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Auto Shipping and Car Moving Guide .:


From the U.S.A. to many overseas destination's service is available via modern Ro/Ro (roll on roll off vessels. These special ships allow the vehicle to be driven on and driven off and for no motorized vehicles they can be towed on and off the ship. These ships have special decks that are enclosed and are much the same as a regular multi story parking garage your any city or town. Except in this case they are the length and width of the ship and are a little like an aircraft carriers deck but they are inside the ship to give the vehicles protection from the elements. However, not all destinations of the world are served by these special Ro/Ro vessels as they are only operating to certain countries such as most of Europe, Japan and a few more places.

It is possible to ship a vehicle using one of these special Ro/Ro vessels from the U.S.A. to a major hub port overseas and then transship the vehicle using another smaller vessel. This smaller vessel might be another Ro/Ro type of ship where available or if not available it would be a conventional break bulk vessel or even a container vessel. In the case where these special vessels are not available it is necessary to use a conventional break bulk ship or where possible put the vehicle into a container for shipment on a container vessel. Conventional break bulk vessels are not the most desirable choice as a vehicle is subject to damage during loading and or discharging as they must use ropes, chains or a platform using a crane to get the vehicle on and off the ship.

Using a container also has drawbacks as the vehicle has to be loaded into the container, blocked and braced so it will not move and this must be done off the pier in a warehouse. Once done the loaded container needs to be trucked to the pier and then can be loaded on the ship. As a added problem it has been know for the US Customs to stop container containing vehicles and have them opened up so that they can make a physical inspection so make sure that they are not stolen or on a stolen list. The shipper could be help responsible for the costs of this unloading and then re-loading. It could cost a bundle and it is just the hazard of the trade.


The first thing to do is to ascertain what service is available from the port you want to ship from and to the port you want to ship to. Know your shipping options. Make sure in advance if you do really want to ship your vehicle. No matter what you do it is not cheap and you should not even consider shipping your vehicle if you do not have a serious purpose in mind. Some people think that they will ship their car and pick it up in Europe so they can save money on renting a car for their vacation. In most cases it will not save you money unless you are planing to stay in Europe for a long visit. Even to the nearest places it will cost well over $1000. to ship a small car if you consider the port costs, the ocean freight, the charges at the other end and the formalities. For example if you ship your car for temporary use such as a vacation you in most cases would not have to pay any import duty. However, in some countries they impose a VAT or TVA (tax) that can be hard to get back even if your do not keep the car in that country for long. You can always check in importation regulations with the Embassy or consulate of the country that you want to ship your vehicle to.


If you are shipping your vehicle for personal use overseas such as for a vacation or if you are going to live overseas then you must decide if it does make economic sense to ship it. You must be clear about the purpose you want to ship your vehicle for and come to a firm decision.


Many people from other countries that go to the U.K. want to also take their car. There are a number of points to keep in mind. If you have already paid VAT in another EU country then you do not have to pay this again in the U.K. If you bring the car from the USA to the UK you do not have to pay any import duty or VAT as long as you have not lived in any Common Market country for at least one year. If you move to the UK as part of your job or business for a specific period you should have a letter from your company stating the period you will be in the U.K. If your stay in the U.K. is for a fixed period then you do not have to pay duty or VAT. However, if your stay if for more then six months you will need to register your car and pay the local road tax that at present is 140. pounds per year or 77. pounds for six months. If you do not meet the requirements and have to pay duty and VAT the rate will be 10% for import duty and 17.5 % for VAT. When in the U.K. you must have vehicle insurance. This can either be by extending your regular auto insurance cover for the time you are in the U.K. or by getting a local insurance cover note from any local auto insurance agent.


If you are shipping the vehicle for a commercial purpose such as for resale you should have already come to an agreement with your overseas customer about the price of the vehicle and who pays the cost of shipping. Most vehicles are required to be shipped on a PREPAID basis with most carriers and due to that you should build the cost of shipping the vehicle into your selling price to your customer. How you get paid is the most important matter and should be settled early. Do not wait to settle this point later on and cause yourself a lot of hassle at the last moment.


If you are for example located in Chicago or any other inland point and want to ship you vehicle directly from there. It is possible and it is just a question of cost and logistics. If you hope to ship using a Ro/Ro vessel that we outlines above it is possible to use one a many reliable auto carriers that ship cars on special trailers via the road to the port of loading. You can arrange this or your shipping agent or carrier can arrange it. Costs vary but are reasonable. There are also 'drive away' services that arrange to find some one to drive your car from point a to point b. This is much cheaper but is not very fast and some times not reliable. It is possible to have your vehicle loaded into a container at any inland location and have the container moved to the port by rail or truck. The arrangements to have the vehicle (assuming it will fit into a container) loaded into the container, blocked and braced and shipped to the port, can do made by you or your shipping agent. As mentioned before this can some times cost you more if US Customs want to make a physical inspection. Get advise and make your decision accordingly.


You can either prepare the shipping documentation yourself or have your shipping agent arrange it for you. In most cases the following is necessary: For the Port: -6 copies of the Dock Receipt that should specify the year, make, model, serial number of the vehicle plus the carriers booking number, vessel name, port of loading and port of discharge. -3 notarized copies (back and front) of the title or Certificate of Origin. For the Carrier: -2 copies of the Export Declaration (government form) -1 master of the Bill of Lading for the carrier For the shipping agent you use: The shipping agent will handle all the documents mentioned above for you but you will need to give the shipping agent some information so that they can prepare the above. You should give them 4 notarized copies of the title as noted above plus your name and address that would be shown as the SHIPPER on the carriers Bill of Lading, the address you want the shipment consigned to overseas. You will also need to decare declare a value of the shipment.


You are of course recommended to take out 'Marine Insurance' cover on any goods you ship. In the case of vehicles it is a must and marine insurance is not expensive and it would be pound wise and penny foolish not to take have this insurance. This can be arranged by your shipping agent as it is a special type of insurance cover and is not part of your normal vehicle insurance and is not offered by regular insurance brokers.


Do give serious consideration to the shipment up front. Do use a shipping agent to arrange your shipment. Do use an expert shipping agent not just any one. Do take the Marine Insurance as the carrier / shipping lines liability is a max. of $500. even if your vehicle is a total loss. Don't put things inside the vehicle when you ship it on a Ro/Ro vessel. Most Ro/Ro carriers do not allow goods to be left inside the vehicle even in the trunk. They are not responsible for any thing left inside and it might encourage some one to break in and steal it. Don't leave too much gas in your vehicle when you ship it but make sure that there will be enough to get it on to the ship and off again at the other end. You will need enough gas to get you to the filling station at the destination as well.


There are too many ports of destination for us to list here but service can be arrange to most of them in some way or another.


Of course we can do it all for you. That's our job! However, this brief guide is mean to give you a quick understanding. Of course each type of vehicle has to be handled in it's own way. We handle all types of vehicles from private cars to construction machines, cranes, garbage trucks, trucks, we handle them ALL! If you want us to handle your shipment we would be honored. If you want to use your own shipping agent make sure they know what they are doing and serve you well. We are available to give give you rates, suggestions, advise and handle your shipments.

Complete Information on Auto Shipping and Car Movers

The most complete selection of car moving and suto shipping guides available with tons of information on how to prepare for a car move and the different types of car moving companies.

  • Auto Moving Guide
  • Auto Shipping Guide
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  • Auto Shipping Questions
  • Car Move Types
  • Car Shipping FAQ
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