International car transporters services

How international car transport services work

Before you trust your automobile to the international car transporters, you should know how vehicles are shipped overseas. This not only helps you set your expectations about the whole process, but it also can help you better understand why car container ships are the best method for safe, cost-efficient transport for your automobile.

How long can international car transport shipping take?

As you might expect, the timeframe very much depends on the pick-up and delivery location. The international car transport company providing the ground service can give an estimate for the time it takes. The time it takes for the journey across the ocean is a little more difficult to determine. As a general rule of thumb, however, expect the journey from the east coast to coastal Europe to take a couple of weeks. A vehicle being hauled from the west coast to Australia, on the other hand, can take almost a month to arrive. When you make your booking with a car transport international company, make sure you sort out the arrangements in plenty of time. As well as making the booking for the shipping you also need to allow time to get your vehicle to the port and ensure all your documentation is in order.

How vehicles are shipped overseas

Contracting with an international car transporter

The shipping process starts when you reach an agreement with a transport car international service that ships cars. You’ll work with them to determine the best way to transport your vehicle, the right pricepoint for you, and how it’s getting to its export location.

Transport to the port

Before you transport car internationally, it needs to make it onto the ship. If you live near an export port, you may be able to deliver your vehicle to the logistics company personally. You will need to prepare your vehicle, making sure it conforms to shipping guidelines that dictate how cars that are shipped overseas should be secured, and follow the shipper’s instructions precisely. Alternatively, you can arrange for shipping to the port through your car international transport company. Your car will be loaded onto a trailer at or near your location and driven to the port.

Loading your automobile 

A representative of the international car transport service will drive your vehicle from a secure lot onto the ship and park it in a designated location. There, it will be secured to the deck to keep it from moving in rough waters. For container shipping, your vehicle is secured inside a steel shipping container. This container is then loaded onto the car container ship by a crane. Once the ship is loaded, the vessel gets underway toward its destination port.

Unloading the ship

Once it reaches the destination, the ship is unloaded and cargo needs to clear customs. The unloading process will see your vehicle or its container moved to a secure location at the port with other arriving cargo. Custom requirements on imports vary from location to location, but the experienced international car transport services can help you understand the expectations of the authorities and how best to ensure there are no snags.

Taking delivery 

If you are near the destination port, you may be able to pick up your vehicle yourself following the carrier’s receiving guidelines and local regulations. Otherwise, transport can be arranged to move your vehicle from the port to a delivery point near you. This can be a better option if you aren’t sure about driving on local roads yet or if your vehicle will needх to move across several borders to get from the port to your new location.

Factors that affect the car transport international prices

Ship a Car OverseasTime Restraints

Depending on where your vehicle is heading, you can anticipate between 3-12 weeks for your vehicle to make the journey overseas. If you absolutely need it to arrive sooner rather than later, you can anticipate increased cost for expedited shipping.

Type of a car

Larger vehicles may cost more to ship, as you might guess. Depending on which shipping method you choose, the additional space they occupy may shift the space demands. When shipping heavy haul vehicles like large trucks and other equipment, the costs and shipping method may be significantly different from shipping a car or even SUV due to the increased weight of the vehicle.

Transport method

If you’re wondering about the best ways to transport your vehicle, there are a few. Your car can, in fact, ride on an airplane, though it isn’t the cheapest way to ship a car. It will cost between $5,000 and $40,000 for that journey. Sending your car on a ship will range between $1,000-$5,000 depending whether you choose “ro ro shipping” (roll on roll off the ship) or container shipping, where your car is given its own compartment in a contained area. Your choices here depend on how concerned you are for your car’s aesthetic safety, as it is less protected from the weather with ro ro shipping.

Door-to-Door vs pickup-at-port

If you can swing it, picking your vehicle up at the port of delivery will save you money on car shipping. Otherwise multiple transport vehicles are required, including loading your vehicle onto a truck to make the next leg of the journey on land.


The distance from loading to drop-off will impact costs, particularly if there are multiple “legs” of the journey required to arrive at the final port. More popular shipping routes will cost less, while more remote or rarely used ports will likely increase the cost of the journey.

Preparing your car for overseas shipping

There are several things you need to do to make sure your vehicle is ready for its journey overseas. Have your car checked up and serviced at an authorized service garage to make sure it’s in good working order. Remove all personal belongings from the inside of your car. The only things you’re allowed to leave in the car are a child seat, spare tire, emergency kit, hand tools, jack. Clean your vehicle on thоe inside and outside. Carefully inspect the exterior of your vehicle and take photographs of your car’s current condition. Take close-up shots of any pre-existing damage such as scratches, paint chips, and dents. Make sure you charge your car battery and it's well-secured. Check the pressure of the tires. Make sure the emergency brake functions properly. The fuel tank should be no more than 1/4 full. Disable or remove the alarm system of your vehicle. Make sure you have an extra set of car keys available.

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