How to Prepare your Vehicle for Shipping to Jamaica

You may need to prepare your vehicle for shipping to Jamaica for a couple of reasons. You may be a person traveling around the world, a vacationer, or a member of the military moving to another base. Or you might just be moving to Jamaica for a new beginning. Whatever the case might be, you've planned to ship your car to your new home. 

Your vehicle, be it a car, a van, a track or a motorbike can easily be transported to Jamaica but before you ship it, you need to ensure that the vehicle will arrive safely with no damages or delays. Professional shipping companies like CaribShipping, can help you simplify the process, but you need to do your part too. Use our checklist below before you ship your vehicle and you will feel more than confident handling it to a company!

Measure your vehicle

In order to obtain a quote, you’ll need to check the dimensions of your vehicle. 

Measure the maximum dimensions of the vehicle in each direction:

A - Length [ from end to end]

B - Width [The widest section of the vehicle, including  wide tires or mirrors]

C - Height [this is the tallest part of the vehicle, i.e for trucks is the top exhaust]

D - Make and Model

E - Port of Discharge (Kingston/Montego bay)

Measuring your vehicle before shipping to Jamaica

NOTE: If measurements are not accurate there might be price changes in shipping cost or your vehicle might not be eligible for shipping. If you require us to measure the vehicle, Caribshipping does this for FREE if you visit our office.

Choose your shipping container

There are two methods to ship your vehicle.

1- A high volume metal container for most vehicle types.

Container shipping offers great protection, especially for vintage cars, and involves special ramps that ensure your vehicle remains secure. 

The containers come in two sizes, 20ft, and 40ft. To ship a single car you'd need a 20ft unit. For two cars, a 40ft unit would be the best deal.

You can use the shipping container to move household items abroad, by adding them to the same unit as your car.


Shipping vehicles in containers to Jamaica

2 - A Flat Rack system is used for larger vehicles such as trucks.

Flat racks are used mostly to ship oversized vehicles such as trucks, JCB Plant, box vans, and machinery.


Flat racks are being built in such a way that they can take harsh weather conditions and very heavy loads up to 40 tonnes

Flat racks can be stacked on a ship once the cargo is within the specified size restrictions and interlock.

Shipping your containers to Jamaica doesn’t have to be a daunting task. When you work with Carib Shipping to handle your London to Jamaica shipping, you can sit back, relax, and watch us tackle the hard work.

Flat rack cargo illustration
Find the right container size for your needs

Declare the duration of the export

The duration you’ll be exporting will determine what documents you’ll need and is required to be declared to the overseas customs and the UK authorities when preparing your vehicle from shipping to Jamaica. 

For vehicles exported for under 12 months, you must apply for a Registration Document (V5) / Certificate (V5C) at a DVLA Local Office using a V62 form and take it with you. If it’s a permanent export for 12 months or more, you must inform the DVLA. 

Research Jamaica’s duties, vehicle tax, and regulations

When your vehicle arrives in Jamaica, it will go through customs and will be inspected before release. This includes custom feed and import duties that need to be paid so ensure you do your research to avoid unexpected costs. That's why when you prepare your vehicle for shipping, is essential to make thorough research on Jamaica's regulations. , In Caribshipping we’re always happy to help with any questions, so feel free to contact us

Have your documentation ready

Before you ship your vehicle to Jamaica you need to put all necessary documents together. You’ll need at least a proof of ownership and your vehicle’s V5 document. In addition, you might as well need a Vehicle Identification Number (VIN), valid driving license, photo identification and possibly an export certificate of your vehicle’s history for customs to check if there are any outstanding payments on file. 


Having documentation ready when shipping a vehicle to Jamaica

Specifically, these are the documents you need to acquire to be able to ship your vehicle to Jamaica:

1 - The V5 registration document (to ensure the vehicle is not reported stolen and is free of finance, a Police and HPI check will take place).

2 - A car key that will accompany them during transit.

