Cost to Ship a Car Overseas

How Much Does it Cost to Ship a Car Overseas?

Summary If you’re preparing to ship a car overseas, there are several factors that will contribute to the cost you pay. The type of car you’re shipping and how far your car needs to travel is the tip of the iceberg. You’ll also need to consider the season you’re shipping during, the different taxes you’ll […]

Summary

If you’re preparing to ship a car overseas, there are several factors that will contribute to the cost you pay. The type of car you’re shipping and how far your car needs to travel is the tip of the iceberg. You’ll also need to consider the season you’re shipping during, the different taxes you’ll need to pay once your vehicle is imported, and what services you’ll use through your shipping carrier. Beyond this, you’ll also need to consider how fast you need your car shipped and any other charges you may incur depending on where you are shipping your car to and from.

Keep reading for a full overview of the different factors that will determine the cost of your international car shipping

Ship a car overseas

The Type of Vehicle You’re Shipping

The type of vehicle you are shipping will be one of the primary determining factors for what you are asked to pay when you prepare to ship your vehicle overseas.

  • The make, model, and age of your vehicle will determine what number you are quoted for a final cost. The larger your vehicle is, the higher price you’ll pay. 
  • Car shipping carriers use different approaches for estimating the cost of shipping your vehicle. Some create charge by the type of vehicle you are shipping: car, SUV, or truck. Others charge based on how many pounds your vehicle weighs.
  • The carrier you use may also charge you an additional fee if you are transporting a luxury car. This fee is related to the additional effort they need to put into keeping your vehicle safe and secure during transport.
Shipping Method
Container Cargo ship and Cargo plane with working crane bridge in shipyard background, logistic import export background and transport industry.

The Distance Between Ports

The amount of distance that your car needs to travel is another primary factor determining the cost of shipping your vehicle. The further your vehicle needs to travel, the higher the price. But there are also smaller costs contained within the price you pay.

  • The method you choose for shipping your vehicle overseas will influence the price you pay. There are two primary methods of shipping Roll on Roll of Shipping and Container Shipping. We’ll cover each in an upcoming section.
  • The size of the vessel you are shipping your car on. The larger the vessel, the lower your cost will be. The more that the ship has to transport, the more the transport price gets split between the various shipments.
  • Whether you are paying for any additional services as your vehicle is traveling between the two ports. Beyond the shipping methods mentioned above, you can also pay for premium services such as door-to-port,  so you aren’t required to to travel to both ports. We’ll cover this in another section too.

Let’s also take a quick moment to review the average cost of shipping a car overseas. You’ll see general cost estimates in the table below.

From El Paso, Texas, USAPanamaUnited Arab Emirates GeorgiaGermanyFinland
Distance (miles)2337.74mi8349.80mi7042.85mi5583.02mi5514.97mi
Sailing Time3 – 4 days25 – 35 days30 – 40 days25 – 35 days25 – 35 days
To departure portEl Paso, TX – Houston, TX –$683.00El Paso, TX – Houston, TX – $683.00El Paso, TX – Houston, TX –$683.00El Paso, TX – Houston, TX –$683.00El Paso, TX – Houston, TX –$683.00
Destination portHouston, TX – Manzanillo, Mexico –$1,350.00Houston, TX – Dubai (Jebel Ali), UAE $975.00Houston, TX – Poti, Georgia – $875.00Houston, TX- Bremerhaven, Germany –$1,025.00Houston, TX – Kotka-Hamina, Finland –$1,100.00
Quote (USD)$2,033.00$1,658.00$1,558.00$1,708.00$1,783.00
The date provided by Easy Haul
Ghana
Close up picture of the countries above the Gulf of Guinea -Liberia, Ghana, Togo, Benin, and Nigeria- on a colourful map of West Africa with the rest of the countries blurred out

The Country’s Duties, Fees, and Import Taxes

Quite often when a person decides to ship a car overseas, they are surprised when they are made to pay additional fees as the vehicle enters into the country. Every country has its own laws and policies for vehicles being imported into the country. It’s best to reach out to a customs’ agent for the country you are shipping to in order to understand what you’ll be charged. 

 Some of the most common charges are as follows:

  • Inspection fees: When your car is imported into the country it will be inspected. The person inspecting your car will make sure it meets all of the importation guidelines. They’ll also review your documents to make sure everything is in order.
  • Import Duties: Countries charge a variety of import duties as your car is entering into the country. These duties are in place to offset the costs of your vehicle. The duties will account for the age and condition of your car.
  • Import Taxes: There a variety of taxes your vehicle may be subjected to depending on the laws of the country you are shipping to.  The majority of counties base their taxes off the age and condition of your car. If your car does not meet the standards for importation, it may still be allowed entry into the country, but at a higher cost. Depending on the size of your vehicle you also may be subjected to paying the gas guzzler tax, which has put in place to offset the pollutant larger vehicles release into the air on a regular basis.
Country's Duties, Fees and Import Taxes
Transport and logistic concept, Freight shipping online, Businessman using tablet and data for global logistic network distribution on world map background, Business and technology, Blue tone.

Your Pickup Location 

As alluded to earlier, your pickup location will play a large role in how much you have to pay to ship your car. Your pickup location is based on the different services provided by your car shipping carrier. Carriers offer different shipping services. Most often, you can choose to have your car shipped door-to-port and port-to-port. 

