How to Transport Scrap Cars

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How to Transport Scrap Cars

How to Transport Scrap Cars

Transporting scrap cars is a little bit different than transporting new or used vehicles. It is still doable, but there are a few key differences that will influence the overall shipping process.

It is common for scrap cars to be non-operational at the time of shipment. This limits the types of shipping options the owner of a scrap car can use.

We are going to explain to you how to transport scrap cars both domestically (i.e. in America) and internationally.

What is a Scrap Car?

A scrap car, also referred to as a salvage car, can be any of the following:

Transporting Scrap Cars Domestically

When it comes to transporting scrap cars domestically, you have a few choices.

Scrap cars are loaded and transported just like any other non-operating vehicle. You can either use open air transport, or enclosed auto transport.

How to Transport Scrap Cars

Whatever you choose, your scrap car will be loaded onto the back of a truck and delivered to its destination. The major difference is whether you want to pay for the added protection that enclosed transport adds.

Open Air Auto Transport

If cost is a factor for you, open air transport is the cheapest domestic shipping option you can consider. Your vehicle is loaded onto the back-transport bed of a big rig, and then driven to its intended destination.

Open air transport is quick, simple to arrange, and effective.

An automobile logistics company can arrange for your vehicle to be picked up from practically any location, and then shipped any location of your choosing.

If you are shipping a scrap car with loose parts, you will need to secure those parts to make sure that they will not come loose during transport.

Enclosed Auto Transport

Enclosed auto transport is a lot like container shipping, which we will talk about later on.

For domestic enclosed auto transport, your vehicle will be loaded into a trailer, which is situated on the bed layer of the back of a big rig. Once loaded, your vehicle will be shipped to its intended destination.

Although this method of transport is logistically simpler than open air transport, as well as quicker on average (since one vehicle is being transported instead of many), it is also costlier.

If cost is not a concern of yours, this is a great option. If you want to keep costs down, consider using open auto transport.

The major advantage of enclosed auto transport is the fact that it provides you with added protection for your vehicle. Many people don’t need extra protection if they are shipping a scrap car unless the car itself is extremely rare or its parts are expensive.


A-1 Auto Transport, Inc. ships vehicles worldwide. Click here or call 1-800-452-2880 to get a free, no obligation to buy price quote to ship your car.


Transporting Scrap Cars Overseas

Your international shipping options are limited if you need to ship a scrap car overseas. Assuming that your scrap car is non-operational, you will need to use container shipping.

There are two types of container shipping that apply here: shared container shipping and exclusive container shipping.

As you can imagine, exclusive container shipping is more expensive.

Container Shipping Basics for Scrap Cars

Shared container shipping means that your vehicle will be loaded in a container with vehicles from other clients as well.

Exclusive container shipping will most likely not be what you need for a scrap car, unless that scrap car is rare, or has incredible value. Exclusive container shipping is more expensive than shared container shipping because your car is the only car occupying that space.

Once the car is placed in the shipping container, just like when shared containers are filled, the container is locked and sealed.

How to Transport Scrap Cars

The most likely reason why you might use exclusive container shipping on a scrap car is if you are on a deadline, and the car must be delivered by a certain date. In this case, exclusive shipping makes sense, since choosing a departure date is much easier.

With shared container shipping, your container is not placed on the ship until it is filled, and the container is not filled until enough clients have reserved space for their cars in it. This process delays the departure time significantly, as the timing cannot be guaranteed.

For both methods, you will need to secure any loose parts on your scrap car to make sure that they will not dislodge during transport.

Documents Needed to Ship a Car Internationally

Even though a scrap car may seem less risky in your eyes, U.S. Customs will still require all the necessary export documentation. You will have to consider trade embargoes, denied party lists, specific trade regulations, and much more.

If you are unfamiliar with the international shipping process, we recommend that you hire an experienced auto shipping company to help you out. Export trade regulations are very strict and mistakes can be very costly. In many cases, you can be slapped with a major fine or jail time.

Regardless of the state of a vehicle, you will need documentation to present to US Customs if you want your car shipped overseas.

  1. Original Title: The original title of your car is required by US Customs. In addition, you will need to be released from any liens on your car, and you will have to pay any outstanding lease payments or loans on your vehicle. The title needs to be an original document. It cannot be a duplicate.
  2. Bill of Sales: US Customs needs the bill of sales of the car to ensure that you own it. If you cannot prove to Customs that you own the vehicle, they will not let you export it.
  3. Employer Identification Number or International Passport: Depending on your US residency status, you will either need to provide Customs with an employer identification number (EIN), or an international passport. US citizens can get an EIN from the IRS’s website.
  4. Power of Attorney Form: You will need to transfer power of attorney regarding your scrap car before it can be shipped overseas. This is so shipping companies can make decisions on your behalf regarding your vehicle if they need to.
  5. Shipping Form: This is a standard shipping form that is required to be filled out before you can ship your vehicle. Typical information includes contact details, shipping details, and possibly even payment details.

A Note on Pricing

Shipping scrap cars that are inoperable or do not run will result in more expensive fees. Since your vehicle is inoperable, auto logistics shipping companies need more time, and need to take more care, to unload and load your vehicle. They may be required to use specialized heavy machinery to lift and unload your vehicle. Do not be alarmed if your quote is higher than what you were expecting.

Of course, there are many different variables and factors that go into pricing a scrap car shipment. We recommend you budget anywhere from $500 to $1500 for transport before you get your quote. This way, you will be able to afford the transport, and you may need the money left over for other related expenses, like documentation, finding a driver to pick up your car, and more.

Here’s an important tip

Domestic shipping is a lot easier than international shipping. If you are going to try and take on the international shipping process, take the time to do a little research.

There are a lot of things you will need to know if you want to export a scrap car legally.

But that takes time…

And you don’t always have time to spare. Who wants to research dense export laws? Not you.

Let A-1 Auto Transport take care of that for you.

We’ve been working in this industry for many years, we offer competitive prices, and we understand how the export process works.

Don’t leave your shipment to chance. Let us fill out all the paperwork for you and get your scrap car to its destination country without any headaches.

Contact us today if you have any questions about transporting scrap cars. We’re here to help you make sense of the auto shipping process.

Joe Webster

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 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, Inc., 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.

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