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Should You Ship Your Car Overseas When Taking A New Job

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By Johnny Bevers

If you’re wondering how to ship your car overseas, we’ve got inside information that will help make your decision.  It’s a wonderful experience to leave your homeland and venture off to a new country or continent in search for greener grass.  Speaking from personal experience, as one who has lived abroad for more than a decade, it can completely change your life for the better.  There is a solid list of finer things that are associated with moving abroad, but when it comes to the country you are moving to, concerns will unquestionably vary such as whether or not to transport your vehicle to that country or not.  Let’s take a closer look at this subject in hopes that it will allow you to make a better assessment of the situation.

How Much Does It Cost To Ship Your Car Overseas?


Even if you have only limited visualization skills, you should still be able to ascertain that there is no plain and simple answer for how much it will cost you to ship your car abroad.  The factors that greatly influence this cost are determined by what type of car it is, the size and weight of the vehicle, the shape or condition that the vehicle is in, the distance it will be shipped, the exact location of the terminal the vehicle will be shipped to, insurance costs and any country tax regulations there may be.  To make a generalization of shipping costs, you can expect to pay a minimum of $600 U.S. and can get as high as $6,000.  Again, this will all depend on the factors mentioned above.

Now we’ll break those numbers down even further.  If you are considering a car shipment to Europe, then you can breathe a little easier knowing that rates will be lesser going over the Atlantic Ocean rather than the Pacific.  Prices will begin around the $600 – $750 mark and if the vehicle gets larger (such as an SUV at full size) then fees will start at a median of $2,000 which is quite a dramatic increase.  If you are shipping the other way to Australia you will start out at a cost somewhere between $2,900 – $3000 just for a standard-sized vehicle alone.  To the Middle East you can expect an average cost of about $4,000 and Japan is one of the most expensive where the number will be as high as $6,000.

Shipping containers are the preferred method of transporting vehicles because additional space is provided for personal items that will accompany the vehicle.  Depending on the size of the container that is chosen will also play a role in the overall cost of the shipping.

The median insurance cost for shipping a vehicle abroad will come out to approximately 1.5% – 2.5% of the vehicles calculated worth.  If you are fortunate in your auto policy selection then you may even get a transporting fee that is covered for you at no extra cost by your insurance.  It will also be important to keep in mind that if your car is not functional at the time of transporting, an extra charge of approximately $150 – $200 may be added on.

Cost Advantages and Disadvantages

cars being loaded for trans oceanic shipment

When shipping a vehicle to an expensive location such as Japan and back again, the money you may end up spending for this might better be put towards a new vehicle in the end.

If you decide not to take your vehicle with you nor sell it when moving abroad, you will need to store it somewhere while you are away.  If you have someone who can take care of it for you then this might be very cost effective.  However, if you are renting storage space, depending on the time the vehicle will need to be stored, it may end up costing you much more than the vehicle is worth in the end.

Important Steps To Take When Preparing Your Car For Overseas Shipment

car shipping overseas loading process

a)  You will first need to choose the most appropriate shipping company to suit your needs.  Do your research online, make the phone calls and find out everything you need in order to make the best discernment.  Ideal questions would be about prices, whether or not the car will be shipped in a container or rolled on as well as the time it will take to ship your vehicle to its final destination.  Be sure you have everything worked out in your budget ahead of time as well.

b) When you’ve chosen a shipping company, make sure you’ve submitted to them all of the necessary forms so that nothing gets missed.

c) Next you should get in touch with your insurance company and find out if they have a policy for overseas vehicle transporting.  If they don’t then you may need to talk to an auto transporting company for insurance and registration.  Regardless of who will be handling your insurance that you decide upon, be certain that you understand the entire policy in which you are placing your vehicle under so nothing will be misunderstood or confused.

d) Give your vehicle a thorough cleaning next and take careful notice and make notes about the condition of your vehicle just in case any damages get done to it in the transporting phase.  It’s much better to be safe than sorry when it comes to such incidents.

e) When you go to pick up your car after you’ve finally settled into your new location, be sure you have all necessary documents and keys, and also take a quick re-inspection of your car to see if any damages were indeed done in the entire shipping process.  You should be sure to report any problems you may find with your vehicle right away and establish who, where and when it will be repaired.

Car Insurance At Your Overseas Location

overseas-car shipping aboard cargo ship

Before moving abroad you should do a small investigation regarding foreign country insurance coverage.  You should consult with your own auto policy, insurance company or agent.  If you find out that none of these will cover you for overseas auto insurance then you can go to a third-part agency and purchase the overseas auto insurance that you are looking for.  In the event that you are renting a vehicle abroad you can purchase liability, collision or comprehensive coverage through the agency you rent the car from.

Registration At Your Overseas Location

large cargo freight line ship

When you arrive at the shipping company overseas you will need to offer them the vehicle title copy that has been previously notarized.  Registration along with insurance documents should then be provided to the shipping company as well in order to have your car released to you.

Should You Consider Renting A Car Abroad Rather Than Shipping Your Own?


A huge determining factor in whether or not to rent a car abroad rather than sending your own should first be determined by how long you will be living overseas.  Obviously if you plan on a permanent move then you likely won’t be renting a vehicle for the rest of your life.  If you are staying abroad for a short period of time, such as under a year, renting a vehicle might definitely be the way to go.

It will be safe to assume that sentimental value to your vehicle and the overall cost of renting or shipping your own car will be the deciding factors in your final decision of how you will be traveling while abroad.

The video below shows the fine art of car container loading. Enjoy!


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