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Shipping Your Car When Relocating To Another Country (For Japa People), CHECK THIS TIPS

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When you’re moving to another country, you may find yourself in a dilemma about whether you should also take your car with you.

It’s an intriguing question, no doubt about it. The mere fact that you’re wondering whether it’s worth shipping a car overseas means that the vehicle shipping scenario does make sense in your specific relocation case. And that’s exactly why you will need to weigh the pros and cons of shipping a car abroad so that you can reach the best decision under the presented circumstances.

While it’s true that having your car shipped to another country will cost you money, the investment may still be well worth it in the end. Ideally, your approach to solving the dilemma should be the same as any other big decision during your move – you simply review the obvious advantages and disadvantages of transporting your personal vehicle to whichever country you yourself are moving to and then analyze the results.

To help you reach an informed decision, here are the major pros and cons of shipping a car to another country:

Pros of shipping your car to another country

Of course, there are several advantages of taking your car with you when moving to another country altogether:

  • You get to keep the special connection

Ask yourself this: just how sentimentally attached are you to your car? If you happen to have a lot of great memories in and with the car (an important family history), then you won’t be willing to part with it only because you’re moving to another country. Your vehicle may also be a car make and model that you can’t simply purchase in the destination country – often the case with classic cars.

Often, you won’t know how emotionally attached you have become to your car until the time comes to break up with it. So, your decision to move your vehicle with you will let you keep that special connection with your beloved automobile.

  • You won’t have to sacrifice convenience

If you arrange things in such a way as to have your car already waiting for you when you reach the destination country, then you’ll be able to start using it right away, thus enjoying the convenience of having your own car and not having to rely on public transportation.

What’s more, you’ll be perfectly comfortable in your own vehicle since you’ve driven it for years and know exactly what to expect from it. It’s the level of comfort and convenience that only your own car can provide.

Besides, isn’t it nice to have something utterly familiar in a place that is utterly unfamiliar?

  • You won’t have to wonder what to do with your car

Interestingly enough, another advantage of shipping your car to a new country is that you won’t have to worry about what to do with it while you’re away.

If you plan to move abroad permanently, then moving your car with you makes a lot of sense, especially when you won’t be able to buy the same car in the destination country. But if you’re only moving overseas temporarily – say, for a few months – then you’ll have to figure out what to do with the vehicle in your absence.

Do you have a secure place where you can store your car when you’re abroad? Do you have to pay for that parking spot or storage space? You may decide it’s better to leave the vehicle with a friend or a family member during your short stay abroad.

And if you do decide to sell your car before the international move and possibly purchase a new one in the destination country, then you may be forced to sell it at a bad price just to get rid of it due to time constraints.

Sometimes, you may have too many options to choose from, so just move the car with you to the new country. Problem solved.

Cons of shipping your car to another country

The disadvantages of shipping your car overseas when you yourself are getting ready for an international move may force you to decide NOT to move your vehicle after all.

  • You’ll have to cover the car shipping costs

Without a doubt, the biggest drawback of moving a car to another country is the price that you’ll have to pay for the transportation service. And, for obvious reasons, shipping a car internationally can be rather expensive too.

The average cost of shipping a car overseas is from around $900 to $4,000 (N650,000- N3,000,000) and even more in some cases. There are numerous factors that will influence the car shipping cost such as:

  1. distance to the destination country
  2. distance from your home to a major U.S. seaport
  3. vehicle transportation method: RoRo (Roll On, Roll Off) or shipping container – either shared (consolidated) or exclusive;
  4. size, weight, and condition of the vehicle;
  5. International car shipping insurance.

Also, you’ll need to pay import taxes and charges in the destination country which are not included in the car shipping cost you get quoted from your international car shipping company. 

  • You may struggle with the car maintenance costs

You may not think about some disadvantages of shipping a car overseas until after you find yourself in the new country.

One possible drawback of moving your car with you is that your specific type of vehicle – make and model – may be too costly or difficult to maintain in the destination country. In some countries, repair parts and replacement parts can be a real struggle to obtain for vehicles manufactured in the United States. And they may cost a fortune too.

So, it’s always a good idea to do a little research about what you can expect in terms of car maintenance in the destination country.

  • Your car may not meet local emissions and safety standards

Another serious disadvantage of shipping a car abroad is that your car may not meet the local emissions and safety standards after it’s been unloaded on foreign soil and inspected more closely. And if that’s the case, then you’ll be on for a bumpy road ahead, full of endless paperwork and extra expenses that may not prove enough to solve the problem.

Shipping a car to another country can be a tricky business as far as local laws and regulations go, so you’ll need some kind of guarantee from the international car shipper that your type of vehicle can be registered legally and driven safely in the country you’re moving to.

  • You could move to left-hand traffic (LHT) country

A somewhat surprising drawback of shipping your car abroad is the realization that you’re moving to a country where people drive their vehicles on the left side of the road. Some of those left-hand traffic countries are the United Kingdom (UK), Australia, New Zealand, Japan, Indonesia, Thailand, India, Pakistan, and South Africa.

Therefore, if you’re moving to any of the above countries and you wish to take your car with you, that will be a problem simply because the steering wheel of your vehicle will be on the left side (LHD – left-hand drive). It should be possible to register your LHD vehicle there, but driving it there is likely to feel very awkward (at least in the beginning) and more importantly – risky.  


When you want to “japa ” the excitement might make you give out most of your belongings, your car being one but it doesn’t have to be so. You can just ship your car to your destination country if you have the money and convenience to do so. Take into cognisance the pros and cons mentioned in the blog. 

The articles published by the Carmart team are a well-researched and informative collection of content contributed by the entire team of Carmart Nigeria. This content spectrum covers a wide range of topics in the automotive sector, including press releases, formal announcements, celebrity cars, new car releases, African car posts, car maintenance tips, safety tips, and much more. is a blog that focuses on vehicle news in Nigeria. The blog covers a variety of topics such as car reviews, industry news, buying guides, maintenance tips, and automotive technology updates. These blogs can be a valuable resource for car enthusiasts, buyers, and anyone interested in staying up-to-date with the latest trends in the automotive world.

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