With over 20 years of experience shipping vehicles worldwide, A-1 Auto has the resources, established delivery routes and professional services available to make overseas auto transport a snap, whether you’re in the military, an expat or just vacationing abroad. We also import and export cars for dealerships and collectors all over the world. Make your overseas car shipment quick and painless.
International car shipping is a different process than shipping a car domestically. From the method of loading and shipment to the paperwork and licensing required to operate internationally, there are many more legal and logistical hurdles, even in addition to the longer distance.
In terms of the process of international car shipping, the main difference between overseas and continental auto transport shipping services is that the car carrier must be able to safely accommodate delivery over a much longer distance, usually byboat or air freight. Both methods are often supplemented with standard international vehicle shipping services on either end of the delivery to move the vehicle from inland to port and port to inland. Air freight is an expensive option and is typically reserve for luxury, exotic and high end vehicles.
Cost & Time Examples For Shipping a Car Internationally
New York, NY to (New York port) to Germany
Los Angeles to (California port) to UK
Las Vegas, NV to (California port) to New Zealand
Portland, OR to (California port) to Puerto Rico
Phoenix, AZ to (California port) to Hawaii
Columbus, OH to (New York port) to Spain
Detroit, MI to (New York port) to Argentina
Chicago, IL to (New York port) to Costa Rica
Miami, FL to (New York port) to Belgium
Dallas, TX to (California port) to Australia
*Prices and times are estimated. They can vary depending on the season and the type of vehicle.
*Save the ground transport cost by delivering the vehicle to the nearest port.
*Allow an additional 10 days to process the documents.
*International car shipping prices are for 1 car in a dedicated 20ft container. This is the safest and most reliable way to transport a vehicle internationally. Other items may be included in the container to help save you money when moving.
*Using the RoRo (roll on, roll off) method is less expensive and shipments can be completed in fewer days. Contact us now for a free RoRo quote.
Prices for moving vehicles between countries can vary greatly depending on which international car shipping companies or movers you are getting quotes from. For more information on what it costs to ship a car overseas refer to this article or visit this page to use our overseas rate calculator.
A-1 Auto Transport ships vehicles worldwide. Click here or call toll free 1-800-518-8708 to get a free, no obligation to buy price quote for international auto transport container shipping.
Overseas Air Transport & Ocean Shipping For Autos
Both air freight and ocean transport for shipping cars often involve “roll on/roll off” service, also referred to as RoRo. This is just a term used to denote that the vehicle is driven onto the boat or plane, secured for delivery to ship a car overseas, and then driven off when it arrives. Other variations of the service include containerized international car shipping for boats, crated transporters for motorcycles, and lift on/lift offloading. We ship out of all the major ports in the United States for container shipping.
Worldwide Overseas Car Shipping Services - Customs Documents
One of the most challenging aspects of hauling an auto to another country with container car shipping is understand and filing the legal paperwork necessary to the job, and this is where an international car shipping company can really help. Our car shipping company employ a staff of expert customs agents with a wide-ranging understanding of customs and the import/export process to make your shipping experience as seamless and easy as possible.
Overseas Vehicle Shipping For Military
For service members, our military shipping program shipping service offers one of the most affordable ways to move a privately owned vehicle anywhere in the world. We proudly offer military discounts for active duty Army, Navy, Marine Corps, Coast Guard, Air Force, and veterans. Service members will love our reduced price shipping quotes when it comes to container car shipping. Use the form at the top of the page to get a quote for shipping your car overseas today.
How Much Does it Cost to Ship a Car Internationally?
Shipping a car internationally is much more complex than domestic transport options. As a result, it is more expensive. There are a variety of factors that influence the cost of shipping your car internationally. These include:
The most important factor when it comes to international shipping is the destination. Some countries have more restrictive import laws and require extensive permits. This incurs additional costs when shipping your car overseas to a new country.
