Making the decision to ship your vehicle internationally from the USA is not one to be taken lightly. So much time, effort, and money go into the process that you must first determine that it is in your best interest to complete this undertaking.
There are three primary factors that go into the decision as to whether or not to ship your vehicle internationally, and you must consider each before moving forward.
Is it legal?
Many countries have very strict import laws regarding personal vehicles, so you must research these rules and regulations to ensure your vehicle is in compliance. Some countries have a strict no personal vehicle import rule, although exceptions can be made for classic cars or specialty vehicles. Other countries just require the vehicle be of a certain model year or newer. Still, others have very high emissions standards that vehicles from the US may not necessarily comply with. Contact the Consulate of your destination country to learn the rules and determine if your vehicle is able to be legally imported before making any final decisions.
Is is cost-efficient?
Some countries will impose import taxes and fees that far surpass the value of the entire vehicle, which may make no sense if your personal vehicle can be purchased for less than that upon your arrival. If this is the case, consider selling your current car and buying new or used when you arrive. However, if your personal vehicle is not available, has sentimental value, or perhaps is considered a one-of-a-kind, then you may still choose to pay higher duties and taxes in order to have your vehicle shipped. Keep in mind that the country’s import taxes and fees do not include the cost of the transport itself, so you will want to determine the total expected cost before committing to transport.
Can you find an auto transport company you trust?
If you have decided that it is both legal and cost efficient to ship your vehicle internationally from the United States, then you will need to find a reputable auto transport company to handle the shipping process itself. This step may make the previous two feel like a walk in the park. There are innumerable companies out there itching to get your business and it is up to you to find a trustworthy one capable of shipping vehicle internationally without incident. Make sure you find one with extensive international experience, as well as a stellar reputation. Go with your gut when contacting potential companies. If something seems “off,” then move on to the next. Beware companies that demand full payment up front or lowball the competition drastically, as in much of life, if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is, in which case you can plan on kissing your vehicle and your money goodbye. Take your time comparing quotes and find a company that makes you and your vehicle feel valuable. Although this will take some time on your part, the payoff of the peace of mind provided is priceless. Once you have selected a great company, take comfort in knowing your vehicle is being shipped in the best hands possible.
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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.