Puerto Rico Auto Transport

Puerto Rico’s 8,900 miles of national, municipal, and forest roadways make the island perfect for fun road trips. From picturesque beaches to breathtaking rainforests, there’s an adventure waiting for everyone! Cruise along La Ruta Panoramica (which translates to ‘The Panoramic Route’ in English) for one of the best scenic drives not only in PR but the entire Caribbean. Home to a stunning tropical rainforest, El Yunque (via Route 191) offers hiking, lookout towers, and picnic areas amongst a backdrop of waterfalls. And for amazing views of mountains and more, travel Highway 52 towards Guayama to take in the beauty.

The Island of Enchantment holds many charms and having your own car opens up a whole new world. Whether you’ve been assigned to a new military base or simply want to escape the mainland for an idyllic Caribbean lifestyle, Puerto Rico is a dream come true! However, the fact that it’s an island makes for a unique shipping challenge. That’s where Caravan Auto Transport can assist. With the help of our network of top-rated auto transport companies, we make it a breeze to ship your car to or from Puerto Rico. All you have to do is request your free quotes, compare, and save. It’s really that simple with Caravan!

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Things to Know About Driving in the Island of Enchantment

  • Miles of Roadway: 8,900
  • Major Interstates:
    • North-South: PR-1 goes from San Juan to Caguas to Ponce; PR-3 goes from San Juan to downtown Salinas
    • East-West: PR-2 travels from San Juan and wraps around to Ponce
  • Average Commute Time: 7th slowest commute in the US at 29.1 minutes
  • Most Popular Car: Toyota Yaris

Steps to Take After Shipping Your Vehicle to Puerto Rico

Excited about getting on the roads of Puerto Rico in your own car? Before you jump behind the wheel, you’ll need to take a few additional steps:

1. Understand Puerto Rico Residency

This step only applies to those relocating to the US territory of Puerto Rico from a US state who plan to establish their permanent and principal residence in the territory (i.e. this does not apply to snowbirds or college students living here temporarily). Puerto Rico legally requires new residents to take specific steps regarding insurance coverage, car registration, and more based upon the date that residency is established. It may be difficult to establish an exact date of residency, but the US territory suggests residency is established if any of the following occur:

  • You live here 183 days per year
  • You live here for 549 days in a three-year period
  • You do not have a principal place of business outside of the US
  • You purchase a home in PR within the first few years of living here
  • You can prove you have closer ties here than outside of the PR

Keep in mind that to establish Puerto Rican residency, you:

  • You can’t be present in US states for more than 90 days
  • You cannot make more than $3000 per year in the US

Keep the date you establish residency in mind as you review the remaining steps.

2. Update Insurance to Comply with PR Laws

Each US state or territory sets its own laws regarding auto insurance minimums. In Puerto Rico, you are legally required to purchase a compulsory liability insurance (CLI or ‘Seguro Compulsorio’ in Spanish) policy with the following coverage:

  • $3,000 compulsory liability coverage: This automatically covers damages and medical expenses, regardless of who’s at fault in the event of an accident.
  • No bodily injury coverage requirement: PR doesn’t require full liability insurance coverage for injury, dismemberment, and death. However, it does require medical liability insurance in place of typical personal injury insurance (PIP).

PR has minimal insurance coverage requirements. It’s a no-fault territory, meaning you’re expected to cover your own damages and health expenses. You may want to consider purchasing additional coverage, such as bodily injury liability protection, collision coverage, comprehensive coverage, and uninsured motorist coverage to further reduce your risk.

Note: You must have proof of insurance coverage to title and register your vehicle.

3. Title and Register Your Vehicle

If you ship a car to Puerto Rico from a US state, you must apply for title and registration within 3 days of establishing residency.

  • Title: A title shows your proof of ownership of the vehicle in Puerto Rico. To obtain a certificate of title, you must provide proof of identity, ownership, and required insurance coverage, complete the application form, and pay any applicable fees and taxes. For more information on titling your car, click here.
  • Registration: In addition to titling, you must register (also known as ‘marbete’ in Puerto Rico) your car and obtain a metal license plate, a registration certificate, and a registration decal. You can complete the initial registration at the time of titling. For more info on motor vehicle registration, click here.

