Ship a car to Puerto Rico, an Island Paradise a Comprehensive Guide

Shipping Your Car to an Island Paradise: A Comprehensive Guide

Ship a car to Puerto Rico, an Island Paradise a Comprehensive Guide

How to ship a car to Puerto Rico? Island life beckons with its swaying palm trees, turquoise waters, and laid-back charm. But what if you want to explore the hidden coves and vibrant culture beyond the immediate resort area? Bringing your car along can be incredibly convenient, allowing you the freedom to roam and discover Puerto Rico at your own pace. This guide dives deep into the process of shipping your car to Puerto Rico using professional auto transport companies, ensuring a smooth and stress-free experience.

Key Highlights

  • Shipping your car to Puerto Rico allows for independent exploration beyond tourist areas but requires planning and using professional auto transport companies.
  • The cost of shipping a car to Puerto Rico depends on distance, car size, shipping method, and import duties/taxes.
  • Ferries are a common way to ship cars to Puerto Rico, and reputable auto transport companies can handle the logistics and paperwork for you.

Why Use Professional Auto Transporters?

While the idea of self-shipping your car on a ferry might sound adventurous, international auto transport companies offer a wealth of expertise and resources that guarantee the safe and secure delivery of your vehicle. Here’s why partnering with a professional company makes sense:

  • Logistics and Paperwork: Shipping a car internationally involves complex logistics, from navigating port schedules to complying with import regulations. Experienced auto transport 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 like enclosed carriers for high-value vehicles and employ trained drivers to ensure your car arrives safely.
  • Insurance Options: Accidents can happen during transport. Auto transport companies offer various insurance options to give you peace of mind, protecting 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 the excitement of your island adventure.

Steps Involved in Shipping Your Car to Puerto Rico

1. Requesting a Free Quote: The first step is to get a free quote from a reputable auto transport company. Here’s what you’ll need to provide:

  • Vehicle Details: Year, make, model, size (affects cost)
  • Pick-Up and Drop-Off Locations: Specify the origin port in the mainland US and the destination port on the Puerto Rico.
  • Preferred Shipping Method: Choose between open carrier (most cost-effective) or enclosed carrier (added protection for luxury vehicles).
  • Desired Timeline: Shipping times can vary depending on distance and location.

2. Choosing Your Auto Transport Company: Don’t jump at the first quote you receive. Compare quotes from several companies, considering factors like:

  • Price: Competitiveness of the quote
  • Services Included: Door-to-door service, tracking options, insurance options
  • Company Reputation: Read online reviews and check the company’s Better Business Bureau (BBB) rating.

Once you’ve chosen a company, you’ll book your shipment and provide necessary documentation, such as:

  • Valid ID
  • Car Title/Bill of Sale (proof of ownership)
  • Letter of Authorization from Lienholder (if financed)

3. Preparing Your Car for Shipping: The company may require a pre-shipping inspection to document your car’s condition. Take detailed pictures of the exterior and interior for your own records.

4. Vehicle Drop-Off or Pick-Up: Decide whether you’ll drop your car off at the mainland port or have it conveniently picked up from your location. Door-to-door service typically comes at an additional cost.

5. Transportation and Arrival: Most cars are shipped on open carriers, while high-value vehicles might travel in enclosed containers. The transport typically involves loading onto a roll-on/roll-off (RORO) ferry at the origin port and unloading at the Puerto Rico port.

6. Picking Up Your Car and Import Regulations: Once your car arrives at the island port, you’ll present your ID and any required documents to claim it. Here’s where understanding import regulations becomes crucial:

  • Import Duties and Taxes: Islands often have import duties and taxes on vehicles. Research the specific requirements of Puerto Rico and factor these costs into your overall budget.
  • Vehicle Registration: You’ll likely need to register your car in the Puerto Rico to legally drive it. This process typically involves an inspection and may require additional paperwork.

Additional Tips for a Smooth Puerto Rico Car Shipping Experience

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


Shipping your car to Puerto Rico opens doors to a world of exploration beyond the typical tourist experience. With careful planning and the help of a professional auto transport company, you can ensure your car arrives safely and securely, ready to hit the road and discover the hidden gems of this beautiful island. Remember to research import regulations, factor in additional costs, and ask questions to ensure a smooth and stress-free journey for you and your car. Now, pack your bags, breathe in the fresh island air, and get ready to create lasting memories in Puerto Rico!

Ship a Car to Puerto Rico – Frequently Asked Questions

Can you ferry your car to Puerto Rico?

Yes, ferrying your car is a common way to ship it to Puerto Rico. Several ferry companies operate routes between the US mainland and Puerto Rico specifically designed for vehicle transport.

Is shipping to Puerto Rico expensive?

The cost of shipping your car to Puerto Rico depends on several factors, including:

  • Distance from your origin port: Shipping costs typically increase with greater distance.
  • Car size and weight: Larger and heavier vehicles generally cost more to ship.
  • Shipping method: Open carrier is the most affordable option, while enclosed carrier offers extra protection but comes at a premium.
  • Import duties and taxes: Puerto Rico has import duties and taxes on vehicles, which add to the overall cost.
How much are import taxes on cars in Puerto Rico?

Import tax rates for vehicles in Puerto Rico can vary depending on the car’s value, age, and origin. It’s best to research the current rates on the website of the Puerto Rico Department of Hacienda to get an accurate estimate for your specific situation.

Are cars cheaper in Puerto Rico?

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

Can you buy a car in the US and bring it to Puerto Rico?

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 involves paying import duties and taxes and registering the vehicle in Puerto Rico.

Can you track your car during shipment?

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.

Is my car insured during transit to Puerto Rico?

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

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