Perhaps you have moved countries or states recently, or maybe you purchased a rare vehicle from a seller across the seas. There are very few times in your life that you would need to ship a car across the United States or even across the world. But when that does happen, you might balk at the whole process because it seems too complicated.

That’s why we are here to help. The factors below should give you an idea of what to watch out for before using shipping services to ship your car long distances. So keep reading!

1. No Personal Belongings in the Car

This is one that most shipping services will emphasize. As they don’t want to be responsible for any lost, stolen, or damaged personal items, mostly you aren’t allowed to leave personal items in the vehicle while it’s in transit.

Some shipping companies aren’t as strict about this, so if you are looking to ship personal items as well as your car, then enquire about this beforehand. Also, remember that adding personal items to your vehicle will increase the shipping weight and thus increase your overall shipping expense. 

2. Your Vehicle Should Have All the Right Ownership Papers

If you have recently purchased the vehicle from abroad and are shipping it back home, or vice versa, then make sure you have all the right ownership papers for it. Ideally, you would ensure that there are no liens on the car and it’s not stolen property.

Also, if you transferred ownership right before shipping, make sure you have the bill of sale, indicating you as the new owner and all other pertinent information. This way, the shippers don’t have to worry about the vehicle being stolen, as this could delay your shipment or cancel it altogether. 

3. Leave No Fuel in the Gas Tank

The shipping company will give you clear indicators on how to prepare your vehicle for shipping. Make sure to follow the advice strictly, since any deviation could prevent your vehicle from getting shipped properly.

Try to remove all fuel from the gas tank before shipping, so that the risk of explosion while shipping is minimized. 

4. Make Sure the Battery Is Charged and the Car Runs

You will have to leave a set of keys and a spare with the shipper, as they might need to move the vehicle around in transit. It could be for various reasons, mostly for emergency purposes.

Either way, you need to make sure that your battery is charged and ready to go, so it doesn’t die midway. This will cause great inconvenience to the shipper as he/she tries to move the vehicle around without having the ability to start it. 

The easier you can make it for the shipping company, the more efficiently your vehicle will reach its destination and get back to you. 

5. Hire a Shipping Company if You Need Additional Help

When you first look at the shipping process, it might seem overwhelming. But that’s only because it’s the first time you are undertaking such a complicated venture. 

If you are worried that you are going to make a mistake with some paperwork, or you wish to ensure that your precious vehicle returns to you safe and sound, then consider hiring shipping services. They ship dozens of vehicles every week all over the world, so they have the experience and knowledge you seek.

The best auto shipping company might even have insurance in place to protect your vehicle in transit and against any damages or loss (or have an option for you to purchase this protection). That’s an added bonus to keep in mind. 

6. Think About Storage if You Won’t Pick It up Right Away

Depending on where you are shipping your vehicle, you might or might not be around to pick it up on the other end. Maybe you are still traveling yourself or there were other delays preventing you from being there.

Either way, make sure you think about storage options for your vehicle once it arrives at the destination. This is something you have to set up beforehand, because the shipper won’t do that for you. And you don’t want your vehicle sitting around in some dingy garage waiting for your arrival. 

Remember that this storage would be an additional cost (both before it leaves and after it arrives), and if you think the storage cost is too much, you could consider getting it delivered straight to your home however far it is from the port of arrival. 

7. Take Lots of Pictures to Have Evidence in Case of Damage

This is one way you can protect yourself, since accidents do happen and unintentional damage to your vehicle might occur. Take lots of video and picture evidence of what your vehicle looked like before, making sure to wash your car properly inside and out, so any scratches are easily evident.

And then make sure to take pictures as soon as your vehicle arrives on the other end, doing an inspection right away and letting the shipper know of any damage immediately. This way, they can’t argue that the damage occurred after the shipment and they can’t run away from paying you for any repair costs. 

Ready to Ship Your Car Now?

It’s not rocket science to ship your car from one country to another, but it does require a bit of forethought, planning, and research. If you don’t have time to do all that, then consider contacting a shipping company to help you with all the nitty-gritty details.

Also, keep browsing through all the other articles on our website to grow your knowledge base and stay informed on various topics.