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How to Ship a Car Overseas

  • Regulations
12th February 2021

If you are planning on transporting your car overseas there are a few logistics that will need to be figured out that make the most sense for your move and your budget. And while shipping a car internationally isn’t cheap, it can still be more cost-effective than buying a car at your new destination.

There are two main systems for shipping a car overseas: RoRo and Container. RoRo is a simple drive on drive off service and shipping involves securing your vehicle inside a cargo container for export on regular vessels. Both systems offer a safe and secure way of shipping cars overseas.

Cars are major items to move, and this becomes especially true when they need to be shipped across an entire ocean. Despite this, the process for transporting a car overseas is surprisingly straightforward. This article will outline the simple process of how to ship a car overseas so that it can go as smoothly as possible.


The first step to exporting a car overseas is to research. There are many different companies that offer international car transportation, so it is beneficial to do plenty of research to find one that best suits your needs and budget. You should only consider companies that meet the following requirements: offer services from your current location to your new one, is properly licensed, bonded, and insured, and only works with third parties who are also properly licensed, bonded, and insured.

If you’re not sure about licensing and insurance, it is worth asking directly and asking for their licensing numbers so they can be verified by yourself. You can then proceed to choose the best company for the job by requesting quotes and reading online reviews.


As with most things when it comes to an international move, there is important paperwork involved when you want to transport a car overseas. When it comes to documentation, you can never be too prepared. Contact your Port of Entry directly prior to your move so you know exactly what they expect from you and when.

Generally, the following list of paperwork is required to ship your car overseas successfully from the UK: a copy of the V5C (log book), a copy of the photo page of your passport, a copy of the purchase invoice for the vehicle, and lastly, a packing list if there are any goods loaded inside the vehicle. As tempting as it might be though, you probably won’t be able to move any belongings inside of your car. Generally, the only items that may be left in the car are those that are directly related — such as things like a spare tyre and jumper cables.

Vehicle Inspection & Condition

When transporting a vehicle overseas, it is recommended to always do your own vehicle inspection report and take photographs. This way, you know the exact running condition of your vehicle and it will be much easier to spot any exterior damage that would need to be included in the condition report.

Most overseas transporters will also do this as soon as the vehicle arrivals at their warehouse or office – but having two inspection reports is never a bad thing. It is also advised to first service your car before handing it over to the shipping company, as well as getting it washed as customs agents at the border will be checking over your car carefully for pests and debris that are illegal to bring into the country. It is highly essential to check whether your brakes work properly for maximum safety during the loading and unloading of your vehicle.

It is also important to remove any significant documents, such as your vehicle registration and insurance information. The car shipping company that you use will outline exactly what can and what cannot be in your vehicle during export. They will also likely have specific requirements when it comes to how much fuel can be in the car on delivery at their warehouse. Most companies require that the fuel tank should be no more than one-quarter full.

Sending a car overseas is a fairly complex operation that requires good planning and preparation. And although your international shipping company will take care of almost all aspects for you, it is important to understand exactly what your role will be in the car transportation process. We hope this article has made that clear and will help you to have a stress-free and efficient move!

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