Gift Icon Get a 20% discount from our partners! Discount code will get added automatically when you submit the form.
How much does shipping your Vehicle cost?
Free Instant Online Calculator based on quotes from Trusted Auto Shipping Companies
Customer Images
7790 people shipped using A-1 Auto Transport last week

Joe brought me peace of mind. I can’t thank you enough for being so reliable and trustworthy

No risk, no contracts. Just calculate your quote first and choose your contractor later.

Joe brought me peace of mind. I can’t thank you enough for being so reliable and trustworthy

of customers
recommend us

How do I legally import a car from Europe?

What's in this article?
  1. Choosing The Right European Car For Import
  2. Determining Eligibility Of A Car For Import To The Us
  3. Meeting The Emission Standards For Imported Cars
How do I legally import a car from Europe?

To legally import a car from Europe, you must ensure the vehicle complies with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and Department of Transportation (DOT) regulations. This process includes obtaining the necessary importation forms, such as EPA form 3520-1 and DOT form HS-7. For vehicles that do not meet U.S. standards, you may need to work with an Independent Commercial Importer (ICI) to make the necessary modifications.

Importing a car from Europe requires careful attention to detail and adherence to specific rules and regulations. It begins with selecting a vehicle that not only fits your preferences but also meets the stringent U.S. safety and emission standards.

Choosing the Right European Car for Import

An enthusiast considering a foreign auto purchase must understand European marques and models. For quality, detail, and performance, Mercedes-Benz, Audi, BMW, and Porsche are popular European brands. Skoda, Seat, Fiat, and Renault, lesser-known brands, offer good value and features. Vehicle style, performance, and budget should match personal preferences.

Car Import Quotes From Europe

Research the vehicle's maintenance and service needs as well. Some European cars need expensive, specialized maintenance more often despite their beauty. When choosing a car to import, one should consider spare parts and local service expertise. You can avoid surprises by understanding your European import's post-purchase needs.

Determining Eligibility of a Car for Import to the U.S

Understanding the legal requirements for importing a car to the U.S. is crucial. Federal agencies like the DOT, EPA, and NHTSA regulate vehicle importation. These agencies have strict car import standards, which vary by age, usage, and origin.

Under the DOT's "classic or antique" cars clause, 25-year-old cars are exempt from specific regulations. However, cars under 25 must meet all DOT and EPA safety and emission standards. Additionally, the car must not be NHTSA-declared non-compliant. Understanding these requirements is crucial to car importation.

Meeting the Emission Standards for Imported Cars

Choosing the suitable model, eligibility, and meeting EPA emission standards are all part of importing a car into the U.S. The U.S. has some of the strictest vehicle emission regulations in the world; vehicles must comply to enter. Keep in mind that if the car doesn't comply, modifications may be required, which can be complicated and costly.

A smooth import requires knowledge of EPA emission standards. CO, NOx, and PM are the most commonly regulated criteria pollutants. Test new and used vehicles for these pollutants. Cutting corners on this step could cost you your car, forfeiture, or fines. Therefore, emission compliance must be correct to avoid these obstacles.

Car Import Service From Europe

Frequently Asked Questions

Share this content on social media
for a chance to get up to 15% off your next shipment.
Copy link

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.

Email Me

Mylene Rutllant
It’s my number one pick in auto shipping to this day.
★★★★★ choice in terms of auto transport has to be A1 Auto Transport. It’s in the name, but also in the quality with which they do their jobs. I’ve never had a problem with this company.

Luis Rodriguez
You have my full support and recommendation!

A1 Auto Transport... From the get go, they were very different from my past options. Their website was very professional and up to date, full of useful information. I requested a quote using their online form, and I got an email response within an hour. Surprisingly fast!

Testimonial by Cristine Benoit
Cristine Benoit
I can safely say this is a legit company that will get the job done.

There are a lot of options for auto transport these days, which surprisingly makes it harder to find a good company. I received more than 10 offers to ship my car, but I couldn’t decide on any of them... Fortunately, I made the right choice with A1 Auto Transport.

David Osallo
We give A1 Auto Transport a big 10 out of 10!

We give A1 Auto Transport a big 10 out of 10! We chose them to move our car from California to Vermont, since we needed professionals.

Visit our social, and see what our clients are saying about us

Ship Your Vehicle With A-1 Auto Today
Get an instant free Quote Now

Or Call Us Today and Speak Directly to Our Sales Team:

Our Partners:

Better Business Bureau Accredited
FMCSA Member
INC. 500 Member
VeriSign Secured
AMSA Member

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
Copyright © 1988-2023, A-1 Auto Transport - All Rights Reserved.