There is no shortage of reasons to move to Puerto Rico, whether it’s the year-round beach lifestyle, the vibrant Hispanic culture, or the many tax incentives the Puerto Rican government offers. Whatever your reasons, the next step is the actual move itself. Moving to an island has an entirely different set of challenges than just your normal, everyday load up the rental truck and drive to your new home.
If you decide to move all your possessions, sell everything and buy new, or a little bit of both these are some great options to help you make the best decision for your move to Puerto Rico!
Best Moving Companies & Shipping Options to Puerto Rico
Crowley isn’t available for residential moves, but if you’re looking to establish a business in Puerto Rico under the Act 60 Export Services tax benefit, Crowley may be the answer to your shipping woes. If you’re manufacturing products in Puerto Rico for sale outside of the island, Crowley can ship your goods to the mainland and beyond. You can choose between air and marine transportation, and Crowley additionally offers customs clearance services.
Phone: (800) 276-9539
Trusted by Americans relocating to more than 150 countries and jurisdictions around the globe, Mayflower is one of the leading international moving companies in the US, making them an ideal option for transporting your belongings to Puerto Rico. The company goes above and beyond when it comes to international moves, offering packing and unpacking services, international move consultation services, and customs clearance services for an added fee.
Phone: (888) 368-4689
La Rosa Del Monte
You don’t have to worry about language barriers with La Rosa Del Monte. An English–Spanish bilingual moving company, La Rose Del Monte can move both you and your business to Puerto Rico. In addition to their regular transportation services, they offer door-to-door services and packing services.
Vehicle shipping is also available and a very happy friend recently shipped her luxury SUV to the island using their services. In fact everyone that I spoke to that used La Rosa del Monte had rave reviews of service and cost.
If you’re looking to move artworks or antiquities to the island, they may be the optimal moving company for you, as they specialize in the transportation of such delicate goods.
Phone: (787) 780-5775
For the best of both worlds, Unlimited Services lives up to their name, shipping household items and vehicles. Several friends have moved their entire household and vehicles to the island. These are very satisfied customers that have since recommended to many more new residents.
If you’re on a tight budget, consider moving your possessions with U-Pack. The company derives its pride from its provision of moving services within U.S. jurisdictions at a far lower cost than the competition. With U-Pack, you may be able to expect a faster move, too. You’ll have to do all the packing and unpacking yourself, but U-Pack sells packing supplies to help, and they can help load and unload the moving truck for a fee.
Some friends in Humacao used U-Pack to ship everything to San Juan, then arranged for additional handing to their home in Palmas del Mar. This was by far the cheapest option for them from the Midwest US. They saved a ton of money and were very happy with the service!
Phone: (877) 453-7260
One of the great things about moving to Puerto Rico is that it’s a U.S. territory. That means you can enjoy a Caribbean lifestyle with a different government and policies from the mainland but still benefit from the conveniences of American life, including Social Security, Medicare, and United States Postal Service. America’s trusty postal service, USPS, is available all across the United States and Puerto Rico, so if you’re looking to transport relatively small items, you can trust them to deliver your belongings to Puerto Rico. USPS offers a multitude of services, including overnight express delivery, so you can customize your delivery.
I have great experiences with USPS shipping large artwork and heavy electronics to Puerto Rico. They are the best option for Stateside care packages to Puerto Rico and any US Territory.
FedEx and UPS often consider Puerto Rico as an “international” location for increased shipping costs over USPS delivery.
Moving within Puerto Rico
There are only a couple moving companies on the island that will pack and move in an enclosed box truck. I found several local options for “2 guys and a pickup truck” that work great for short moves (a great option for moving 1 mile within Palmas del Mar), but not ideal for moving across the island in the rain. And the day you move, assume that it will rain!
Sol Moving Group and PRYCO Movers are the 2 best options for moving within Puerto Rico. Be sure to contact them as early as possible to coordinate your move.
I recently used PRYCO Movers and they did a great job loading the truck. Since I moved from East coast Humacao to West coast Cabo Rojo, over 100 miles apart, they load everything on day 1 with a overnight stay in Caroline before delivering on day 2. My surprise came when a different truck showed up for unloading! While at the truck yard in Carolina they unloaded all of my stuff, then loaded onto a larger truck with 3 other deliveries. My stuff was the 4th stop and they arrived at 4:30 in the afternoon. Definitely confirm if your things will be delivered as packed, or if they are combining deliveries, and how many are planned for the day.
Vehicle Shipping to Puerto Rico
Do you want to ship your car to Puerto Rico?
Fair warning: It’s expensive!
If you’re not overly attached to your vehicle, you can generally save money by selling it and buying a new (or used) one in Puerto Rico. The Puerto Rican government imposes import taxes on shipments of vehicles, and you typically spend 20 or 30% of your car’s value just to transport it to Puerto Rico. Additionally, vehicle shipments demand a ton of paperwork, making it either time-consuming or expensive, depending on whether you do it yourself or hire someone else to do it. Buying a car in Puerto Rico is fairly straightforward and car dealerships will help you with all the paperwork so you can drive home that day!
How much you have to pay in excise taxes is dependent on the make, model, year, and condition of your vehicle. For an estimate, just plug your car’s details into Hacienda’s Arbitrios tax quote generator. You can obtain the most accurate quote by inputting your vehicle identification number (VIN), but you can alternatively enter your car’s make, model, and year.
Shipping Electric Cars and Hybrid vehicles to Puerto Rico
Good news for electric car owners: If you’re shipping an electric car, whether fully electric or hybrid, the excise tax from DTOP is waived.
However, you’ll have to obtain an exemption letter following the arrival of your car to the island, which can take up to 48 hours to process. Once Hacienda approves your exemption request, they’ll grant you a levante, or pick-up authorization, and you have 48 hours to pick up your car. Act quickly, because if you are too slow, they may charge you extra demurrage (storage) fees.
Your car transportation company may help you complete the paperwork or at least refer you to experts who will, so check with any prospective shipping companies before contracting shipment services.
Don’t forget all the bureaucracy after you have the car in Puerto Rico, either! Your first step is to register and plate it with the Puerto Rico Department of Transportation and Public Works (DTOP). Puerto Rico requires vehicles to have a car tag, or marbete,so you’ll need to obtain one of those, and you’ll have to get a Puerto Rican driver’s license, too.
Here are a couple companies that can transport your car to Puerto Rico
OTH Logistics is a full service vehicle shipping company, including registration at port assistance and paperwork handling. The are highly recommended by several friends, including a good friend that has used OTH for importing 3 vehicles, including 1 electric car.
Online Shopping that Delivers to Puerto Rico
Many of your favorite US stores are also located in Puerto Rico. However, many items will have very limited quantities or just not available in store, Home Depot frequently does not ship or stock certain items in Alaska, Hawaii, or Puerto Rico.
- Most Amazon sellers ship to Puerto Rico. Allow longer lead times, the 2 day Amazon Prime does not exist on the island.
- CostCo has locations in Carolina, Bayamon, and Caguas plus many items can be purchased on line for delivery within Puerto Rico.
- Sam’s Club has locations even as far out as Mayagüez (my closest location) with island wide deliveries available, and curbside pick-up during the Holidays and peak shopping.
- eBay is another great option for online purchases and seller’s may be more willing to ship items via USPS to save on “international” shipping with FedEx or UPS.
- Walmart often has the items you need in store, and online purchases arrive surprisingly fast within the island.