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How to Prepare Your Vehicle for Shipping

By Quality Move Management Inc / September 21, 2021

Moving overseas can be a big step and one of the things often forgotten is what to do with a vehicle when making the move overseas. If you are attached to your car and want to take it overseas with you, international vehicle shipping could be the answer. But how do you prepare your vehicle for overseas shipping? We talk through how to prepare your car, motorcycle or other vehicle ready for sending overseas.

Shipping Your Vehicle Overseas

Shipping a vehicle internationally can often pose more challenges than shipping other household belongings overseas. Each country has its own methods and rules for international car imports which can sometimes be hard to follow. However, QMM’s car shipping service is here to help to ensure your car relocation goes without a hitch, leaving you to focus on the more important things during your international move.

Why is it Important to Prepare Your Vehicle for Shipping?

When shipping your car or other vehicle overseas, it is important that you prepare it properly to avoid delays and additional costs during your move. Some countries have specific car import regulations which, if not met, could cause your vehicle to be refused entry. By preparing your car for transit, you’ll better ensure a smooth move and make sure your car, motorcycle or other vehicle gets to where it needs to be, when it needs to be without huge added costs. By knowing that your car is properly prepared for international shipping, you’ll be able to relax knowing that you have done everything you can for a smooth relocation, it also means that once you get to your new home overseas, you have a prepared, clean and clutter-free car to get you from A to B in your new home. 


How to Prepare Your Vehicle for Shipping

We’ve put together a step-by-step guide to preparing your car or vehicle for shipping. Whilst our international removals specialists will always be on hand to help, by following this car shipping guide, you’ll be well on your way to a vehicle fully prepared for an international relocation knowing that every possible niggle is covered.


  1. Make Sure You Have All of the Proper Paperwork Ready

Before you get started preparing your car for shipping, it is important to make sure that you have all of the paperwork you may need to ship your vehicle overseas. Spend some time researching your destination country’s vehicle tax, duties and regulations and pull together any documentation you may have such as proof of ownership, proof of insurance, registration information, proof of ID and any other paperwork you may need to pick up the vehicle in your new country.


  1. Clean your Vehicle Thoroughly and Remove all Belongings

Many countries have strict rules about allowing unclean cars to enter as they may harbour plant material or insects not native to the country. A dirty car could fail a quarantine inspection causing additional costs and delays so it is always a good idea to thoroughly clean your car both inside and out before shipping internationally. This includes areas such as the wheel arches and other areas you may not necessarily usually check and it is important to ensure the undercarriage of your car is free of foreign soil before shipping. Make sure all personal belongings are also removed from your vehicle before shipping as transporting personal items within cars is often prohibited.


  1. Check Your Car for Any Existing Damage

Whenever you move anything abroad, it is important to know the condition of it before it arrives in your new home. Whilst professional movers will do everything possible to avoid damage on your vehicle during the shipping process, knowing the condition of your vehicle before shipping will give clarification should anything go wrong. Take clear pictures of your vehicle to document any existing damage with pictures of the whole vehicle before it starts its journey. The previous step of cleaning your vehicle should help with this as it will be easier to see where any damage may already exist during the clean. Take some time to check the current mileage of your vehicle before shipping overseas.


  1. Check Your Vehicle is in Full Working Condition

If your vehicle will be shipping using a roll on, roll off, method, you will need to ensure your vehicle is able to move itself on and off the carrier. In addition to this, one of the worst things to happen after shipping your vehicle all the way to your new home overseas would be for it to stop working once it arrives, leaving you needing to find a mechanic in a new country. Do a quick check of things such as tyre pressure, fluids and other common issues to ensure your car is ready to go and able to be driven on and off transport if needed.


  1. Leave the Tank ¼ Full

Again, during the international vehicle shipping process, your car may need to be driven on and off the vessel so it is important your vehicle has enough fuel to do this. Adding any more fuel than this is unnecessary and will just add weight to your vehicle needlessly.


  1. Exchange Vehicle Keys With Your International Shipping Professional

Use your spare keys to lock up your vehicle, tuck in your wing mirrors and remove the car aerial if possible to avoid any knocks during the move.


  1. Complete Any Legal Paperwork

Take these last few minutes to ensure any legal paperwork not already completed is completed according to your chosen shipping destination and that everything is signed off that needs to be before shipping your vehicle.


Whether you are shipping your car overseas using roll on or roll off car shipping or container shipping, QMM is here to help. Our trusted partners can make shipping your vehicle internationally or across Canada a breeze. Take a look at our car shipping services page here to find out more or contact our team on 1.866.880.8681 to find out more about how we can help ship your car, motorbike or other vehicle.

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