Note: Though it’s not a requirement, speaking Spanish (or having the assistance of someone who does) will help with the title & registration process.

4. Obtain a Valid Puerto Rico Driver License

You must obtain a Puerto Rico license within 30 days of establishing residency. You must apply for your license in person at a local CESCO office. This is the island’s form of DMV (for location info click here). During the application process you must:

  • Provide a valid US driver license
  • Bring a social security card, W-2 or I-9 displaying your social security number
  • Provide an official copy of your driving record
  • Show proof of residency (like a bank statement or utility bill)
  • Provide a medical statement (bill of health)
  • Pay applicable taxes and licensing fees

5. Purchase an AutoExpresso

Puerto Rico has several toll roads. These include sections of PR-5, PR-17, PR-20, PR-22, PR-52, PR-53, and PR-56. To make getting around the island easier, you might want to purchase an AutoExpresso prepaid toll pass. This is the island’s version of EZ-Pass. With an AutoExpresso transponder, you’ll save on tolls and have access to express lanes for faster commuting. Keep in mind, however, that this pass needs to be refilled with a credit card, which can be done at Total and Puma gas stations. Learn more about setting up AutoExpresso here.

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Top 3 Places to Go for a Drive (After Shipping Your Car) in Puerto Rico

After your car is shipped to Puerto Rico, you’ll probably want to explore the island! Here are the three top scenic drives on the Island of Enchantment.

1. La Ruta Panoramica

If you’re looking for one of the ultimate drives in the Caribbean, La Ruta Panoramica does not disappoint! The Panoramica Route is a celebrated roadway that winds 167 miles through pristine Puerto Rican beauty. It takes you through the central mountains of the Island of Enchantment, sharing its natural treasures in abundance. If you’re an avid driver, nature lover, and all-around adventurer looking for something unique and off the beaten path, this is the route for you. La Ruta Panoramica begins to the west in Mayagüez and continues east through many picturesque towns. Travel takes about 2-3 days.

Keep in mind that this drive, though beautiful, is not for the faint of heart. There are a variety of heart-racing elements – steep cliffs, hairpin turns, narrow two-way sections – but if that doesn’t phase you, you’re in for an adventure of a lifetime! Must-dos include:

  • Exploring Maricao State Forest: Not a big fan of the typical tourist fare of hotels and beaches? Love nature? Head to Maricao State Forest. Located past the towns of San Germán, Maricao, and Sabana Grande, this area offers stunning views and hiking trails. And if you get hungry, there are many local restaurants in town.
  • Kayaking in Adjuntas: If watersports are more your speed, continue to the town of Adjuntas. Home to Garzas Lake, this is the perfect spot for kayaking, boating, and fishing. Want more amazing hiking options? Check out Guilarte State Forest. Adjuntas itself is known for its coffee production, with more than 1,400 coffee farms!
  • Visiting Punta Tuna Nature Reserve and Historic Lighthouse: As you head further east and then south, you’ll come across the town of Maunabo. Here, you’ll find Punta Tuna Reserve and Historic Lighthouse. There’s also a cool beach area, perfect for resting and taking in the gorgeous views of the coast.

2. Puerto Rico Highway 191

As the main route that cuts through El Yunque National Forest and the Sierra de Luquillo mountain range, PR-191 is definitely one for the bucket list! Stretching north to south for approximately 15 miles in the western region of Puerto Rico, this rural road is home to breathtaking rainforests, waterfalls, restaurants, and much more. Obviously, the main attraction is El Yunque. Receiving about 120 inches of rainfall annually, this national forest holds one of the most diverse ecosystems in the US. It’s also one of the only tropical rain forests in the nation! The route might be short, but the locale packs in a ton of fun and unforgettable experiences.

