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International Car Shipping by Sea

If you have a car, truck, motorcycle, ATV or moped and are going to be traveling outside of the United States, you may want to import your vehicle so you can travel at leisure.



The most important thing to have when shipping a vehicle internationally is security while the vehicle is in transit. 




Foreign Rules and Regulations

Before shipping to another country, you may want to contact the consulate in the country you plan on traveling to in order to get answers to a few questions you may have before the importing process begins. Some important questions to ask before choosing international car shipping by sea include:

  • How much will it cost for your import?
  • What taxes and duties are you required to pay and when?
  • Which shipping option is available for the port you will be shipping to?
  • Will you be able to sell your vehicle while in the country if you choose to?
  • Does your vehicle qualify to be a luxury vehicle? If so, will you be charged luxury car tax too?                             


Most European ports will charge an entry tax, on average around $200.00. Will the country you are transporting to require this entry tax as well? You need to talk with A1 Auto Transport service to know more about



Prior to Shipping Documentation

Before you begin international car shipping by sea the process of shipping, you must fill out the proper paperwork in order to obtain permission to ship. It's very important that you pay particular attention to this part of the process because it will determine many factors, one of which is if you can gain permission to enter another country. You will also want to have A1 Auto Transport Service shipping agents go over the paperwork before you submit it to determine if you have everything you need. You will need to have both originals and copies of all paperwork required. You will need the following:

  • Vehicle title
  • If you do not have a title, you will need a manufacturer's statement
  • A letter of permission from a lien holder if your vehicle has a lien against it.

Ask A1 Auto Transport Service agents for a complete list of documents you will need to bring with you.  Additionally, there are other steps to take when international car shipping by sea as it will need to be prepped for transport. This includes:


  • Cleaning your vehicle out so that no personal items are inside
  • You have no other tools in the vehicle, except for a car jack and spare tire
  • All alarms have to be disabled
  • No loose objects such as antennas can be left on the vehicle


You will need to ensure that your vehicle will pass inspection prior to shipment in order to avoid any delays.



Cost for Shipment

You will also want to verify the amount it will cost you, when choosing to ship your car internationally by sea so you are not hit with any unexpected costs during or after the vehicle is unloaded in the new country.  Find out how much A1 Auto Transport Service will charge you for their assistance and also the peace of mind you get from having a team help you every step of the way.  




Shipping Methods

Your vehicle can either be driven on the ship and strapped down for security and then driven off the ship when it reaches the new port or it can be placed inside of a container and loaded on a cargo ship. The first method is called the Roll On/ Roll Off method of shipping and the second method of shipping is called container shipping. If you have a valuable car or you want to ship over a few of your household goods, you will want to choose the container shipping option. If you want to transport your vehicle on a budget or the lowest prices possible, then Roll On/ Roll Off is the best way to do that. The cost stays low because hundreds of vehicles can be shipped at one time, dividing the cost among everyone who has a vehicle aboard the ship. This is the most common way to transport a vehicle from the United States to another country.