Shipping your vehicle from the USA directly to Central America? Here’s how.

Posted: January 19, 2016 by bernardbarbour in Expedition/Travel
Tags: , , ,

Not interested in making the drive to Belize from the USA? Well you’re in luck as one of our esteemed contributors Scott Woodhams explains how to ship your vehicle from the USA to Belize.

Ok, here is my account (so far), of shipping our vehicle to Belize, as promised. We decided to use Hyde shipping as they seem to have good reviews, and their prices were in line with others. I began speaking with Carlos, in the Belize shipping department. He was very helpful, explaining the cost and process. Some of the questions that arose for me came as the time got a little closer to ship. Some of the things that will be useful if you decide to ship your vehicle:
As of this posting vehicles shipped from Ft. Lauderdale Florida to Belize city, Belize via Hyde shipping are $1090 (U.S. dollars), for vehicles up to and including 650 cubic feet (LxWxH). I will say that after measuring mine, with the bumpers and racks, it came to 656 cu. Ft according to my measurements. I wasn’t sure how that would be handled by customs.

You have to have your fuel tank at 1/4 or less, although I was told to fill mine up with premium unleaded before arriving, as they would be more than happy to siphon the gas out for use in their own vehicle. smile emoticon I chose not to contribute to the free gas fund.
They do accept credit cards. We were given the choice to pay in Florida or Belize. I chose to pay in Florida.

You must fill out several forms, most of which are info on your vehicle, power of attorney to handle the customs portion of the shipping without you being present, and lastly, waiving any liability to your contents.

You are allowed to have things left in the vehicle. They will not be responsible for theft or damage. No electronics are recommended to be left. We even pulled the face off of the stereo. The inside was packed wall to wall with personal items, parts, tools, and camping equipment. Hopefully it all makes it ok.
The shipping clerk walks around the vehicle and makes note of any damages already existing (denoted on a diagram).
Fortunately, nobody ever measured the Rover. They used generic dimensions from the computer, making mine only 602 cu. Ft. Can’t guarantee they do that every time, but in my case, it worked well.
It is recommended to have your vehicle to port one week prior to the shipping date. Ships sail every Monday to Belize. The vehicle must remain in Customs for 3 days before clearing to ship. It could be possible to miss the desired shipping date if you do not get it there soon enough. Once it clears Customs, and the ship sets sail, it takes 5 days to arrive in Belize. So Friday each week, the ship is scheduled to arrive. I was told it must again remain in customs for 3 days before you can pick it up. We have factored all of this in and planned our flight to be there one additional day after the projected date of release just just to be safe.

The total process was 55 min from arrival to departure via taxi, which the shipping clerk called for us. We received copies of all documents and confirmed the truck would be shipped the following Monday. The taxi ride cost $12.00 to the airport, about 10 min away or 4 miles.
In summary was it worth it? To be honest, I feel it was a bit pricey. By the time we spent the time and fuel to drive down to Ft. Lauderdale, paid the vehicle shipping, paid airfare back to Georgia, and finally airfare to Belize, It would have been cheaper to drive.
Not to mention, the second part of this account will be once the vehicle and ourselves arrive in Belize city. Will there be more fees? Will everything make it? Will the ship be on time? Stay tuned for the next spine tingling installment of shipping my Land Rover to Belize!
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What did we gain by this venture? Knowledge of the process, visiting friends in Florida, and mainly, saved 7-10 days of travel time that it would have taken to drive to Belize. So for me, we will continue to drive back and forth, but for some, this can be a viable way to get your vehicle to Belize! Happy travels! Hope to see you On the Road!

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