What Are The Different Methods Of Shipping A Vehicle Overseas?

Often when people relocate abroad, they want to take their car along. Whether you’re pursuing a career path, retiring, or relocating for study reasons, a reliable shipping company can help you get your car to your destination.

Moving on its own can be stressful, making it international, and the stress nearly doubles. So having a company that handles everything for you can be helpful.

International vehicle shipping is pretty complex and necessitates careful planning to get everything to your destination without damage.

When moving overseas, you often have to involve several parties and get them all on board for things to go as smoothly as possible. With that said, let’s get into the different methods of shipping a vehicle overseas.

Available Methods To Ship Your Car Overseas

When it comes to shipping a vehicle overseas, there are several methods to choose from, including roll-on/roll-off (RoRo), container shipping, and air freight. If you’re looking for reliable and efficient road runner car shipping services, consider partnering with companies like Road Runner Auto Transport for a seamless vehicle transportation experience.

Different companies offer different means to move your car across the seas, but in general, you’ll have an option from the three main shipping options: The Roll On, Roll Off (RORO) method, Shipping Containers, and Air Freight. Here’s how each one works:

1. RORO Method

The Roll-On, Roll-Off is the least expensive option for shipping your car. Generally, the vehicle is loaded onto the ship and parked on the deck. Your car will then be secured using tight fasteners, clamps, or specialized tools to ensure no accidents happen.

Ensure not to leave any personal items in the car while shipping, as the shipping company, won’t be liable for any losses incurred. Also, to avoid any extra customs penalties while getting cleared, make sure your car is in good working condition, or else you may be charged additional handling fees. While the cheaper option, you should know that the car will be exposed to natural elements.

So it’ll be “rolled on” and parked on the deck, then “rolled off” when you get to your destination, thus the name. It’ll need to be cleared at the port before being loaded onto a truck and off to your new place.

2. Shipping Containers

Containers are the most common option for international transfers. Though slightly more expensive, it provides significantly better safety and protection. Since the vehicles are placed inside a specially designed container, your car is completely safe until you reach your destination.

You can also save more money by sharing your container and transporting it alongside other vehicles. Another trick to get your transportation fees cut is to inquire if there’s a forty-foot container that can be shared with your shipping company.

3. Air Cargo

Air Cargo

Airfreight is the quickest of all three options and the safest and most costly. The flight option allows your car to move faster if that’s a priority. Bear in mind that because of how costly it is, some companies might not offer that option.

Get The Right Documentation Ready

Moving your car necessitates a significant amount of paperwork. As such, you’ll want a shipping company with prior experience that you can trust. Make sure all the documents are notarized. Some of the paperwork you’ll need to have included:

  • Original title deeds to your vehicle plus two copies
  • A Declaration of Shipper Export
  • Declaration of Dangerous Goods
  • The Purchase Agreement
  • A photocopy of your passport

Bear in mind that different ports demand unique roles from you, so expectations will differ from port to port and between different countries. The way the clearance is handled varies and follows local policies. To expedite the shipping, consult with the chosen company to learn what the ports you’ll be dealing with require.

How to Choose the Most Reliable International Car Shipping Company

To start your journey, you’ll require the services of a dependable and experienced car shipping company that offers port-to-port shipping. Unlike when you move vehicles interstate, where you can drive your car, an overseas move necessitates the use of a professional auto transporter. Here’s how to locate one:

  • Request a shipping quote
  • Check that the company is registered and is accredited
  • Inquire whether the shipping company has sufficient customs clearance experience
  • Examine customer reviews and testimonials
  • Expect to deal with a lot of paperwork
  • Follow the instructions provided by the car shipping company to get the car ready

How much does it cost to ship a car internationally?

For basic transport services, the average cost of international car transportation ranges from $1,000 to $5,000. However, costs for air transportation might range from $5,000 to about $40,000.

Additionally, the cost is determined by several factors, including:

  • Port to port distance
  • Popularity of routes
  • Type of vehicle
  • Transport firm
  • Method of shipment
  • Taxes, fees, and other costs


Hopefully, our article helped shed light on the process you should anticipate when preparing to ship your car overseas. Understanding how the shipping works, the types you can choose from, and the paperwork involved can help make the process a little smoother.

Be sure to discuss any concerns you may have with the vehicle transporting company so that you’re all on the same page.

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