The heavier your car is, the more expensive the shipping will be. This is because the carrier’s trucks have a limited weight capacity. However, weight-related price fluctuations are relatively limited.
The total distance that your vehicle is traveling also influences your price. The further that you are shipping your car, the higher the cost will be when shipping to a new country. Carriers generally charge a per mile rate for international and domestic shipping services.
Cars that are unusually large or oddly shaped may be more difficult to load and transport. The carrier may charge a premium fee for the additional hassle of shipping these types of vehicles.
Time of Year
International shipping rates fluctuate seasonally. Traditionally, shipping a car overseas in the winter is more affordable than summer transit options. However, the inclement weather also increases the risk of shipping delays.
International car shipments from the U.S. to Mexico or Canada can be performed via ground transport. However, shipping to nations outside of North America requires either air or ocean freight. These methods are more expensive than truck-based shipping.
If you are not able to pick up your car immediately, then you will need to purchase short-term storage. While a shipping company is typically happy to arrange this additional accommodation, it will increase prices.
How Long Will My Vehicle Take to Arrive?
Much like pricing, the total transit time for your international shipment may vary. It largely depends on how far your vehicle is being transported and what method you choose.
For instance, air freight is much faster than ocean shipping shipping your car overseas, but it is less cost effective. When using traditional ocean shipping methods, transit time ranges from 5 to 30 days or more.
How Do I Prepare My Vehicle for International Shipping?
If you want to ensure that your international vehicle shipping services run smoothly, then we recommend preparing your vehicle before the carrier arrives for loading. This involves:
Collecting Essential Documents
In order to avoid being complicit in criminal activity, our carrier partners will require you to prove that you are the owner of the vehicle being shipped.
If you want to avoid last-minute delays, you should have the following paperwork on hand:
Original vehicle title
Bill of sale or other proof of ownership
Passport or driver’s license
Some carriers allow you to submit proof of ownership electronically by uploading photographs of these documents. However, others require that you provide these documents at the time of loading.
Wash the Interior and Exterior
We also recommend washing the interior and exterior of your car before it is loaded onto the carrier’s trailer. It is much easier to spot scratches, dents, and other imperfections on a clean vehicle. This means that you can quickly identify any new damage that might have occurred during transit.
Make Note of Existing Damage
Speaking of damage, it is important that you document any existing imperfections. A-1 Auto Transport only partners with reputable carriers, so it is very unlikely that any damage will occur.
However, shipping a car across international borders is a complex and time-consuming process. That is why you should take photographs of your entire vehicle before it is loaded onto the carrier’s trailer.
Remove Personal Belongings
When you’re preparing your car for transport, make sure that you remove any personal belongings. These items are not insured against damage or theft. In addition, our carrier may be fined for transporting personal items left inside of the vehicle.
Not only should you collect any personal items from your car, but you should remove any toll transponders, as well. Otherwise, you will rack up quite a few fees as the transport travels through tolls.
Unless your vehicle is already inoperable, it is a good idea to perform routine maintenance before scheduling your international shipping. This includes checking the tire pressure, topping off any fluids, and making sure that the battery is holding a charge. Also, note your car’s mileage at the time of pick-up and delivery.
Use Up the Gas Supply
While it is a good idea to top off essential fluids like oil and coolant, you should not fill up your gas tank. Instead, we suggest using up most of your gas supply before your car is loaded onto the carrier. Try to leave your gas tank at about a quarter full. That is plenty of fuel to drive it on the carrier and offload it when it arrives at the final destination.
Remove Exterior Accessories
If your vehicle is equipped with exterior accessories, be sure to remove them prior to shipping. This includes toolboxes, roof racks, bike racks, and custom spoilers. These items can become damaged during shipping, so removing them is the safest option.
Leave the Keys
The carrier will need to drive your car on and off of the transport vehicle. This is why you need to have a spare set of keys made if you do not already have some. Leave the spare with the transporter and keep the primary set with you.
