Moving overseas is certainly quite a bit more complicated than moving to another city. Unless you are going to sell your car and buy a new one at your destination, you are going to have to employ a car shipping service. Many people are unsure if it is worthwhile to have their car transported when staying overseas for a while.
Understandably, it seems like a complicated process. However, with the help of a full service auto transport service, the process is fairly simple and stress-free. If you've never shipped a car overseas before, this article will provide an overview about your car's upcoming journey.
Types of Overseas Transports
The first leg of your car's journey is the trip from your home to the port. If the port is close you can drive it yourself. If it is farther away, you will probably have the auto transport company handle that part of the journey as well.
Once your car arrives at the dock it will be shipped one of three ways: RORO (Roll On Roll Off), in a 20-foot container, or in a 40-foot container.
Roll On Roll Off is commonly used for short trips. For example, it is the most common way that cars are shipped to Hawaii or Puerto Rico. The ship is basically a large car ferry. Your vehicle is driven aboard and parked along with many other vehicles. Upon arrival, it is driven out onto the dock. RORO service is usually cheaper than container shipping. However it is also less safe and your vehicle is more likely to be damaged. This shipping method covers the car itself. There is no provision for shipping any personal belongings.
A 20-foot shipping container is a safer method of auto transport. The car is loaded into a standard shipping container, secured so it doesn't move during the trip, then the container is brought aboard the ship. Most of the time these smaller containers will fit only the car itself. If there is room in the container some shippers will allow you to ship personal belongings as well.
The best solution for shipping both your vehicle and household items is a 40-foot shipping container. The other items are loaded in first then a wooden bulkhead is placed in the container to separate these items from the car. The vehicle is driven into the container and secured as above. This shipping method is safer for both the car and your other belongings but is likely to be the most expensive shipping method.
Other Details of Overseas Auto Transport
Overseas transport is going to be more expensive than typical ground car shipping. Shipping will incur port fees at the destination. If shipping to another country, you will have to pay that country's tariffs. Finally, your insurance will almost certainly not cover your vehicle during the trip. You will need to purchase maritime insurance which generally costs 1%-3% of the price of the vehicle.
International shipping has stricter documentation requirements. You will need the original title to the vehicle and may need other documentation depending on the destination. An experienced international auto transport company will be able to help you with the details so that you can get everything prepared before your move.