How to prepare your car for international shipping

To prepare your car for international shipping is no easy task. Easy move Kuwait is a professional agency that will help you with any moving service you might need. If you are moving abroad and you have a reliable car it’s definitely cheaper to transport it to your new destination than buying a new car when you arrive. Although it sounds complicated shipping your car abroad is pretty straightforward once you know what you are doing.

Prepare your car for international shipping

Here is a list of things you need to do to get your car ready for international car shipping:

  • Wash your car so you can see clearly if there are any possible damages: this makes it easier for you and the moving agent you will be working with.
  • If you find any damages you need to write them down clearly. Best to take pictures so you can inspect your car upon arrival
  • You need to remove any custom items that you have on your car for safety reasons. (GPS, removable stereos, toll tags, bicycle rack…)
  • Make sure your battery is functional and fully charged.
  • Disable your alarm or any other security systems you may have.
  • Inflate your tires properly
  • Reduce your fuel in the tank as proposed by the moving company. This usually varies from 1/4 to 1/8 of the tank depending on the company. A full tank significantly increases the weight of the car and probably the cost of shipping.
  • Make sure you close the roof properly if your car is a convertible. The last thing you want is your roof to get damaged in the transportation process because you didn’t secure it properly.
  • If you are moving to a different climate you need to make sure your car is ready for the new destination. (engine oil, coolant, and other fluids, proper tires, and so on)
Washing your car - prepare your car for international shipping
Prepare your car for international shipping by washing it

There are two main types of international car shipping

You can choose between Roll on, Roll off (RORO) or shipping your car in a container. RORO is the cheaper method as your car is parked on the deck as if on the parking lot. It is securely strapped and clamped. It must be in good driving condition as most companies will not take on board a car that is not operable. Although this is definitely the cheaper option, your car will be outside the whole journey and it will be exposed to all the weather conditions.

The more expensive option, the container, is more expensive for a reason. A more widespread choice as it provides more safety and better conditions for the car. Your car is 100% secure the whole journey inside a metal container. A good tip for lowering the cost of container shipping is taking a shared container with another party when available.

Get your documents in order

Every good moving company will provide you with a list of all the documents you may need to ship your car overseas. Keep in my mind that different countries, even different ports within countries may have different regulations. Things you will most certainly need are a valid driving license and a valid passport. Also proof of purchase, valid registration, and proof of ownership. And there will be others definitely, but make sure you get all the information on time as some specific documents can sometimes take more than a month to obtain.

Shipping containers - how to prepare your car for international shipping
Shipping containers are the most popular choice for shipping cars overseas

Importing a car to Kuwait

If you are looking to import car to Kuwait then here are the three key things you need to know:

  1. If you are not a citizen of Kuwait, you are going to need a Kuwaiti sponsorship from your employer.
  2. The request to import the car needs to be under your employer’s name.
  3. Your vehicle must not be older than 5 years or 10 years in the case of trucks.

You will not be able to clear customs if any of the above requirements are not met. Although some diplomats and special circumstances may be given entry permits these are subject to approval by the Kuwait government

Additional car shipping costs you may need to consider

You may have your budget planned for vehicle shipping, but there are some additional costs you might want to think about to prepare your car for international shipping. The first one is definitely some sort of marine insurance. Although shipping companies don’t require you to do so, it can be useful. This will protect your car while it is on open water. Your shipping company may offer it as an add-on or you will have to buy it from a third party.

Getting insurance - prepare your car for international shipping
Having the right insurance is always a good idea

Don’t forget that once your car arrives at the destination you will need someone to safely navigate it through the customs. You cannot do this yourself, so you must hire an agent. Most moving companies will be able to provide you with one or will be able to point you in the right direction.

You can usually calculate the customs tax by taking a percentage of the item’s value. And you need the percentage specifically for the destination country. You may be charged some other processing fees again depending on the destination you are shipping your car to. Your moving company will estimate these charges but you should have some additional money ready.

How to choose the right moving company

Choosing the right company to prepare your car for international shipping is not easy but here are some things you should look out for. You will need three key things from your moving company. They operate from your current location to your destination. They have all the proper licenses. The third-party companies they work with have all the proper licenses. Companies that don’t meet these criteria can’t make the list. Make sure you research these companies thoroughly and get all the information you need. Once you’ve narrowed your selection down then you can make the right decision. Getting a quote from the few you have left in the end will help you make the final choice.