If you’re looking to reinvigorate your soul and connect with nature, Route 191 welcomes you with open arms. When it comes to choosing your attire, just be prepared for any number of weather situations as conditions can change quickly. Explore the heart of El Yunque and other stellar things to do:

  • El Yunque National Forest: Want to visit one of America’s only tropical forests? Taking PR-191 from the north provides you with the opportunity to explore this wonderland. From hiking trails to waterfalls to lookout towers, there are plenty of ways to soak in the natural beauty. La Coca Falls, for instance, is perfect for selfies.
  •  Horseback Riding and Ziplining: Looking to make the best of your trip in the Yunque area? Great for the whole family, a horseback tour along the foothills is a great way to end the day. If you want a little more rush, there’s no better way than zipping through the lush surroundings via ziplining. It’s a must-do for sure!
  • Puerto Rican Dishes: If you get hungry after a long day of hiking, check out some of the local restaurants. Close by the forest entrance, you’ll find Don Pepe Restaurant, which specializes in authentic Puerto Rican cuisine. In the nearby town of Luquillo, you’ll discover several family-owned eateries along the coastline.

3. Expreso Luis A. Ferré (PR-52)

Approximately 56 miles from San Juan in the north to Guayama in the south, Expreso Luis A. Ferré (also known as Highway 52) offers one of the best road trips in Puerto Rico. With the final destination presumably being Guayama (situated on the Caribbean coast), there are many stops and adventures to be had along the way. The first major stop is the well-known City of Aguas. Then from there, Cayey opens its doors to a plethora of natural wonders and even sculptures. And finally, Guayama acts as the perfect final destination with so many things to do, you might need to stay the night, or two, or three!

Keep in mind that Puerto Rican drivers can be aggressive. To enjoy the vistas during your journey, allow people to pass you. That way, you can take full advantage of all the lush greenery and mountain views towards Guayama. Here are the top attractions:

  • Touring Caguas: As the Center and Heart of Puerto Rico, Caguas offers a fascinating blend of tradition and modernity. Vibrant and filled with activities, there really is something for everybody. This includes everything from botanical gardens to museums (including Caguas History Museum) to even a casino. Enjoy rich culture and entertainment here!
  • Checking out Cayey: Known as the Green City, Cayey is nestled in the Central Mountain Range. A popular attraction is Bosque Estatal de Carite, which is a protected area home to a variety of animals and tree species. There are also many prominent statues, including The Monumento al Jíbaro by famed local artist Tomás Batista.
  • Exploring Guayama: This is a top attraction in PR! There’s golfing (El Legado Golf Resort), fishing (Carite Lake), state forests, museums, Jobos Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve, and more. Also, no trip to Guayama is complete without tasting the local favorite, pastelillos. These are deep-fried empanadas, and they are amazing!

Car Shipping to and from Puerto Rico

Looking to ship your vehicle to Puerto Rico from another part of the country? Caravan Auto Transport’s network of vetted, licensed, and insured auto transporters offers safe, efficient transport of your automobile to its new destination. These reputable Puerto Rico car shipping companies offer the following services:

Open Car Transport

The most common method of car transportation, open transport carriers are ideal if you’re looking for an affordable shipping option with speedy delivery. As the name suggests, your car is loaded onto an open-air trailer along with several other vehicles headed to the same destination. This is the most cost-effective method of getting your vehicle to or from port.

Enclosed Auto Transport

If you desire enhanced security or protection for your vehicle en route to port, you may wish to arrange enclosed carrier shipping. Inside a covered trailer, your car is protected from harsh weather conditions and road hazards like dust and dirt. Shipping your car in a closed carrier also enhances its safety during transit by keeping the vehicle concealed.

Roll-on Roll-off (RoRo) Shipping

In search of the cheapest option available? Roll-on Roll-off (also known simply as RoRo) is the top pick. A RoRo vessel can be thought of as a floating parking lot. Vehicles are driven onto the ship and parked in an open space. Ideal for cars and motorcycles, this service can provide great savings. Keep in mind that your vehicle will be exposed to the elements.

