Shipping a car by air

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As you know, there are several ways to transport a car. The shipping method you choose depends on your budget and how fast a service you need. If you are about to ship a car overseas, shipping it by airplane seems like the best option. But, as any other long distance logistics operation, it has its advantages and disadvantages. Let’s briefly talk about them below.



  1. It costs. A LOT.
    There is a reason why VIPs, well known entertainers and Formula 1 race teams choose to transport their car(s) by air. Yes, because it is fast, but also because they can afford it. Shipping a car by air cost depends on the country you are located in (and the state if you are in the US), and where you want to ship your car, the end destination. Certainly we can’t put a tag and say this is the fixed amount you have to pay to ship a car by air. There is one thing we know for sure though, shipping a car by airplane is the most expensive way of transportation. But if money is not an issue for you, then go for it.
  2. One at a time
    Unlike other ways of transportation where you can ship as many cars as you want, you most probably won’t be able to ship more than one car by plane, so make sure you figure out a way how to deal with this problem, some time before you need your cars shipped. And that is of course if you have more than one vehicles that you need to transport overseas.



  1. Shipping by air is faster!
    If you have to transport your car overseas, or a considerably long distance in a short period of time, then shipping it by air is the best option.
  2. It is safer!
    Besides being the fastest way to transport your car, shipping your car by air is the safest way too. Compared to most of the other ways of car transport, shipping a car by air will cause zero damages to your car during transportation. It will only damage your bank account.

Here are a few things you need to take care of before you ship your car by air:


  1. Do your homework
    If you are going to ship your car internationally, be ready to keep up and follow all the rules regarding taxes and duties. You may be required to submit special permits and licenses prior to shipping your car to another country too. Not all required documents are the same for everyone. Make sure to research what papers you need to prepare and fill up because if you are selling the car then you need documents that you do not need if you are shipping it to use for personal reasons. So, you have to do the necessary research about the documents you have to prepare and submit.
  2. Hire a car transport company
    You will need to transport your car to the airport, so, choosing a reliable car transport company in advance is advisable. You will have a lot of things to worry about before and after your moving, so hiring a car transport company will make your moving way easier, especially if you have never moved before.
  3. Get your car insured.
    You will be spending a lot of money for transportation, so getting your car insured is really important. Plus, car insurance is not that expensive. Also check if your auto insurance policy covers overseas shipping. If your auto policy does not cover overseas transport, you can purchase shipping insurance of 1.5% – 2.5% of your car’s estimated value.
  4. Get notarized statements from your creditor/finance company
    In case your car is leased, you have to let the creditor know you are transporting your car by air and give the car transport company you have hired a notarized statement from the creditor, which confirms their awareness of your car transportation by airplane.
  5. Clean and inspect
    Clean your car inside and out before handing it over to the car transport company, and inspect it for any existing damages. You can even take pictures of the car before shipping. In case of damages afterwards, you will have your report and the pictures to help you file a claim.
  6. Remove items
    Except the spare tire and the jack, remove, and/or secure, any items that might get damaged. Such would be, roof racks, antenna, cassette decks, any extended spoilers and any added electronic devices. Also, remove any personal items from your car because they are usually not insured. If you have wide mirrors, don’t forget to fold them back.
  7. Don’t fill up your fuel tank
    Make sure the car’s fuel tank is only 1/8 or ¼ full. It will reduce your car’s weight, and it is safer for transport.
  8. Get your car serviced
    If possible, get your car serviced and make sure to charge the battery, check the fluids and the tire air pressure too. If you are shipping your car to a colder climate, don’t forget to protect your car’s batteries and transition oils, from freezing. Change whatever you need to change.
  9. Make an additional set of keys
    The car transport company needs at least one set of keys, so you have to make at least that new set, and check if the copy keys work before you hand them over to the car transport company.
  10. Shut off/disconnect all car alarm systems
    This is just a reminder because many people forget about shutting off or disconnecting their car’s alarm before handing their car over. If the alarm goes on and nobody can turn it off it will drain your battery and moreover, it will be a huge disturbance to the transport company and which case they might be allowed to enter your car and do whatever necessary to disconnect the alarm and stop the noise.

If you want to make your car moving experience less stressful, all you have to do is prepare in advance and it will all be just fine. Please, let us know of any questions.

Now, tell us, have you ever shipped a car by airplane? How was the experience? What would you advise people who need to ship overseas by air? Thanks!

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About the Author:

Juxhina Malaj - a wanderluster and bibliophile who loves photography, nature, documentary films, re-watching F.R.I.E.N.D.S, and drinking green tea while listening to Indie Folk, Delta Blues, Jazz and all the good vibes.
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