Shipping a car overseas is extremely safe, but accidents can and do happen, and you want to be prepared for the worst possible scenario. Take a look at the case of the Modern Express. This 164-meter RoRo (roll on, roll off) vessel was en route to Le Havre, France when it encountered some nasty weather on January 26, 2016. This caused the vessel to lose stability and list sharply to one side. It was left to drift 150 nautical miles off the Spanish coast in the Bay of Biscay.

While the 22 crew members were evacuated safely, the ship continued to list and drift aimlessly toward the French coast, with many concerned it would run aground and cause untold environmental devastation. A salvage team was brought in after an air inspection showed the only option was to tow the vessel. On January 29, a four-man salvage team was deposited onto the vessel and attempted to attach a tow line; however, bad weather made this attempt unsuccessful.

They were hoisted off the ship but tried again a few days later on February 3 after reports showed the vessel was just 25 nautical miles off the coast. This time, they were successful in attaching the tow lines, and the Modern Express was towed into the Port of Bilbao. It was moored safely, then ballasting was used to upright the boat. It had been loaded with 3, 600 tons of wood, cars, and construction equipment, representing millions of dollars in damage. Extensive inspections took place over the next several days to sort through the wreckage and determine a plan for disposing of the contents as well as the ship itself.

If your car or construction equipment had been on that RoRo vessel and you had neglected to get the marine insurance, you’d be in a bad way right now. If you HAD been smart and purchased marine insurance, you would be reimbursed for the damages.

Now isn’t that a great reason to click “yes” next to the optional marine insurance? We think so. Get a quote now at Ship Overseas. It’s more affordable than you think!

1 Comment

  1. admin says:

    Now this is a crazy way to get damage to a car.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Visitor Rating: 5 Stars

  3. Anonymous says:

    Visitor Rating: 5 Stars

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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.
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.
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.