If you are in the process of shipping your car overseas, you may be feeling intimidated by all the legalities. In addition, if you have never shipped a car internationally before, you may be unaware of the steps to make sure your documents are in order and your car is shipped successfully.
Shipping a car to Finland? We have your step-by-step guide to tell you everything you need to know about the international car shipping process and how to find a company that ships vehicles internationally to your location in this new country.
Find An International Shipping Company
Finding an international car shipping agency can be a lengthy process, especially if you live in an area with no company around that offers this service. That’s one of the reasons why it is important you start the search for a shipping company as soon as you are aware of your predicament. The moment you know you are shipping a car to Finland is the exact moment you need to do your homework!
When you begin looking for an international car shipping company, you need to find at least three in your area or close by to compare. Another reason why you should get a head’s start is so you can book ASAP. Some car companies have special equipment they need to use but might not be available the longer you stall. Once you have a list of about three companies to consult with, you should speak to a representative from each business before selecting who to work with.
Gather Shipping Estimates
One of the biggest factors you need to consider with each company is money. Shipping a car internationally is not cheap. Several variables go into the total price of your shipment, and that is:
- Shipping method
- Shipping carrier
Some of this you have a say in. For instance, you can choose the shipping method and carrier, and some of those options are cheaper than others. If you have a budget in mind for your shipment, you should consider that when you talk to these companies and choose the one that best fits your budget and gives you the best deal.
Shipping a car to Finland can be done by either boat or plane. The average price to ship a car to Finland is around $1,255. However, prices can vary between companies and how much they charge for their services.
Locate A Delivery Origin
When you choose the company to ship your car to Finland, they will ask for the precise location in Finland you are shipping to. Companies need this in case they cannot ship your car there and estimate how long shipping will take. If they can not ship a car to your exact location, you might be able to ship door-to-door style where they deliver your car close to your location. You must know where you are shipping so your company can help you the best.
Get Your Documents Ready
Before the shipment begins, there are certain documents your transportation company will automatically need to see. In that case, you need to get the following together to hand to your company:
- Personal ID/passport
- Car title
- Bill of Landing
- Care sale invoice
Your company will communicate with you the exact documents they need for your Finland shipment. However, if you need to fill out other documents, make sure to ask so you can complete them fast for the shipping.
Choose Shipping Company & Method
Once you’ve weighed all the options with time restraints, who can deliver your car the fastest and who can ship your car the cheapest, it is time to choose your shipping method.
The shipping method can play a part in the price. If you choose to have your car shipped via boat, you can expect this to cost more and take more time. Shipping by boat can take up to 44 days. How your car is handled during the shipment process can also be a part of your decision on how your car is shipped. Some shipping containers, open or closed, cost more but offer more protection for your car. Enclosed carriers keep your car concealed and protected the entire journey. According to your budget, you have to choose what you think is the best for your car.
Complete Paperwork & Prepare Car
You will need to complete the paperwork your company has in place before your shipment begins. Once you turn in the papers, it is time to prepare your car to drop it off. You have to specially prepare your car a certain way to be shipped internationally. There are shipping regulations about how your car should be weighed during transports and things you should do the car to protect your valuables.
Here is how to prepare your car for shipping internationally:
- Get all of your personal belongings out of the car, including the trunk.
- Leave ¼ of gas or less in the car. Gas can add weight to your car, and you need it to be as light as possible for shipping but still have enough in the tank to drive it on or off the loader.
- Take care of your car maintenance before shipment.
- Wash your car & take pictures of its condition - if your car gets slightly damaged on the shipment, your photographs will prove they came from shipment.
Once you’ve made it to this point, it is finally time to drop off your car! This is the easiest part of the process. Your company will communicate with you where to take your vehicle and leave it in their hands for shipment. This part of the process allows you to worry about everything else you are shipping to Finland. You should probably have someone follow you to the office to pick you up after dropping off your car.
Complete Finland Paperwork
Finland requires residents to register their imported cars legally and pay their taxes before getting their car inspected. To start the process, you will need to fill out and submit a declaration of use online to the Finnish Tax Administration and declare the tax-exempt use of a vehicle. After that, you have to submit a tax return and take your vehicle to get inspected for registration, which is where you will register your car. You should also take this time to browse their online government system to become familiar with their auto regulations and figure out when and how to get your car plated so you can be prepared once your car lands in their country.
Retrieve Your Delivery
Your company should have given you a tracking number to be able to locate your car at all times. This helps you to be on top of the shipment and follow it to where you are in Finland. When it is time to retrieve your car, you should plan on being at your guaranteed location at the time your driver settled on. If you can not make it to the meeting location, communicate that with your driver as soon as possible and have someone go in your place if you can so your car can still be dropped off.
Inspect Your Car
As soon as your car is dropped off, you should inspect your car immediately. If you notice any damages, which will likely just be little dings or scuffs, report it to your driver. If you do not notice anything until after your shipment has been delivered, call your company. They will direct you on how to file a claim and ensure that you win to have your damages paid for. A1 Auto Transport has a 30-day window to report any damages you notice after your shipment has been delivered. If you took pictures of your car before, this would likely be enough to win your claim. Once your small damages are fixed, you can get your car plated and enjoy driving in Finland!