Shipping a Car to Ottawa from the United States.
Planning a move to Canada? This is an exciting time, but comes with its share of inconveniences – especially if you’re bringing your vehicle along. Fortunately, the experts at A-1 Auto Transport are here to help. With decades of experience in transporting vehicles to Ottawa and beyond, let us assist you with the customs process so that you can focus on what’s important.
Canada’s capital sits in southern Ontario, at the confluence of three major rivers: the Ottawa, Gatineau, and Rideau. This is a popular location for expats, with over 20% of the city’s population being foreign-born. Being so close to the border means no lack of reliable vehicle transportation options, and the city boasts numerous rail and road connections to locations all over the USA.
Options for Transport.
Shipping to Ottawa takes two forms – pick the one that’s right for your needs:
- Ro/Ro Shipping: Roll-on/roll-off services are economical and convenient for the bulk of customers. Your vehicle will be driven directly aboard the transport vessel, and off again once it reaches Ottawa. Straps secure the vehicles in place during transit.
- Container Shipping: Vehicles may instead be loaded into cargo containers, which offer additional protection from damage and the elements. Those shipping antiques or other highly valuable vehicles may appreciate the safety factor.
The actual delivery can take two forms as well:
- Terminal-to-Terminal: The vehicle will be dropped off by you at the port of departure, and picked up at the terminal in Ottawa upon arrival.
- Door-to-Door: Door-to-door service brings the shipper to you. Your car will be collected at your home, and delivered to the point of your choosing in Ottawa.
Navigating Canadian Customs.
Check Canada’s Registrar of Imported Vehicles to ensure that your vehicle is permissible. Note as well that the 72 Hour Export Law requires you to submit a copy of the title to the border crossing at least 72 hours in advance. If everything is in order, make sure you can provide the following documents on arrival:
- The vehicle’s original title, or a DMV-certified copy.
- Notarized copy of your photo ID (passport or other).
- Note that vehicles arriving in Ottawa from the US are subject to customs duties, which are dependent on value and other specifications. For full details, refer to the Canada Border Services Agency.
Completing the checks on this list will ensure that your vehicle is ready to roll:
- Scrub and vacuum the vehicle thoroughly. This will speed along the inspection process considerably.
- Remove all personal belongings and external fixtures like ski racks.
- Ensure that both the foot and emergency brakes are working properly.
- Fill the gas tank roughly one-quarter full.
- Check the battery level, and disable the alarm system (otherwise, it’s likely to drain the battery during transit).
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.