Car Shipping to Canada: An Overview of Customs Regulations

Car shipping within Canada and across the border is a common practice for many people, especially during relocation. This can be a daunting task, especially for first-timers, as different regulations come into play. Knowing and understanding the rules are crucial before shipping any vehicle. It ensures that the process is seamless and that you do not run into any legal issues. In this article, we will explore some of the essential regulations for Car shipping Canada.

Regulations for Interprovincial Shipping

Shipping a car from one province to another is a don’t-ask-don’t-tell kind of thing within Canada. However, it is important to note that you will need to engage the services of a licensed carrier with proper permits to ensure compliance with regulations. There is also a need to pay the required Provincial Sales Tax (PST), depending on your province of residence and destination. Failure to observe such regulations can lead to legal issues, which will end up delaying or voiding your shipping process.

Crossing the Border to the United States

Shipping your car across international borders requires specific documentation and compliance with regulations. For instance, you will need to complete and submit a ‘vehicle export form’ to your local government transport department to get clearance. Your car must also meet the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) standards to avoid delays or additional charges at the border. A reputable carrier must have experience and a positive track record for international auto transport to avoid any complications.

Insurance Coverage

All auto shipping companies are required by law to provide insurance for shipping the vehicles from point A to point B. This is important in case of accidents or theft that may occur during the shipping process. However, it is important to confirm coverage details with the carrier before hiring them to ensure that you are fully protected. You can even check with your insurance provider to confirm whether your policy covers the shipping process.

Preparing Your Car for Transportation

Before shipping your car, you must take measures to prepare it for transport. Depending on the company policy, you will need to remove any personal belongings as they are not permitted in most cases for liability purposes. Additionally, it is crucial to document the condition of your car and take pictures for future reference. You should consider disinfecting the car as well, especially if you are crossing the border to avoid any issues with customs officials.

Charges and Payment

Car shipping costs vary depending on several factors, including distance, size and weight of the car, and mode of transport. Ensure that you get a comprehensive quotation from your desired carrier to avoid any surprises or additional charges. The company should also communicate payment plans and accepted methods of payment. It is advisable to avoid upfront payments and deals that sound too good to be true. Check the company’s reputation and, if possible, read reviews from past clients to ensure transparency and excellent services.


Car shipping is a complex process, and observance of regulations is crucial for a successful and seamless process. You must research and identify a reliable and licensed auto shipping company to avoid legal issues and damage to your car. More importantly, understand the regulations for inter-provincial transport, international shipping to the United States, insurance coverage, preparing your car for transportation, and charges and payment. With this, you can be confident that your car will reach its destination in perfect condition within the agreed timeline.