A Step by Step Guide for Shipping a Vehicle Overseas

A Step by Step Guide for Shipping a Vehicle Overseas

Whether you’re relocating or travelling overseas for an extended stay, you likely want to have your car with you. At Ship Vehicles, we understand how overwhelming it can be to organize a successful overseas vehicle transport. However, you’re not alone and partnering with a reliable company, that has extensive experience with international vehicle shipping, will help to simplify the process.

In this step-by-step guide we will help to breakdown all of the factors that play into shipping a vehicle overseas. Thankfully, the entire procedure is relatively straightforward and with the help of dedicated professionals, you’ll have nothing to worry about. Without further ado, here is your step-by-step guide to shipping a vehicle overseas.

Step 1: Research, Research, Research!

When it comes to any purchasing decision, research should always be your first step and when shipping a vehicle overseas, doing plenty of research is essential. Research for overseas vehicle shipping involves a few different things, let’s examine the important factors.

Auto Shipping Company Research

The first step in shipping your vehicle overseas should be to assemble a list of international auto transporters and shipping companies that you’d like to consider partnering with. You can simply search for local companies nearest you through your search engine as well as dedicated review sites and forums. Also, don’t be afraid to consult your friends or family for any references they may be able to provide.

Examine the certifications and credentials of each company you find. Before putting the auto shipping company on your list, make sure that it is licensed, insured and bonded. If the company is all of the above, this information will be easy to find.

Additionally, you can ask each company that you converse with if they are licensed and insured. You should make sure that their carriers and any third-party services they employ are also properly insured. It’s recommended that you engage in plenty of research before actually gathering quotes. Anyone off the internet can send you a seemingly reasonable price but you never know if you’re being scammed or the company is uninsured without putting in the necessary research first.

Cost research

In order to determine how much it’s going to cost you to ship a vehicle overseas, you need to obtain shipping quotes. You can do this by filling out online quote request forms or by calling the direct line of an auto shipping company and speaking with an overseas shipping expert.

Gathering quotes is another great way to gain knowledge on how to ship a vehicle overseas. The quotes will include all of the pertinent information in regards to port of departure/arrival, required documentation and overall costs. With Ship Vehicles, our team of dedicated professionals will create a quote that is custom to you and your particular situation. 

Another way to research overseas vehicle shipping costs is by visiting online forums and reading what other people spent on similar services. While the price is going to vary depending on vehicle type, company, departure location and shipping method, it will give you a very general idea on what to expect. However, make sure that you double check the dates on forum postings as responses that are 10 or even 5 years old may contain outdated pricing.

Step 2: Request and Compare Quotes

It’s always recommended to gather quotes from at least three international auto shipping companies in order to engage in a proper comparison. While you’ll likely first look at the dollar amount of a quote, you should dig deeper to understand what it includes. Spend some time reading through each quote carefully to make an informed decision.

How much does it cost to ship a vehicle overseas?

There’s a lot more to pricing that just the costs of ocean freight. The following are some of the key points to know and understand how they directly affect the cost of shipping a vehicle overseas.

  • The type of service you’ve selected. What particular service is listed on the quote and what are you paying for? Is it door-to-door, port-to-port, or door-to-port service?
  • Shipping method. Will your car be shipped in a shared or private container? Or, have you chosen the roll on roll off (RORO) method?
  • Destination fees. No matter the destination, you will always be required to pay destination fees at the port. Make sure you ask your overseas shipping provider about this!
  • Inland transportation. This will usually depend on the service you’re being quoted for. Some companies include domestic transport into their quotes, while others only add the ocean transport fees.

Step 3: Ask about Insurance

This is one of the most important aspects of shipping a vehicle overseas and ensuring your peace of mind. Most overseas auto transport companies will offer insurance through their own program or through a company they are partnered with.

The rates will vary depending on the company but make sure that you understand exactly what the insurance covers. Understand the risks involved, what your deductible is and the overall coverage. While you’ll most likely never need the insurance, it’s there for safety should anything happen to your vehicle along its journey.

Step 4: Choosing Your Shipper and Gathering All the Necessary Paperwork

After you’ve gathered quotes and decided on shipping methods, you should have plenty of information to decide on the shipper you’ll be hiring. Once you’ve finalized the booking with them, determined all of the scheduling specifics and paid your deposit (if required), you can start gathering the pertinent documentation.

Make sure that you assemble all of the paperwork required by your auto shipping company so that they can get everything going and hopefully speed up the shipping process. The key information typically includes:

  • Personal identification. You’ll usually need to provide two copies of government-issued identification. This can be a driver’s license, passport, birth certificate etc.
  • The vehicle’s original title. You’ll need a copy for the booking and the original will go with the vehicle during transport.
  • Proof of ownership. If the car was purchased recently, you’ll be required to provide a bill of sale. However, if the vehicle is financed, most companies will need a copy of the title, along with a copy of the lien authorization. Both of these documents must be notarized by the lien holder. This certified letter of authorization must be physically mailed to you by your finance company so that the notarization stamp is original.

 In addition to these documents, there are typically other required forms at particular ports or final destinations. This is quite an exhaustive list so be sure to consult your auto shipping company for any questions in regards to required paperwork.

Step 5: Vehicle Condition and Inspection

When shipping a vehicle overseas, you should always take plenty of photos of its condition and do a thorough inspection. We recommend having your car serviced before transport to ensure there are no problems.

In this case, you’ll be fully aware of the car’s condition and be able to easily spot any possible damage when the vehicle arrives at the destination port. Most international auto transporters will do their own inspection, but it’s always best to do one yourself for your own records.


Ready to Ship a Vehicle Overseas?

If you’re ready to get the process started, you can fill out our online quote request form or give us a call at (888) 231-0113. At Ship Vehicles, our overseas shipping experts have extensive experience in international shipping and will ensure that the process is as seamless as possible. Contact us today to discuss your situation, specific needs and provide you with a fully customized quote.