There are so many factors involved in shipping vehicles to other countries that it is always in your best interest to start the process early and well in advance of when you will actually need the vehicle shipped.
Take heed of the following steps and you will be on track to shipping your vehicle to another country.
Learn Destination Country’s Rules and Regulations Regarding Imports.
Every country has very diverse rules and regulations when it comes to the importation of vehicles. Some countries do not allow used vehicles to be imported at all, while others simply require the vehicle be of a certain model year or newer. Almost all countries have some sort of requirement regarding emissions, and almost all countries charge significant duties and taxes on the value of the vehicle in question. Often, you will find that it makes more sense to just purchase another vehicle upon arrival if the cost of import and shipping costs significantly more than the entire value of the vehicle. A great place to start your research is on the destination country’s customs website. Most governments provide specific information regarding importing vehicles, as well as have links to the forms needed and lists of the physical documentation you will be required to submit. After completing this step and determining it is indeed a good idea to ship your vehicle, you can move on to the next step of the process.
Compile a List of Prospective Auto Transport Companies and Request Quotes.
There are hundreds, if not thousands, of potential auto transport companies available at your disposal. A great way to find some potential companies is by asking trusted friends or family who has previously shipped a vehicle internationally if they have any suggestions. If you don’t have that luxury of a word-of-mouth referral, you can begin your research online with a simple Google search. Attempt to find a company that has experience in both international shipping and also familiarity with your personal vehicle type, whether it be a standard sedan, a dually truck, a luxury car, a classic car, or some sort of specialty vehicle in a class of its own. Make a list of potential companies and check their standing with the Better Business Bureau, as well as online review websites such as Yelp. Narrow your list down to 3-5 companies based on reputation alone before reaching out to request quotes.
Compare and Contrast Quotes Provided.
Some companies will not take into account import taxes and fees for you ahead of time, while others will go the extra mile to calculate out a full package deal. Either way, make sure you are indeed comparing apples to apples so that you know exactly what is being included and provided by the transport company. Also, make sure you know exactly how your vehicle is being shipped. Often you will have the option to choose between an open carrier or a closed container, and you will notice, mainly due to size limitations, there will be a significantly higher price point associated with closed container transport. If you have a preference, make sure to voice your needs so that you end up with a package best fit for you and your vehicle’s specific situation.
Use Reason AND Go With Your Gut When Choosing a Company.
Although this may sound like a bit of a contradiction, it is extremely important advice. Unfortunately, the auto transport industry trends to be riddled with bad apples and unsavory characters, so if you do encounter an offer that sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Seek someone professional and trustworthy, and realize that you may end up paying more in order to have this peace of mind. The value of the service is so high, but the benefit received is unequivocally there, especially when your vehicle is picked up in a timely manner and reaches its destination in great condition. Although this process seems daunting, with a little foresight and plenty of proper planning, you will be on the fast track to international transport in what feels like no time at all.
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.