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Ship my vehicle ?

Albuquerque, New...
posts: 6
reviews: 31
Ship my vehicle ?

I’m a new member of the mobility impaired family (ruptured disks and muscle deterioration). Recently ended up in a power wheelchair. It is a monster of 250-300 pounds and needs a ramp or a lift to get into a vehicle. My car (Toyota Highlander) has a lift installed on it, so my USA travel is covered. However, I’m still kicking and screaming about going overseas. My taught was to ship my car ahead and follow by plane. Do not now if vehicles with ramps or lifts are usually available for rental overseas (primarily Europe, possibly South America).

Any experience with this? Any idea who does vehicle shipping for what price range? Any comments, advice would be greatly appreciated.

6 replies to this topic
Nowy Sacz, Poland
Destination Expert
for Poland
posts: 4,024
reviews: 42
1. Re: Ship my vehicle ?

I hate to say this, and I hope I'm wrong, but I think you face more problems than just getting your car shipped.

For example, you can't take your chair onto the plane with you ... you'd have to transfer to one of those lightweight things and board in that, while your own chair goes into the hold. And given the weight, the airline might not be easily able to arrange to fly the chair at all, or only on a later plane.

Shipping the car will not be cheap. Cunard used to take cars on the QE2, so if you could afford it, you would have been able to cross to Europe that way, with your car. But I don't see anythung to suggest this is possible on the new ships. There are many companies who arrange to ship cars, but it's a longer process than you might be able to accept - cars are held, containerisd, wait for the ship, sail over at modest speed, then have to be unloaded and got through customs by the company for you, so could take a couple of weeks, minimum.

Now, if you can get your chair over, there ARE companies which rent cars with disabled access. This is the first one I found, renting cars with ramps angelvehiclehire.rtrk.co.uk/… They have some fairly chunky vans, so ought to have something to handle your chair. Other companies, no doubt, exist.

Where am I coming from with all this? I'm a big guy with diabetes (giving me peripheral neuropathy, ie weak and no feeling below knees) and heart failure, so for all but the shortest distance I need to use a wheelchair. My partner acts as pusher most of the time. So, based on my own experience:

- make sure hotels have good access from car park to room. Some offer disabled rooms "just up a few steps", other offer lifts and doors which are too narrow, no turning room in the restaurant (again, just a few steps, it's a design feature!), lightweight fixtures inthe bathroom (look good, but can;t take the weight, or wobble/flex alarmingly) and so on. Also, coming to Europe, although there is a lot of talk about disabled access, one has to accept that you;re talking about buildings which could be 1,000 years old so the options are sometimes limited. Streets can be cobbled. Curbs may not be lowered, disabled parking may comprise two spots out of 200. And, living in what was behind the Iron Curtain only 25 years ago and though there is a willingness to make places accessible, there's limited money and many other priorities over and above getting people in wheelchairs into old castles! Two places I'd really like to visit, Auschwitz and the Wieliczka Salt Mine are essentially inaccessible (in truth, a very limited amount of access to both is possible, but so limited as not to be worthwhile).

Finally, a thought. I believed for may years that there was no reason to holiday anywhere other than in the USA. I'd visited several times, and seen NY, DC, Orlando, New Orleans, Atlanta, Nashville, Memphis, Denver, Royal Gorge, Grand Canyon, Dallas, LA, SF, SD, Yosemite etc. And I loved it and wanted to see more. I believed that with so much choice in one country (and with knowing so much about the place, food, people, etc) there was no reason to travel elsewhere. So with the addition of Mexico and Canada next door and potentially driveable (I know, not so realistic) you have many, many choices - sea, river, lake, mountain, city, town, country, etc - that you may have to accept making the most of what you've got.

Me? I discovered India and Japan, but that's another story!

Edited: 7:54 am, July 31, 2012
Pittsburgh...
posts: 14
reviews: 25
2. Re: Ship my vehicle ?

I would definitely not count on shipping a vehicle to South America, even if you can afford it. In addition to the shipping costs, you'd likely also have to pay duty, if it's allowed at all, and in some countries, that can be as much as 50% of the cost of the vehicle.

The laws for importing vehicles at all, and especially used ones, are complex at best, and certainly in places like Chile, it's not possible at all for people who are not legal permanent residents. Some countries won't even allow a vehicle registered in the country right next door to cross the border, so forget taking it from one country to another even if you do get it over there to somewhere.

Pittsburgh...
posts: 14
reviews: 25
3. Re: Ship my vehicle ?

I would definitely not count on shipping a vehicle to South America, even if you can afford it. In addition to the shipping costs, you'd likely also have to pay duty, if it's allowed at all, and in some countries, that can be as much as 50% of the cost of the vehicle, which is bad enough if one is moving, but just plain silly for just a vacation. Then your US insurance also wouldn't cover it, so you'd have to buy local insurance, which might not even be available to nonresidents.

The laws for importing vehicles at all, and especially used ones, are complex at best, and certainly in places like Chile, it's not possible at all for people who are not legal permanent residents, which takes five years of living there and jumping through a bunch of hoops. Some countries won't even allow a vehicle registered in the country right next door to cross the border, so forget relying on taking it from one country to another even if you do get it over there to somewhere. And even if you could cross the borders, you could be facing duty and buying new insurance in each country you might want to go to.

Pittsburgh...
posts: 14
reviews: 25
4. Re: Ship my vehicle ?

And if you do decide to ship it, what are you going to use for transportation on both ends once the vehicle is picked up but before it clears customs on the other end, which can take several weeks as it will likely travel by sea? What if there's a port strike (which are quite common in Latin America) and you can't get it *out* of customs once it arrives?

And how are you going to even get to the port to get it? Because the port might be located an hour or more drive away from where you might be, or certainly across terrain, roads, and/or neighborhoods you won't want to be traversing in a chair.

Eastleigh, United...
Destination Expert
for Eastleigh, Winchester
posts: 3,851
reviews: 94
5. Re: Ship my vehicle ?

This thread is almost a year old so the OP has probably made his plans by now!

6. Re: Ship my vehicle ?

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