Sign the Bill of Lading
The last step to preparing your car for international shipping is to sign the bill of lading. This is the document that details which vehicle is being shipped and where it is going. It also outlines whether your vehicle has any mechanical problems or special concerns.
How Soon Do I Need to Book My International Transport?
Typically a shipping company will recommend scheduling your international car shipping services at least two weeks out. If possible, book these services approximately one month in advance.
While some of our carriers can accommodate short notice international shipping, the rates for last-minute services are higher. Booking early will save you money and increase your chances of getting the desired pick-up time slot.
Can I Fill My Car with Belongings?
When you are preparing to make an international move, it may be tempting to pack your car full of personal items. However, it is essential that your car does not contain any of your belongings. If it does, the carrier may be subject to fines.
International car shipping insurance does not cover the contents of your vehicle. If something is lost or stolen, then you will receive no compensation for that lost property.
How Much Fuel Do I Leave in the Tank?
Generally, we suggest leaving a quarter of a tank of fuel or less. There should be enough fuel for the carrier to load and unload your vehicle.
The more fuel that you leave in your car, the heavier it is. Since vehicle weight impacts shipping rates, having a full tank of gas may increase the cost of your international transit services.
Can My Vehicle Be Shipped If It is Inoperable?
Yes, vehicles that are inoperable can still be shipped. However, our carriers will need to utilize additional equipment to load inoperable vehicles. While we do not charge more for this service, some of our carriers might.
What Documents Are Required for International Car Shipping?
The most important document needed for international shipping is the title. You must present the original title to a carrier before they will ship your vehicle internationally.
If your car is subject to a lien, then you need an official letter from the lien holder. This is because some lien holders prohibit their vehicles from being shipped internationally.
Are There Different Ways To Ship And Shipping Options Available?
Yes, A-1 Auto Transport’s carrier partners offer a variety of different shipping options. International car shipping involves both ground and overseas transport, so you will be able to select unique solutions for each segment of transit.
When it comes to ground shipping, you will be able to choose between RORO ship or container methods such as a shared container of full container. For the second leg of the transit, you can have your vehicle shipped via sea or air freight.
What is RORO Shipping?
RORO means roll-on/roll-off. During the loading phase, the carrier will drive your car onto the trailer. They will also drive the vehicle off of the trailer/out of the container when it arrives at the final destination. RORO ship is the most affordable method, but it does not offer any protection from the elements.
What is Container Shipping?
If you choose container shipping, the carrier will load your car into a secure metal container. This method offers superior protection against damage and inclement weather.
However, most trailers can only accommodate one or two shipping containers at a time. This means that you will pay more for the ground portion of the transit.
Which Shipping Option Should I Choose?
When you’re contemplating which shipping option to choose, consider how much protection you want for your vehicle. If your vehicle is a classic or exotic vehicle, then we recommend container shipping. It will protect your vehicle and minimize the risk of any damage occurring during transit.
On the other hand, RORO loading is more affordable. Your vehicle will still be placed inside a shipping container before being loaded onto a ship for international transport.
Is My Car Insured During International Transit?
Yes, a shipping company should offer insurance for all shipping options, including international transit. However, our standard coverage may not be enough to cover the entire value of your vehicle in the event of an unexpected incident. That is why many clients choose to purchase additional insurance to cover the full value of their vehicle.
While our carriers are known for providing exceptional transport solutions, accidents can still happen. If you notice that your car suffered damage during the transit process, please contact our team immediately. We will document the incident and connect you with our insurance provider. The insurance company will guide you through the claims process.
What is the Cheapest International Shipping Method for My Car?
The cheapest shipping method for shipping your dream car internationally involves RORO ground transport and ocean freight. If you live near a shipping port, you can even choose to drive your vehicle to the facility. This will save you money because your car can be loaded directly onto a ship for ocean transportation.
