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Should you ship your car abroad?

The decision to move abroad sets in motion a period of months of organisation and decision making. Many questions will be raised about how to orchestrate your move and what to take.

Your car presents one of the thorniest questions – is it better to take your car with you, or sell it and buy another set of wheels when you arrive in your chosen country?

It might seem like a daunting prospect to send your car potentially thousands of miles, but shipping a vehicle isn’t as complicated or as expensive as you may think. But there are some factors to consider.

For instance, is your driving license valid in your new country? And, if steering wheels are on the opposite side of the car where you are headed, do you want to be “the odd one out”?

In addition, there’s the cost involved in shipping your car. This depends on its make and model, the country you are shipping it to and the service you use. Getting a personalized quote is essential.

As for the length of time it will take to get your car overseas, this varies from country to country. The transit time can range from two to twelve weeks depending on the distance and the type of service being used.

You might be concerned about paying import taxes. The severity of these depend on the destination, how long you’ve been the owner of the car and whether you are a first time immigrant.

Most countries either offer tax-free entry on cars for all first time immigrants and citizens, or free entry if you originally left your country of origin with no intention of returning. However, some countries charge taxes based on the purchase price of the car.

If you decide to ship your car overseas, there will be a few things you need to sort out in advance. Firstly, it is vital that you advise the DVLA that you will be exporting your vehicle and complete and return the relevant section on your V5 (log book) document to them.

Always ensure that the exterior of your car is steam cleaned 24-48 hours before loading, with special attention being given to the wheels and wheel arches. It is also advisable to keep hold of the receipt and supply a copy to your removals company should they need it.

Some countries may require your car to conform to its own transport policy before they will grant import approval, so in most cases this should be done prior to shipment. Common requirements of conformity would be road safety or environmental. A professional international removals company such as PSS would be able to advise you of any certificate or statement that you might need to obtain.

Just before you ship your car, carry out a full inventory of any scratches or imperfections. A professional shipper will handle your vehicle with great care, but occasionally damage can occur and its vital you document the car’s condition at both ends of the journey to be certain of when any harm occurred.

When the shipping process begins, costs and procedures vary according to where your car is being sent, the service you are using, and whether you are shipping household contents at the same time.

Shipping your belongings, whether it’s your clothes, family heir looms, or your beloved car, is a nerve wracking process. To boost your confidence, this task is best put into the hands of specialists with a great reputation. A knowledgeable shipper will have the answers to all your questions and be able to put your mind at rest every step of the way.

PSS International Removals is a 34-year-old family business. We are fully bonded members of the British Association of Removers (BAR Overseas), IMMI (International Movers Mutual Insurance), FIDI (Global alliance) we have also been awarded with FAIM accreditation, which is the international removal industries quality standard. Find out more about our car shipping services.

Published November 9th, 2016 by PSS International Removals
Posted to Expat Blog

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