3 - An import license (unless a registered dealer will clear your vehicle)

You will need to obtain a Tax Compliance Certification from the Main Tax office in Jamaica in order to acquire an import license. This is needed to verify whether the person clearing the vehicle has its Tax status up-to-date, with NHW and NIS contributions paid up-to-date. 

4 - Certificate of pre-shipment inspection for the vehicle. 

The Trade Board Ltd will no longer issue import licenses for used vehicles that are imported without a valid pre-exportation inspection certificate by individuals or businesses. As of February 1, 2018 (PSIC).

The PSIC/DDC aims to change the Used Motor Vehicle by guaranteeing the high quality and standard of vehicles imported for use on the roads of Jamaica.

Read more about all the necessary documents here. 


And these are the documents that need to be acquired to clear your vehicle when it arrives in Jamaica:

1 - For all motor vehicles or motorcycles, a supplier's invoice in your name is needed.

2 - Bill of Sight. This is a paper that documents descriptions of the car or motorcycles to be imported. It is prepared and signed by a customs broker and is approved by the customs authority.

3 - Simplified Administrative Document (eSad): An electronic document with all the descriptions of the vehicle, the name of the importer, the customs duties, and shipping information. This document must be completed by a licensed customs broker and sent to the customs authority. 


Cleaning your vehicle and checking for cosmetic flaws and mechanical faults.

It’s very important to check your vehicle and record any problems when you prepare the vehicle for shipping. If there are any cosmetic flaws or mechanical faults, they could cost you extra money on exporting/importing and the shipping service itself, especially if they’re not reported timely to your shipping company.  

The process of spotting any problems can start from washing the exterior of your vehicle and then proceed with a visual inspection. This will help bring to your attention any cosmetic flaws and faults or even personal items left behind. When your car is clean, walk around the exterior of the vehicle searching for any scratches, discolorations, dents,  or paint chips, and take a photograph of it for your records. It was important to clean your car before the inspection, as dust, dirt, and grime might mask these marks. Do not forget to check the undercarriage for any unexpected leaks.

Cleaning vehicles before shipping them in a container to Jamaica from the UK

Remove everything that’s not essential from the inside. By removing personal items, you are decreasing the risk of loss, damage, and theft. Things like your stereo, any portable equipment, and your GPS can be shipped separately. 

Your vehicle will be lighter and any threat of theft or damage will be minimized.  

Avoiding any damage

Make sure all security systems have been disabled. If you’re shipping a car or van, the aerial and antennas must be removed and the wing mirrors must be folded back, to minimize damage.

Unnecessary items that could be removed are also bike, luggage, and ski racks. It's best to do that when preparing the vehicle for shipping rather than at the last minute. 

Convertible cars need to be secured on the top to avoid any damage from air, debris, or moisture, otherwise, add a wind-resistant tarp. Do not forget to inflate your tires, fully charge the battery, and secure it to its mounting bracket. 

Although all personal belongings should be removed for insurance and safety purposes, certain items may be kept in your car. These include an emergency kit, spare tires, hand and jack tools. It is important to remember that you keep your license plate on your car.

Keeping the automatic parking passes or toll tags activated, you may collect unnecessary fees you could easily avoid by removing them. 

These steps may seem unnecessary tedious now but in the long run, they can save you both time and money


Double-check your fluids 

Ensure that the fluids in your vehicle, including water, oil, hydraulic, power steering, transmission fluid, brake fluid, and anti-freeze fluid are all above the minimum level, otherwise, make sure you top them up.

Don’t forget to fully charge the battery and check the tire pressure (tires shouldn’t be under-inflated or over-inflated).

When using a shipping container, your tank should be nearly empty to ¼ to ⅛ full of fuel to save weight. 

Refilling Car Fluids when shipping a vehicle to Jamaica from the UK

Provide instructions for the shipping company and make any special notes for the driver like any special quirks or mechanical problems with your vehicle.

After checking your vehicle, provide instructions to your shipping company for handling the vehicle.

Caribshipping ships a variety of vehicles to Jamaica, and have been doing so for many years. Our expert team will deliver your vehicles safely to Kingston or Montego Bay wharf! 

Need to ship your vehicle to Jamaica? Get a quote!