Step-by-Step Instructions for Shipping a Car to Puerto Rico

Step by Step Instructions for Shipping a Car to Puerto Rico

Thinking of how to ship a car to Puerto Rico? Puerto Rico beckons with its vibrant culture and hidden coves, but exploring beyond the resort area can be a challenge without your own wheels. Luckily, shipping your car to Puerto Rico is easier than you might think. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll walk you through the process of shipping your car to this island paradise using professional auto transport companies, ensuring a seamless and stress-free experience.

Key Highlights

  • Shipping your car to Puerto Rico with professional auto transporters allows for independent island exploration but requires planning and considering import regulations.
  • Professional auto transport companies handle the complex logistics and paperwork for shipping your car to Puerto Rico.
  • The cost of shipping a car to Puerto Rico depends on distance, car size, shipping method (open carrier vs. enclosed carrier), and import duties/taxes.

Why Choose Professional Auto Transporters?

While ferrying your car might sound adventurous, professional auto transport companies offer expertise and resources that guarantee a smooth journey for your vehicle. Here’s why partnering with a professional company makes sense:

  • Logistics and Paperwork: International car shipping involves complex logistics and paperwork, from navigating port schedules to complying with import regulations. Professional companies handle all the details, ensuring a seamless process for you.
  • Safety and Security: Your car is a valuable asset. Reputable auto transport companies use secure transportation methods and trained drivers to ensure your car arrives safely.
  • Insurance Options: Accidents can happen during transport. Auto transport companies offer various insurance options to protect your car against potential damage or loss.
  • Peace of Mind: Shipping a car yourself can be stressful. Professional companies handle everything, allowing you to relax and focus on your island adventure.

Shipping your car to Puerto Rico can feel like navigating uncharted waters. But fear not, intrepid traveler! This guide will equip you with the knowledge to ensure your car arrives safely and securely on the beautiful island. Here’s a breakdown of the key steps to take:

Step 1: Research and Plan Ahead

Understanding the Requirements and Regulations

Before shipping your car, familiarize yourself with Puerto Rico’s import regulations and requirements. This includes knowing the legal documents needed, any emissions and safety standards your car must meet, and the taxes and fees you’ll be required to pay.

Choosing the Right Shipping Method: Roll-On/Roll-Off vs. Container Shipping

There are two primary methods for shipping a car to Puerto Rico:

  • Roll-On/Roll-Off (RoRo): Your car is driven onto the shipping vessel and driven off at the destination. It’s generally the cheaper option but offers less protection.
  • Container Shipping: Your car is loaded into a shipping container, providing extra protection from the elements and potential damage. This method is more expensive but is suitable for high-value or classic cars.

Budgeting for the Shipping Costs

Shipping costs can vary widely based on the method you choose, the size and weight of your car, and the puerto rico shipping company. Make sure to budget for additional costs like insurance, port fees, and import taxes.

Step 2: Select a Reputable Shipping Company

How to Choose a Reliable Shipping Company

Look for a company with extensive experience in shipping cars to Puerto Rico. Verify their credentials, and ensure they have the necessary licenses and insurance coverage.

Reading Reviews and Checking Credentials

Check online reviews on websites like Yelp, Google, and Better Business Bureau (BBB). Look for feedback from customers who have shipped cars to Puerto Rico specifically.

Requesting and Comparing Quotes

Get quotes from several shipping companies. Compare the costs, services offered, and shipping times to make an informed decision.

Step 3: Prepare Your Car for Shipping

Cleaning Your Vehicle Inside and Out

Clean your car thoroughly to ensure a smooth inspection process. A clean car also makes it easier to document its condition.

Documenting Your Car’s Condition with Photos

Take detailed photos of your car from all angles, including close-ups of any existing damage. This will be useful if you need to file a damage claim later.

Removing Personal Items and Accessories

Remove all personal items from your car, including aftermarket accessories like GPS units or custom stereo systems. Shipping companies are not responsible for these items, and they can add to the car’s weight.

Step 4: Gather Necessary Documentation

Required Documents for Shipping a Car to Puerto Rico

Clean your car thoroughly to ensure a smooth inspection process. A clean car also makes it easier to document its condition.

Title and Registration

Proof of ownership is essential.

Proof of Ownership

A bill of sale or other documents proving you own the car.

Proof of Insurance

Valid insurance coverage for your car.

Bill of Lading

Provided by the shipping company, this document details the terms of the shipment.

Emissions Test and Safety Inspection Records

Some cars need to meet specific environmental and safety standards.

Understanding Customs Requirements

Check with Puerto Rican customs for any additional documentation or requirements to ensure smooth processing.

Step 5: Schedule the Shipping

Booking Your Shipment

Once you’ve chosen a shipping company, schedule your shipment. Confirm all details, including the pickup and delivery locations and dates.

Coordinating Drop-off and Pick-up Dates

Coordinate the dates and times for dropping off your car at the port and picking it up in Puerto Rico. Ensure these dates fit your schedule.

Step 6: Drop Off Your Car

What to Expect at the Drop-off Location

Arrive at the port or shipping company’s location with all necessary documents. Be ready for an inspection of your car.

