Shipping Your Car Internationally

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Shipping your car internationally can seem intimidating, especially if you haven't done it before or if you've never been to the country. To make the process as smooth as possible, you should do your homework beforehand. While A-1 Auto Transport can easily handle all of your international car shipping needs, the following topics will be a helpful guide to get you prepared and to ease your nerves. Of course, you should also visit the U.S. Department of Homeland Security's guide at


The first thing to understand about shipping your car internationally, especially from the United States, is that there are a few different shipping methods available. The most common overall shipping method, not to mention the most financially prudent one, is through ocean freight. However, ocean freight has a few different options, which are the following:

  • Roll-On, Roll-Off

If you choose this option, your car will be driven onto the shipping vessel and placed on the car deck and safely secured. It is the cheapest method available, but you will not be able to include any personal items with the vehicle if you choose it.

  • Shipping Container

When choosing this method of shipping, your car will be placed in an actual shipping container and can include some personal items as well. It's a bit more expensive but has the added benefit of the extra security and protection against the elements.

Of course, you will also have to consider the different pickup and delivery aspects of the actual vehicle, including door-to-door delivery and port-to-port delivery. These will cost extra. For example, some shipping services will be able to pick up your vehicle at an agreed upon location, and once it's in its destination country, it can be delivered to a specific address.

Depending on how far your destination country is, as well as the location where it's being shipped from, it can take a week to a few weeks to even a month.


Shipping services do contain insurance in most instances, but you should ALWAYS consult with them to see what specific aspects that their insurance covers or don't cover. The cost of insurance is usually dependent on the vehicle's value, as well as whether or not you want full insurance or restricted insurance.

It's recommended that you always take multiple pictures of both the exterior and the interior of your vehicle before handing it over to the shipping company. That way, if you need to file an insurance claim in the future, you'll be able to do so easily.

A-1 Auto Transport 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.


Your expenses will certainly depend on the country that you're shipping to. There are a myriad of factors to consider, including:

  • Regulatory expenses (i.e. customs)
  • Taxes and tariffs
  • Documentation processing
  • Shipping costs

If you want door-to-door delivery, this will also cost you more, for example.

The taxes, duties, and tariffs that one will owe vary with each country, but in most instances, they are dependent on three main factors, which are:

  • The total value of the car.
  • The year in which the car was first manufactured.
  • The intended use of the vehicle, such as for personal use, business use, or commercial use.

Furthermore, depending on the country that you are shipping your car to internationally, you may be eligible for various tax exemptions and possibly even being able to avoid paying the full amount of duties and tariffs.

A-1 Auto Transport is extremely knowledgable about how to save you as much money as possible in avoiding unnecessary fees abroad!

Documentation and Customs

You will have to fill out and provide a large amount of documentation if you're planning on shipping your car internationally. This documentation is required by both regulatory agencies and by the carriers. Not having the right documents in place can result in significant delays in the shipping process, as well as additional fees and fines.

With customs, you will have to make sure that your vehicle is cleared by the local customs at the arrival country. You will often have to fill out local forms and be granted certain permits, as well as have it inspected by a customs agent. Pay attention to such things as what side of the road the cars are driven on in that country. A left-hand car will not be permitted in a country where they drive right-hand, for example.

Get It Ready for Shipping

You will need to prepare your car before it is shipped. Some of the things that you should do are the following:

  • Make sure that any personal items inside of the vehicle are removed.
  • Make sure that the battery is disconnected.
  • Turn off all vehicle alarms.
  • Wash and clean it, including on and around the tires.
  • Make sure that the fuel tank is empty if you choose the Shipping Container method. If you choose the Roll-On, Roll-Off method, your vehicle should only have a tiny bit of fuel in it.

The Federal Maritime Commission offers many helpful tips. Their website can be found at

Contact A-1 Auto Shipping today and let us walk you through the above steps!

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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.

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Mylene Rutllant
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.

Luis Rodriguez
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!

Testimonial by Cristine Benoit
Cristine Benoit
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.

David Osallo
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!

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A-1 Auto Transport is a disclosed agent for the following shipping companies:

Trans Global Auto Logistics, Inc.
3401 E Randol Mill Rd
Arlington, TX 76011
NO. 018191NF
CFR Rinkens
15501 Texaco Avenue
Paramount, CA 90723
NO. 013055NF
ABC Worldwide LLC
2840 NW 2nd Ave #105
Boca Raton, FL 33431
NO. 025472F
CSI Logistics
435 Division Street
Elizabeth, NJ 07201
FMC 22206
Intl Cargo
45 Campus drive
Edison, NJ 08837
NO. 17858N
ShipYourCarNow LLC
1160 South Rogers Circle Suite 1
Boca Raton, FL 33487
NO. 025646
Merco Air & Ocean Cargo, Inc.
6 Fir Way
Cooper City, FL 33026
NO. 021869F
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