of goods, so knowing the regulations is important. 


Have The Right Documents Ready

Exporting a car is not a process that will be completed overnight or within a week. It will be a lengthy process, but you can speed it up by making sure you have your documents ready. Depending on the transportation company you work with and your delivery location, you may need more or fewer documents for the transaction. However, there are basic documents you will need to export your car out of the country.

They are:

  • Car title or "pink slip"
  • Lien - if there is a lien on the car, the owner needs to get an authorization paper from the lien holder to be able to ship the car out of the country. 
  • Statement of Origin
  • Bill of Sale
  • Personal ID
  • VIN
  • Internal Transaction Number

To make the process go by faster, it's important that you know what you will need. Documents processing is a part of the process, so if you are working under a time crunch, preparing your documents beforehand will help speed things along. 


Start Looking For A Shipping Company

Start Looking For A Shipping Company

When you are exporting a car, you must work with the right company. That means you hire professionals with the right expertise and equipment to ship your vehicle. Before selecting one company, you need to thoroughly investigate businesses in your area that you could potentially work with. 

You should begin looking for an auto transportation company that can export your car as soon as you know your car will be shipping overseas. Unfortunately, some companies stay bugs, and the sooner you begin looking, the sooner you can find a company that can help you. When you find a handful of Transportation companies to consult with, you should compare the prices and shipping methods of the companies. Meadows Auto transportation businesses will offer free quotes and give you the information you need to know about your shipment so that you can compare it with others.


Pinpoint Your Delivery Location

An important piece of information to give your transportation company is the exact location you need to export your car to. Some companies may not be able to ship to your exact location but can offer door-to-door shipping, which means your car will be delivered as close to that location as possible. It's also important for your shipping company to know the exact location for time constraints. This information allows your company to give you accurate time estimates for how long it should take your shipment to reach its destination since that also plays a part in the price.


Understand Costs And Shipping Time

The average cost to export a car is between $1,000 and $5,000. Cross in exporting a car depends on a lot of variables. Location, shipping method, carrier, and any taxes or fees you have to pay all go into determining the price. There are ways to make the shipment Cheaper by choosing the least expensive method to ship your car. For instance, the roll-on roll-off method (otherwise known as RoRo) is the cheapest. You also have the option of choosing to ship your car via boat or airplane. Having your vehicle shipped by plane is cheaper, and we'll also get your car to its destination faster. However, you need to select what is appropriate for your car. Meaning if you wanted to be shipped by boots and handled delicately by being in an enclosed carrier, you might be spending more. 

The shipping time is also determined by your shipping method. For example, a plane could have your car delivered in less than a week, while a boat can take upwards of a month. You should select the option that best fits your budget and time needs. 


Select the Right Shipping Method

You have the freedom to choose exactly how your vehicle is shipped overseas. However, if you are shipping a luxury or classic car and would like some extra protection, consult with your company about the methods that can secure the car for a safe shipment. 

If you would like your car to be shipped in a container, you have the option for either shared shipping or exclusive shipping. Shared shipping Is where your vehicle is shipped with other cars, which means you will not have a select departure date since other cars are being shipped with yours. Exclusive shipping is best for exotic cars since they are in their own container and have extra protection. 


Get Your Vehicle Ready For Drop-Off

Getting your vehicle ready for shipment is the easiest part of the process! Basically, the car needs to be completely free of personal belongings, and it needs to be washed. If you have a trunk, don't forget to clean it out and make sure all of your things are removed from the space. Your gas tank also needs to be reduced to about a quarter for weight purposes.

When it's time to drop off the vehicle, don't forget your keys! Make sure you have someone follow you to the company to pick you up once you drop off your car! Your auto transport company will tell you exactly what they need from your car to fit shipment regulations before you drop your vehicle off.


Think About Insurance

Transportation companies have to offer insurance for cars being exported from the US. There are two options for you to choose from.

  1. All-Risk: This option is the most expensive since it covers every issue, big or small, that may occur during shipment. 
  2. Total-Loss Only: This option only protects against total loss occurrences or specific disasters such as weather or collision. 

