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5 Steps to Shipping Your Car to The U.S

When planning to ship your vehicle from the UK to the U.S it often seems like a tremendous task ahead of yourself.  But with this simple 5 step guide we will aim to help you understand what you need to do.

1)     Before You Go

Before you go about looking to ship your vehicle over to the U.S you first have to make sure that your vehicle is eligible for importation into the U.S.  This is determined by the age of the vehicle that you are trying to export, for instance any vehicle over the age of 25 years old can be exported to the U.S regardless of whether or not it conforms to safety act set out by the country or not.

On the other hand, vehicles that are under 25 years old can only be exported in the U.S if they conform to the U.S Safety and U.S Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) emission standards.  If your vehicle does not meet these standards set in place, you will be required to make modifications to your vehicle in order for it to meet the requirements before it is shipped.

2)     Preparing Your Documentation

It is highly recommended that you prepare your documentation fully before you even try to book the shipment of your vehicle this allows you to have peace of mind that if any documentation is required at short notice you know exactly where it is, and you are able to send a copy to the required party.  The documentation that is required to ship your vehicle to the U.S includes;

  • A copy of your vehicles V5C
  • A copy of your passports photo page
  • A copy of your consignee’s passport photo page (only required if you are not collecting the vehicle at the port of destination)
  • A copy of your vehicle’s MOT certificate (only required if you are having a trade plate driver collect your vehicle for you)
  • A copy of your Bill of Lading (This will be sent you once your vehicle has departed from the port)

3)     Cleaning The Vehicle

Aside from preparing all of the required documentation and making sure that your vehicle is allowed to be shipped into the U.S, you will also have to make sure that your vehicle meets the standards set in place by the U.S Department of Agriculture (USDA).  This means you will have to ensure that your vehicle is well cleaned before being shipped as if your vehicle is found to not be cleaned sufficiently, there may be added fees and delays caused by this.  Some areas in which to give extra care and attention to when cleaning your vehicle is:

  • The vehicles wheels’ including any spares that you may be shipping with it.
  • In the vehicles engine bay as well as the cooling fan.
  • Under the vehicles wheel arches and around any of its mud guards.

4)     Choosing The Right Method of Shipping

Once you have finished making sure that everything you need to do to your vehicle has been finished, and you are ready to book your vehicles shipment.  You now need to make sure that you choose the right type of shipment that your vehicle needs, this is usually decided between one of two methods the first being Roll on/Roll off which the most popular method of the two and the second is Container Shipping the least popular but most secure option amongst the two.

5)     Choosing The Right Shipping Company

The last thing you need to do for shipping your vehicle is to make sure that you choose the best shipping company for the job now this doesn’t necessarily mean choosing the cheapest option you get.  You have to make sure that your vehicle will be looked after along its journey, and we at First Base Freight Ltd always make sure that we keep your vehicle as safe as possible along its journey while offering you the most competitive price available.

If you require any more information about how to go about shipping your vehicle to the U.S or anything else about shipping your vehicle overseas then do not hesitate to get in contact with us and one of highly trained staff will be able to help you.


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For all your car shipping needs head to

First Base Freight Ltd.

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