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Puerto Rico Car Shipping Preparation Tips

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Before shipping an automobile to Puerto Rico, some planning is essential. There are regulations to adhere to, a preparation list for your vehicle, and forms to fill out. Finding an auto transportation service that ships to Puerto Rico will take a lot of the hassle and guesswork out of the process. Most auto shipping firms will disclose all of this information upfront on their websites for your reference.

When you choose to have an automobile sent to Puerto Rico, your vehicle shipper will handle the great bulk of the procedure. However, you will need to do an hour or two of prep work before your vehicle transport driver arrives.

How much fuel should be in your car?

Any vehicle being exported across the ocean from the United States must have a fuel level of 1/4 or less. A full tank of petrol increases the weight of both your vehicle and the car carrier. Furthermore, your automobile will only be driven to and from the transfer truck to prepare to ship car to Puerto Rico, so no extra petrol is required.

Cars need to be cleaned before inspection

Before entering Puerto Rico, make sure your car is thoroughly cleaned inside and out, since food and agricultural goods are strictly prohibited. Before leaving and upon arrival, you must submit your vehicle to a full check. If the original inspection fails, you are responsible for cleaning and re-inspection fees.

Make any physical repairs needed prior to shipping

Your automobile will not be sent if it has cracked windshields, damaged brake systems, underinflated tires, or any other problem. You should take pictures of your automobile before handing it over to the shipping firm so that you may examine and compare them once you reclaim it.

Before embarking on the journey of shipping your vehicle to Puerto Rico, it’s vital to have all the necessary documents organized and ready. While Puerto Rico is technically a U.S. territory, your vehicle will still go through Puerto Rican customs procedures and may incur an import fee. To ensure a smooth process, consider preparing two to three copies of each document for your records and in case they are requested at various stages during shipping.

Contact a customs agent or your chosen moving company to verify the exact documents required. However, you can anticipate needing the following:

  • Title: A copy of your vehicle’s title is a prerequisite for exporting it from the mainland to Puerto Rico. If your car is under a lease, you’ll also need a notarized letter from the lien holder.
  • Valid Driver’s License: A copy of a valid driver’s license is essential prior to exporting your vehicle. If the vehicle is being shipped by someone other than the owner, a notarized letter must accompany it.
  • Vehicle Appraisal: Puerto Rico assesses an import tax based on your car’s established value, so an accurate appraisal is crucial.
  • Transport Bill of Lading: This formal document, provided by your chosen shipping company, verifies their authorization to transport your vehicle. It’s a critical piece of paperwork during the shipping process.
  • Purchase Invoice: If you’ve purchased a new vehicle, your dealer should have supplied an official bill. In the case of a used car without an invoice, you can use the sales receipt from the seller.
  • Form 3520-1, EPA: This form is mandated by the United States Customs and Border Protection for every vehicle transported. You can easily access it for download on the EPA’s official website.
  • Registration: Ensure your vehicle’s registration is current and up-to-date, obtainable from your local DMV. Be aware that different states may have varying requirements, so double-check the specific documentation needed in your area.

The entire process can span one to four weeks, depending on transportation mode and your location. Keep in mind that unforeseen issues, such as shipping delays or port closures, may arise at any stage of the journey. It’s wise to have a transportation plan in place in case you arrive in Puerto Rico before your vehicle does.

Also, shipping an automobile to Puerto Rico might make life a lot simpler since public transit is restricted outside of major cities like San Juan. Even available ride-shares are far fewer than in the United States.

For example, Uber trips are only available in San Juan and Ponce. Renting a vehicle is a possibility, but it will rapidly become pricey, with an average daily cost of about $50. When you transport a vehicle to Puerto Rico from the United States, it is always shipped on the ground on a car carrier truck until it reaches the port in Jacksonville, Florida; from there, it is sent on a cargo ship to the port in San Juan.

Unfortunately, there are no choices for transporting a vehicle from the Port of San Juan, therefore you must pick up your automobile there. Bring the necessary documentation and cash for any relevant fees when you pick up your automobile at the port.

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