How to Ship a Car Across the World


If you have found yourself in a situation where you are moving across the globe, or maybe selling your car to a lucky buyer that is not within driving range, then you will need to ship your vehicle accordingly. This is not as uncommon as one might think, nor does it have to be as daunting of a task as it may seem. Shipping your car across the world requires a bit of paperwork, especially if you are crossing country borders, but with companies like FCB Logistics & Freight, a lot of the hard work is done for you. So know that you aren’t alone as you prepare to ship your vehicle. Now, for the important stuff, we must ensure the vehicle makes it to the destination in one piece.

Required Documentation

If you are shipping from the United States, you first must prove ownership of your vehicle before it goes anywhere. Your car’s certificate of title will satisfy this requirement, or if you have lost that, a certified copy will do which can be obtained from the Department of Motor vehicles. The bank is also very interested in where your car is heading if you still owe them money, that is. The lienholder will need to provide a letter that indicates the cars VIN, year, make, model, and designate the vehicle for shipping to another country.

Packaging the Vehicle

There are several stipulations to how your car can be prepared for shipment. You cannot put personal belongings in the vehicle of any sort as it is susceptible to theft. The paperwork for customs must include a detailed inventory of the vehicle contents. This is good for you and those who are transporting the vehicle because in the event something goes missing, it has been declared what ought to be present from the start.

Each carrier has specific rules as to what you are allowed to leave in the car. Items such as fire extinguishers, spare tires, those considered as “part of the vehicle,” may be permitted to stay. If there are items that fall outside of this criterion, you may have to seek alternative shipping methods. There are also restrictions on how much fuel you are allowed to have in the vehicle, and most carriers permit under ¼ of a tank to reduce weight and fire risk.

All of this leaves out and perhaps implies that your car is free of rodents and pests. Several creatures may not be native to the destination country, so ensuring that the vehicle is clean and free of any living creatures is a must.

Insurance and Taxes

Like any carrier, shipping freight across the world may warrant purchasing insurance for the ride, in case the worst is to happen. Marine insurance will cover your car for the time it spends floating over the ocean. It is recommended to purchase this on top of the carrier’s standard insurance, which may not cover your vehicle if it’s lost or damaged at sea. Check your current insurance provider to see if you are already covered and if not, they may offer marine insurance.


The destination country will also set some rules and regulations for customs and taxes, so before embarking on this endeavor, it is recommended that you contact the Consulate of that country for the proper information. The carriers will also walk you through and port handling charges, such as off-loading and documentation. Cars are shipped across the world every day, and these carriers cannot be anything less than knowledgeable about the process. When in doubt, ask the carrier for assistance before making any purchases or decisions about the shipment.

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