Planning to ship your car to Puerto Rico? Here’s what you need to know 

Brantley Kendall

04 Nov 2022 2 years ago

Puerto Rico is one of the most beautiful places in the world. It is known for its white sand beaches, clear blue waters, and lush rainforests. Puerto Rico is also a popular tourist destination because of its historic sites, such as the San Juan National Historic Site, the El Yunque National Forest, and the Arecibo Observatory. If you plan to explore this wonderful place, having your car with you is always good. It can be more economical than renting a car on the island. If you’re planning on staying for an extended period or visiting multiple islands in the Caribbean, it can make sense to ship your car so that you have your transportation. This way, you can avoid the high costs of car rental and gas prices in Puerto Rico. In this article, we’ll discuss why you might want to ship your car to Puerto Rico, the best time to do so, how much it will cost to ship a car , and what the process entails. We’ll also review what documents you need, applicable restrictions, and risks involved. Lastly, we’ll give some tips on preparing your car during shipping and what to do when it arrives in Puerto Rico. This includes information on import taxes and duties. And finally, we’ll share some advice on how to find the best auto transport company for your needs.

Why ship your car to Puerto Rico?

 When you travel by car, it’s essential to remember the difference between self-driving and moving. When you drive yourself on a long-distance trip, you’re essentially going on a self-guided tour, and it’s up to you to ensure that everything is working correctly and that gas is available when needed. This can be difficult in regions with no established infrastructure, like gas stations or roads. With auto transport services, however, you’re relying on professionals—and they know what they’re doing! These companies have years of experience shipping cars across the ocean and can easily handle any vehicle or condition. They’ll pack your car so it doesn’t get damaged during shipping and provide detailed instructions about how exactly the process should go down so there aren’t any surprises along the way. While there are a few reasons why you might ship your car to Puerto Rico, the most common reason is that people are moving there. Maybe you got a new job in Puerto Rico and need to relocate, or you’re retired and want to enjoy the island lifestyle. If you live in Puerto Rico, and your car is a classic, or if you have any sentimental value, you might want to put it on the boat and take it with you.

  • You’re in the military and have been stationed in Puerto Rico
  • You’re a student attending college in Puerto Rico
  • You bought a car online and want it shipped to Puerto Rico
  • You want to explore Puerto Rico by car and experience all the island has to offer, from the beaches to the rainforests.

Whatever your reason for shipping your car to Puerto Rico, research and choose a reputable auto transport company.

Open car shipping

Why use an auto transport company?

Shipping your car to Puerto Rico through an auto transport company is the best option for convenience, cost-effectiveness, safety, reliability, and flexibility. Here’s how you get these benefits:

Cost savings

Auto transport companies offer competitive shipping rates that can save you money on shipping your car. They also have access to specialized equipment and drivers who are experts at handling cars. This means they can pack your vehicle in a way that will protect it from damage during transit. You don’t have to worry about paying extra for insurance or other services because they take care of it all for you.

Vehicle safety

A reputable auto transport company will have trained professionals who properly handle and secure your vehicle for safe delivery. They’ll also use the best shipping materials, ensuring your vehicle’s safety throughout its journey. This can reduce the risk of loss or damage during transit, which means less hassle for you when you arrive at its destination in Puerto Rico.

Faster Delivery 

Shipping costs depend on how much space your car takes up in a truck, but most companies will cover their cost with insurance. That means you will get your vehicle back after only one trip instead of multiple trips, like when you ship it yourself. This can save you time and money because it means fewer trips across town or state lines. Shipping companies also have better connections with customs officials in each country, so they can get clearance faster than a person can do on their own.


 Auto transport services are 24/7 and can be scheduled at any time of day or night. These companies typically offer door-to-door service, which means your vehicle will be picked up at your home or office and delivered to its destination in Puerto Rico so you can avoid the hassle of dropping it at a terminal.

Track your shipment

You can usually track your shipment online using an auto transport company. This allows you to see where your vehicle is and when it will arrive.

What is the cost of shipping your car to Puerto Rico?

The cost of shipping a car to Puerto Rico depends on many factors, including the distance it must travel, the weight of the vehicle, and its value. The average cost to ship a car or SUV is between $1,000 and $3,000. Larger vehicles, such as RVs and boats, can cost upwards of $5,000.