When you book your international car shipping services with A-1 Auto Transport, we will outline which options are available based on your location and overseas destination where the car arrives. Make sure to ask about port drop-off options if you are interested in taking advantage of this cost-saving measure.
What Does Terminal-to-Terminal Shipping Mean?
Terminal-to-terminal shipping means that your car is transported from one centralized location to another. You must drive your car to the loading area or port. It will be placed on the ship and transported to another terminal that the carrier partners with. You will also be responsible for picking up your vehicle at the final destination.
What Does Door-to-Door Shipping Mean?
Door-to-door is the most convenient shipping option. As the name implies, our carriers literally come to your door to pick up your vehicle. They will respond to your home and load the vehicle onto a transport trailer.
Once you have arrived at the destination, the carrier will arrange delivery of the vehicle to your new home. All you will need to do is sign for the vehicle at drop-off. You will not have to respond to a shipping terminal.
While this method requires the smallest amount of effort on your end, it is also the one with most additional costs.
What is the Safest International Auto Shipping Method?
The safest international auto shipping method available is container shipping. Your vehicle will be placed securely in a steel container before it leaves the loading location. It will remain in that container until it arrives at the final destination and you pick it up.
What is the Fastest International Auto Shipping Method?
Air freight is by far the fastest auto shipping method available, especially if you deliver your vehicle to the loading terminal. When using air freight, your vehicle will be ready for pick-up at the final destination within about a week in most cases. However, weather and permit issues can cause delays on rare occasions.
How Do I Choose a Trailer Type?
Our professional service carriers will normally choose the trailer type based on the shipping method that you choose. Most carriers transport cars on a flatbed trailer or “car haulers.”
If you chose container shipping for the ground portion of the transit, then they will have to use a flatbed trailer that is designed to accommodate the containers.
Where Can My Car Be Shipped To?
A-1 Auto Transport works with carriers that ship vehicles across the globe. We can accommodate virtually any shipping request.
Do I Need to Be Present When the Carrier Arrives to Load My Car?
Yes, you or a representative will have to be present when the carrier arrives to load your vehicle. The representative must have the required documents in their possession and sign the bill of lading. Required documents may include items such as a driver’s license and the title to the vehicle.
Can I Choose My Pick Up Date and Time?
A-1 Auto Transport strives to provide customers great service with the pick-up dates that they request. However, this is not always possible. The sooner you reach out to our team to book your international car transport, the better your chances are for getting your desired dates.
Are There Discounts Available for Dealerships?
Yes, there are a variety of discounts available for dealerships and large shipping orders. These cost-saving opportunities fluctuate throughout the year, so it is best to contact our team to find out exactly what discounts are available. We will connect you with a carrier that offers you the best value for your international shipping needs.
How Long Does A-1 Auto Transport Guarantee Quotes?
Currently, A-1 Auto Transport guarantees international car shipping quotes via the quote form on the website until the end of the business day. Shipping a car internationally is an extremely complex process. The factors that impact your rates change daily, which is why we are unable to guarantee quotes longer.
However, we will gladly provide you with an updated quote if needed. We are dedicated to providing our clients with seamless and transparent international shipping solutions.
Can I Track My Car While It is Being Transported?
Yes, you can track your car throughout the international shipping process. All of our carriers offer satellite tracking options as a standard part of their transit service. You can access this information from your phone, laptop, tablet, or any other internet-enabled device.
Can I Ship Additional Items with My Vehicle?
No, you cannot ship additional items with or inside your vehicle. Loose items pose a risk to the carrier’s driver and other vehicles on the road.
In addition, international shipping laws closely regulate what can be transported with vehicles. If you attempt to ship additional items with your vehicle, the carrier may incur fines.
Am I Eligible for Discounts?
Potentially, yes. The only way to find out whether you are eligible for international car shipping discounts is to ask. Our partner carriers typically offer discounts to:
Some of our carriers also offer seasonal discounts. When you contact our sales team, we will discuss any potential cost effective opportunities that are currently available.
