European Car Transport Checklist

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All You Need To Know for Car Transport in Europe

One of the hardest aspects of moving abroad, particularly to Europe, is figuring out how to transport your car(s). It can seem like a strenuous and overwhelming process with so much do check off within a limited timeframe. Fortunately, with the right knowledge and tips, you can make the process of car transport to or within Europe fast and seamless. The following guide breaks down the process into a few simple tips with valuable information that will make international car transport to Europe as smooth as possible.

Find a Trustworthy International Shipper

This is probably the most important thing that you need to get right. Take your time to find the right international car transport company that is properly registered and accredited with a good reputation, track record and good customer service. You will most definitely have a lot of questions and might need some assurance particularly if you are moving expensive classic or racing cars and working with an international car transport company that can understand and respond to your concerns is invaluable.

It is also important to consider cost when choosing a car shipping company. On average, the cost will depend on the distance across the ocean, distance from the vehicle to the port, size of the vehicle, and shipping insurance. However, it is important to avoid choosing a European car transport company based solely on cost. Give yourself time to contact several companies, get a quote from each company and hear what they have to say about your situation. Be wary of a price that seems too good to be true but also be keen not to overpay for standard quality service. Reviews can help cement your impressions from the conversations you have with each company. Things do not always go to plan and having a company that you can work with will save you a whole lot of stress.

width=1024Choose the Right Method of Transportation

There are two methods of transportation;

  • Airfreight – shipping by air
  • Sea freight – shipping by ocean

Although air freight is much faster and convenient, most people prefer sea freight as it is considerably less expensive. With sea shipping, you can choose to use the Roll on Roll off (RORO) method where a car is driven into the ship and off in the final destination or prefer to use a container where your car is braced in a container alone or with another car. It is important to note that shippers will pick your car from your location, and deliver it in your preferred location in the destination country while others have a designated drop off location.

Fill Out the Paperwork

The paperwork involved in shipping a car to Europe can be daunting. From what your shipper wants to the requirements of the destination country, it is easy to get confused. This is where working with the right shipper comes in handy. Most shipping companies will guide you on all the paperwork involved from your current location to the final destination. Some may even help you work around registering and insuring your car in the destination country. In the UK, for example, this may just involve finding the necessary forms, all of which are online. Talk to your shipper about the shipping customs and restrictions applied by the destination country.

Ensure You Have Adequate Shipping Insurance

Although shippers are required to carry insurance, make sure it is correct and that it can cover the full value of your car. Additionally, confirm if your current insurance policy can cover international transport. If not, you will need to purchase a separate shipping insurance policy that is about 1.5 – 2.5 % of your car’s value.

Wash and Empty the Vehicle

Now that all the technical details are taken care of, it is time to prepare the actual car for shipping. It is very important to remember that Europe has very strict guidelines on the condition of what is imported. Make sure that you wash your car thoroughly before shipping – including the tires. Most European countries require that every car coming in be free of any foreign soil to prevent importation of pests. You also need to clean out all loose items from the car as most shippers don’t accept cars with personal items in them. Have your car fully serviced before transportation so it will be in good working order when it arrives. Also, disconnect your battery, remove miscellaneous items such as luggage racks and spoilers, only leave a quarter tank of fuel and turn off the alarm.

Perform a Final Inspection

Before handing over your car for transport, perform a thorough inspection of the car and note any existing damage. This is important in making sure that no damage was sustained during transport. Finally, note that you will need to pay taxes, duties or tariffs when your car arrives in the destination country depending on your car’s engine size or worth.

Shipping a car to Europe does not have to be complicated. With the right knowledge and the help of a trusted shipping company, the process will be as smooth as can be. Read more about our vehicle transport services, enclosed car transport services and open car transport services.