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How to move a car safely across the ocean?

If you are moving to another country, especially one that is not within your driving distance, you might consider taking your car with you. It is not uncommon, and although it can be expensive, it can be more economical than buying a car in your new country.

To help you decide if you have to move your car, find out how much it will cost to send it and what exactly you need to do to make sure that it safely makes it to the other side. 

Many companies offer the service “from port to port,” which allows you to go through this process painlessly.

Quotations are available online with prices that are determined by size, weight, origin, and destination. As you choose a transportation company for your belongings, also check out each car shipping company carefully. A car is a big asset that you do not want to lose.

After you get a few quotations, look at what you need to do to safely export your car from your current place of residence. 

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Gather Required Documents 

U.S. Customs requires either an original ID or a certified copy of the ID. Only the original title or a certified copy of the original is considered valid proof of ownership. If a certified copy of a title is provided, title certification may only be performed by the Motor Vehicle Administration.

If you have a security interest in your vehicle, you should provide a letter from the security interest holder. The letter must specify the year of the vehicle was manufactured, make, model, VIN, and indicate that you have the right to send your car to the country of destination. The letter must be printed on an original letterhead, dated and signed, and must include a contact person and phone number.

If your vehicle is new, you can export it by submitting a declaration of origin instead of a title to the vehicle. You can get the manufacturer’s declaration of origin from the car dealership. The original, plus two copies must be submitted to Customs.

Prepare Your Vehicle 

Customs states that you cannot use your vehicle to transport personal belongings. Your belongings may be stolen, and all contents of the vehicle must be declared to Customs. 

Also, using the vehicle for export or import of prohibited substances is subject to confiscation and possible punishment. It is recommended to take an inventory of the contents of your vehicle and keep this list with you.

Most carriers have special rules and regulations about what you can leave in your car. These items usually include those that are part of the car, such as the spare wheel, factory manufactured hand tools, first aid kit, fire extinguisher, and permanent accessories. 

Please consult with your shipper to determine what they will allow your vehicle to be transported during transport. Ask how much fuel you are allowed to leave in your vehicle, as most companies prefer a tank less than 1/4 full.

Finally, clean your car from inside and outside. Make sure the undercarriage of your car is free of dirt and debris. Customs will thoroughly inspect your car, checking it for pests and soil that could potentially contaminate local agriculture.

Purchase Marine Insurance 

You should purchase marine insurance to cover your car for the actual time it will spend on the ocean. The sea carrier will have insurance that covers the goods that it transports, but it is minimal and will not replace your car in case of damage or loss. 

Ask the carrier what is covered, and then weigh the cost of buying extra coverage. And, as with any move, before you buy extra insurance, check your current policy to see if it covers marine insurance or if you should buy it from the carrier.

Find Out About Taxes, Customs Duties, And Other Charges 

Before leaving, contact the consulate of your destination country to find out about the rules and regulations relating to customs duties and tax. Payment of these costs sometimes depends on your employment status, residency status, and the length of time you own the car. 

Your transport company should also be able to help you, either by giving you import requirements or by providing the name of someone you can contact in the country of destination. In either case, find out in advance so that you are ready.

Also, ask your carrier if there will be a handling fee at the port. Most ports charge terminal handling, offloading, and documentation fees. Each port charges a different amount, so ask your shipper to calculate these charges and add them to the total cost of moving.

International Vehicle Shipping

Another urgent question in your case may be how to send your car abroad. Once you decide that you cannot live without your favorite car in a new country, you should do to seek advice on this matter with your international budget. 

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If you are given the nod, then the next step is for you to contact a reliable car sender. The road transport companies specialize in transporting safe passenger vehicles across the ocean. 

Of course, they are experts in what they do and will handle the entire delivery process for you with enviable efficiency. The shipping company will prepare your vehicle for shipment, deliver it by truck to the port if necessary, prepare the required documents, and take care of customs regulations for you.

You are strongly recommended to contact several reliable international road carriers and request an estimate of the cost of shipping the car. Compare the quotations received and choose the international transportation company that best suits your budget, needs, and requirements. 

The cost of shipping a car can range from $700 to $4000 or even more, and will include distance to the port of departure, distance to a foreign country by sea, the size of your car, and transportation insurance rates.

The company you selected will request specific documents from you, such as copies of the notarized name, shipper’s export declaration form, Dangerous Goods Declaration form, and so on. Make sure you provide the necessary documents as soon as possible.

Also, remove any parts that protrude from the vehicle, as they could be damaged during transport.

Tips for Moving Across The Ocean

Moving across the ocean teaches you many things. Yet, you are expected to leave your country with an open mind and enough life-saving signs to help you quickly adapt to unfamiliar surroundings and easily immerse yourself in a new culture.

Before moving, you should carefully study the country you are moving to. Go to reliable sources on the internet and check what you know about your foreign country, that you think you know about it, and what you may have heard of it. 

Read about the country’s geography, history, and climate. Also, investigate its education, language, economy, health system, traditions, and culture (arts, music, literature, sports, etc.). All of these should help you have a better idea of what to expect when you arrive.

Moving With Your Children

The process of international relocation will undoubtedly become even more complicated and stressful if you move to another country with children. Their safety and general well-being should be your primary concern, and, depending on their age, their fears, concerns, needs, and issues should be adequately addressed for a happy and successful move abroad. 

Relocating your Pet

Moving to another country with your pets is not easy and has its challenges. Before anything, you should take your pet to the veterinary clinic for a full medical check-up. Ask your vet to provide you with all the documents you need to move your pet internationally, such as passport, vaccination records, and other relevant documentation. 

Then contact the embassy or consulate of the destination country for more information on whether your pet meets the import requirements. Finally, check the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s regulations for exporting animals to destination countries.

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Connecting With Other Expats

Regardless of where you are moving to, you are sure to find other Americans who are already settled there. Whether or not you choose to seek help from your compatriots is entirely up to you, but keep in mind that helping expatriates is a great way to get practical and often invaluable advice from the inside and speed up the acclimatization process as a whole.

Wherever You Go, Knowledge Is Real Power

Once you cross the ocean, you will realize that some things will not work the way you are used to working in the United States. Soon, you will be dealing with another system of measurement (metric system), which probably will not make sense to you at the beginning. However, it will have a perfect meaning over time. 

You will probably find yourself in a different time zone, and it will take you some time to adjust to changes. 

Electricity will likely have different voltage and frequency values (get a specific electrical plug adapter for the appliances you choose to take with you). Your destination country is likely to have an official language other than English, so if you move to another country without knowing the language, one of your top priorities should be to learn the local language.

To Sum Up

There are many reasons why you can move to another country – work, education, love, pension, etc. And, whether your international move is temporary or permanent, you may want to take your car with you to your new destination.

Even though a professional international shipping company will take care of almost everything for you, you should understand what your role should be in the process of delivering the car. 

After all, delivering a car is a rather complicated operation that requires proper planning and careful preparation to ensure that your vehicle is moved safely across the ocean.



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