Navigation Menu

An expatriate or ex-pat is a person that goes to live abroad for an extended period or permanently. If you’ve suddenly decided to become an American ex-pat in the UK, there are some things you need to get in order before you leave.

Regardless of why you’re moving across the Atlantic Ocean, there’s a question you need to answer: will you sell your car or take it with you?

If you’re unwilling to part ways with your vehicle, it might be time to look at car shipping companies.

Should You Ship Your Car to Europe, If You’ve Decided to Become An American Ex-Pat in the UK?

Why Take Your Car to the UK?

Britain UK car RF

American ex-pats take cars to the UK for different reasons. Below are some common reasons for shipping your trusty car to the UK when you move.

You Don’t Want to Suddenly Change Your Driving Habits

Did you know that the British believe a car’s steering wheel should be on its right side? Plus, people are supposed to stay on the left-hand side of the road.

Meanwhile, in the US, things are swapped. Steering wheels are on the left, and drivers keep right. Moreover, most cars in the UK have a manual transmission.

Taking your car with you to the UK means not having to suddenly change the way you drive. This should take some of the pressure off when you’re moving to a new country.

Sentimental Attachments to the Car

car hug RF

Are you sentimentally attached to your car, truck, or SUV?

For instance, can you not see yourself driving anything else in the world? No way, no how?

Sentimental attachment is a common reason why people take their vehicles with them to their new homes. Having a familiar item from home can also provide some comfort should you experience homesickness or loneliness. 

You Love Your All-American Muscle Car

With the likes of Volkswagen, Ferrari, and BMW in Europe, there isn’t a shortage of fast vehicles in the UK. But those who own American muscle cars may not want to give them up, even if they become ex-pats.

Hence, if you’re all about the sleek curves of that old-school Camaro in your garage, take it with you to the UK. A car shipping company will be happy to deliver your car so that you can use it to turn heads on the streets of your new town.

No matter what your reasons are for taking your car to the UK, an auto shipper can help you achieve your goal. But with so many shippers in the business, which one is a good fit?

That depends on what you’re after. For example, do you want your vehicle shipped by air or sea?

The first is very expensive, and many don’t offer it. That is because the cost of having a vehicle shipped via plane can easily eclipse its worth. Rather, shipping companies move vehicles across the ocean by ship because it is more cost-effective.

Auto shipping companies typically calculate shipping rates by weight. Thus, if you’re thinking about loading your car down ahead of the big UK move, don’t. The shipping company might not accept your car if it’s full of belongings.

The Department of Transportation also forbids carriers from shipping items other than vehicles.  

How to Find a Reputable Auto Shipping Company

Car ferry RF

It can be difficult to find the right auto shipping company for your needs. Below are some tips that can make the process a little easier.

Do Your Research

Scams seem to be everywhere these days. That’s why you need to do your part to ensure you don’t get taken advantage of.

A Google search of auto shipping companies can get you started. Then, use those results to peek at Yelp and look at some reviews.

You can learn a lot about what to expect from these companies through unbiased testimonials. In addition, you can visit the Better Business Bureau website to view business ratings and customer complaint information.

Recommendations from Trusted Friends and Colleagues

If you know someone who has recently shipped a car, ask them about their experience. Find out if they would recommend using the shipper they used.

There’s nothing better than first-hand knowledge from someone you can trust to weed out the good auto shipping companies from the bad. So, ask a family member, friend, or co-worker about how their move went.

They’ll give you their seal of approval, or be sure to tell you why you should steer clear of a certain shipping company. 

Turn to Social Media

Writing with laptop computer RF

Don’t be afraid to cast a wider net if you don’t know anyone in town.  It might not be a bad idea to reach out to Facebook friends and Twitter followers to get some car shipping company recommendations.

You don’t have to use social media for researching, but it is another avenue to explore. Companies’ social media pages may also contain reviews that offer useful information on their services.

Ask for Proof of Insurance

Additionally, when you narrow the list of movers down it’s time to take the research a bit further.

Get in touch with the company before you let them move your vehicle. Tell the representative that you’re interested in scheduling a shipment, but you’d like to see proof of insurance first.

A legit and reputable company shouldn’t have any problem with this request, as they know it offers peace of mind. You’ll rest easy knowing that things are covered if a disaster strikes. 

Ask About the Overseas Shipping Process

Lastly, the right auto shipping company should also be able to guide you through every step of the overseas car shipping process.

The company will let you know about documents you need to prepare as well as inspections your vehicle must pass prior to shipment.

If a carrier doesn’t provide detailed information on the next steps you need to take, consider looking for a more knowledgeable and reliable car shipping company.

Whether you take your car with you when you become an American Ex-pat in the UK is entirely up to you. But, if you were on the fence about the venture before, hopefully, these ideas helped you see why you should sell or keep your current vehicle.

If you pick the latter, just know that you’ll need some professional assistance to transport it from the US to the UK. But don’t settle for just any car shipping company.

With these and other tips you’ve accumulated over the years, you should be able to find a reliable shipping company to transport your car from the US to the UK. So, don’t delay any longer. Start researching auto shipping companies, and you’ll be ready whenever the big day to become an American ex-pat in Europe arrives. 

Megan is an Australian Journalist and award-winning travel writer who has been blogging since 2007. Her husband Mike is the American naturalist and wildlife photographer behind Waking Up Wild; an online magazine dedicated to opening your eyes to the wonders of the wild & natural world.

Having visited 100+ countries across all seven continents, Megan’s travels focus on cultural immersion, authentic discovery and incredible journeys. She has a strong passion for ecotourism, and aims to promote responsible travel experiences.


Post a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *