Category Archives: International Car Shipping

How much does it cost to ship a car internationally?

Shipping a car internationally seems like a daunting task. Apart from the actual logistics involved, one of the biggest concerns people have is the cost. In this article, we explore all the factors that affect the pricing of international car shipping and give you a realistic estimate of what you can expect to pay.

What factors affect international car shipping costs?

There are several factors that influence the pricing for shipping a vehicle overseas. Let’s break them down:

Type of vehicle

  • Cars that are smaller, lighter and more fuel-efficient are cheaper to ship internationally. Sports cars, luxury vehicles and large SUVs tend to be more expensive due to their size and weight.

Delivery method

  • Options include roll-on/roll-off (ro-ro), in which the vehicle is driven onto a cargo ship, or container shipping, where it is secured inside a shipping container. Ro-ro is usually cheaper but takes longer while container shipping is more expensive but faster.

Port of origin and destination

  • The farther the distance between the origin and destination ports, the higher the costs will be. Shipping between ports in Europe is cheaper than destinations in Asia or the Americas.

Time of the year

  • Peak shipping seasons around summer holidays and year-end tend to be more expensive as demand is higher. Off-peak travel times in spring and fall generally offer better rates.

Value and age of the vehicle

  • Newer and more valuable vehicles usually have higher declared values which impact insurance costs. Older used cars that are less valuable to ship will be relatively cheaper.

Additional services

  • Value-added services like expedited delivery, door-to-door service, vehicle preparation and processing fees can substantially increase your overall costs.

So in summary, smaller newer cars traveling shorter distances during off-peak times sans extra services can generally qualify for the best rates. But there are other factors too that affect the final amount.

What are some ballpark international car shipping costs?

Now that we understand the key cost factors, here are some average pricing guidelines to ship a vehicle internationally by sea:

USA to Europe

  • $1,000-2,000 for smaller cars via ro-ro
  • $2,000-3,500 for medium-sized vehicles
  • $3,500-6,000 for large luxury vehicles

Europe to USA

  • $1,500-2,500 for compact cars
  • $2,500-4,000 for mid-sized SUVs
  • $4,000-7,000 for full-size trucks

USA/Canada to Asia

  • $2,500-4,000 for sedans
  • $4,000-6,500 for premium brands
  • $6,500-10,000 for large commercial vans

Australia/New Zealand to Europe

  • $3,000-5,000 for hatchbacks
  • $5,000-8,000 for wagons and coupes
  • $8,000-12,000 for high-performance models

These are very general estimates and the actual rates can vary significantly based on all the cost factors mentioned earlier. They also don’t include additional services or delivery delays due to port congestion issues lately.

How can you get the best international car shipping quote?

To get an accurate quote for your specific vehicle move, here are a few tips:

  • Contact 3-4 licensed shipping companies and provide details of your car model, dimensions, weight, origin and destination ports.
  • Ask for an all-inclusive price covering insurance, transport, duties and any other fees upfront rather than hidden charges later.
  • Enquire about transit times – generally 15-30 days by sea and 1-2 weeks by air. Faster options will cost more.
  • Negotiate shipping dates if your schedule is flexible as off-peak months usually offer better negotiated rates.
  • Check online reviews and references of highly-rated companies for reliable service and to avoid scams.
  • Consider expedited delivery only if your budget allows as these priority services double shipping costs.

Arming yourself with thorough research will help you avoid overpaying. An accurate quote also means fewer surprises down the line.

Other costs associated with international car shipping

While international vehicle transport fees cover the physical delivery abroad, there are a few additional expenses to keep in mind:

Import duties and taxes

  • These vary greatly depending on the country of import but can equal 10-30% of the car’s value. Some free-trade partners may waive duties.

Vehicle inspection and registration

  • International ports may require emission/safety inspections which cost $100-300 extra. Registering the car in the new country costs $200-1000 on average.

Extended vehicle storage

  • If you can’t take delivery right away, short-term storage at destination port costs $10-30/day. Long durations can burn a hole in your pocket.

Customs paperwork and brokerage

  • Working with a customs broker to handle documentation and clearance procedures adds $300-800 to the bill. DIY risks delays and penalties.

So in total, your all-inclusive budget for international car relocation should factor in at least 10-15% on top of basic shipping charges to cover taxes, registration and ancillary costs. Proper planning prevents nasty surprises down the road.

Alternatives to shipping your car internationally

There may be cheaper options compared to traditional shipping if your budget is tight or you face import restrictions:

  • Sell your existing car abroad and purchase a new/used one at destination to avoid import charges.
  • Hire a professional car relocation service that transports multiple vehicles on groupage rates, halving individual costs.
  • Ship just your personal belongings and buy/rent a car upon arrival to save thousands versus vehicle transport fees.
  • Road trip or fly with your car depending on ports of origin/destination connected by land borders or short sea routes.

Weigh the pros and cons of each method based on your specific needs. International shipping will remain the most convenient choice in many cases if you have the budget. Just be sure to do your research for reasonable rates and seamless transport overseas.

Parting Words

Shipping a vehicle internationally is no inexpensive undertaking but with diligent planning and price comparisons, you can get the best value for your money. Be aware of all direct and indirect costs upfront, work with trusted carriers only and allow enough time for clearances at either end.

Arming yourself with realistic cost estimates, knowledge of the logistics process and backups for unforeseen delays will ensure a smooth experience without blowing your car relocation budget. With care and caution, your ride can be successfully delivered overseas.