International car shipping

How to ship a car internationally

Let’s go over everything you need to know about shipping a vehicle internationally.

How to ship a car Internationally

Getting a Car Shipping Quote will help you decide whether it’s better to ship your car internationally or simply purchase a new one once you reach your destination.

Documents required for auto export clearance

It probably comes as no surprise that shipping a car internationally requires a lot of paperwork. While your car shipping company of choice will assist you, the responsibility to gather the correct documents is ultimately your responsibility.

You will need the following documents:

*Please note: original title must travel with the vehicle for customs clearance. A photo of where the title is placed in your vehicle should be sent to Reindeer prior to the move.

Over seas car shipping

Documents & information required for auto import clearance

You will need the following documents:

*Please note: engine plate is typically found on the left-hand side of the engine. The position varies across different engine series.

Importing a vehicle

Choosing the type of

car shipping

There are three main options to get your car from one country to another. Each option depends on the end destination, your vehicle and where you currently reside. Read more about each method below:


If you're shipping your car overseas, this will likely be your least expensive option. With a roll-on/roll-off (RORO) vessel, the ship deck basically acts as a large parking lot. The vehicle is driven onto the deck of the ship, secured for transportation and then driven off once the destination is reached. While this may be the most cost-effective method, it’s important to know that your vehicle is fully exposed to the elements while in transit.

Shipping container

A container ship is another good option to transport your vehicle overseas. With this method, your vehicle is a bit more protected than in the RORO model. Your vehicle is loaded into a shipping container that’s either 20-feet or 40-feet. If it’s possible, use a 40-foot container to reduce the cost. Because your vehicle shares the container space with another vehicle, you can split the cost. Cranes are used to load and unload the containers.

Rail freight

Like the ROR option, shipping a car by train can be more affordable than by sea. While there are limitations to this type of transportation, it can be a good option for your specific car shipping needs. Similar to the container ship, your vehicle is loaded into a shipping container and then loaded onto a train for transport.

Preparing your car for

international shipping

Now that you’ve decided to ship your car and which method to use, you need to properly prepare it for shipping. In addition to the administrative side of the process, there’s a list of things you’ll need to do to get your vehicle ready.

Fuel tank

Your vehicle’s fuel tank must be at ¼ tank or less.

Get your car climatized

Please ensure your vehicle has the appropriate level of coolant, transmission fluid and/or antifreeze. Neither Reindeer nor the carrier shall be responsible for damage caused by Acts of God or nature that may change the climate conditions.

Personal belongings

Please remove all personal belongings from the interior and trunk areas of the vehicle prior to transport. This includes any snow tires.

Electric vehicle shipping

For electric vehicles, please leave the charger in the car and ensure it is 80% charged at pick-up.

Wash your car

When the carrier arrives for pick-up, a complete exterior inspection will be completed prior to loading your vehicle. For purposes of a thorough inspection, it is helpful if your vehicle is clean and clear of ice, snow or other debris.

Set of keys

One set of keys for the vehicle must be provided at the time of pick-up.

Overall condition

Your vehicle must be in full working condition, which means it starts, rolls, brakes and steers; and that the driver-side door and window work properly. It also cannot be leaking fluid.

Remove transponders

Remove any toll or EZ pass transponders. Even if it's in the glove box it could activate and charge you.

Disable alarms

Alarm systems should be disabled before our driver’s arrival on the day of loading.

No-go items

Ammunition or firearms, drugs (both prescription and illegal), any type of hazardous materials such as chemicals, flammable gases or liquids, and/or hazardous waste. No live animals of any kind, no perishables or high-value property, such as money or bonds. If such items are found in the vehicle at any time during transport, they will be removed. It is always the onus of the shipper to make sure the proper arrangements are made for shipping any of the above.

If it's got wheels, we move it!

Why choose us

Over 500,000 vehicles moved in the United States, Canada & worldwide.



When you work with Reindeer Logistics you will never encounter a maze of computer recordings or an automated telephone system. No matter when you call, you will talk with a real, live person who is trained to guide you through the auto relocation process.



All our customers are assigned a relocation coordinator whose main objective is to anticipate and accommodate your every need. Your coordinator will be dedicated to you from pick up to delivery, ensuring that your car is where you want it, when you want it.



Reindeer’s commitment to constant product and service improvement is the ultimate demonstration of our promise of delivery, quality, predictability and status.

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