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Shipping your car overseas can range from smooth to complicated, and most of the time, the relationship between the two countries involved determines the difficulty of the process. If you are shipping your car to Guam, you can consider yourself lucky. Because Guam is one of the unincorporated territories of the United States, car importation is considered more accessible here than in other countries.
However, this doesn’t mean that you should not prepare for the importation and clearance process. Guam’s officials have no reason to make things insanely tricky for US citizens, but it doesn’t mean they will turn a blind eye if you lack documentation or your car doesn’t pass standards. As an importer, you still have to learn more about Guam’s importation process and what you need to prepare for car shipping to Guam.
As stated earlier, just because Guam is a territory of the US doesn’t mean they’re lax about importation rules. The first step of the process is to find out if your car is eligible for importation. There’s no point going through shipping your vehicle to Guam only to find out that your vehicle is not allowed in the country.
Unlike other countries, Guam’s importation process is governed by several agencies. Your car needs to pass requirements set by the EPA, DOT, and the FMVSS. If your vehicle is older than 25 years old, you need additional permission from the EPA to prove that your vehicle is not an environmental and safety hazard.
Because Guam is a US territory, most shipping companies have experience when it comes to shipping cars to the country and the many nuances of the clearance process. Of course, you should do your part and research Guam’s policies; however, shipping companies often have insider information that you won’t read about online.
You will be speaking to several shipping companies anyway since you need to gather several quotes before making up your mind. These companies give estimates for free, and usually, they ask questions about your car and your preferences so they can suggest the best service for you.
Of course, communication goes both ways, and you should take this opportunity to ask some questions. To determine if they are the right fit for you, ask the following questions during your initial call:
When it comes to shipping your car from the US to Guam, you have several options. If you are on a tight budget, the cheaper option would be RoRo, or Roll-on/Roll-off shipping. If you want to save money, you can even start the process by driving the car yourself to the nearest port. However, if you are busy or if the port is far away, you can choose to have your vehicle shipped to the port via open-air transport.
Your car will be loaded onto an open trailer that’s built specifically to transport cars. A typical trailer can house up to 10 vehicles simultaneously - 5 on the lower tier and another five on the upper tier. Once the trailer arrives at the port, the cars will be unloaded one by one manually. Then, your vehicle will be rolled onto the ship’s cargo hold and secured into place.
The most significant advantage of this method is that it’s more affordable. Shipping cars abroad is not cheap, so you may want to save money at every opportunity. If you’re worried about damage and dirt, professional movers are cautious when it comes to loading the car onto the hold. Your vehicle can get dirty during the trip because the trailer is open. Vehicles are covered with tarps or dust cover, but they don’t offer full protection against rain, snow, dirt, mud, and fumes.
If you want more protection for your vehicle, you can choose an enclosed trailer. Your vehicle will be stored inside a shipping container, which means it’s also safe from the elements. Also, the car isn’t removed from the container upon reaching the port. The entire container is loaded onto the cargo hold, which means the vehicle remains undisturbed during the whole process.
The next step is to take the quotes that you’ve gotten from various shipping companies so you can get an idea of how much you’ll be spending on your car shipping to Guam. Here’s a rough breakdown of all the fees you will incur during the process:
Now it’s time to finally book your shipping date. Once you’ve chosen which shipping company to hire, it’s time to decide on where and when they will pick your car up. If you have a specific date in mind, remember that shipping companies are busy servicing several countries across the globe. If you decide to book your car shipping a week before your desired date, don’t be surprised to find that there are no available slots on that day.
To give the shipping company ample time to prepare and ensure that their vehicles and containers are available, book your shipment 6-8 weeks in advance. This is especially true for shipping’s peak season, which takes place around March to September.
Make sure you prepare your car for the shipping process way before the actual shipping date. This ensures that the shipping process goes smoothly and you don’t run into problems like missing accessories or damaged items in your car.
Here are the documents that you’ll be needing during your exit from the US and your clearance process in Guam:
Your presence is required on the actual date of shipping because you need to sign the paperwork, and there are certain documents required for the clearance process that will come from your shipping company. As a precaution, we recommend taking pictures and videos of the loading process.
Depending on the port of origin, it can take up to 30 days for your car to arrive in Guam. As such, there’s plenty of time for your to prepare for its arrival. If you’re migrating to Guam permanently, you can even get started on the process of procuring your driver’s license in Guam. Even if Guam is a US territory, only military personnel are exempted from needing a Guam driver’s license. Everyone else needs to go through the process of applying to one.
Unlike other countries, you don’t get a grace period of several months before you’re obligated to register your vehicle. Since Guam is a US territory, there’s no reason why you shouldn’t register your vehicle immediately upon picking it up. The visitor’s center also doubles as a vehicle registration outlet. You must register your car within 72 hours of its arrival in the country. If this is unexpected, you don’t have to worry. Most shipping companies offer assistance in vehicle registration as part of their services.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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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