How to Ship Two Cars at Once
At face value, it seems odd to have to ship two cars. However, there are some valid reasons why someone would have two cars shipped at once.
Whether you are shipping your vehicles to your new home, or transporting them internationally to a client, there are many reasons why you would need to ship more than one vehicle.
Think about it like this
One common scenario is when a family needs to move to a new city, country, or even continent. With multiple cars being used by the household, especially if sentimental value is placed on these vehicles, it may be required to ship both vehicles at the same time.
A family may have a “work” car and a “family” car for running errands, family events, and other daily tasks. If the family can ship both cars to their new home, they can resume normal family activities the moment they arrive. This makes adjusting to a new home much easier on everyone in the family.
Relax, it’s not hard to ship multiple vehicles
Clients can choose to ship their two cars domestically or internationally, although some limitations will have to be considered when doing so.
We’re going to explain to you how to properly ship two cars, both domestically and internationally. Whether you are single, have a family, or run a business, shipping two cars at once is a simple process that is efficient and streamlined.
Benefits of Shipping Two Cars at Once
- Both cars are delivered to their destination at the same time
- Some auto logistics companies provide discounts on multi-car shipments
- For domestic routes, you can drive one car and follow the transport truck
- Less stress worrying about two separate shipments
Domestic Shipping Options
The most popular domestic shipping options are open air transport or enclosed auto transport. The difference depends on your shipping preference, budget, and how much protection you want for your vehicles.
Open air auto transport is cheaper than enclosed auto transport. You’ve likely seen these trucks on the major highways before carrying several cars on one or two platforms.
Enclosed auto transport provides your vehicles with additional safety in the form of a trailer. If dirt, flying pebbles, or the weather is a concern for you regarding your vehicle’s cosmetic appearance, you should choose the enclosed auto transport option.
Keep in mind, enclosed auto transport tends to be more expensive.
Open Air Auto Transport
With open air auto transports, your vehicles will be placed on the bed layer of a big rig, secured, and shipped to the vehicle’s intended destination. Open air transport trucks are big rigs with two-level open-air trailers.
While your vehicles are safe and secure while on this type of trailer, some clients prefer the added luxury of an enclosed trailer for security purposes, or for the trailer’s weather sheltering abilities.
From our experience, open air transport tends to be one of the more popular options when it comes to domestic shipping.
Accidents rarely occur and we typically recommend enclosed auto transport to clients that are shipping expensive luxury, exotic, or rare cars.
Enclosed Auto Transport
Enclosed auto transports are still capable of shipping multiple cars. Since multi-car trailers usually transport a minimum of three cars, you may find that another client’s car is placed in the trailer with your cars, or the space will be empty (you may be asked to pay for the extra space).
The trailer hosting your vehicles will be attached to a big rig, which will then be driven by the auto logistics shipping company or one of its contractors to your intended destination.
Once the transport arrives, your vehicles will be unloaded and returned to you.
International Shipping Options
Shipping two vehicles overseas is a bit more complicated than shipping two vehicles domestically. There is more information that you need to collect, and the process of actually shipping the vehicles will obviously take longer.
We’re not saying its impossible to do it on your own, but there are many things to consider.
Your main obstacle will be getting approval from US Customs to ship your vehicles out of the country.
As you can expect, U.S. Customs will expect you to have all the proper paperwork, ownership of the vehicle, and you will have to abide by any specific rules and regulations that they have in place with your destination country.
Don’t let us scare you off from international shipping though. The process is just as simple and low-stress as the domestic shipping process if you hire a reputable and experienced shipping company to help you.
How to Clear US Customs
We mentioned above that you will need to collect a lot of information in order to clear U.S. Customs. The government often seems like they want to make our lives harder, but there is a method to their madness.
The purpose of gathering the following documentation is so that U.S. Customs can know:
- That you are the lawful owner of the vehicles
- That you have paid off any outstanding debts or liabilities concerning the vehicles
- That you have transferred power of attorney in case the shipping company needs to take action regarding your vehicles
- That the shipping company can receive pertinent knowledge regarding your vehicles and your vehicle’s intended destination
Before heading to U.S. Customs, make sure you have the following:
- Original Title: The Original Titles for your vehicles proves to US Customs that you are the owner of your vehicles. Customs needs to ensure that only your property is being exported and not someone else’s for legal reasons.
- Bill of Sales: Bill of Sales are needed to transfer ownership. Although you may be the owner of the car both before and after the shipping process (e.g. if you are shipping your vehicles to your second home), a Bill of Sales makes the transportation process simpler to manage.
- EIN (Employer Identification Number) or International Passport: An Employer Identification Number and an International Passport serve the same purpose: to prove to US Customs that you are who you say you are. You do not need to provide both. An EIN is required if you are a US citizen, and an international passport is required if you are not.
- Power of Attorney: Transferring power of attorney to the shipping company is essential. In some circumstances, the shipping company will need to make a decision regarding your vehicles. For instance, if a fire breaks out, a shipping company needs to be able to dump a vehicle to prevent the fire from spreading, while also being protected from liability for their actions. In such cases, power of attorney is needed.
- Shipping Form: Shipping forms are standard forms that all shipping companies require their clients to fill out. Information includes contact information, information about the vehicles being transported, and the transportation process itself. Once you have finalized the details of the shipping logistics regarding your two vehicles, you will have the information required to fill out this form.
Before You ship…
Take the time to follow the steps below. They will save you a lot of trouble. Remember, U.S. Customs is a government agency and they follow strict rules and regulations. If you make a mistake in the shipping process, it can carry a heavy fine and even jail time.
We don’t want that to happen to you.
- Make sure all your documentation is filled out and is accurate
- Make sure that any outstanding liens, loans, or debts on the vehicles are paid off
- Make sure that someone can pick up your vehicles, or that the shipping company can drive the vehicles to your vehicles’ intended destination (this mostly pertains to international shipping)
- Make sure you purchase insurance (shipping companies may provide this)
Here’s what we recommend
Before you agree to anything, take the time to learn a little bit about the domestic and international shipping process.
The auto shipping industry is extremely competitive and it isn’t difficult to get both a good price and great service. There is always wiggle room, you just have to know the market prices and a little about the country you are shipping your vehicles to.
Shop around for quotes and determine which auto logistics shipping company can provide you with the services you need, at an affordable price.
Check the quality of the company and whether they continuously make their clients happy.
Shipping your two vehicles overseas may seem expensive, but hiring an auto shipping company can save you a lot of headaches when it comes to dealing with U.S. Customs.
The A-1 Auto Transport Way
We’ve been working in this industry for a long time and we have seen it all.
Why pay more? We pass the savings on to you, we are transparent about the shipping process, and we will handle the international shipping process for you.
Your time is important, let us help you make the auto shipping process easy.
Related Information & FAQ
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.