Shipping a car by air

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There are several ways to transport a car. In general, your choice would depend on your budget and time constraints.

If you need to send your vehicle overseas, shipping it by airplane may seem like the best option. But, like any other long-distance logistics service, it has its advantages and disadvantages. Let’s briefly talk about them below.

Cons of shipping a car via air freight:

  • Excessive cost
    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 paying a few thousand dollars to transport a million-dollar car or one-of-a-kind vehicle seems reasonable. For the majority of people though, the cost of air freight may exceed the value of the car itself. It’s virtually impossible to put an exact price tag on shipping a car by air. Whether you are shipping locally or internationally, the exact number would depend on various factors.
  • Quantity and size limitations
    Unlike with other ways of transportation, where you can ship as many vehicles as you need, you most probably won’t be able to send more than one car by plane. Also, due to the airline cargo size regulations, not every vehicle can be shipped by air freight.

Pros of transporting a car via airplane:

  • Shipping by air is faster
    If you need to transport your car overseas or over a considerably long distance within a very short period of time, then shipping it by air would be the best option.
  • Shipping by air is safer 
    Besides being the fastest way of auto transport, air freight is also the safest. The handling is minimal. And inside the aircraft, a car is usually secured to a specialized pallet with high strength fabric straps, which ensures minimal movement during transit.

How to ship your car by air:

  • Hire an auto transport company
    You will need a reliable partner to ship your car by air. An auto transport company will not only arrange air freight and delivery of your car to the airport but can also guide you through all the necessary paperwork. 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 experience less stressful.
  • Prepare the necessary documents
    When shipping your car internationally, be ready to follow applicable tax and duty rules and regulations. You may also be required to submit special permits and licenses prior to shipping your car to another country. Document requirements are very similar to those for RORO and container shipments and may vary depending on your destination.
  • Check the insurance coverage limits
    Airlines have limits of liability in case of damage or loss of cargo. If you are transporting an especially valuable car, you may want to ensure you have sufficient coverage. Check if your auto insurance policy covers overseas shipping. You will also have an option of purchasing additional shipping insurance. The rates can vary between 1.5% and 2.5% of your car’s estimated value.
  • Clean and inspect your car
    Before leaving your car in the hands of the auto transport company, clean it inside-out, and inspect your vehicle for any existing damages. You can also take photos of the car before shipping. In case of damages, you will have the pictures as proof to help you file a claim.
  • Empty your vehicle
    Except for the spare tire and the jack, remove all loose items and personal belongings from the car. Items you leave in your car are not covered by insurance. Also, make sure to remove or secure roof racks, antenna, cassette decks, any extended spoilers and added electronic devices. If you have wide mirrors, don’t forget to fold them back.
  • 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.
  • Get your car serviced
    Your vehicle must be operable. If possible, get your car serviced and make sure to charge the battery, check the fluids and the tire pressure. Make sure there’re no leaks, as any vehicle with leakage may be subject to refusal for shipment by a carrier.
  • Make an additional set of keys
    The car transport company needs at least one set of keys. Make sure you have an extra set to give to your auto transporter. Double-check that the keys work before you hand them over to the carrier.
  • 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 for shipping. If the alarm goes off and nobody can turn it off it will drain your battery. Moreover,  the transport company is allowed to do whatever it is necessary to disconnect the alarm and stop the noise.

And if air freight is out of your price range, Corsia Logistics can arrange expedited shipping via ground transport. We have our own truck and work with a vast network of reliable car carriers, which helps us guarantee fast and safe delivery anywhere in the United States.

Shipping your car overseas? Our logistics experts will assist you with booking international shipment service and deliver your car to a port.

Have you ever shipped a car by airplane? How was your experience? Do you have any advice for people looking to ship their car by air? Share with us in the comments below!

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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.
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