How Can I Ship My Car to Europe?

Shipping Cars Overseas

Looking to ship your car to Europe for an upcoming continental adventure? Whether you are transitioning your life to a new location or are just embarking on a long journey across Europe’s major cities and towns, But what if you don’t even have a car in the first place? As intimidating as this may sound from the start it doesn’t have to be because in this guide, I will walk you through the steps on How To Ship Your Car To Europe.

shipping your car to Europe

Shipping Options: How to Ship My Car to Europe

There are two main ways to ship your car to Europe:

Roll-on/Roll-off (RoRo)

There are two main ways of shipping your car to Europe: – A method known as Roll-on/Roll-off (RORO) This is the cheapest way to ship a car to Europe. You drive your car onto a huge boat, where it is then kept safe during the journey across the sea. Once you arrive at your destination, just drive it off the ship. It means you will pay less and end up with no assurance from severe weather conditions. RoRo transportation seems practical when one is short on money and has an ordinary vehicle. However, you should be aware that your vehicle will be exposed to the elements throughout the journey.

Container Shipping

Container Shipping

For more protection, consider container shipping. Your car is placed in a secure container, protecting it from the sea air and any possible damage during the trip. This option is more expensive but offers better security for your vehicle. Container shipping is recommended if you have a luxury or classic car that requires extra protection. Additionally, you can choose between a shared container (where your car is shipped with other vehicles) or a sole-use container (just for your car).

Factors to Consider: Cost to Ship Car to Europe

Choosing the best shipping method depends on several factors:


For those seeking to reduce costs, it is cheaper to use Roll-on/Roll-off to ship the goods in most cases. Normally, you would have to pay between $1,000 to $3,000 to do this with a vehicle in terms of size and distance while using RoRo transport. However, container shipping offers improved security at a greater cost than RoRo shipping by which it ranges between $2,000 and $5,000 or higher.

Car Value
If you’re driving a classic or luxury car, it’s probably in your best interest to go with container shipping. This extra layer of protection can help you avoid potential damage which would result in a devaluation of the vehicle.

Meanwhile However, RoRo might be marginally quicker, but usually it’s not by much. On the average, it will take approximately 2-4 weeks to ship a car from the US to Europe whether you use RoRo or container shipping.

It is less expensive to ship products from the East Coast to Europe compared to the West Coast because of the shorter distance. Shipping dates are more regular and prices are competitive at places like New York or Miami than on the West Coast places like Los Angeles or San Francisco.

Preparing Your Car: Steps to Ship Car to Europe

Before shipping your car, follow these steps:

Preparing Car

Service Your Car
Ensure that your vehicle is in an acceptable condition for the trip. Check the brakes, liquids, and tires. A car that has been maintained properly is not likely to have troubles when traveling.

Clean Your Car
Wash and wax your car to protect it from rust. A clean car is less likely to have issues during the trip. Additionally, a clean car makes it easier for customs officials to inspect and helps you document its condition before shipping.

Empty Your Car
Remove all personal items from your car. Shipping companies do not allow personal belongings inside the car for safety and customs reasons. Items left in the car can shift during transit and cause damage or become lost.

Disconnect the Battery
Drop down your car battery, you are advised by some shipping companies in order to avoid electrical drainage. Request their demands from your shipping provider. If you do not know how to, consult with your vehicles’ handbook or request a mechanic.

Paperwork: Documents Needed to Ship My Car to Europe

You’ll need several documents to ship your car to Europe:
– Vehicle Title: Proof of ownership.
– Registration: Valid car registration.
– Bill of Sale: If you recently bought the car, provide this document.
– Export/Import Documents: These are provided by your shipping company and are needed for customs clearance.

Customs and Duties: Cost to Ship Car to Europe

When your car arrives in Europe, it may be necessary to pay import duties and taxes. This is depending on the car’s value, the destination country and trade agreements. In order to estimate these costs and handle customs clearance you can contact your shipping company.

Import Duties and Taxes
Duty and tax rates change depending on the country they are paid to and are paid when goods enter the country. An example of this can be seen in Germany where duty on imports is 10% of the value of the car plus 19% VAT (value-added tax). A France’s VAT as a percentage is 20%. Therefore, it is quite important to look at particular costs and demands of going to the country of your destination.

Customs Clearance
Customs clearance is complicated. All of the necessary documents will be provided by the shipping company to you and guide through requirements as well you. In order to avoid delaying your goods, it is important for you to fill out all papers correctly.

Choosing a Shipping Company: Best Way to Ship Car to Europe

Here are tips for finding a good shipping company:
Get Quotes
Compare prices from several companies. If a number of motor vehicles are involved or else at that time when there are fewer shipments happening, you could probably secure a more attractive bargain deal. Request detailed quotes that include all fees and services.

Services Offered
Find companies that give you full service which includes insurance, paperwork assistance or packing up your stuff from harbors to where you want them delivered. It is a big time saver if a company can do everything for you all the way increasing customer satisfaction.

Customer Reviews
Read reviews so you can see other clients’ experiences. Pick a firm that has a good reputation and reliable services. Check out for those reviews that refer to timely delivery, customer support or vehicle handling.

Ensure that the firm has a background in transporting vehicles to your country. Each nation has its own rules as well as ways of doing things. A business that has been in the field for long will understand some of these requirements and thus make life easy.

Shipping Day: Do’s and Don’ts to Ship My Car to Europe
Shipping car

The day to ship your car has arrived. Here’s a quick checklist:
– Check Documents: Make sure they are prepared and carry double copies as you travel. Have one set on you and a different set somewhere safe.
– Inspect Your Car: Photograph all the sides of your car in order to have a record of its state. Make sure to highlight all damages.
– Stay in Touch: Make sure you stay in touch with your shipping company for any last minute information. Verify the shipping timetable and any particular needs.

– Leave Personal Items: Make sure your car is empty. Personal items can cause issues with customs and increase the risk of theft or damage.
– Skip Insurance: Understand the insurance coverage and consider additional insurance if needed. Basic insurance might not cover all potential damages.
– Ignore Customs Regulations: If you ignore the customs policies in a destination country, you could face a delay or a penalty for non-compliance.

Conclusion: Ready to Ship Your Car to Europe?

Although shipping your car to Europe may seem difficult, the process can be easy with enough preparation and partnering with an efficient company. If you want to explore France, Italy, or Germany having your own vehicle may enhance experiences during the Europe tour.
In conclusion, one should plan in advance, consult widely before engaging his or her preferred auto transport service for shipment to foreign lands especially when doing car shipping to France. Eventually one would drive across Europe without fear but joyfully. Remember to drive safely all the way.

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