Motor Category Motor: car insurance and finance

How to Ship a Car to Barbados

If you are moving to Barbados, or just travelling there for an extended period of time, you may be interested in taking your vehicle with you.

A variety of auto shipping companies can transport a vehicle from the United States to Barbados. Auto shipping companies leave from ports on each coast of the United States. Shipping a car to Barbados can be an expensive endeavour not only because of the shipping cost, but because of the import fees in Barbados.

Gather your ownership documents for shipping preparation. For new cars, you need the invoice or bill of sale. For used vehicles, you need insurance policy documents and ownership documents such as bill of sale, registration and title. Keep in mind that used cars cannot be any older than four years old and must have no more than 50,000km, or 31,068 miles.

Choose a shipping method. The two options are container or RORO, which is roll-on roll-off. RORO is the cheaper method. With it, your car is driven onto a ship, secured to the deck and then driven off when it reaches the destination port. With container shipping, the car is secured in a locked container that is lifted onto the ship and lifted off at the port. While container shipping is more expensive, you are usually allowed to ship personal effects with the car in the container. No personal effects are allowed with RORO shipping.

Get a free online quote from some auto shipping companies. Some companies that ship to Barbados include Auto Car Shipping, Auto Car Shippers and Shipping Worldwide (see Resources). Some of the companies will even give you online quotes for multiple shipping companies at once.

Select a shipping company from the quotes. You can choose one based on any factors that you like, such as lowest price or closest proximity to your home. Contact the company and confirm the quote amount, and ask about the shipping insurance cost (if you are interested in it). Shipping companies have insurance, but they also sell additional coverage. Also ask if they have customs brokers at the destination port to help you with duties and taxes.

Arrange for your car to be picked up from your home or schedule a drop-off time. If you prefer to drop off the car, you will need to drive it to the port. If you want the car picked up, be sure to ask if there is an additional charge for it.

Give the shipping company copies of your ownership documents for the vehicle. The shipper will then apply for your import license from Barbados. Once cleared, you will be given a date that the car will leave the port. You will also be given an estimated date that it will arrive in Barbados, which can change due to different transportation issues.

Prepare to pay duties and taxes in Barbados to retrieve your car from the port. According to Ship My Auto, the import duty is 45 per cent, the Value Added Tax is 15 per cent and the environmental levy is £101. The port charge and excise tax vary, with the excise tax starting at 46.95 per cent. Your shipping company should be able to give you more details on the port charge. Shipping companies also typically have a customs broker at the destination port to help you out.