Category Archives: Car Shipping Source

How to Ship a Car from Spain to USA

Are you dreaming of cruising the American highways in your beloved Spanish car, or perhaps you’re relocating across the Atlantic and want to take your trusted vehicle with you? Shipping a car from Spain to the USA might seem like a daunting task, but with the right information and a well-executed plan, it’s entirely achievable Car Shipping Source.

In this comprehensive guide, we’ll walk you through the essential steps and considerations to ensure a smooth and successful car shipping experience. From understanding the regulations to choosing the right shipping method, we’ve got you covered. So, buckle up and let’s embark on this journey together!

Initial Preparations

Before shipping your car from Spain to the United States, there are some important initial preparations you need to make:

  • Get your car’s documentation ready: You will need the original title/registration of the car along with a copy of your passport or driver’s license. Make multiple photocopies of these documents to submit to shipping companies and customs.
  • Get your car in shipping condition: Check that your car is in good working condition suitable for an overseas transit. Replace any expired or faulty parts. Make sure the tires are properly inflated and the battery is fully charged Car Shipping Source.
  • Drain fuel and fluids if shipping by sea: If shipping by sea, you need to drain the fuel down to 1/4th of the tank capacity or less to prevent leakage or spillage during sea transit. Also drain other fluids like coolant, oil, brake fluid, power steering fluid, etc. from the system.
  • Disable/remove any valuables: Remove, package separately and securely store any valuables like your stereo system, phone chargers, spare tire, etc. before shipping to prevent theft. Consider applying protective wrap or tape on body parts if shipping unaccompanied to prevent damage.
  • Book transport well in advance: It’s advisable to book transport for your vehicle at least 2-4 weeks in advance to ensure space availability and arrange pick up and delivery dates according to your timeline. Last minute bookings may be more expensive.

Choosing a Transportation Method

Now it’s time to choose how you want your vehicle transported from Spain to the USA. Here are the main options:

  • Shipping by Sea: The most economical option for transporting vehicles over long distances. It involves loading your car on a cargo ship which takes 2-4 weeks to reach destination ports on the US east or west coast. Expect 2-3X higher costs for direct ports.
  • Shipping by Land: For transport within Europe, driving or towing your car through countries and loading on a shuttle train through the Channel Tunnel to UK ports is an option. However not suitable for distances from Spain to USA.
  • Shipping by Air: The fastest option taking only 3-5 days but also the most expensive (5-10X sea freight costs). Only recommended if you need your car urgently. Restricted to smaller/lighter vehicles.

So for typical shipping from Spain to USA, sea freight would be the most cost-effective option worth considering despite the longer transit duration.

Selecting a Reputable Shipping Company

With so many car shipping companies active, doing thorough research and selecting a reputable one is important. Here are some tips:

  • Ask for references from friends/family who have imported cars.
  • Check online reviews on sites like Trustpilot for customer service standards.
  • Inquire about licensing, insurance and membership in car carrier associations like ICAM.
  • Compare quotes from 3-4 companies specifying transport method, timing, included services and additional fees if any.
  • Prefer companies with experience in Spain-USA route and good track record of on-time deliveries Car Shipping Source.
  • Ensure they provide full documentation support for customs clearance at both ends.

Going with a well-established brand that has shipped thousands of vehicles safely is the safest way to avoid delays or damages during transit.

Preparing your Car for Shipment

Once you have selected the shipping company, here are the steps to prepare your car for its long journey:

  • Get vehicle inspection done. The carrier will inspect for any pre-existing damages to document before pick up.
  • Apply protective wrapping/taping. The entire car will be wrapped in thick plastic sheets and/or taped with insulation tape for protection from dust, moisture and collision with other vehicles.
  • Disable alarm/immobilizer systems. You may need to leave keys and manuals for ease of loading/unloading at ports. Install steering locks to secure wheels.
  • Final checks of fluid levels, tire pressure, battery charge before sealing.
  • Submit documents to shipping agent. Original registration/title, customs forms, your contact details etc.
  • Arrange payment and review transit timeline for tracking.

On the scheduled pick up date, the vehicle transporters will come with a carrier to take your vehicle into their system. Make someone available to assist them.

Transit Tracking and Delivery

Now comes the interesting part – tracking your car across the ocean! Most modern carriers provide online tools to:

  • View the vehicle’s location updates every 3-5 days based on GPS coordinates.
  • Check voyage details like currently docked port, estimated time of arrival of vessel to destination ports.
  • Receive notifications of vessel departure/arrival as it makes progress on its international voyage.

Typically it takes 14-21 days by sea for West Coast ports like LA/Long Beach; and 21-28 days for East Coast ports like New York/New Jersey from Spanish ports.

On arrival, you will be notified by the carrier who will schedule custom clearance and delivery. Make sure someone is available at delivery address with documents to receive the vehicle smoothly.

Inspect for any post-transport damages, file claims immediately if needed and enjoy your imported car!

Car Shipping Source – Additional Cost Considerations

Some additional potential costs to keep in mind when shipping a car from Spain include:

  • Customs duties/taxes: Calculate roughly 3-8% of the car’s value for import duties depending on year/model.
  • Storage fees if not taking delivery promptly on arrival. $10-25/day.
  • Value Added Tax (VAT) refund in Spain if shipping a vehicle you owned <6 months.
  • Transportation of any spare parts/accessories/valuables imported separately.
  • Optional services like full vehicle wraps, custom/commercial invoices, photographs, insurance coverage.
  • Shipping quotes are usually presumed on drive-away/rollover vehicles. Add fees for towed car transport.
  • Currency exchange rates fluctuations can impact final shipping costs if paid in local currencies.

Doing thorough research lets you plan and budget for these additional expenses to enjoy a smooth import process.

With proper preparation and paperwork, selection of a reputable carrier and timely tracking, shipping your personal car overseas from Spain to the USA can be a safe and hassle-free experience. Safe travels to your imported vehicle!