If you have decided to leave the sunny beaches and beautiful weather of the great state of California, you will need to make some very specific arrangements. These arrangements are even more overwhelming and potentially time-consuming if you are moving internationally.
One of the most important factors to consider will be the transport of your personal motor vehicle. Depending on the country to which you are moving, you may not have the option to ship your car there, as some countries import laws are stricter than others. Even if legally, you are allowed to bring your vehicle, you will want to determine the financial repercussions and decide if it is even worth the cost involved. It is in your best interest to follow the steps below when making arrangements to ship your vehicle internationally from California.
- Research Customs and Import Law of your Destination Country - As previously stated, certain countries do not allow the import of vehicles from the United States, while others may require that they be of a certain model year or newer, or pass stringent emissions regulations. You can often find out this information by looking at the Consulate website of your destination country, but if you have no luck there, feel free to reach out to the embassy for more information. Sometimes, they may even be able to provide you with the costs associated in regards to importing taxes and fees. If not, you will need to move on to the next step.
- Find Out the Cost to Import Your Vehicle - This can be the step during which you determine that it is not cost-efficient to ship your vehicle after all. You may determine that the cost alone of shipping, added to the import fees and taxes, makes this a fruitless endeavor. However, if you have a high-dollar vehicle or a car that has sentimental value for which price of shipping is no object, then you may choose to ship your car anyway. Remember that oftentimes, you will essentially need to ship your vehicle from California to a port on the East Coast and then from that port to the final destination country. Because this is composed of two long stretches of travel, expect for a much longer transport time and increased the cost of transfer.
- Research and Select an Auto Transport Company - Once you have determined that it is still beneficial to ship your car internationally from California, your next step will be to determine what company you trust to perform the transport. Seek out a company with experience in international shipping, high qualifications, and an impeccable history of services. The more time you have to research and select a company, the better, but if you don’t have much time, try to find a reputable auto transport company with a quality of service and professionalism that surpasses all others.
- Finally, Prepare Vehicle for Pick-Up and Patiently Await Arrival - Auto transport companies will provide you with a checklist specifying what you must do to prepare your vehicle for transport, including draining your gas tank to less than ¼ full, emptying your vehicle of all personal belongings, and removing all after market items that might be damaged during transport. Remember that your vehicle has a long road of transport ahead of it, so recognize that the transport time period may be much longer than you expected.
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.