  • Door-to-port involves an agent from the shipping carrier coming out to your home to retrieve your vehicle and bringing it to the port for shipment. From there you are required to retrieve your car from the destination port after it arrives.  
  • Port-to-port involves you dropping your car off at the port and then picking it up at the destination port after its arrival. Door-to-Port is more expensive, but saves you the hassle of finding a way back home after dropping your car off at the shipping port. 
  • A third shipping option, door-to-door, is less common, but has the greatest benefits. With door-to-door shipping your car is picked up at your home, taken to the shipping port, picked up at the destination port, and dropped off at your new home. This method is the most expensive and not offered by all carriers.
RoRo Shipping
Shipping Cars RO-RO – Roll-On/Roll-Off

Shipping Method and Carrier

Whereas your pickup location is linked to where your car is dropped off and picked up, your shipping method determines how your car will travel overseas. There are two primary methods for shipping your car. RoRo shipping and Container shipping.

  • RoRo shipping is the more affordable option for sending your car overseas. It’s less expensive than container shipping, but does leave your vehicle more vulnerable to weather damage. RoRo shipping involves your car being loaded onto the ship and secured in place. Your car will remain where it is until the vessel arrives at your destination port where it is then taken off the ship and imported into the country. Once the car arrives, it will become yours to drive after you pay all of the country’s duties and taxes.
  • Container shipping involves your vehicle being shipped in a container. Container shipping is often suggested for luxury cars or vehicles that may not do well in inclement weather. Container shipping does not only provide additional safety to a vehicle. Oftentimes, you’ll be given the choice to either pay for a  full container or a shared container. A shared container is less expensive, but a full container will enable you to ship personal belongings in addition to your vehicle.

The Travel Route for Your Shipment

Your vehicle’s travel route will also influence the cost of shipping your car overseas. 

  • You’ll need to consider both the vessel’s travel time as well as the distance between your destination port and your vehicle’s final destination. Not every car shipping carrier ships to each available destination port.
  •  If you choose to use a carrier who does ship to your car’s final destination, you’ll need to pick your car, then drive it to its final location, no matter what the distance is.

For these reasons, it’s best to do your research and try to find a global shipping carrier within your budget. Global shipping carriers are more likely to send your vehicle to any available nearby port. That way you won’t have to worry about what ports the carrier does, and doesn’t, ship to.

Travel Route

Shipping Season 

When shipping your car overseas, the price you’ll pay is largely determined by the seasons. Summer and winter are the most expensive times to ship a car overseas.

  • The summer months are when the majority of car shipping takes place. Because of the high demand for car shipping, you’ll either expect to have longer wait times, or need to pay higher prices for getting your car shipped. The price you are quoted for shipping your car will also reflect the added costs of the summer season. There’s more congestion out on the seas when shipping during the summer, which causes carriers to charge higher prices to offset fuel costs.
  • Shipping during the winter is also expensive. Those who know that summer is the busiest time to ship a car try to take advantage of the off-season. But, the slower season also comes with additional costs. To offset the lower demand for shipping cars, car shipping carriers often charge higher prices. The prices they charge also include their estimates for how the vessels will be affected by inclement weather and delayed travel times due to congestion on the seas. Though the winter is viewed as the off-season, there’s still a lot of activity caused by people trying to save money. 

Expedited Shipping

Expedited shipping will increase the cost of sending your car overseas.

  • Car shipping carriers have set schedules they follow for shipping vehicles to different locations all over the world. They also have timetables for when they make these shipments. For instance, a small local shipping company may require you to wait several weeks to ship your car, whereas AFL is known for making shipments every week because of their demand for service.
  • If your shipment does not align with the normal schedule a carrier has for sending vehicles to your particular destination port, you’ll be made pay additional fees to get your car delivered when you need it.

Insurance Costs

When shipping your car, you’ll also need to consider the price you’ll pay for insurance. 

  • Some carriers will include the cost of shipping in the number you receive as your quote for sending your car overseas.
  • Other companies will charge insurance costs in addition to their shipping prices. 

It’s important to know the cost of insuring your car as well as what the details of your insurance are. Your car will be making a long journey across the sea, and you’ll want to make sure you won’t have to incur additional costs repairing any damages that occurred during travel. 

Insurance Cost

Documents and Customs’Costs

It’s a small cost you’ll have to pay during the shipping process, but still want to note. When you prepare to ship your car, there are a handful of documents you’ll need to provide to have your car imported. To know exactly which documents you’ll need, it’s suggested that you reach out to the customs’ agent for the country you are shipping to.

Listed below are the most common documents you’ll need to provide when shipping your car overseas.

  • Bill of lading
  • Vehicle information
  • Proof of ownership
  • Passport
  • Proof of insurance

Some companies, such as AFL, provide services that will allow them to take care of all the paperwork for you. That way you won’t have to worry if you forgot a form or filled out a form incorrectly.

Conclusion

After reading this post, you’ve learned about the many different aspects of shipping a car overseas. You’ve discovered how the size and weight of your vehicle influence the price you pay as much as the amount of distance your car has to travel. You’ll also discover how the time of years, shipping methods and services you use, and speed of your delivery will be reflected in the overall cost of shipping your car

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