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Moving Your Automobile Overseas
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Moving Your Automobile Overseas

Before you decide to ship your vehicle overseas, you must consider the following:

Does your destination country allow the importation of automobiles?
Environmental & safety regulations of your destination country.
Availability of spare parts and maintenance services.
Estimated Customs duties and taxes.
Possibility and cost of required modifications.
Cost of insurance.
And in some cases, the cost of fuel.
You can get all this information from the consulate of your destination country or from the automobile shipper you choose.

Find a Reliable Auto Shipper

As with choosing any transportation company, experience is the key to a successful move. Check out the company's qualifications with the U.S. Department of Transportation, the Better Business Bureau, and from recommendations.
Your automobile will be transported in one of the following methods:

RO/RO (Roll on-Roll off): In most cases this is the least expensive method of shipping automobiles but is not available to all destinations. Using this method, your automobile is transported to a RO-RO vessel (similar to a car ferry) and transported from port of departure to destination port.
20 ft. Steel Container - Exclusive Use: This method of shipping is usually more costly than RO/RO service but offers greater security. Using this method, the automobile is loaded and secured inside a steel container, loaded onto a container vessel and shipped to your destination.
40 ft. Steel Container with Household Goods: The automobile is handled as above, however, a 40 ft. container is utilized. Household goods are packed and loaded into the container first. A wooden bulkhead is built to secure the household goods in place and finally, the automobile is loaded and secured before the departure.
Charges will be based on the size of the vehicle and which of the above options you choose. You should get at least 3 estimates, and compare all estimates equally; apples to apples.

Preparation for Overseas Auto Shipping

When preparing your automobile, only factory installed items can be in the car - all other items must be removed and packed with your household goods or hand carried. Some companies may say you can pack things in your trunk, but if there is a robbery, your items would not be covered by any insurance you take.

Vehicle washing: In order to expedite the origin inspection, present the vehicle to your auto transporter in clean condition. This allows for a quick and fair evaluation of the vehicle prior to shipment.
Fuel level: The fuel level of the vehicle transported should be about ¼ of a tank. This is because auto transports are weight sensitive.
Antennas: Antennas should be lowered or removed. Temporary antennas such as cell phones or CB radios should be removed.
Keys: The U.S. Department of Transportation requires that all keys be provided from the vehicle. This includes ignition, truck, glove box, and/or other keys.
Alarms: Alarms should be turned off. If there are special instructions required to start a car or to disarm an alarm, let your auto transporter know.
Luggage racks: Non-permanent luggage, bike, or ski racks should be removed.
Cracked glass: Point out any window nicks, scratches, chips, or cracks to your auto transporter.
Climate: Vehicles should be prepared for the new climate conditions. This may include engine coolant, transmission oil, and other fluids.


All automobiles being exported from the United States must have the proper documentation. You will need to submit the following to your auto shipper:

Three notarized copies of a clear title (front and back) showing you, the customer, as owner.

Three notarized copies of the title (front and back) showing the lien holder and three notarized copies of a letter from the lien holder authorizing the vehicle to be removed from the country.
A vehicle condition report (inventory).
Complete valuation form.
Completed Shipper Letter of Instruction.
Pre-Departure questionnaire.

All documents, except for the titles, will be given to you by your auto transporter.

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  Boat Moving Guide   Car Shipping Tips
  International Moving Guide   International Packing Guide
  Moving Overseas with Kids   Moving Overseas with Cars
  Moving Overseas with Pets   Overseas Packing Guide

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