Keeping your car clean will aid in a smooth inspection, which is likely to happen a number of times if being shipped between countries. A dirty vehicle is often a red flag for inspectors and search dogs for further scrutiny, and can lead to delays or even lack of clearance.
Maintain a thorough, written, and visual record of all damage, regardless of how minor, prior to shipping a car and have it handy at all times. This record may prove useful should you or others experience any damage as a result of yours or another vehicle during shipment.
Your vehicle will likely be searched and inspected multiple times and may remain unlocked for extended portions during shipment. Because of this, it’s important to remove all custom and personal items from your car prior to shipment.
In addition, personal belongings count as cargo being shipped, and are usually subject to import taxation and regulations. This could result in fines for the owner, and other unforeseen fees.
Lastly, be sure to remove toll tags, parking passes, and access badges prior to shipping. These items, if stolen, may be used for identity theft or fraud, increasing the likelihood of your vehicle being targeted for theft.
Shipping a car to/from Puerto Rico or the Dominican Republic is more likely to go smoothly if your vehicle is free of mechanical problems. Perform all maintenance and keep detailed records of any mechanical problems or leaks prior to shipment. Unless otherwise instructed, shippers will assume that the vehicle is in proper, working order. This is important because vehicles are often driven short distances on and off the barge during the shipping process. The shipping agent must be aware of any mechanical problems to help to prevent delays. Furthermore, leaking vehicles must be transported below other vehicles to prevent damage caused by caustic and oily fluids.