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International Car Shipping: What You Need to Know

Darah Albesa
International Car Shipping: What You Need to Know

International Car Shipping: What You Need to Know

Are you embarking on a global adventure? Are you relocating to a different country? Or are you simply seeking to expand your automotive horizons? If so,international car shipping may be on your radar. 


Below, we discuss the international car shipping process, providing you with all the information you need to make informed decisions. 


Different Methods of International Car Shipping

1. Roll-on/roll-off (RoRo) shipping

The most common and cost-effective method of international car shipping, RoRo, involves driving your vehicle onto a specialised vessel designed to transport wheeled cargo. Once secured, your vehicle remains stationary throughout the voyage to minimise the risk of damage. 


2. Container shipping

For added protection, container shipping encloses your vehicle within a steel container for the duration of its journey. While more expensive than RoRo shipping, container shipping offers higher security, particularly for valuable or delicate vehicles. 


3. Air freight

The fastest but most expensive method of international car shipping, air freight is ideal for time-sensitive shipments or vehicles that are too large or specialised to be accommodated by other methods. 


Factors to Consider When Choosing a Shipping Method

1. Cost

The cost of international car shipping varies depending on the shipping method, distance, vehicle size, and weight. RoRo shipping is generally the most cost-effective option, while air freight is the most expensive. 


2. Time

Shipping times can vary significantly depending on the shipping method and route. RoRo shipping typically takes the longest, while air freight is the fastest. 


3. Vehicle type

Some vehicles are not suitable for certain shipping methods. For example, vehicles with low ground clearance may not be able to be loaded onto RoRo vessels. 


4. Personal preferences

Ultimately, the best shipping method for you will depend on your individual needs and preferences. RoRo shipping may be the best option if you're on a tight budget. If you need your vehicle to arrive as quickly as possible, air freight is the best choice. 


Understanding the Shipping Process

Once you've chosen a shipping company, you must familiarise yourself with the general shipping process. Doing so will give you a better understanding of what to expect and help you stay on top of things throughout the journey. 


The typical international car shipping process involves the following steps: 

  1. Vehicle preparation: Ensuring your vehicle is in good working order and meets all necessary export requirements. 
  2. Booking: Once you have prepared your vehicle, you must book a shipping date with your chosen shipping company. 
  3. Delivery to the port: You'll need to deliver your vehicle to the port of origin for loading onto a shipping vessel. 
  4. Ocean transport: Your vehicle will be transported to the destination port by sea. 
  5. Customs clearance: Once your vehicle arrives at the destination port, it must clear customs, which may involve paying import duties and taxes. 
  6. Delivery to your final destination: Once your vehicle has cleared customs, it will be delivered to your final destination. 


Preparing Your Vehicle for International Shipping

Follow these steps to prepare your vehicle for its international shipping journey. 

  1. Thoroughly clean your vehicle to prevent the spread of pests and diseases, and ensure its electrical system is in good condition. 
  2. Remove all personal belongings, anything from loose change to CDs and DVDs. 
  3. Disable the alarm system to prevent the battery from draining during the journey. 
  4. Inflate tires to the correct pressure to avoid them from going flat during the journey. 
  5. Obtain the necessary documentation, such as a copy of your vehicle's registration, title, and insurance policy. 


International car shipping can be complex, but it doesn't have to be overwhelming. The process can be surprisingly smooth and hassle-free with a little planning and effort. Enjoy your new ride! 

Darah Albesa
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