There are many companies specialising in overseas shipping of different vehicles. If you are moving abroad, or just plan to visit for a predetermined period but wish to have your car with you, such companies can be of great assistance. Before hiring the services of any such company, you need to invest quality time into research.

Comparison shop online and search for a company that:

  • Offers flexible terms & conditions
  • Charges budget-friendly prices
  • Is properly licensed & insured

Avoiding shipping scams is of primordial importance. There are good companies and bad/scam companies available, but both are very powerful in advertising themselves. In order to make the right choice, you should read shipping company reviews posted online.

Check out genuine testimonials of people who have used the services of the respective company. These reviews will help you make a well-informed decision and avoid potential scams. Make sure you will not base your decision on client testimonials posted on the website of the company, as these might be ‘fabricated’ reviews and not honest customer opinions.

Main documents required for shipping your car overseas

You need to prepare carefully all required documentation for the shipping of your car overseas. The required documents include the following:

  • Title & Registration documents (original)
  • Vehicle insurance papers
  • Identification documents- your driver’s license or your Passport
  • Notarised Bill of Sale
  • In case you export/import a car for another person, you also must present an original Power of Attorney document
  • The Sales Tax proof documents will help the agency/shipping company verify that you have paid all required taxes when you bought your vehicle
  • If the car is owned by a third party, you need to present a notarised Lien Holder document. This paper will basically allow the vehicle to leave the country.

What happens when your car arrives at the destination country

You should discuss all the details with the agency you are contracting with. Generally, there will be clearing agents waiting for the car at the destination port. The agents will provide assistance with the offloading & clearance of your vehicle.

You are allowed to hire your own clearing agent for the destination port, only if you ship the vehicle in an exclusive container (such as shipping rare/exclusive vehicles that need extra caution, such as when shipping a luxury car).

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The importance of marine insurance

Marie insurance will provide coverage while your vehicle is in transit (while being transported to the destination port). Marine insurance is not obligatory, but it is an important safety measure. The cost of Marine Insurance is typically calculated considering the value of the car and the shipping costs.

  • Marine Insurance provides coverage against Loss/Damage of your vehicle from the moment it is loaded until it is unloaded at the destination port.
  • The insurance will not cover for damages occurring while in wait at the shipping lines
  • There are three types of Marine Insurance policies available: Cargo Clause A, Cargo Clause B and Cargo Clause C. The widest cover is provided by the Cargo Clause A- the insurance policy offers coverage for all types of risks of loss/damage.

Are you allowed to load the car with personal belongings?

Yes, you are allowed to pack personal belongings into the car in case you ship it using a shared container. However, it is important to mention that your belongings cannot be insured. If you opt for an exclusive container where the car is shipped in a container on its own, you can pack your belongings into the car as well as into the remaining space in the container.

In this case, you can insure your belongings against loss only. Make sure to declare carefully all the goods/items that are shipped in the container, to avoid paying unnecessary penalties, extra charges, and import duties.

About taxes & import duties

Import duties and taxes might be imposed by the legislation of the destination country. Each country has different import duty/tax laws and regulations, but the shipping company you work with should be able to offer you clear information regarding these expenses.

For example, you do not have to pay import duties and VAT if you transport/ import a classic car within EU countries. However, if you import a classic car/motorcycle from Canada or the US to Europe, you will have to pay a 6% VAT on the total purchase cost of the vehicle + shipping costs. In this case scenario, you do not have to pay any import duties.

Before hiring a shipping company, it is extremely important to request quotes and compare them. There is great competition on the market, so companies will do their best to offer you an advantageous quote. Select your shipper carefully, and use reliable quote comparison websites.

Before sending your car, ensure to take photographs that you can keep as proof in case anything goes wrong. Then, prepare your car for shipping by having a mechanic performing a thorough inspection.

Now that you’re an expert on shipping your car overseas, take a look at our guide to moving your furniture abroad.