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How Much Does It Cost To Ship a Vehicle Overseas?

Are you considering  shipping your car overseas? Here is your guide to the cost of shipping vehicles overseas from the USA by SDC International Shipping.

How Much Does It Cost To Ship a Vehicle Overseas?

We know that most people want to just write down their point of origin, point of destination and car type and get a quick answer about the cost of shipping an automobile overseas. The cost of sending a car will vary with more than just the model. You don’t want to hear “depends”. Unfortunately, it is difficult to give you a far more accurate answer than between $1200 and $5000 before we know all of the details of your move, including, but not limited to, the vehicle. 

The cost of shipping a vehicle from the United States to another country depends on more than just locations. We need to know all of your plans. If you are shipping a car, and only a car, than we will usually ship your car using a specialty service. We do have many foreign clients who come to the United States and purchase antique or specialty cars. However, most of our clients send cars that they already own as a part of the shipment of their household goods and personal effects when they relocate abroad.

In most countries, when you are a returning citizen who has resided abroad for at least a certain period of time (the exact period will vary from one country to another) you are allowed to bring a car that you have own back with you without paying import taxes or additional customs that are normally charged on licensed vehicles. In many countries, particularly European countries this represents a significant opportunity to save considerable amounts of money. In European countries, new car have to pay Value Added Tax  (VAT) between 20% and 25% and typically additional taxes dependent upon engine size. As this makes new cars very expensive, the cost of used cars is also very expensive compared to the same models in the USA.

Vehicle Types

Cars are not the only vehicles that you are permitted to send overseas. Our clients commonly send motorcycles and other vehicles also. The rules for cars and motorcycles are usually identical, but there are countries that will allow you to send both a motorcycle and a car. There are some countries that will allow one licensed vehicle per family, others will allow one vehicle per adult. 

The cost of sending a motorcycle by itself is similar to that of sending an automobile when sent as an independent shipment. It is slightly less expensive, but still far more costly than sending as a part of your household shipment. However, when you send your motorcycle in your shipping container, it can be crated and secured within your container for little additional cost.

There are other types of vehicles that can be sent. These include both licensed and unlicensed vehicles. For vehicles that are licensed in the destination country they will need to meet the safety and licensing regulations of that country. For instance, some countries license light motorcycles (fewer than 50 cc) and others don’t. ATV’s, off road motor bikes, snow mobiles, jet skis, motorized scooters, etc. all require licensing in some countries. If they are licensed or titled in your state, we will need to clear their title before we can send it overseas, regardless of the licensing policy in your destination country. Whilst boats can usually be sent on the trailers, their registration is usually done via a different government ministry.

Shipping Methods

Cars are shipped overseas in a variety of methods. While cars can be shipped in airplanes, it is ridiculously expensive and should not even be considered.

Cars can be shipped in your international shipping container. For most of our clients, this will be the preferred method, and this is also the most cost effective method. There are some origin – destination combinations where it makes more sense for us to pick up your car with a car carrier and send it using a special car transport either in containers or roll on roll off. However, for most of our customers, even if it mean taking a 40’ container instead of a 20’, sending your car within your personal container will ensure that your car arrives soundly at a reasonable price.

Most cars, SUV and light pickup trucks can fit into a shipping container. 7’ 8” is the internal width dimension of the containers. If you are doing some advanced planning, you will find that buying a new car six months before your moving date will make the most sense. If you are shopping for a new car, this measure is listed in the details of all new cars.

Some SUV’s, vans and full sized pickup trucks will not fit into sea shipment containers. These, along with RV’s, boats and other oversized vehicles, get sent using the roll on roll off method, where the cars are delivered using special ships. Don’t let the name fool you, this method is safe and the cars travel in a protected environment.

Occasionally we will also send our clients cars using specialized containers that have been outfitted with equipment to make automobile transport safe and secure.

When you get quotes for the international shipping of cars, be sure that the quote includes the exact method. Sometimes cheap methods, like open containers are used. These expose your car to dampness and potential damage.

Additional Costs

The policy of SDC International Shipping is to create as inclusive a quote as possible for our clients. When you send a vehicle, there will be some additional costs that we can’t account for or are not allowed to include in our services. For instance, we include the costs of customs clearance and destination port terminal handling fees. 

When your vehicle is shipped overseas, it will have to undergo a safety inspection and localization. These usually require that the owner of the car be personally present and pay for these services personally. Even in the situations where our destination agents help with the car, your presence will be required. In most locations the costs for the inspection, new licenses and localizations must be personally paid by the person whose name appears on the title.

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