Guide for Expats: How Much Does It Cost to Ship A Car to Europe?

how much does it cost to ship a car to europe

Moving overseas is an exciting but daunting process.



There are so many details that you have to think about before you take the big leap. You have to figure out what to take and what you should leave behind. Then you have to figure out where you’re going to store your stuff. You also have to work out what items you can buy there, and if it’s even worth it.

One of these purchases you have to think about is your car. Would it be worth it to ship it, or should you buy a car when you get there?

If you’re worried about your vehicle when you move to Europe, you’re not alone. One way to help you make your decision is researching the cost of moving a car. Keep reading to answer the question: how much does it cost to ship a car to Europe?

Questions to Ask Yourself About Shipping Your Car

Before you even get into the cost to ship a car overseas, ask yourself some important questions.



How Much Do You Value Your Car?

When people ask, “how much does it cost to ship a car to Europe?” they often have a special attachment to their car. That’s why your car value isn’t only about how much money it’s worth. It’s also about sentimentality.

Was this your first luxury car out of college? Did you and your spouse take your first date in this vehicle? Is it a rare kind of vehicle that’s hard to find elsewhere?

With all this in mind, sometimes the emotional value isn’t enough to justify the cost. That final decision is up to you.

How Long Do You Plan on Being Overseas?

Shipping anything is expensive. Whether it’s your mom’s china set or your favorite books, you have to decide how much to spend to make your new home “Homey.”

This goes double for shipping cars from the USA to Europe. Before you look at the average cost to ship a car, ask yourself how long you’ll be there. If it’s only a year, is the cost worth it?

How Much Money Have You Put into the Vehicle?

If you’ve paid off your vehicle, then it might be worth it to sell it instead of shipping it. That’s a lot of money that you could put towards a vehicle in your new home.

Keep in mind though that buying and selling a car takes time and research. This is especially true when you move to a new country. Finding a vehicle is hard enough back in the States. Finding one abroad involves rules and regulations you don’t know about yet.

Do You Have a Place to Put Your Car?

Let’s say you’re leaning towards putting your vehicle in storage while you’re overseas. Do you know how much that’s going to cost?

When you get the quotes for storing your vehicle, you should see how well it stacks up to shipping it overseas. In the end, it might cost less to ship your car to Europe rather than storing it at home.

How Much Would It Cost to Buy a Car in Your New Home?

Another thing to consider is what the cost of a car is in Europe. Even if you sold your car, currency exchange rates can affect the price of a vehicle you’re looking at in Europe. Taxes can also jack up the price in new and fun ways.

Another thing you need to think about is whether you can drive a stick shift. Most Europeans prefer stick shift vehicles over automatics. You won’t be able to do much with that sexy Italian vehicle if you can’t drive it, to begin with.

How Much Does It Cost to Ship a Car to Europe?

How much does it cost to ship a car to Europe? Here are the best tips for figuring it out.

Choose How You Will Ship Your Car

There are two ways to ship your car overseas.

The first is Roll-On, Roll-Off. This method is often cheaper of the two options. It involves rolling your car onto a “vehicle ferry” and sending it across the ocean.

Some people love this option, while others worry about theft. The best way to prevent theft is to separate the rear cargo section and put it under lock and key. This will cost you extra, so make sure to factor that in.

There’s also container shipping. You put your vehicle in a 20-foot container and ship it overseas. You can also share the container with another person so that it doesn’t cost as much.

Get Quotes from Shipping Agents

Once you’ve decided on a shipping method, start getting quotes from shipping agents.

They’ll be able to set up everything, including your port of departure and arrival. This can affect your price, but don’t only go for the cheapest option. It won’t help you to ship to southern Spain if you live in the Nordic countries.

Before they ship your car, they need a copy of your registration and passport, along with a list of items in the car. Be sure to get them this information with plenty of time to spare. The last thing you want to do is rush such an expensive process.

What You Need to Know About Import Taxes

Lucky for you, import taxes are set by European Union standards across the board. There might be a few discrepancies based on your new country’s laws. Overall though, you’re looking at:

  • 10% import duties for passenger vehicles
  • 22% import duties for trucks
  • 6%-8% import duties for motorcycles and scooters

You’ll also have to pay a 19-22% import tax, so factor that into your bottom line.

Shipping a car from the USA to Europe isn’t inexpensive, but it might make your life easier in the long run.

Ready to Ship Your Car Overseas?

Before you send your vehicle to Europe, don’t forget to give it a tune-up! We have a library of PDF service repair manuals. Download the one you need, and fix up your vehicle yourself.

You can also take a look at our blog. We have articles answering your questions, including “how much does it cost to ship a car to Europe.” If you have any vehicle concerns, we’re here to help!