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Shipping a car to Europe – Costs and what you should know

When shipping a car to Europe prices will depend on a number of factors. These include the weight of the car, how close you live to an overseas shipping port, taxes, how you ship (type of container, roll off, roll on or air) and your final destination.

Average cost

Again, the final price will depend on a variety of factors. For example, you may be able to ship a standard sized sedan in a shared container to Europe for as little as $750 to $1,000. You can expect to pay far more if your vehicle is larger, say an SUV, or a custom requiring its own container. Costs will also depend on whether or not you are shipping household or personal items along with your car. Give yourself at least three months lead time to carefully research shipping options, timelines, requirements and costs.

Don’t forget to factor in taxes

You will need to pay registration and destination fees, duty fees and VAT or value-added taxes. Get estimates and more information at  https://ec.europa.eu/taxation_customs/national-tax-websites_en.

Factor in roll off, roll on time

This is often the least expensive way to ship. If you choose this method, you will need to factor in time for the shipper to organize the cars in addition to ship time. Have a backup plan for transportation until your car is delivered. You should not expect to ship anything other than the car, and perhaps a jack and spare tire using this method.

Get your paperwork in order

Don’t wait until the last minute. You will need time to put your hands on original documents such as the car title, registration and bill of sale. If the car is being financed, you will also need verification from the bank that you are clear to export the car. Originals will be returned to you but make copies and keep them with you until that time.

Have the car serviced

The car must be free of any debris. It must also be in working condition. It is wise to go beyond mere working condition. Have the car fully serviced before you export. You may find once you arrive in Europe that any parts needed are expensive or difficult to obtain. You can ship via ocean container if the vehicle is inoperable.

Complete appropriate forms

Forms such as the Declaration of Dangerous Goods will need to be completed in advance of shipping. Your shipper or importer can help you identify and complete the forms you need.

Get insurance

You’ll need shipping insurance when you ship your car to Europe. The price is generally dependent on the value of the car. Check with your current carrier to see if shipping is covered or available with your policy.

Shipping a car to Europe is relatively easy with planning. Allow adequate time to fully research shippers and understand exactly what you can expect from the time you hand over the keys until the car reaches its final destination. If you are typically disorganized, now is the time to turn over a new leaf. Buy a folder and keep copies of all your documents, completed forms and shipping agreements handy. Chances are you will be required to show paperwork at some point in the process. Why not make it easy on yourself?

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