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Can I Bring My Car to the USA from Europe?

What's in this article?
  1. What Is The Process For Bringing A Car From Europe To The Usa?
  2. Benefits Of Importing A Car From Europe
  3. Selecting A Shipping Company
  4. Preparations Before Leaving Europe
  5. Easy Car Shipping From Europe To The Usa
Can I Bring My Car to the USA from Europe?

There's a common question among people relocating to the United States. That question is: can I bring my car to the USA from Europe?

The answer is yes, you can. But you must adhere to guidelines when importing a car into the US legally and without incident.

Although it can be intimidating, importing your car from Europe to the US is not impossible.

You may legally import your automobile if you plan ahead and know the rules.

This article will cover the conditions and procedures you must meet to import your vehicle from Europe to the US.

What Is the Process for Bringing a Car from Europe to the USA?

It is possible to import a car from Europe to the USA. But of course, there are rules to follow. And there are unique import laws to follow for bringing a foreign vehicle to the USA.

Review the following list of requirements, such as:

  • Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) certificate: This
  • Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards certificate
  • Import/export license
  • Reputable shipper
  • Customs regulations or fees
  • Vehicle registration document
  • Bill of lading
  • Insurance coverage documents

You need EPA certification for all vehicles imported into the USA, ensuring that the car meets US environmental and emission standards.

You also require a DOT certification for those cars not manufactured according to US safety standards.

All registered importer companies will have an import-export license from the Bureau of Customs and Border Protection. If you wish to bring your car in, check if you personally need a temporary license from the Bureau.

You'll also need a reputable shipper to transport your vehicle from Europe to the USA. Relevant customs regulations and import duties may also apply to your import.

You'll also need title/registration documents, a bill of lading, a certificate of origin, and insurance coverage papers before bringing your car from Europe to the USA.

After that, registering the car with the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) in your state is a must.

Following this guideline will shield you from any unforeseen events and problems.


Benefits of Importing a Car from Europe

There are many benefits to importing a car from Europe. These high-quality vehicles will turn heads when you return to the USA, and we recommend you consider importing vehicles from Europe.

With a vast selection of European car manufacturers, review these benefits of importing a car:

  • High-quality vehicles
  • Lower prices than in the US
  • More choices
  • Modern features and styling
  • Powerful performance packages
  • Smaller and more fuel-efficient
  • Better resale value

Besides these benefits, you can freely modify your vehicle to suit your needs.

Many cars from Europe are much less expensive than similar models in the US. They are, therefore, excellent choices for anybody seeking a cheaper car.

Compared to the US, more model options are available when purchasing a car in Europe. It means more choices in finding the ideal car for your needs.

Many European vehicles feature modern styling and technology, giving you the latest automotive innovation.

European cars offer powerful performance packages like turbocharged engines or all-wheel drive systems—amazing choices for those looking for cars that can handle more difficult driving situations.

Compared to US rivals, European cars are more compact and save more fuel. They become awesome vehicles for those wishing to lower their environmental impact and save cash on fuel.

And generally, cars from Europe have better resale value than cars in the US. This added value is due to the higher quality of European vehicles, making them more desirable than American models.

Given these advantages, it's unsurprising that many Americans are deciding to import their cars from Europe.

Selecting a Shipping Company

Shipping companies are invaluable when it comes to importing a car from Europe.

Before choosing a transportation company, check for their specifications that can fulfill your needs.

Follow this list when deciding on a qualified shipping company:

  • Complete handling of the paperwork
  • Safety and promptness
  • Excellent customer service
  • Good reputation
  • Positive reviews online
  • Long experience in business
  • Experience with overseas shipping
  • Reasonable pricing
  • Insurance policies
  • Service duration
  • GPS tracking
  • Door-to-door delivery availability

First, hire a shipping company that can deal with all the paperwork associated with importing a car from Europe. Getting a company that handles everything required for customs clearance and the correct documentation will free up your time and give you less hassle.


Naturally, you expect safety and punctuality. Ask them to explain their procedures and set a delivery timeline.

Next, your shipping company should have excellent customer service. Check out their services by asking questions. And then see if they answer courteously and honestly.

Years in business indicate they will deliver as promised and be a hard-working shipper.

An easy way to check a company's reputation is by word of mouth and family and friends' recommendations from their experiences.

Searching their online reviews will show you what problems they had in the past. Check their overall rating and if they have return clients, which indicates loyalty and trust.

Most importantly, get quotes for shipping costs from at least three transporters before deciding which one to hire. Shipping companies usually charge reasonable rates, so comparing prices and the offered services is important.

Even if someone is cheaper, there are still hidden charges for the shipping process on the same services as someone else.

Review the transporters insurance policy. Usually, they will include liability insurance, but it may only cover some things.

Check if the company has much car shipping experience from Europe to the USA. This route requires a special set of skills and requirements that other destination countries may overlook.

Most companies have GPS tracking for their loads. If your auto transporter has this feature in its service, you can easily find out where your car is and worry less.

As for door-to-door shipment, choosing this service may be more costly. But picking up the car yourself in a location with a clear and accessible address should not be a problem. However, if the price range is still affordable, you may use the service.

With the right shipping company by your side, shipping cars from Europe can be an easy and stress-free process.

Preparations Before Leaving Europe

Before you make the big move and bring your car to the USA from European countries, it's important to do some preparation first.

First, follow these next steps:

  • Complete routine maintenance. Performing maintenance on your car before shipping will ensure its good condition when it arrives in America.
  • Duplicate the necessary documentation. Keeping copies of all the required documentation for the vehicle—the title, registration, and insurance documents—can be beneficial.
  • Clean the car inside and out. You don't want to see dirt or grime when it arrives at its destination. Dirt may even cause scratches during transport.
  • Remove all personal items. It's good practice to remove valuable personal items from the car before shipping. These things will only add weight to your fees and will not be insured by most carriers.
  • Carry out a pre-inspection. Have a pre-inspection to note all existing flaws and have photos taken as proof to compare at final delivery. Later, do a post-inspection before the final acceptance of your vehicle.
  • Disable car alarms. We recommend turning off the alarm to avoid making loud, unnecessary noises during the journey.
  • Arrange for a pickup. When arranging a pickup with the shipping company, ensure they are aware of any specific requirements that need to be addressed.

Upon reaching its US destination, your car must go through a customs inspection. If it passes, it can enter the country. All you must do next is fill out the paperwork and be ready to go.

Finally, check with a shipping company beforehand to find out what specific steps they require before they will transport your car.

Taking these precautions now will help ensure a smooth transition when bringing your car overseas.


Easy Car Shipping from Europe to the USA

Bringing your car over to the United States from Europe is entirely doable. But the process takes effort.

It is important to research both countries' requirements and regulations and work with a reputable shipping company to ensure a smooth and successful importation process.

You can enjoy driving your European car on American roads with proper planning and preparation.

If you need assistance shipping your car from Europe to the USA, use A1 Auto Transport to get there safely and on time. With over 35 years of experience, we deliver satisfying results for your car shipment. Get a free quote today.

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Joe Webster always knew the auto transport industry would be a great career option. And with decades of experience, Joe is now an established consultant for A1 Auto Transport.

Joe was born in Santa Cruz, California. During high school, Joe worked as a mechanic; a job continued to work part-time during his bachelor's degree.

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A-1 Auto Transport is a disclosed agent for the following shipping companies:

Trans Global Auto Logistics, Inc.
3401 E Randol Mill Rd
Arlington, TX 76011
NO. 018191NF
CFR Rinkens
15501 Texaco Avenue
Paramount, CA 90723
NO. 013055NF
ABC Worldwide LLC
2840 NW 2nd Ave #105
Boca Raton, FL 33431
NO. 025472F
CSI Logistics
435 Division Street
Elizabeth, NJ 07201
FMC 22206
Intl Cargo
45 Campus Drive
Edison, NJ 08837
NO. 17858N
ShipYourCarNow LLC
1160 South Rogers Circle Suite 1
Boca Raton, FL 33487
NO. 025646
Merco Air & Ocean Cargo, Inc.
6 Fir Way
Cooper City, FL 33026
NO. 021869F
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