Shared Container Shipping

If you’re in search of a blend of protection and cost-effective transport, shared container transport gives you the best of both worlds. As the name implies, multiple vehicles share the same container. And unlike RoRo, this form of shipping allows you to pack some additional items in your car while keeping it safeguarded from the surrounding environment.

Exclusive Container Shipping

Have a luxury, vintage, or custom vehicle? Need the fastest shipping time and greatest protection of your investment? An exclusive container is perfect for your cherished auto. As opposed to a shared container, your car is placed into its own container. You also won’t have to worry about shipping delays (unlike a shared container that has to be filled up).

Marine Insurance

Protecting your vehicle during overseas transit is vital. Purchasing marine insurance (a form of supplemental insurance) provides peace of mind. You can either check with your current car insurance company to see if they provide this type of coverage, or you can ask if your auto carrier offers it. With Caravan, it’s easy to explore your options.

Door-to-Door Car Shipping

With a door-to-door car shipping service, you choose the desired pick-up and drop-off locations rather than having to arrange to get your vehicle to or from a transport terminal or port. Door-to-door shipping is the most convenient choice for shipping your car to or from Puerto Rico, saving you time and effort.

Expedited Shipping

In a hurry to get your car from one location to the next? Upgrading to expedited shipping ensures seamless pick-up and drop-off of your vehicle on your schedule. As a priority customer, you receive fast, timely service, so you can get back to driving that much faster.

We Take Care of Your PR Auto Shipping Needs

From moving for the military to heading to the sunny island for the winter, there are many reasons you might be interested in shipping a car to Puerto Rico or to somewhere outside of the Island of Enchantment. Caravan Auto Transport’s network of auto shippers streamlines the car hauling process no matter your reason for transporting your vehicle to or from PR.

Moving and Relocation

When moving cross-country or out of state, many people choose to ship their cars rather than add a long road trip to an already stressful and exhausting relocation experience. Leave the logistics of moving your car in the hands of professionals with either open or enclosed vehicle shipping services.

Snowbirds

Flying to the Caribbean for the winter? Given Puerto Rico’s year-round sunshine, mild winter temps (zero snow or ice!), and gorgeous beaches, it’s not hard to understand why. Begin enjoying your escape from the frigid North that much sooner by shipping your car and meeting it at your PR destination – whether you’re wintering in popular San Juan or beautiful Rincon.

Military

Puerto Rico is home to 7 military bases. From Fort Buchanan Army Base in San Juan to Coast Guard Air Station Borinquen in Aguadilla, tens of thousands of military personnel are stationed here. If you are one of the brave men and women serving our country, we’re happy to serve you with top-notch car transportation to or from Puerto Rico.

Online Car Buyers

Whether you’ve found the perfect vehicle on Craigslist, eBay, or AutoTrader you may need some assistance getting it home, especially if it’s sitting on the other side of the country. Instead of flying to pick it up and putting hundreds or thousands of miles on the odometer just to get it to your driveway, arrange for a hauler to transport your new car for you. 

College Students

From the nationally recognized University of Puerto Rico – Rio Piedras to the more intimate National University College, Puerto Rico is home to top-tier colleges and universities for those seeking higher education. If you have a college student moving to PR from out-of-state (or vice versa), have their car shipped with a fast, affordable auto transport service. 

How Much Does it Cost to Ship a Car to Puerto Rico?

On average it costs between $1500-3500 to ship a car to Puerto Rico. Anticipate paying around $1 per mile for the first 1-500 miles, then around $.75 for every mile after that. This is for most vehicles from the contiguous US. Pricing is dictated by location and additional services to ship to its port of export, as well as the season of the year and carrier availability. This can include truck shipment (with door-to-port service being the most popular option).

Several factors influence the final cost of shipping your vehicle, including the origin and destination zip codes, the method of transport (open vs. enclosed), the speed of shipment, the type of vehicle, and the time of year. The best way to get an accurate estimate of car shipping costs is by requesting free quotes from our network of auto transport companies.

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