Avenues and Steps to Take With International Auto Shipping

Are you considering selling to or buying a car from another country? Does the possibility of relocating for a job have you looking beyond the shores of the good old USA?  Following are some considerations to keep in mind that could make auto shipping overseas a convenient and cost effective option.

You want to make sure you’ve got the list of essentials covered, because dealing with delays and fines in international shipping can be very frustrating and expensive.   Moving items overseas requires paperwork and planning, so you will want to make a list of forms you need and steps to take.

Paperwork and insurance you will need:

  • The original Certificate of Title of Ownership, or a letter from the person who has legal possession of the car
  • A form by the name of Shipper’s Export Declaration
  • A form by the name of Shipper’s Declaration of Dangerous Goods
  • Specialized car insurance that covers international shipping which is beyond most people’s standard insurance coverage.
  • Depending on which of the Ports the car will sail from, you may need a Bill of Sale or Notarized Bill of Sale
  • In Florida Ports, you will need a Power of Attorney that gives the agents permission to clear your documents with verification from you.

Step 1

Gather quotes from different auto shipping companies and give consideration to which ports you can get to, so you save on the cost of transporting the car to or from the port itself.  Here is a list of the most popular ports for auto shipping:

The Port of New York and New Jersey – this is the largest port in the U.S. when it comes to imports and exports of cars.    Roughly 3 quarters of a million new and used vehicles passed through the port in 2013.   Another consideration is the many interstate highways, airports and rail stations that service this area.

West Coast Ports – San Francisco and Los Angles have experienced delays at the ports due to added congestion from labor strikes – so beware and factor in the waiting time.

Florida Ports – The Port of Jacksonville and Port Miami are leading seaports for motor vehicle exports and imports.  You might think about combining a Florida vacation with pick-up or drop off of the car in this part of the country.

East Coast Ports – Wilmington, DE, Baltimore, Norfolk, Charleston, and Savannah are other options, with car imports and exports on the rise in each of these ports.

Remember that large cars and trucks cost more than small to medium sized cars.  The same can be said when it comes to carry and storage charges on board a ship.

Step 2

Complete and submit the paperwork requested by the auto shipper.  Include two copies of the notarized title and it’s likely you will get the paperwork back, especially if you ask that it be returned to you.

Step 3

You may have to purchase international auto shipping insurance over and above what your normal policy covers.  There is the possibility that damage could occur while the vehicle is being loaded and unloaded from the ship or a trailer.  Get outside quotes, but your own insurance agent may also be able to provide a plan.  Ask to see the shipping company’s insurance policy as well, for your own peace of mind.  Experienced companies will be able to provide the details on their website or in e-mail.

Step 4

Now you want to be sure the car is ready for the journey.  So, inspect the car so you will know the condition it is in before it leaves the port.  Remove items such as car alarms, GPS, E-Z pass and other electronic devices.   Any item that protrudes like a roof rack or spoilers can be damaged so remove those as well.  Do leave a quarter tank of gas in the car and the spare tire.

With a world of destinations and shipping options out there, you don’t have to limit your car purchases or your new home to your own continent.