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How To Export A Car

Published by Joe Webster.

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

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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