Inspecting Your Vehicle with the Shipping Company

Inspect your car with the shipping company’s representative. Use the photos you took earlier to note any pre-existing damage.

Obtaining a Receipt and Bill of Lading

Ensure you receive a receipt and a copy of the Bill of Lading. These documents are crucial for tracking your shipment and resolving any disputes.

Step 7: Track Your Shipment

Using Tracking Services Provided by the Shipping Company

Most shipping companies offer online tracking services. Use these to monitor your car’s journey.

Staying in Communication with the Shipping Company

Maintain regular contact with the shipping company for updates. Be proactive in asking about any delays or issues.

Preparing for Potential Delays

Delays can happen. Stay flexible with your plans and have contingency arrangements in place.

Step 8: Prepare for Arrival in Puerto Rico

Arranging for Pickup at the Destination Port

Make arrangements to pick up your car at the port in Puerto Rico. Ensure you have all necessary documents and identification.

Paying Import Taxes and Fees

Be prepared to pay any import taxes, port fees, and other charges. These are typically required before you can take possession of your car.

Step 9: Pick Up Your Car

What to Bring When Picking Up Your Car

Bring your ID, the Bill of Lading, and any other required documents. This will ensure a smooth pickup process.

Inspecting Your Vehicle for Any Damages

Inspect your car carefully for any new damage. Compare it to the photos you took before shipping and document any issues.

Completing the Final Paperwork

Complete any remaining paperwork with the port authorities and the shipping company. Ensure everything is in order before leaving the port.

Step 10: Registering Your Car in Puerto Rico

Steps to Register Your Car with the Puerto Rico DMV

Register your car with the local Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV). This includes providing proof of ownership, paying registration fees, and passing any required inspections.

Getting a Local Insurance Policy

Obtain a local insurance policy that meets Puerto Rico’s requirements. This is necessary for legally driving your car on the island.

Finalizing All Local Requirements

Complete any additional local requirements, such as emissions testing or safety inspections, to ensure your car is fully compliant with Puerto Rican laws.

Additional Tips for a Smooth Puerto Rico Car Shipping Experience

  • Research Early: Start planning your shipment well in advance, especially during peak travel seasons.
  • Understand Puerto Rico Regulations: Research import regulations, duties, and registration requirements.
  • Consider Enclosed Carrier for Valuable Cars: If you’re shipping a valuable or classic vehicle, consider the extra protection of an enclosed carrier.
  • Ask Questions: Don’t hesitate to ask your chosen auto transport company about the process, fees, insurance options, and anything else.


Shipping a car to Puerto Rico involves careful planning and attention to detail. By following these step-by-step instructions, you can ensure a smooth and hassle-free experience. Proper preparation and choosing the right shipping company will save you time and avoid potential pitfalls. Safe travels!

FAQs - Ship a Car to Puerto Rico

Yes, ferrying your car to Puerto Rico is a common method of shipping vehicles to the island. Several ferry companies operate routes between the US mainland and Puerto Rico specifically designed for vehicle transport.

The cost of shipping your car to Puerto Rico can vary depending on several factors, including the distance from your origin port, the size and weight of your vehicle, the chosen shipping method (open carrier or enclosed carrier), and any additional fees or taxes. It’s advisable to request quotes from multiple auto transport companies to compare prices and find the most cost-effective option.

Import tax rates for vehicles in Puerto Rico can vary based on factors such as the car’s value, age, and origin. It’s recommended to research the current rates on the website of the Puerto Rico Department of Hacienda or consult with customs authorities to get an accurate estimate for your specific situation.

Car prices in Puerto Rico can vary depending on factors such as the make, model, and year of the vehicle. In some cases, it might be cheaper to buy a car on the island, especially if you’re planning a temporary stay. However, if you’re staying for a longer period, shipping your own vehicle might be a more practical option.

Yes, you can typically buy a car in the US and import it to Puerto Rico, provided you follow the island’s import regulations. This process usually involves paying import duties and taxes and registering the vehicle in Puerto Rico.

Many reputable auto transport companies offer online tracking tools that allow you to monitor the location and status of your car throughout the shipping journey to Puerto Rico. You can stay informed about the progress of your vehicle’s delivery.

Most reputable auto transport companies offer various insurance options to protect your car against potential damage or loss during transit to Puerto Rico. Be sure to inquire about the details of the insurance coverage included in your chosen shipping package and consider additional insurance if necessary.


  • Mark Dugger

    Raised in the vibrant atmosphere of Southern California, Mark's early years were defined by his prowess in sports such as football, baseball, and wrestling. Despite his athletic talents, Mark's professional path veered towards the world of computers, landing him a role as a Systems Officer for a prestigious cruise line. Over the span of a decade, Mark's career took him across the globe, immersing him in the cultures of over 100 countries.Mark's journey with commenced shortly after its inception, marking him as an essential asset to the company's foundation. Starting humbly as a coordinator, Mark's relentless work ethic and commitment to excellence propelled him steadily upward. Today, as the operations manager, Mark stands at the helm, guiding with expertise, ensuring its continued success and growth.

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