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How To: International Car Shipping


Aris Export | International Car Shipping


International Car Shipping: How To

Many people who intend to move over seas face a unique dilemma regarding their vehicle, especially if the vehicle still has a lien on it from a dealership. Aris Moving has a solution, and this article will provide a comprehensive step-by-step guide which outlines how to ship a car internationally.

Common practice is for car owners to contract a international shipping  service which specializes in automobile shipping. The majority of cars ship out from San FranciscoLos Angeles, New York, Miami, Norfolk, and Jacksonville.  The process is incredibly involved- trying to handle all of the red tape associated with international car shipping on a “DIY” basis isnt recommended. When it comes to shipping your car, it’s important to make sure that everything is done correctly; so leave it to the professionals.

What You Will Need:

  • Title or letter from lien holder
  • Shipper Export Declaration Form
  • Declaration of Dangerous Goods Form
  • Car Insurance that Covers overseas shipping

When using our international auto shipping service, we will take care of most of the required paperwork, or help you acquire any of the necessary documents. Once you have these together, your next step is to decide on a international shipping company. Our experts are just a phone call away, and we can provide you with a free estimate. Generally speaking, the price range for this service is very wide. That is why it’s best to consult with your shipping company for an accurate estimate. Prices can from anywhere from around $750 usd to over $4,000 usd depending on distance, vehicle size, trucking transport (for inland vehicles), and many other factors. 

Step 1: Deciding on How to Ship Your Vehicle:

There are 3 options for international auto shipping:

Roll on and Roll off – RoRo
Consolidation in 40′ container high cube.
Exclusive 20′ or 40′ container.

1.) Roll on and Roll off – RoRo

The car is driven into a special designated place on the vessel for automobiles. Upon arrival at the destination port, cars are being unloaded from the vessel. Please note: this service is not offered for all ports.

2.) Consolidation in a high cube 40′ container

This is the most common way of shipping a car overseas. Your automobile will be consolidated into a high cube 40′ container designed to carry 3 or 4 cars depending on their size. Motorcycles can be loaded and positioned at the remaining space in the container. Price is based on the car’s size.

3.) Exclusive container – can be mixed with your personal effects/household goods

Cars can be shipped in an exclusive container. Thus, access to your automobile and container is under your sole control. Aris Export will position your exclusive container at the loading point, a professional car loader will drive your car into the container and will secure it for safe transition. You will be the only one with the keys to the container. At destination, the container will be opened by you. Your original pink slip/Certificate of Title must be provided to us, since we have to clear your vehicle through US customs. Aris Export will NOT ship any car outside the borders of the USA without a pink slip/certificate of title.

As with any service, the options vary in price. Aris Export will give you a free shipping estimate for your vehicle. Learn more here.

Step 2: Paperwork

It is important to compile all of the necessary paperwork in advance. This will make your shipping process much easier, and will substantially decrease the amount of time it will take to prep your vehicle for international shipping.  This includes two copies of a notarized title, a letter from the lien holder (if it exists), a Shipper Export Declaration form and a Declaration of Dangerous Goods form.

Step 3: Insurance

You must provide shipping insurance for any vehicle shipped overseas. You can call your insurance provider and ask if your current insurance service offers international shipping insurance. Often times if it isnt included, it is offered as an additional service which can be added to your insurance plan. Expect to spend roughly 1.5-2.5% of your cars total estimated value for shipping insurance.

Step 4: Vehicle Prep

Preparing your vehicle for shipment is a crucial step! Many companies will not allow your vehicle to be shipped if it has any loose items. Take your vehicle to be thoroughly cleaned and make sure to remove items such as:

  • Roof Racks
  • E-Z tags or other electronic devices
  • External Car Alarms
  • Bike Racks
  • Spoilers

or any other accessory that protrudes from your car and can be damaged easily. We highly suggest also having your vehicle serviced before it is picked up, to ensure that absolutely everything will be in working order when you arrive at your destination.

You should check:

  • Fluids
  • Tires
  • Tire pressure
  • Battery charge

Thoroughly inspect the exterior of your vehicle and make note of any damage like dents or dings so that you can report any shipping damage that may have possibly occurred. Taking photos of all sides of your vehicle is a smart, preventative measure.  Remove ALL personal items from the vehicle except the spare tire, jack, and half a tank of gasoline. Making sure your vehicle is properly prepared for transport will save you unnecessary stress and difficulty when shipping your car overseas!

Additional Info:

  • Its a smart idea to have a few copies of your car keys made just in case anything is lost in transit. Leave one with a family member, take one with your in your personal effects, and give one to the International Car shipping service provider.
  • Take photos of your vehicle inside and out. Although damage during shipping is rare, it can happen, and protecting yourself and your car is as easy as a few snapshots on a cell phone
  • Make sure to shop around for international automotive insurance to find the policy which best suits your needs. You don’t have to use the same insurance provider as the one you use when driving your vehicle regularly.


Shipping your vehicle overseas does not have to be a difficult process. Aris Moving is dedicated to ensuring your international move is as simple as possible. Don’t forget to contact us today to get your free International Car Shipping estimate.



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