A Guide to International Car Transportation

Many individuals or families who are moving overseas must consider international car transportation. Being able to bring your car with you to a new country should not be a luxury. There are many different aspects of transportation that must be taken into consideration when planning for your car to join you at your new home.


There are many things to research before shipping your car to another country. Taking the proper steps are important to choosing the correct shipping company to meet your needs.

When researching international car shipping companies it is helpful to keep these points in mind.

  • Costs – It is a good idea to gather a list of shipping companies that perform international car transportation. Request quotes from these companies and compare.
  • Needs – Does your car need to be at the location quickly or can you wait? There are two methods for shipping a car internationally: air freight or sea freight. Air freight is faster but more expensive while sea freight is slower and less expensive. You need to consider your time frame when choosing either sea or air freight. Also, if you live far away from the port you wish to ship your car from, it may be necessary to have your car shipped there. This adds to cost and time.
  • Necessity – Before considering shipping your car, it is important to research your country of origin. Here are some questions to ask before shipping your car.
    • Is there public transportation in your new city? If public transportation is readily available and parking a car expensive, is it really worth shipping your car there?
    • How much are cars in your new city or country? It may be less expensive to sell your car in the U.S. and purchase a new one once you move.
    • Is your car legal? Some countries, like Japan, the U.K., or Australia drive on the left hand side of the road and the steering wheel is on the right side of the car. It is important to check and see if the car you wish to ship is legal to drive at your new home.
  • Import Tariffs – The cost of international car transportation does not include any possible import tariffs you may need to pay in order to import your car. To avoid any surprise expenses, it is important to research import tariffs in the country you are moving to.
  • Relocating for Your Job – If your company is relocating you, they may be able to cover all or part of the international car transportation costs. Check with your company to see if they provide such a service.

Preparing Your Car

It is always important to check with the shipping company about requirements that must be met before they can ship your car. However, here is a small list of common steps to take to prepare your car for shipment.

  • Wash your car, remove all personal items, and clean the interior.
  • Have your car inspected to insure it is in good running condition.
  • Turn off the car alarm, remove the antennae if possible, and fold your mirrors back.
  • Remove any loose parts of your car and store them.
  • Check the battery to make sure it is charged.
  • Check the fluids levels and for leaks.
  • Check if the tires are properly inflated.
  • Take note of all exterior damages. Also, take photos or a video of your car before shipping and provide a copy of these to the shipping agent.

We at We Will Transport It wish you luck in transporting your car overseas. Contact us if you have any questions or for a free quote.

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