  • Type of Vehicle: The cost to ship a car depends on its size and weight, as well as its make and model. For example, an SUV will be more expensive to send than a sedan. Also, if it’s a high-end luxury car, it may require more time and care before the professionals ship it to Puerto Rico.
  • The distance it’s traveling: Puerto Rico is a long way from the mainland, so you can expect to pay more for shipping than if you were transporting the car across the country.
  • The time of year: Shipping costs are usually higher during the peak season (summertime) than during the off-peak season (wintertime). This is because there is more demand for shipping during the peak season.
  • The shipping method used: The shipping method you choose – There are a few different ways to ship a car, and each has its price tag. For example, open car shipping is typically cheaper than enclosed transport, but it comes with some risks (e.g., exposure to elements).
  • Whether or not you need any special services: If your car needs to be shipped on a flatbed truck or requires special handling, that will add to the shipping cost.

Time to ship your vehicle to Puerto Rico

Time to ship vehicle

Many factors affect the time it takes to transport your vehicle from the mainland United States to Puerto Rico. They are:

  • The origin of your car: The further away your vehicle is from a port city, the longer it will take to get there. For example, if you live in Hawaii, it will take much longer to get your car shipped than in Florida.
  • The destination of your car: Just as with the origin, shipping your vehicle to a remote location like Culebra or Vieques will take longer than sending it to San Juan.
  • The type of vehicle being transported: Some cars are too large or too heavy to be loaded onto standard auto carriers. If this is the case with your car, it may require special arrangements which can add time onto the transit time. Some vehicles require special permits to be shipped, which can cause delays.
  • The seasonality of demand: There is typically more demand for auto transport services during peak travel times such as summer and winter holidays. This increased demand can lead to longer wait times for service providers who may already have full schedules.


Consider these factors when planning to ship your car, and allow ample time for the process. Shipping companies typically recommend allowing at least 2-4 weeks for transit, but depending on the circumstances, it could take even longer.

Open Vs. Enclosed carrier

There are two types of carrier auto transport, open and enclosed. An open carrier is the most common type when your car is transported on an open-air trailer. This is the cheaper option and typically takes less time to schedule. Enclosed car shipping protects your vehicle from weather conditions and road debris while in transit. This option costs more but may be worth it if you are shipping a luxury or classic car.

RoRo Vs. Container shipping

Roll-on, roll-off shipping, or shipping in containers are two more options available to you regarding shipping methods. The term “roll-on, roll-off” (RoRo) refers to the process by which your car is driven straight onto the ship and then fastened to the vessel’s deck. Professionals will drive your vehicle off the ship and into the destination port after it arrives at its last port. This mode of transportation is the most prevalent and, in most cases, the cheapest available choice. Before being loaded onto a ship, your vehicle will be stored inside a container as part of the container shipping process. While some firms may only provide containers that can house numerous automobiles simultaneously, it is good to get space for your vehicle inside a container that only holds a single car.

How to find the best auto transport company to ship your car to Puerto Rico?

When you’re looking for an auto transport company to ship your car to Puerto Rico, it’s essential to research and choose a reputable company with a good track record. Here are a few things to keep in mind:

  • Compare quotes. Look at several quotes and compare costs and features. Ensure the quote includes all expenses, including shipping, storage, insurance, and taxes.
  • Check references. Ask the car shipping companies for a list of satisfied customers who have previously shipped their vehicles through them. You should also ask for those individuals’ contact information to contact them if needed.
  • Get a written estimate from each company. Ensure each includes all costs such as shipping, storage, insurance, and taxes and that it comes with a written estimate of arrival time and any possible delays or damage (if applicable).
  • Make sure there are no hidden fees or charges hidden in the contract. Ask about them before signing anything to know what you’re getting into before committing yourself financially.
  • Customer Service: It is one thing people consider when choosing an auto transport service. This is because they want to know how well the shipper will treat their car while being transported, how quickly they’ll get it back once you’ve dropped it off, and whether they can reach someone if they have questions or concerns during the process.

