When shipping your car overseas, it is recommended you hire a shipping agent. The shipping agent will be able to act as middleman, if things go wrong, although you should establish that they offer this service before you sign the contract. You don’t want to be passed from one party to another to find out what has happened to your vehicle on route.
Car transport companies will send a specially adapted truck or vehicle with an auto-rack. Your car must be road worthy; you must hand over one set of keys and keep one for yourself before you hand over your car. There is also a rigorous inspection involved to determine any defects prior to departure and both parties will sign a document stating any damages, no matter how minor they might appear.
The auto-rack vehicle or truck will hold other vehicles as well. If you own a luxury car or a classic car, it is advisable to move your car overseas in a closed container to minimize the risk of damage during transit. However, due to cost most cars are moved in open auto-racks and will either be picked up at a spot designated by you or you have to drop off your car at the shipper’s depot or terminal, which is usually close to the airport or port they will use to transport your car.
Typically you will be asked to pay at least a ten percent deposit, sometimes even prepay the whole amount. If you pay a deposit upon pick up then the balance is due upon delivery. You should check with the shipping agent or Transport Company moving your car overseas, and what type of payment they accept. There is usually a small surcharge for paying by debit or credit card and most prefer a banker’s draft or cash.
Upon drop off you will be asked to check your vehicle for any damages and you go through the whole inspection process again. If there is any damage, no matter how small, you must note this on the inspection report and tell the driver before parting with any money. Before you sign the overall contract, make sure you understand their policy in case of disputes and make sure you penalise them, if the shipper delivers your vehicle after their stipulated “window of delivery” has expired. Delays do occur from time to time due to unforeseen reasons – the shipper’s truck might break down or the actual container ship might be delayed thanks to adverse weather conditions. In the event that the shipper does deliver late you want to know that you’ll be getting some compensation, as you may have to hire a car for the duration and that cost needs to be reimbursed to you.
The advantages of using a professional shipper for moving your car overseas are great, if you are pressed for time and don’t feel comfortable, going on a long journey with your car. While the shipper is transporting your car, you can settle into your new home and familiarise yourself with the local traffic regulations. When your car arrives, you will be prepared and know your way around your new place.