Category Archives: Best International Car Shipping

How do I prepare my car for international shipping?

Whether you’re relocating overseas permanently or just taking an extended vacation abroad, shipping your car internationally requires proper planning and preparation to ensure a smooth journey. In this guide, we’ll walk through the key steps you need to take to get your vehicle shipment-ready Best International Car Shipping.

Declare Intentions and Obtain Required Documents

The first step is to ensure your vehicle will even be allowed into the destination country. Contact the embassy or consulate of the country you plan to ship to for information on importation regulations and restrictions. Some key documents you may need include:

  • Title and Registration: Make sure your car title and registration are up to date and have your proper name and address listed. You’ll need certified copies of these for customs.
  • International Driving Permit: Many countries require an International Driving Permit in addition to your regular license to legally operate a foreign-plated vehicle on their roads. Apply for one from your local AAA office well ahead of time.
  • Proof of Insurance: Carry proof your vehicle is properly insured, as some nations mandate a minimum liability coverage for imported vehicles.
  • Export/Import Permits: Certain high-value or new vehicles may need special permission documents to cross international borders. Find out requirements for your specific car from customs officials.

With the proper paperwork squared away early, you can avoid hassles at your destination’s port of entry. Not having the right documents can delay or prevent your car from being released to you.

Inspection and Repairs

Once documents are taken care of, it’s time for a thorough mechanical inspection. Shippers will not accept vehicles with leaking fluids or structural/safety issues. During inspection:

  • Inspect brakes, suspension, tires, lights, and other critical systems
  • Check for fluid leaks from engine, transmission, differential, coolant or fuel systems
  • Confirm windshield is crack-free with no major dents or defects in body/frame
  • Verify battery is fully charged and all electronic modules function correctly

Perform any repairs found during inspection before proceeding. Once the car passes, drain all fluids except engine coolant and fill fuel tank to no more than 1⁄4 capacity for safety during ocean transport.

Inventory Valuables and Address Changes

To avoid loss or theft during transit, remove all personal belongings from the vehicle, including the car stereo faceplate. Inventory parts like wheels/lug nuts and confirm everything is accounted for before turn-in.

Also update your address in the vehicle through your dealer or directly with services like OnStar. This ensures location services and stolen vehicle tracking continue working at your destination rather than showing your car’s location back home.

Prepare Vehicle Interior and Exterior

Next comes securing and protecting the car interior and exterior for the long ocean journey:

  • Tape or tie down loose components like rear-view mirrors and antenna to reduce rattling/vibrations
  • Wrap exterior plastic trim, lights and Emblems in foam or padding
  • Inflate tires to maximum pressure listed on sidewall
  • Apply rust proofing or cosmetic protectant to vulnerable exterior areas
  • Secure or remove interior loose items, floor mats and cargo

Thoroughly detailing, waxing and washing the car’s paint prior to shipment helps keep road grime and corrosion at bay while overseas. Proper preparation goes a long way in minimizing transport-related wear and tear.

Schedule Pickup and Transport

With the vehicle ready, it’s time to contact a professional auto transport company to handle the overseas shipment. Reputable carriers will:

  • Provide secure enclosed transport via roll-on/roll-off ocean vessels or car-carrying cargo ships
  • Offer cargo insurance coverage for your car’s stated value during transit
  • Arrival date estimates with optional expedited delivery upgrades available
  • Coordinate customs clearance, port-to-port logistics and final delivery

Most require 7-10 business days to schedule pickup after receiving your request. Opt for appointment versus random pickup to get the most control over fulfilling required prep-work. PayLoadz Transport is an experienced global auto carrier option.

Delivery Checklist

Upon arrival overseas, completing a delivery checklist with the driver can help identify and address any issues:

  • Ensure vehicle identification numbers match paperwork
  • Inspect for signs of rust, dents/leaks not previously noted
  • Verify nothing was removed or missing from interior/components
  • Start engine and check major systems function as expected
  • Note any discrepancies on delivery report immediately

Addressing transport defects upfront establishes a record in case future issues surface. Once cleared by customs, your car will be released so you can hit the road in your new destination!

Best International Car Shipping – Final Tips

A few extra tips to smoothly ship your car internationally:

  • Allow a few extra weeks for potential delays due to weather, customs holds or shipping reroutes
  • Consider professional detailing post-arrival to address minor transport blemishes
  • Research import tax/duty rates for your destination country in advance
  • Drive cautiously for the first 500 miles to fully recondition mechanical components after shipment

With adequate preparation combined with selecting a reputable transport company, you can feel assured your vehicle will safely arrive and be ready to discover all your new home abroad has to offer. Proper paperwork, maintenance checks and securing belongings are key steps to make international auto shipping a breeze.