Shipping your Car Internationally: What are Your Options?
By Dermound Becker
Special to CarMovers.com
If you need to have your car transported to a destination overseas, there are many options available to you. Some are more expensive than others, and you will have to take many factors into consideration when you decide what the best option is for you.
You will need to find an auto transport company that specializes in shipping automobiles to other countries. As with any car shipping company, you need to do some research to find a company that has a good reputation and is considered to be reliable. Because you are most likely going to need special papers to be filed and to know that you are getting what you pay for, doing some homework on the different companies really is essential.
After you have decided on a car shipping company, you are then going to have to decide on what shipping option is best for your car. The options include containers, a roll on-roll off and a conventional shipping method.
Containers are enclosed metal containers. You can choose from one that will contain your car only and this method is called ‘sole-use' or FCL shipping. Your car is placed inside a metal container on the ship, and it is secured with straps and wheel chocks. This is obviously the most expensive way of shipping your car. Another option available many times is the shared container. With this, your car is placed inside a much larger metal container and a wooden crate is custom built around your car to protect it from the other cars in the container. This is called LCL shipping and it is less expensive than the sole use method.
Some ships are built expressly for shipping cars. Usually these are used to ship new cars to international destinations. If you choose this type of shipping, it is called roll on-roll off or RO-RO. Your car is rolled onto the car carrier and is secured by straps and chocks. Your car is protected from the elements. These ships do not normally sail as often as the other shipping options and you might have to wait to ship your car to your destination.
The last option is conventional auto shipping. Your car is lifted onto the ship and either sits on deck or in the hold of the ship. Although the least expensive option, there are many obvious drawbacks to this method.
You will need assistance from your shipping company to deal with the authorities in the country you are shipping your car to. There will be customs documentations, and port and clearance charges. Your shipping company should handle all of this for you. You will need to be able to show a clear title to the car at some point.
Virtually all shipping companies require that your car has no more than 1/4 tank of gas in it when it is shipped. Normally you can store some personal items in the car during shipping. You must have special insurance on your car during the shipping process so you will need to get in touch with your auto insurance company about this.