Export Car Insurance Protects a Vehicle Being Shipped Out of Country

You should have export car insurance to cover a vehicle if you are transporting it to a new country for a long-term stay. Short term export car insurance is also available if you are just visiting. Compare export car insurance policies to find the best coverage and rates.

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UPDATED: Sep 3, 2020

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Written By: Laura BerryReviewed By: Joel OhmanUPDATED: Sep 3, 2020Fact Checked

Here's what you need to know...

  • The location you are moving a vehicle to and from impacts your proper plan of action
  • If you are planning to be in the new country for less than 12 months, look into keeping your current vehicle insurance
  • If you need to ship your vehicle to a new country, consider the possibility of buying a car there rather than shipping your current vehicle

If you are relocating to a different country or you are planning to buy a car elsewhere and bring it home with you, you must have the appropriate export car insurance in place. Careful planning is the key to making this process run smoothly.

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Depending on where you are getting your vehicle from will determine your best option.

Export Car Insurance for U.S. into Canada


If your goal is to export a car from the United States into Canada, your first step needs to be finding out whether the model you are considering can be admitted into the country.

Once you have ascertained that it can from the Registrar of Imported Vehicles (RIV), start looking for insurance from a Canadian car insurance provider.

This will provide you with valid coverage that will protect you from the minute you pick up the car in the U.S.

You will need to inform U.S. Customs that you are exporting a vehicle by sending a fax to the office where you are planning to cross out of the country at least three days before you plan to leave.

As you go through, Canadian Customs will need to see your bill of sale and title to the vehicle. At that point, you will be required to pay certain taxes and fees, including the Goods and Services Tax.

The vehicle will need to undergo a safety and vehicle emission inspection after it has been brought into the country. Your certificate of insurance and the bill of sale will be needed so that you can get a Canadian driver’s license after you arrive in the country.

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Export Car Insurance from the UK to Europe

If you are interested in exporting your vehicle from the UK, there are some steps you need to take and things you need to keep in mind:

  • You need to let the Driver Vehicle and Licensing Agency (DVLA) know of your intentions. If you have a V5 registration document for your car, there is a section at the bottom that can be filled in with the date you are planning to export the car. This section is then returned to the DVLA.
    • You have the option of handing the form in over the counter or mailing it in. If you choose the mail option, you will receive a certificate of export, or a V561 certificate, by mail in approximately two weeks.
    • Keep this document with you when you leave the country with the car; you may be asked to hand it over once you reach your destination.
  • Find out from your current car insurance provider how long you are covered in your new country. You should have time to arrange coverage after you arrive so that you aren’t caught without the protection you need.
  • If you are only planning on being out of the country for a relatively short time (12 months or less), you may not need to buy coverage in your destination country, so do ask your current provider about the rules before you leave.

Export Car Insurance When Shipping Your Vehicle


In a case where you have decided to move to a new country and you have arranged for a shipping company to look after the arrangements, still ask about their export car insurance coverage.

An international shipping company should have insurance coverage in place to protect the items it deals with, but you will want to check this out to see if your vehicle would be included as well.

Even if the shipping company has coverage, it would probably be limited to loss of the vehicle itself. Any personal effects that are in the vehicle would not be covered under the policy. While it may be tempting to load up the car with items to try to keep costs down, this can be a risky choice.

Whenever you are considering a move to another country, think about whether it makes more sense to ship your car or if you should sell your current vehicle and buy a new one after you arrive.

If you decide that your car will be moving along with you, take the time to make sure that you understand the procedures to bring it into your new country, and for driving and insuring it abroad, so that you don’t experience any delays.

You should also educate yourself about export car insurance and whether your current policy will cover you until you can get settled at your destination. This knowledge will help you make the right decisions for a smooth move to your new home.

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Editorial Guidelines: We are a free online resource for anyone interested in learning more about auto insurance. Our goal is to be an objective, third-party resource for everything auto insurance related. We update our site regularly, and all content is reviewed by auto insurance experts.

A former insurance producer, Laura understands that education is key when it comes to buying insurance. She has happily dedicated many hours to helping her clients understand how the insurance marketplace works so they can find the best car, home, and life insurance products for their needs.

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Written by Laura Berry
Former Insurance Agent Laura Berry

Joel Ohman is the CEO of a private equity backed digital media company. He is a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™, author, angel investor, and serial entrepreneur who loves creating new things, whether books or businesses. He has also previously served as the founder and resident CFP® of a national insurance agency, Real Time Health Quotes. He has an MBA from the University of South Florida. Jo...

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Reviewed by Joel Ohman
Founder & CFP® Joel Ohman

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