Shipping Cars Internationally, It isn’t for the faint of heart

Shipping cars internationally is a business that is growing as the world’s population moves from country to country. Although all transportation methods are ever improving, it can still take up to three weeks to ship a car from the United States to one of the European countries.

Whether you’ve been transferred by your employer to an oilfield position in Iraq or you’ve decided to retire to a Mediterranean resort town, you may want to take your own vehicle with you. Driving it to its European or Middle Eastern destination isn’t really an option—there’s that whole ocean thing to get past. So you’re going to have to find a company that will ship your car for you.

International car shipping is a competitive industry. Look for a company with a solid reputation and a willingness to answer any question you might pose. Verify that they will take responsibility for following rules and regulations that you likely know nothing about—both in the United States and the foreign destination. What kind of paperwork must be filled out? Does the company have agents overseas who understand the customs and import rules of their particular country? What value added taxes (VAT) or duty charges might the destination country charge? What will the destination country inspect on your car: emissions, brakes, lights, or more? Does your car need to be altered in any way to allow for the fact that fuel is sold in liters instead of gallons? What about the speedometer? Most European countries measure distance in kilometers instead of miles.

In short, there’s a lot to think about when shipping vehicles internationally. Do your homework to ensure that your car will arrive at its destination without any issues.

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