Petapa is a small municipality in Guatemala City, Guatemala. The area has an estimated 95,000 residents and is largely Catholic. The Flowers Dance festival is a tradition that has long been held in the area and draws tourists from the around the world each year for the music and festivities. Many people relocate to Petapa for employment opportunities in farming and agriculture. Others move due to the expanding commercial district and shopping centers that have been rising in the last decade. Roads are usually paved and easily drivable for both cars as well as trucks. If you are not from the area, taking a bus or other form of public transportation may not be a wise choice as tourists have found themselves victim of robberies on public transport in Petapa as well as throughout the country of Guatemala. Having a car of your own is suggested for transportation in the city.
Automobile Transportation Services.
The only way to have a personal vehicle imported to Petapa is by hiring the services of a reputable international automobile transport company. There are thousands of companies listed on the internet, so you need to make sure that you choose one that has experience with shipping to Guatemala. Once you provide your information about the car, your identity and choose a type of transport, the company will be able to give you a total international shipping quote. You will most likely also need to arrange pick-up and delivery to the port as shipping to Guatemala is usually only done through exit ports in Florida.
Your shipping agent will explain the different types of transport to you and they will let you know what you need to do to prepare your car for overseas shipping. In most cases you will need to clean and empty the car of anything personal including paperwork. They will also let you know how full your gas tank should be and provide information on ensuring your car is ready to drive when it is delivered. The following are the types of shipping available for transport to Petapa:
- Roll-On Roll-Off – This is the most common way that cars are shipped internationally and is also the least expensive for automobile shipping. Available for use for all types of motor vehicles, automobiles are loaded onto a carrier that is able to transport several hundred motor vehicles and other wheeled merchandise at one time. This type of transport is also known as roro and is available only for vehicles. You will not be able to ship anything inside of your car during transport with roro.
- Container- If you do need to ship anything personal at the same time that you ship your car, you will want to use a shipping container. Available in 20 and 40 foot sizes, containers make moving to a new country very easy to do. Shipping containers are excellent for relocation with personal and household goods, but they are also great for luxury, classic and exotic cars that may need to have extra protection during shipment. Many containers are available that have climate controlled interiors as well as padding on the walls to offer a more secure environment during transport on the sea.
Going Through Customs.
When you are shipping a motor vehicle overseas, you will have to abide by the rules of customs in both the United States as well as in Guatemala. U.S. Customs will require export paperwork to be filed and approved by them, so it is best to file the paperwork at least one to two weeks prior to the date your car is scheduled for shipment to make sure it is received and approved. Customs in Guatemala will also require paperwork be filed with them and that will include:
- Valid Driver’s License.
- Proof of Insurance (Must be valid in Guatemala).
- Title/ Registration listing you as the legal owner.
- Bill of Lading/Airway Bill.
- Commercial Sales Invoice.
- Car Inspection Statement.
The Embassy of Guatemala can provide a complete list of all documents and paperwork that will be required as well as taxes and duty fees. You may be eligible for an exemption of duty fees based upon your diplomatic status as well as student status if applicable.
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.