What is Enclosed Transport?
Enclosed transport means that your car is covered during the entire shipping process. While all vehicles being transported on ships are stored in steel containers, they are not necessarily covered during the ground portion of transit. If you opt for enclosed transport, then your vehicle will be placed in an enclosed trailer or shipping container at the time of loading.
Enclosed transport is a more expensive option. However, it offers superior protection for your car. If your vehicle is rare or extremely valuable, then enclosed transport is the best option for protecting your property.
My Shipment is Late. What Happened?
In general, international car shipping takes much longer than domestic transport. This is because your vehicle is being transported for a longer distance and may be transferred from a truck to a ship.
All of this takes time and also increases the chances of a delay. That is why A-1 Auto Transport provides broad shipping windows when we give estimated arrival times. If your shipment is going to be delayed outside of that estimate, our team will contact you and provide you with an update.
Can I Arrange Multiple International Car Shipments at Once?
Of course, you can! A-1 Auto Transport has decades of industry experience and can accommodate shipping orders of all sizes. Whether you need to ship one car or ten, A-1 and our partner carriers are up to the task.
With that being said, it is vital to schedule multi-car international shipments early. Organizing these services requires more resources and time than a single-vehicle shipment. We recommend reaching out one month in advance if you need to ship multiple cars internationally.
Will I Receive Notice When the Carrier is on the Way to Pick Up My Vehicle?
Yes, you will generally be contacted 12 to 24 hours before your pickup date. Due to the nature of international transport, we are unable to provide an exact arrival time.
Instead, we provide you with a projected arrival window. For instance, we may inform you that the carrier will arrive on January 1st between the hours of 1 pm and 4 pm. If the carrier experiences delays, such as inclement weather or a traffic jam, they will notify you as soon as possible.
Who Will Be Shipping My Car?
A-1 Auto Transport has an unwavering commitment to our customers. We want to provide you with a seamless international car shipping experience. That is why we only partner with carriers that share our core values.
The carrier that you are matched with will be an established member of the international car shipping industry. Our partners specialize in auto transport services and will ensure that the loading and delivery process is stress-free.
How Does International Car Shipping Work?
Shipping cars internationally involves several steps. These include:
Contacting A-1 Auto Transport
We coordinate with a partner carrier
The carrier takes possession of your car (door pick-up or terminal drop-off available)
Your vehicle is transported to the destination country.
You inspect and take possession of the vehicle
The steps mentioned above only outline the most notable aspects of our international shipping process.
In addition, you will need to provide required documentation and sign a bill of lading. When you speak with our sales team, we will provide you with a more complete overview of our international shipping process.
Which is More Affordable: Air Freight or Ocean Freight?
Ocean freight is the most affordable international shipping option. Container ships can accommodate thousands of tons of equipment and vehicles, which helps keep your costs down.
But ocean freight can take days or even weeks to deliver your car. That is why you should arrange your international shipment before you make the move to your new home.
How Do I Pay for My International Car Shipment?
A-1 Auto Transport offers a variety of flexible payment options. You can make your payment online or over the phone. We want the entire international shipping process to be as stress-free and efficient as possible.
Can You Ship Classic Cars or Exotic Cars Internationally?
Yes, A-1 Auto Transport can arrange any international vehicle shipment, including classic and exotic cars. Our carriers are experienced in transporting all types of vehicles and understand that high-value items require an exceptional level of care.
With that being said, we recommend that you opt for more secure transport methods when shipping these vehicles. You should consider upgrading to an enclosed trailer or container shipping to keep your exotic car damage-free. If you want to make sure that your exotic vehicle arrives fast, then air freight is also a great option.
Our basic international shipping insurance will not cover the full value of this vehicle. That is why you should purchase supplemental insurance coverage. Many car insurance providers also offer international shipping protection. Check with your current provider to learn more.
