How to ship a car abroad

If you’re wanting a better understanding of the costs involved in shipping your car abroad and what terms you have to be knowledgeable in to make an informed decision and be prepared to the max, then this is the article for you.
When it comes to cost, there is a lot more than ocean freight that one needs to take into consideration. The shipping method you choose, for example, can make a big difference in expected prices. There are several shipment methods available to you each with their own pros and cons. Choosing the shipment method most relevant to you is a balancing act of how much you are willing to pay and how important it is to receive your car as soon as possible.

Shipping Method

Fastest option:
Tell your shipper that you want to pay for your own separate 20ft container. While this is the most expensive method (make sure to ask your shipper the difference in prices compared to the other shipping options). Your car will be loaded onto the next available ship and then transported;

Roll On Roll Off option: This is your middle option in terms of time and cost. With this option your car will be taken into the body of special ship made to transport vehicles. This ship is called a Roll on Roll off vessel. Roll on Roll of vessels don’t always have a direct route to your end destinations so it might take longer for you to receive your vehicle. When other downfall is that it does not have the same protection and security as a 20ft container. It will, therefore, be open to humidity, seawater, and other elements. Rest assured, however, with this method your car won’t be showered with seawater.
Important note: With this shipping method you are NOT allowed to bring anything in your car. Putting a couple of boxes in your car before it is shipped is not an option.

Consolidated Shipping: Just as the name entails, your car will be packed into a container and consolidated with similar shipments onto a vessel where they all wait until their ship reaches full capacity then shipped to one final destination. It might sometimes take longer but you get added protection of a container and is slightly more economical.

The Quoted Service

Do you want your vehicle at your door step at your new home or are you willing to pick it up at the port yourself? Who is going to bring your vehicle to the origin port? Depending on the answer to these questions you will either be quoted for a port to port service, door to port, or door to door service.

Get free quotes

Destination Fees

It is safe to assume that there will always be extra costs incurred associated with the destination ports. Depending on the type of service you chose (port to port, door to port, door to door) some of this will already be included in your quote. Be sure to ask the person who quoted you about destination fees and whether it’s included in your quote or not.


If you are shipping something as valuable as a car then insurance is a necessity. Please be sure to consult with your shipping/moving company about the details surrounding your insurance.
Example questions to ask:

  • What is included in the insurance already provided?
  • What other insurance options are there and what do they cover?
  • What does the insurance chosen not cover?
  • Is the insurance that you provide through a third party.

If there is ever a moment to read the fine print this would be one of them. Make sure to have your car checked, keep the copy of the service report, and take photos after its has been serviced so that you know, without a shadow of a doubt, the condition of your car before and after its voyage. For a comprehensive look at insurance read our helpful article here. (link to website)

Required Documents

There are certain documents you will be required to provide in order to ship your vehicle abroad. The exact documents required may depend on where you are moving to. Your shipping company will let him know which exact documents is required. Below are examples of possible required documents;

  • Clear original title
  • Copy of bill of sale
  • Copy of your Passport
  • Copy of bill of sale

Check out our video for the full process.

Get free quotes