Relocation due to a job or for school is always a major undertaking, especially if that move is taking you overseas. If you have a beloved, or even just a useful, vehicle, it’s even more complicated. Should you take your car overseas with you, store it somewhere safe until your return, or sell it and buy a replacement when/if you return.
Take your car with you if you will 1) need to drive a lot in your new home and 2) will be living there for a considerable amount of time. Many of the large cities around the world have excellent public transportation and limited parking, much like New York. You won’t want to go through the bureaucratic paperwork and expense of shipping your car — and then shipping it back — if you won’t be driving it. If driving will be part of your daily life, take into account the feasibility of driving your car at the location. Large SUVs are impractical on roads designed for small vehicles and American cars aren’t oriented for driving in Great Britain or other countries with left-side right of way.
The expense of shipping a car overseas includes inspections, import fees, and a load of other costs, on top of the actual price you pay to have the vehicle carried by boat or plane. You may also need to pay fees to license or register your vehicle once you arrive at your new country. If you can’t afford those costs, and remember you have to pay them both going and coming back to the US, you will find yourself considering one of the other options.
Storing Your Car
Finding a place to store your car is much easier than shipping it overseas. If you are lucky, you may have a family member with a garage or shed or even a barn who is willing to let you leave your vehicle with them. Just make sure you trust that they won’t be taking it out for a spin while you’re gone.
Another option is to rent a storage unit while you are overseas. This is feasible if you are only going to be gone for a few months or maybe even a year. If your relocation is for multiple years or an indefinite time, the fees associated with long-term storage may exceed even the cost of shipping the car by air.
Whether you are storing the car privately or at a storage facility, be sure you know how to properly prepare the vehicle. Take care of the fluids, battery, tires, etc. and purchase a proper cover to protect it.
Selling Your Car
This third option may be the best for you if you won’t have a use for the car overseas or if you can’t afford the fees associated with either shipping or storing the vehicle. There are any number of outlets for selling your car — or truck or motorcycle. It’s usually a good idea to check with family or friends first to see if anyone is looking for a vehicle. Local dealerships, online markets, and even good old classified ads still work. You can even try the old “put a sign on the car” and hope that someone sees it when you’re driving around town.
The advantage of this option is that you’ll have the cash from the sale to help with your relocation costs or to spend once you reach your destination.
Have you ever been faced with this situation? Which option did you choose?
October 26, 2015 at 3:09 pm Comments (0)