If you are looking to ship a car overseas, keep in mind there are two main ways to do it. Here at Ship overseas, we offer two types:


  • RoRo Shipping
  • Container Shipping (shared or exclusive)


The one you choose will depend on the type of vehicle or item you are looking to ship, your time constraints, your budget and your personal preferences. Let’s go into each one in more detail.


RoRo Shipping

RoRo ships are built for shipping wheeled cargo, such as cars and motorcycles. It’s called RoRo for roll-on, roll-off, which basically means the vehicles are driven on to the ship via a ramp, almost like it was a parking garage. (In contrast, lift-on/lift-off (LoLo) vessels require the use of cranes to be lifted onto the ship.)

Once loaded on the RoRo vessel, each vehicle is tied down securely in its designated spot. This method is both highly efficient and very cost-effective. Unlike container shipping, RoRo shipping has reliable departure and arrival dates, with a schedule that runs similarly to an airline’s.

This also happens to be the preferred shipping method for new car manufacturers to ship their own vehicles. On top of the exact departure and arrival dates, RoRo shipping ensures all vehicles are tied down below deck for the ultimate protection against external elements. Only operational vehicles can use the RoRo method. If your vehicle is not operational, you will have to choose container shipping.

Container Shipping


This means just what is says: vehicles are shipped via container. However, there are two types of container shipping to choose from.


Shared Container Shipping

This is when multiple vehicles are loaded into a container at a warehouse. However, in order to leave the warehouse for departure, the container must be completely filled with vehicles. Thus, the departure dates are not fixed or guaranteed like they are with RoRo. But shared container shipping has many advantages, mainly in its cost-effectiveness.

Not only are shipping costs split among the vehicles loaded into the container, this method may be the only cost-effective method in departure or arrival ports where RoRo shipping is unavailable. Plus, you can ship additional items in your car or truck.

Exclusive Container Shipping


An exclusive container means that a vehicle is shipped in its own container without having to share the container with other vehicles. This is ideal if you want to ship your personal belongings along with the vehicle with the utmost privacy and security in mind. This option has fixed departure schedules due to the fact that you don’t have to wait for the whole container to be filled.


However, this privilege comes at a price, as exclusive container shipping is the most expensive shipping method, compared with shared container and RoRo shipping. Both shared and exclusive container methods are used to ship non-operational vehicles because RoRo vessels ship only running vehicles


Get started with your car shipping plans by getting a free online quote from us now!

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Important info to Ship a Car Overseas:
  • No car can leave USA if it has a lien on it. What does this mean? Your car must be paid in full. The only people who can ship a car overseas and still carry a lien on the car are US Military and Government employees/contractors. For those people a letter of authorization from the lender will need to be issued to pass US Customs. Otherwise the car may be considered stolen.
  • A clear Title of Ownership with no Liens on the Title.
  • If you bought a car new, then your name must be listed on the front of the Title as the registered owner.
  • If the vehicle has been sold, then both the Seller and Buyer have to sign the back of the Title in the spaces as detailed on the back of the Title.
  • For safety reasons, the vehicle cannot have more than a ¼ tank of gas.
Import Duty for Destination Country:
  • Import duty is NOT collected by Ship Overseas. It must be paid at the arrival port by whoever is picking up the car. We wrote a blog post about vehicle import duty here. It talks about how to find out import duty for your country.
Travel & Living Abroad:
  • Most countries will allow a traveler to temporarily import their car for up to 6 months. After the 6 months is up, import duty will be charged. For many travelers going to Europe and taking their car, a deposit is paid up front. When the car goes back to it's destination country, the deposit is refunded. If a person has lived in USA for 1 or more years, most countries will allow that person to bring their car back duty free! The car must not have any liens on it. Please check with your Customs Department first.


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