If you are shipping your car internationally and have never done so before, finding the right shipping company can be a daunting task.
Unfortunately, this is the single most important part of shipping and could be the difference between stress free shipping and pulling your hair out.
We have put together a list of questions that should make the search for the best international shipping company quick and easy.
Here are the top questions:
Are you licensed?
Ensure that the car shipping company you enlist is not only experienced, but licensed. For instance, Simba Shipping is BIFA and FIATA registered which requires competent freight knowledge and denotes expertise.
Do you have a website/Social Media pages?
Before we get into the thick of things, find out if they have a website. A website is one of the ways to better understand the company and what they offer.
Look through their FAQ section if they have one, and look through the website to see any testimonials or references.
While you’re at it, go to their Facebook page and check out pictures of the cars they ship and comments/reviews left by past customers.
What type of marine insurance do you offer?
Most shipping companies do offer marine insurance, but what’s different is the policy. Ensure that you find out all the details about what the insurance covers, as well as any add-ons and their costs.
Make sure you read through your insurance policy thoroughly so that you have a firm grasp of it. Remember, the devil is in the details!
What are your shipping rates?
Always ask your shipping company about how much it will cost to ship your vehicle. Most quotes depend on the dimensions of your vehicle & method of shipping.
Seems obvious, right? Not quite. Find out if the price quote covers additional fees such as inspection costs, import duties and taxes.
Do you charge any additional fees?
To add onto existing shipping rates, shipping companies On top of their standard shipping rates, some shipping companies add on a handful of additional fees.
While these charges are typically rather small, it is always important to be aware of any and all charges you will incur during the transport.
How should I ready my car for shipping?
International shipping companies often require you not to ship personal belongings, food, plants and other things that may be considered illegal, along with your car.
On top other rules such as not having more than a ¼ tank of fuel in your car apply as well. Here is our full list on how to prepare your car for shipping
Rules and Regulations
The previous question brings us to our next point. Ensure you enquire with your destination country about import charges and taxes from the country’s Consulate.
Alternatively, this information can be obtained from a clearing agent at the destination port.
What documents do I need to ship my car?
On top of getting your ready for shipping, prepare your car’s documents that conform ownership, as well as your identification documents.
That said, make sure you ask what documents you need to ship a car to prevent unnecessary delays.
What is the estimated TAT for my vehicle to arrive at my destination?
This is dependent on how quickly you contact the shipping company, and according to their shipping schedules, they should be able to provide an estimated time for your shipment arrival.
Do you offer any additional services
Most shipping companies provide other services such as vehicle collection (the company picks up the vehicle at your address and delivers it to the port) and pre-shipment inspection.
Such additional services are extremely convenient can save you loads of time.
Can I get a shipping quote?
By providing answers to a few questions such as your details such as destination details: port of discharge & destination, vehicle type and personal details (such as your name, email address) for follow up, your shipping company should be able to give you a full shipping quote.
Discounts or promotions?
Finally, if you are serious about shipping your car, most international car shipping companies will offer you a discount on your shipment, especially with the current state of the economy.