If the company you select does offer insurance that fits your needs, you can seek a third party that provides insurance for export shipments. 


Know Who Is Picking Up The Vehicle

Unless you are following week are too except for dislocation, likely, you will not be the person responsible for picking up the delivery. What you should do is inform your company of the person who will be picking up the car once it's delivered. If this person is not the car's legal owner, they have to have a notarized letter Explaining that they are picking up the car for you. It's important that you get this worked out so your driver knows who to expect for delivery. 


Track The Vehicle

Track The Vehicle

Most companies have a way for you to track your shipment by giving you a tracking number. It is recommended that you follow the tracking number online daily to see where your car is in the shipment process. This will help you get peace of mind to know where your car is at all times and watch it be exported successfully!

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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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Mylene Rutllant
It’s my number one pick in auto shipping to this day.

Due to the nature of my work, I must relocate every couple of years to where my company needs me. Because of this, I’ve tested several moving and auto transport companies over the years.

And my choice in terms of auto transport has to be A1 Auto Transport. It’s in the name, but also in the quality with which they do their jobs. I’ve never had a problem with this company.

The only time my shipment was delayed was during winter when a snowstorm closed down all the major roads. And they still found an alternative and got my car delivered before roads got unstuck.

When I moved to West Virginia, they picked up my car the very day I called them. I like to think they take special care of me considering all the business I’ve sent them. I’ll continue to support A1 Auto Transport. It’s my number one pick in auto shipping to this day.

Luis Rodriguez
You have my full support and recommendation!

I considered selling my car when I moved to Washington. It was old and rusty, but I grew attached to it. So, I called a couple companies to transport it to my new home, but they both fell through.

The first one couldn’t decide on a schedule. He would constantly change the pickup date till I got frustrated and canceled. The second was insufferable, very rude on the phone, even worse in person.

They started picking a part my car asking me why I still have it. If that’s their opinion of my vehicle, how can I trust they’ll take care of it? If something happened midway, why wouldn’t they just blame it on the car instead of paying up?

So, I cancelled this company as well and turned to A1 Auto Transport. From the get go, they were very different from my past options. Their website was very professional and up to date, full of useful information. I requested a quote using their online form, and I got an email response within an hour. Surprisingly fast!

If I didn’t know any better, I would’ve thought they were lacking customers, but the email spoke for itself. In just one email, everything I needed to know was there, including a contact number I could use to get more information or confirm the transport.

I called and got things rolling. I was very pleased with the driver. He followed standard procedure and represented his company well. Can’t remember his name, but props to him!

The car arrived in Washington 6 days later in excellent condition. From what I understand, the transport was delayed a bit by a storm, but since the time window was 4-6 days from the beginning, I don’t really care. You have my full support and recommendation!

Testimonial by Cristine Benoit
Cristine Benoit
I can safely say this is a legit company that will get the job done.

There are a lot of options for auto transport these days, which surprisingly makes it harder to find a good company. I received more than 10 offers to ship my car, but I couldn’t decide on any of them.

After doing some research, I got even more worried reading about all the scams and accidents that can happen. But, I have work to do and couldn’t afford to drive my newly purchased Mini Cooper all the way to Virginia.

Fortunately, I made the right choice with A1 Auto Transport. They are very good at their jobs. I spent more than an hour drilling Joe with various questions, and he never once lost his patience. He saw I was interested, so he bore with me until I was satisfied. The driver was also very courteous and my car was intact on arrival. I couldn’t have asked for more.

By the way, the price we first agreed on stayed the same. There were no delays or unexpected “surprises.” I can safely say this is a legit company that will get the job done.

David Osallo
We give A1 Auto Transport a big 10 out of 10!

We give A1 Auto Transport a big 10 out of 10! We chose them to move our car from California to Vermont, since we needed professionals.

We were abroad during the transport, so the transport was a bit tricky. The driver had to pick it up from storage on short notice and get it to its destination within at most 10 days. I was happy to note it arrived sooner. We got it 3 days early, right when we got home to pick it up. It made getting around way easier. Awesome service!

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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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