Shipping A Car Abroad: Methods & Tips

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Shipping A Car Abroad: Methods & Tips

Shipping a car from one country to another is no simple task and, if you’ve never done so before, there’s a lot of information to absorb. In this blog post, we’ll examine some of the different methods for shipping a vehicle abroad, as well as some tips for how to go about it, get the best price, and make sure your car arrives without issue.


A-1 Auto Transport, Inc. ships vehicles worldwide. Click here or call 1-800-518-8708 to get a free, no obligation to buy price quote to ship your car.


 Methods of Shipment.

 There are three main ways to ship a car abroad: on a boat, in a container, or one a plane. Shipping a vehicle aboard a plane is very expensive compared to the other methods and, as a result, is not often used except in cases where the vehicle is particularly valuable or rare. If you are considering air freight, please contact us to learn more about what’s involved, or to get an idea of what the cost is.

The other two methods ship the vehicle aboard a ship, either in an intermodal container, or in a storage area of the ship designed to haul vehicles. The key difference between these two options are that a container allows you to put other personal items and goods in with the vehicle. Other shipping options will require that the car is completely empty and thoroughly cleaned, both inside and out.

This is a key distinction to keep in mind, especially if you’re going overseas for an extended stay, or on a permanent basis. Clearly, in those cases, you’ll have clothes and personal belongings that you’d also bring with you, making a container a better option in this case.

 Import Taxes & Harmonization Laws.

It’s very important to keep in mind that different countries have different laws when it comes to importing and exporting vehicles, particularly when it comes to taxation. Depending on which country you’re shipping a vehicle to, the taxes can add significantly to the cost. It’s not uncommon for countries to assess an import tax of 15-30% and in some cases, it may be equal to the total value of your car! Make sure you know what you’ll be faced with when it comes to the taxes, otherwise that affordable shipper you found won’t be of much help in saving you money.

 Most experienced shippers will have a good understanding of the international laws and taxes that apply to shipping a car overseas, at least they should. This is one reason it’s important to find a company that has experience in the area you’re shipping to. Import laws and taxes change from time to time and working with a company that knows the ins and outs well can save you considerable time and headaches.

 If you’re considering shipping a car abroad, give us a call today! Our staff of experts is happy to answer your questions, offer advice, or just offer you a FREE cost estimate! No payment or obligation is required–you tell us where you’re going and we give you the price. It’s that simple!

Joe Webster

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 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, Inc., 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.

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