Does International Shipping Involve a Lot of Paperwork?
International car shipping involves more paperwork than domestic transit solutions. Carriers are required to have international shipping permits and additional documents. You are also required to provide proof of ownership, such as the original title to the vehicle.
Has A-1 Auto Transport Arranged International Car Shipments Before?
Yes, A-1 Auto Transport has been involved in the auto shipping industry for decades. We have formed strong relationships with high-quality international carriers. We have also developed a reputation for providing exceptional customer service and a seamless shipping experience.
Arranging your international car shipment can be an involved and complicated process. That is why it is important that you choose a knowledgeable firm to oversee the shipping services. A-1 Auto Transport is that team!
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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.
It’s my number one pick in auto shipping to this day.
Due to the nature of my work, I must relocate every couple of years to where my company needs me. Because of this, I’ve tested several moving and auto transport companies over the years.
And my choice in terms of auto transport has to be A1 Auto Transport. It’s in the name, but also in the quality with which they do their jobs. I’ve never had a problem with this company.
The only time my shipment was delayed was during winter when a snowstorm closed down all the major roads. And they still found an alternative and got my car delivered before roads got unstuck.
When I moved to West Virginia, they picked up my car the very day I called them. I like to think they take special care of me considering all the business I’ve sent them. I’ll continue to support A1 Auto Transport. It’s my number one pick in auto shipping to this day.
You have my full support and recommendation!
I considered selling my car when I moved to Washington. It was old and rusty, but I grew attached to it. So, I called a couple companies to transport it to my new home, but they both fell through.
The first one couldn’t decide on a schedule. He would constantly change the pickup date till I got frustrated and canceled. The second was insufferable, very rude on the phone, even worse in person.
They started picking a part my car asking me why I still have it. If that’s their opinion of my vehicle, how can I trust they’ll take care of it? If something happened midway, why wouldn’t they just blame it on the car instead of paying up?
So, I cancelled this company as well and turned to A1 Auto Transport. From the get go, they were very different from my past options. Their website was very professional and up to date, full of useful information. I requested a quote using their online form, and I got an email response within an hour. Surprisingly fast!
If I didn’t know any better, I would’ve thought they were lacking customers, but the email spoke for itself. In just one email, everything I needed to know was there, including a contact number I could use to get more information or confirm the transport.
I called and got things rolling. I was very pleased with the driver. He followed standard procedure and represented his company well. Can’t remember his name, but props to him!
The car arrived in Washington 6 days later in excellent condition. From what I understand, the transport was delayed a bit by a storm, but since the time window was 4-6 days from the beginning, I don’t really care. You have my full support and recommendation!
I can safely say this is a legit company that will get the job done.
There are a lot of options for auto transport these days, which surprisingly makes it harder to find a good company. I received more than 10 offers to ship my car, but I couldn’t decide on any of them.
After doing some research, I got even more worried reading about all the scams and accidents that can happen. But, I have work to do and couldn’t afford to drive my newly purchased Mini Cooper all the way to Virginia.
Fortunately, I made the right choice with A1 Auto Transport. They are very good at their jobs. I spent more than an hour drilling Joe with various questions, and he never once lost his patience. He saw I was interested, so he bore with me until I was satisfied. The driver was also very courteous and my car was intact on arrival. I couldn’t have asked for more.
By the way, the price we first agreed on stayed the same. There were no delays or unexpected “surprises.” I can safely say this is a legit company that will get the job done.
We give A1 Auto Transport a big 10 out of 10!
We give A1 Auto Transport a big 10 out of 10! We chose them to move our car from California to Vermont, since we needed professionals.
We were abroad during the transport, so the transport was a bit tricky. The driver had to pick it up from storage on short notice and get it to its destination within at most 10 days. I was happy to note it arrived sooner. We got it 3 days early, right when we got home to pick it up. It made getting around way easier. Awesome service!