Shipping an exotic or beloved car can be a stressful thing and understanding what to look out for is important. 

A1 Auto Transport have shipped cars of all shapes, sizes, worth and value and are experts in the field. Below they lay out a number of things to consider when engaging in international car shipping. 

silver sports coupe on asphalt road

1. Confirm Whether Shipping Insurance is Offered 

While carriers are required to carry insurance, still make sure you ask for proof and confirm that the information provided is correct. To do this, visit safersys.org or give the international auto transporter’s insurance provider a call. Follow up with them to find out if their policy is sufficient enough to cover the value of your vehicle, and don’t forget if they have additional insurance options. 

2. Drop Off and Pick Up 

It’s worth noting that some vehicle shipping companies in the market will pick your vehicle from wherever you are located. If you’re buying a new car, some companies will even go and pick it up from the dealership directly. However, there are shipping companies that have designated car drop off spots, which means you’ll have to have the vehicle delivered to this location for it to be shipped. Depending on the destination, some car shipping companies will deliver the car to the specified location, while some will only drop it at a terminal for you to pick it up. These are some of the questions you need to ask when searching for an international shipping company.

3. International Shipping Rates

If you are planning on shipping cars internationally, be ready to deal with a wide range of prices. The main factor that determines cost, in most cases, is the type of vehicle(s) you’re shipping. Companies that ship cars internationally generally charge more money to transport sports utility vehicles (SUVs) than motorcycles or compact cars. Other factors that determine cost include the possible cost of supplementary insurance and destination.

4. Time Variations 

How long it takes to ship a car internationally varies widely depending on where the vehicle is being picked up and where it will be dropped off. If the distance between the pickup and drop-off points is short, then chances are it’ll only take a couple of days for the vehicle to arrive. However, if you reside in California and are shipping a car from the Middle East, then it’ll take considerably longer before the car gets to you. The problem with long trips is that your vehicle will have to pass through different ports in different countries; furthermore, it will have to deal with customs at each of these locations. It’s, therefore, advisable that you plan to have the vehicle shipped a few weeks before time to ensure your vehicle(s) arrives before you. 

5. Preparing Your Vehicle for Shipping Overseas 

There are several things shipping companies request their customers to do before they pick up their cars. In most cases, they will ask that you remove any personal or valuable items before having your car picked up for shipping. Also, as a precautionary measure, make sure you take photos of the car to document the vehicle’s current condition. That way, you’ll have proof should anything happen to your car during shipping. 

6. Storing Items in the Car 

If, for some reason, you want to use your vehicle as storage and are thinking of placing some items in it before having it shipped, reconsider your options because there are several risks to this. First, you better ensure that what you’re transporting isn’t considered illegal by any of the countries you pass through, go to, or leave from, or you are going to have issues with customs. If you still want to store some items in your car, then consider buying additional insurance from your carrier.

7. Gasoline in the Car 

Most international shipping companies will ask their customers to leave about a quarter tank of gasoline in their vehicles when shipping them overseas. This helps make moving the vehicle around easier. 

8. Dealing with Customs

Most car shipping companies have their own customs brokers whose work is to ensure your car gets through custom swiftly and safely. This can be helpful as trying to deal with customs by yourself can be quite confusing. So, if you want everything done correctly, have a customs broker handle everything related to customs for you. 

9. Extra Car Shipping Needs

There are a few services that most international car shipping companies offer as standard. However, as someone planning to ship a vehicle, you might have other needs that aren’t usually covered. Contact A1 Auto Transport they are willing to work with their clients and are ready to do almost anything to ensure you’re satisfied with how your vehicle is transported.