How to prepare your vehicle for international shipping

If you have decided to move somewhere across the ocean, you may need your car to be shipped to that location too. There are many moving companies which also offer car shipping services, and one of the best ones is My International Movers. Besides offering car shipping, we also offer a wide variety of other moving services, such as commercial and residential moving,, dismantling and reassembling, moving supplies, large storage units, moving checklists, moving boxes and many more. My International Movers offers exotic car shipping services, as well as enclosed car shipping. International car shipping works a bit differently than regular cross country shipping. Your car will most likely travel by ocean freight to your new location. However, there may be certain differences, depending on where you’ve decided to move.

However, there may be certain differences, depending on where you’ve decided to move. For example, in certain countries, cars are driven on the left side of the road, unlike in the US, where you drive on the right side. Such countries are:

  • Australia
  • Caribbean Islands
  • Channel Islands
  • Cyprus
  • Japan
  • Hong Kong
  • India
  • Isle of Man
  • Ireland
  • Jamaica
  • Kenya
  • Malta
  • Malaysia
  • New Zealand
  • South Africa
  • Singapore
  • Thailand
  • UK

You may need to make certain adjustments to your car, or even purchase a new car. Also, your driving licence may need to be reviewed and you may need to get another one issued. This is usually not the case, but you should check, just in case the rules and regulations are different from what you expected. Now, let’s move onto the actual shipping process. The moving company you hire will pick up your car at the scheduled date, but there are certain things that you should take care of before that. Your vehicle needs to be prepared for the shipping process, and we will explain how you can do that in this blog. My International Movers’ team will be more than happy to explain the entire preparation process for your car, and we will be available at all times for you to contact us and let us know if you’re having any issues or you need additional help with preparing your car for the shipping day. These are the most basic things that you should do before we pick up your car for shipping:

  • The vehicle should be washed before shipping

The vehicle needs to be washed because it will be easier to notice any scratches or other marks on your vehicle, which may indicate existing damage before the shipping process begins. This step is not necessary and your auto transporter doesn’t require your car to be squeaky clean, it will just make the process of evaluating the car for existing damage much easier!

  • You should make a record of existing damage to your vehicle

This is one of the most crucial parts of this process. You need to know in which state your car left your home for shipping in order to be able to evaluate it for any possible damage that may occur during the transportation and shipping process. By making a record of already existing damage, such as scratches, marks, dents, etc, you will be able to have a clear view of damage that might have occurred while your car was being shipped. If you notice any marks or scratches that weren’t there before your car was shipped, you can always talk to your insurance company or car shipping company, which will tell you if you’re able to get a refund or other type of compensation for the damage.

  • Make sure that none of your belongings are in the vehicle before it’s shipped

The moving company which will be responsible for shipping your car can only ship your car, which means that any other belongings and valuables need to be removed from the vehicle before it is shipped. The reason why you need to do this is simply because the shipping company may be forced to get rid of those things when the car is about to be loaded onto the cargo ship. That’s why it is so important to check all of your compartments and the trunk for any things you may have forgotten in your car before the moving company picks it up!

  • The gas tank of your vehicle needs to be emptied before shipping

This needs to be done due to the fact that the fuel that’s left in the tank is flammable, of course. The fuel may pose a threat if anything is to happen to the cargo ship, which is why the tanks need to be totally empty. Simply take your car for a few spins before you give it over to the shipping company, and don’t forget to get less fuel at the gas station in the days before the car is supposed to be shipped!

  • Provide an extra car key for the auto transporter to be able to operate your vehicle

You may already have a backup key for your vehicle, but if you don’t, now is the great time to get one made. You can simply get one made in a couple of hours at a professional, or you can ask your car manufacturer to provide you with an additional one, if possible. An additional key is needed for the car transporter to be able to operate your vehicle and move it onto the cargo ship, or park it somewhere else if necessary during the shipping process. Your key will be returned to you along with your car as soon as they arrive to your new location!

  • Final check-up

After you are finished with all the steps above, it’s time to do one final check-up before the moving company arrives to pick up your car. This means that you need to go over the steps above and make sure that you have followed these instructions through. Check if the gas tank is empty and if you have any of your belongings left in the vehicle. Make sure that you have an extra key for your car shipper! Here is the final checklist for prepping your car:

  • Check for any leftover fluids in your car
  • Check  if your tires punctured or deflated
  • Check your battery and recharge it if it’s necessary
  • Record your mileage
  • Note any mechanical issues, as well as scratches, dents, or marks


Now your car is good to go! Contact My International Movers if you wish to have a professional, experienced moving company ship your car to your new destination. Apart from car shipping, we also offer other awesome moving services to our customers, such as commercial and residential moving,, dismantling and reassembling, moving supplies, large storage units, moving checklists, moving boxes, etc. With My International Movers, you can also calculate a free moving estimate. An auto estimate is the perfect way to get an approximate idea of how much your car shipping is going to cost you! We also offer full moving estimates and quick moving estimates. Give us a call if you wish to schedule your relocation right away and receive the best international moving estimates in the United States. With My International Movers, you relocation will be swift and efficient.