The process of shipping a car to Puerto Rico

Shipping a car to Puerto Rico is relatively simple, but it’s essential to understand the steps involved before getting started. Here’s an overview of what you can expect:

  • The first step is to get a quote from an auto transport company. Be sure to ask about discounts available for multiple vehicles or expedited shipping.
  • Once you’ve chosen a company, they will provide you with paperwork to fill out and sign. This will include an agreement outlining the terms of the shipment and your responsibilities.
  • The next step is to prepare the car for shipping. This includes ensuring it’s in good condition and topping off all fluids. You may also need to disconnect the battery and remove any loose items inside the vehicle.
  • The car will then be loaded onto the truck and secured for transport.
  • Once the car arrives at its destination, it will be unloaded and inspected for damage. You’ll then be able to drive it away or deliver it to your home or office, depending on your arrangement with the transport company.

Different types of shipping services

There are a few specially designed shipping service packages that can help you get your vehicle to the destination a bit faster:

Guaranteed vehicle pick-up service

We understand how important it is for you to get your vehicle picked up on time and without any hassle. That’s why we offer a guaranteed car pick-up service. We’ll pick up your vehicle within 24 hours of you making the call and take it to the nearest service center. We know that getting your car serviced can be a pain, but with our guaranteed pick-up service, it doesn’t have to be!

Expedited vehicle delivery service

If you’ve ever had a new car delivered to your home, you know how exciting it is to see your new vehicle parked in your driveway. But what if there was a way to get your car even sooner? With this service, you can avail of priority delivery of your vehicle. That means no more waiting days or weeks for your car delivery. Of course, this service comes with a premium price tag. But if you’re eager to get behind the wheel of your new car ASAP, it may be worth the extra cost.

Military vehicle shipping service

Military vehicle shipping service is a door-to-door transportation solution for military members. It is designed to make getting your vehicles from one duty station to the next easy and affordable. SAKAEM understands that you have a lot on your plate when preparing for a move and our goal is to take one worry off of your mind – getting your vehicles safely to their destination. We have years of experience shipping all vehicles, including cars, trucks, motorcycles, boats, and more. And we can ship anywhere in the world.  If you’re looking for a hassle-free way to get your vehicles from point A to point B, look no further than Military Vehicle Shipping Service!

Enclosed shipping

What documents do you need to ship your car to Puerto Rico?

Here’s a list of what you’ll need:

  • Your car’s registration
  • Your car’s title
  • A bill of sale
  • A valid driver’s license
  • Proof of insurance
  • A passport
  • A letter from your bank or financial institution authorizing the transfer of funds

You’ll also need to ensure your car is in good condition and has all the required safety and emissions equipment. Be sure to check with your auto transport company for their specific requirements.

Frequently Asked Questions

Below, we’ve compiled the answers to some of the most frequently asked questions about auto transport services. If you have any other questions, contact us, and we’ll answer them.

How long does it take to ship a vehicle?

The shipping time depends on the distance of the transportation. It usually takes 3-7 days for short-distance transportation and 7-14 days for long-distance transport.

What should you do when your car arrives in Puerto Rico?

When your car arrives in Puerto Rico, it is crucial to inspect it for any damage that may have occurred during shipping. If you find any damage, document it and take photos. You will then need to file a claim with the auto transport company.  It is also essential to ensure that you have all the necessary paperwork before attempting to drive your car in Puerto Rico. You will need to have your registration and insurance information with you. You may also need a permit from the Puerto Rican government to drive your car on the island. Puerto Rico import taxes and duties

Is my vehicle insured during transport?

Most auto transport companies like SAKAEM Logistics will insure your vehicle during transport. However, it’s always best to check with your chosen company.

What are the payment options for auto transport?

Most auto transport companies will require full payment before they pick up your vehicle. However, some companies may offer financing options or allow you to make a partial payment upfront and then pay the remainder upon delivery.

What are the different payment methods? 

Most auto transport companies accept payment by credit card, check, or money order. Some companies may also offer the option to pay cash.

Do I need to be present when my vehicle is picked up for transport?

You can be present when your vehicle is picked up for transport. However, it is always a good idea to be available to answer any questions the driver may have about your car.

Brantley Kendall