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US – Canada car shipping

US – Canada car shipping

Driving across borders can be tiring and frustrating. Even though Canada is right around the corner, it could take quite long to get there. Whether you are heading up there for vacation or for one of Canada’s auto shows, the distance is the same. And sometimes it is more convenient to ship your car instead. Below are some of the things you need to know about the US-Canada car shipping.

Ship a car USA – Canada

Even though it might sound this way, shipping your car across the border is not complicated. The process is quite similar to national auto transport, but there are a few things you need to keep in mind.

It is very important to select a reliable car shipping company. You can see if we are the right partner for you by checking out how our clients respond to our services in their reviews.

Corsia Logistics works with local and international carriers which are licensed, bonded, and insured. Our logistics experts provide complete guidance and walk you through the process step by step.

You will always start the process with the same first step – deciding whether shipping is the best choice in your situation. There are a few occasions when it is much more convenient to have an auto transport company ship your car.

When shipping your car is a good choice:

  • You bought a car in the USA and want to send it to someone in Canada
  • Are you a snowbird coming down from Canada?
  • You are moving temporarily – as a career move or for studies
  • You are permanently immigrating to Canada

Of course, you could be moving your vehicles across the border for economic reasons, as well. The same process applies if you are a private business and need to ship either your company cars or machinery.

Car collectors and owners of race cars going to an auto show abroad also prefer to ship their vehicles. These are the cases when the vehicle needs to get to its end destination in a perfect condition, and driving it there could make that risky. We make sure the value of the car is preserved throughout the entire journey.

Types of auto transport

There are several different ways to transport your car across the border. In reality, the most practical way of transporting your vehicle to or from Canada is still via truck carriers. A carrier can be open or enclosed.

Open auto transport

This is the most popular method of transporting vehicles and the most economical as well. Most importantly, open auto transport is usually the fastest way to ship a car to Canada and the other way around (besides air freight). This is because nearly 90% of all auto transport in the USA is done via open trailers. Carriers are widely available, and it is much easier to find one to match your needs.

The only drawback is that the car will be out in the open – it will be exposed to weather and road conditions. And the road to Canada is long. And sometimes quite windy. Especially, if your destination is somewhere in the Canadian Rockies.

Enclosed auto transport

An enclosed trailer completely shields your vehicle. Moreover, there are different types of auto transport trailers, depending on the level of protection they provide. Drivers of enclosed carriers also go through special training to operate them. In the US, only about ten percent of the whole fleet of car shipping trucks is enclosed, which makes this type of transport less available and, hence, more expensive.

The biggest advantage of choosing an enclosed trailer is the higher level of protection for your vehicle. There is a guarantee that no weather conditions or road debris will affect the vehicle. This is the safest road method to transport a car between Canada and the USA.

More vehicle shipping alternatives

Sometimes, specific vehicles require other ways of transport. Here are some of the less common ways of transporting a vehicle between the USA and Canada. Keep in mind that each comes with its benefits and could be the right one for your occasion.

Roll on / roll off (RORO)

RORO shipping is not so popular when transporting vehicles from the USA to Canada because of the closeness of the location. Yet, some heavy vehicles require this method of shipping. It is suitable for heavy machinery, RVs, and oversized vehicles, for example, a tank. This is not the option people prefer the most when it comes to shipping a car because it could be damaged by weather elements while in transit.

RoRo allows for less handling costs as vehicles are simply driven on and off the vessel, without the need for cranes. Which is why this is the least costly service of all. Canada’s most commonly used port for RoRo services is Halifax. Thus, it makes sense to transport your vehicle via this method if you are shipping from the East Coast.

Air freight

It is the most expensive option. Yet, it is the most suitable one for high-end automobiles that must be delivered on or by a specific date. People usually use it for race cars and cars going to auctions or exhibitions. If you are shipping your car to the next show, you want it to be in perfect condition from the moment it lands on location.

Container shipping

This is the most common way of transporting your car internationally. The most common ports for receiving and sending containers in Canada are Vancouver and Ottawa. However, container shipping is more suitable for sending a vehicle to or from Europe.

If this already feels like too many options, don’t worry. Our team is here to help you make the best choice.

We ship cars, motorcycles, boats, and RVs. So we know what is best for all sorts of vehicles. We provide our customers with white-glove service because we understand the importance your special vehicle has to you.

Things to know when shipping USA-Canada


You need a number of vehicle documents when transporting a car between the USA and Canada. The first is the Certificate of Origin or the vehicle title.

Оnce you provide the title of your vehicle(s), your shipper will send it for customs clearance, which usually takes about 5 days.

After that, you will be issued your Bill of Lading and Certificate of Insurance if you have chosen to buy insurance coverage. It is always recommended to insure the vehicle for its current value.

You will need a Bill or sale or a purchase invoice. If you are importing a vehicle as a gift to someone in either of the two countries you will definitely need to prove the sale. Last but not least, a letter of export authorization.

If you are importing a car to the U.S., you will need to demonstrate that it complies with certain U.S. standards: safety, bumper, and air pollution. For that purpose, DOT form HS-7 and EPA form 3520-1 are filed.

If you are exporting a car to Canada, there are several documents you will need to prepare. You must submit an Electronic Export Information (EEI) using the Automated Export System (AES).

CBSA will require Vehicle Import Form – Form 1 (E-form), proof of ownership, as well as valid identification.

You need to check if your vehicle is on Registrar of Imported Vehicles (RIV) to avoid any complications. RIV provides a useful Importer Checklist tool that you can use to determine your vehicle’s eligibility and to search for vehicle manufacturer information.

You will also need to undergo a vehicle inspection – your RIV inspection must be completed within 45 days of the date of importation, so plan accordingly.


The cost of shipping your vehicle abroad depends on several factors. Pick-up location and the final destination will mark the route and the distance that the driver needs to cover.

The type of transport is also a factor. As we mentioned above the most common way is an open trailer, thus this is the most economical option.

Your desired dates will also play a role. If there is low availability of carriers, it will be harder to get one for the specific dates, which will raise the price.

In order to get an estimate, request a quote. This is the fastest way to find out how much it would cost to get your vehicle abroad.

Unlike other companies, Corsia Logistics vehicle relocation experts don’t use automated calculators. Our rates are manual. Our agents track daily price fluctuations and deliver the most accurate and realistic rates.

Personal belongings

In general, it is best not to leave any personal items in your car. During the shipping process, nobody will be responsible for them if anything happens. If you have to ship with RORO service, you won’t be able to leave anything inside your vehicle.


As you can see already, you need to do some planning ahead if you want to get your vehicle to Canada or the USA on a specific date.

The exact time of delivery depends on the availability of carriers, the length of the route, and, of course, traffic conditions. Sometimes road problems and weather conditions cannot be predicted. This is why our delivery time frame is an estimate.

If your vehicle counts as an import, you’ll need to account for an additional 3 days of processing time. It is important to have all paperwork so that the Canadian border officials know to expect the vehicle shipment and understand how to process it.

If you have questions about the shipping process between Canada and the USA, please don’t hesitate to call us at (818) 850 5258. You can also chat with one of our agents online or reach us via email.

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