Unfortunately, getting a car shipped overseas can be a difficult and time-consuming process. Whether you are moving to Europe and need your vehicle there before you arrive, or are a dealer trying to have a car you bought at auction shipped to Dubai, finding a quality shipping company and setting up a safe trip for your vehicle can be a daunting task. Fortunately, with the right knowledge you can easily get your car shipped to your destination in no time at all. To help all of our blog readers make informed decisions we have put together the following list of everything you need to know about international car shipping.
Choosing a Shipping Company
If you need to have a vehicle shipped overseas then you want to make sure and spend time finding a quality car transporter. Make sure the company is registered with the department of transportation, and has both a Motor Carrier (MC) and U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT) registration number.
Research Ahead of Time
Before you hire a car shipping company you will want to do your research ahead of time. In addition to having the proper registration numbers you will also want to verify their authenticity. Check with the Better Business Bureau to see if the company has had any complaints filed, and if so find out how the issues were resolved. You can also research the company online and contact any references listed on their website. By taking a little extra time to find a quality automobile transporter you can rest assured that your vehicle will be treated with care.
Although carriers are required to carry insurance, it is your responsibility to ask for proof and verify that the information is correct. You can do this by checking Safersys.org or by calling the transporters insurance company. Make sure to find out if their insurance is enough to cover to value of your car, and ask about additional insurance options.
Drop Off and Pick Up
Some car shipping companies will pick up your vehicle from your home, or if you are purchasing a new vehicle then they may even pick the car up directly from the dealership. However, other shipping companies have a designated drop off spot. Additionally, depending on the destination they may be able to get your vehicle to its exact destination, or you may need to arrange for the vehicle to be picked up from a terminal. It all depends on the shipping company you go with.
The price of shipping your vehicle internationally will depend on a few factors. First and foremost, the type of car you are shipping. Shipping companies generally charge more to ship and sport utility vehicles than they would say a compact car or motorcycle. Other factors include where you are shipping your car to, and whether or not you purchase additional insurance.
The time it takes to ship your car internationally can vary widely depending on where the car is being shipped. If you are only shipping your car a short distance then it might only take a few days. However, if you live in California and are shipping a car to the Middle East then it will take much longer. With long tips, your vehicle is going to need to go through numerous ports, and will have to deal with customs at each location Because of this, it is advised that you plan your shipping at least a few weeks ahead of time, to insure that your car arrives before you do.
Preparing your Car
There are a few things most shipping companies ask of their customers before their cars are picked up. First of all you will want to remove any items in your car that you do not want shipped. Also, as a precaution you should take pictures to document the current condition of your car. That way, you will have proof should something happen to your vehicle during shipping.
Storing Items in Vehicle
For whatever reason, you may want to use your car as storage, and place a few items in it before shipping. However, there may be a few risks. Make sure that you are not transporting any illegal items, or you may have problems with customs. If you do store items in your car then it also probably a good idea to purchase additional insurance from your automobile transporter.
Gasoline in the Vehicle
Most shipping companies recommend that you leave about ¼ of a tank of gasoline in your vehicle when you ship your car overseas.
Dealing with Customs
Most shipping companies have customs brokers who work to get your vehicle safely and swiftly through customs on your behalf. This can be very helpful, as dealing with customs on your own can be very confusing.
If your car is in poor or non-running condition, it can still be shipped. The only difference will be a higher price because of the labor required to move the vehicle.
Additional Shipping Needs
There are several standard services most shipping companies provide, however you may have additional needs that are not usually offered. When screening potential carriers make sure to ask lots of questions to make sure all of your needs will be met. You may be surprised to see how many companies are wiling to work with you, and will go to great lengths to ensure you are satisfied with your transport.
You may be asked to sign a contract or agreement before having your vehicle shipped. This is pretty standard. Just make sure you read each line carefully to insure that you are aware of everything stated in the agreement.