If you are planning to move abroad, you may wish to take your car with you. Here’s what you need to know if you’re planning to ship your car abroad.
It can be a good idea in some cases, especially if you are moving to a country where vehicles are more expensive, and if the importation process is relatively straightforward.
Importing cars into some countries can be more difficult than others.
There are two main ways of shipping your car overseas.
The most common method is to use a shipping container. The car is secured with transit straps and a wooden frame is built over the top to stop movement.
The other option is a roll on, roll off (Ro-Ro) service where you take your car to the port and it is driven on to a vessel to be secured.
You then collect it at the arrival port and proceed through the various customs and quarantine channels yourself.
If you are moving your home abroad as well, you may also wish to consider shipping your car with your household items within a dedicated shipping container.
Preparing your car for export in the UK
If you are permanently exporting your car out of the UK (for at least 12 months), you must notify the DVLA.
You will need to complete and return the section “Notification of Permanent Export” from your V5C registration document.
It is always recommended that your car is thoroughly cleaned prior to shipment, both inside and out.
This is particularly important if you are shipping your car to Australia or New Zealand.
In these countries, your car will be subject to strict quarantine inspections upon arrival and may require further costly cleaning if AQIS (Australian Quarantine Inspection Service) or MAF (the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry) inspectors decide that this is necessary.
International requirements for importing your car vary.
The shipping company you are using should be able to provide you with the most up-to-date information, and advise on the relevant import permits which may be required.
Some countries will only allow you to import your car if you have owned and used it for at least 12 months.
Compliance testing can also be a requirement to make sure the car is roadworthy.
In New Zealand, the car needs to be taken to a compliance centre for testing before it is allowed on the road.
And in the USA, testing of the vehicle is not always in the same state as the port of entry.
When your car arrives in the destination country, it will usually need to be cleared through customs and you will have to pay any import duties prior to release of the vehicle.
In most countries, the car will be collected from either the port or an agent’s warehouse.
So it can be a worthwhile, viable option to ship your car overseas, but that will depend on the destination.
Professional advice should be obtained as it can be a complex process and it can also be costly if you ship your car without the right documentation in place.
Written by Caroline Mason from John Mason International Movers