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How Much Does it Cost to Ship a Campervan to the US from the UK?

Published by Tamar Hela.

What's in this article?
  1. Campervan Not Your Regular Vehicle
  2. Why Ship a Campervan to the US from the UK?
  3. How Much Does It Cost?
  4. Influencing factors
  5. Distance
  6. Shipping method
  7. Import taxes
  8. Rental fees
  9. Tips to Get Your Campervan Ready to Ship
  10. Clean your campervan
  11. Sort out your paperwork
  12. Get insurance
  13. Conclusion
How Much Does it Cost to Ship a Campervan to the US from the UK?

camping is your passion, there's no cost too big to move your campervan between continents. And if you're planning a long road trip to America's most attractive destinations, having your own trusty camper van to travel guarantees a particular time.

But shipping a campervan to the US from the UK is a big deal for many. The distance may be reachable, but calculating the cost needs careful planning. And there's also the campervan's size.

A campervan is not a regular car. Unlike your automobile or motorcycle, your camper's size can be awkward in a container. With the vehicle occupying more space, the shipping process may be more intricate than usual.

Before you search for campervan shipping quotes, learn the ins and outs of campervan shipping. Prepare for shipping a campervan to the US from the UK with this guide.


Campervan: Not Your Regular Vehicle

A camper van is your home on wheels, a type of motorhome that is compact. As the name suggests, the size resembles a regular van, although some models may be bigger. Camper vans may also have other modifications. And like most motorhomes, it's not just your transportation; it's also your accommodation.

Most campervans are among the smaller types of recreational vehicles. But it is by no means small. If your campervan has accessories mounted on the roof, the vehicle size and weight become larger. Some of these accessories may include awnings, solar panels, or skylights. They will add to the campervan's overall dimensions. The dimensions of your campervan will determine the shipping method you can use.

But there are campervans sized like a regular van. Without any additional accessories on the exterior, most campervans may be compact enough to be shipped like a standard van. What makes it different from any other van is perhaps its weight. Carrying more amenities in the interior will affect the campervan's weight.

Yet, despite the additional considerations it requires, campervans remain popular. The convenience camper vans bring to travelers is highly alluring. A camper van makes traveling less pricey with built-in sleeping and dining areas.

Furthermore, camper vans are friendlier to the environment than planes, buses, or trains. This makes it more appealing as a mode of transportation during travel.

Why Ship a Campervan to the US from the UK?

You may think renting a campervan in the US is easier for travelers. After all, isn't the hassle of shipping a camper van may not be worth the price? But when you calculate the total cost, shipping may be cheaper.

A good reason campervan owners may want to ship their vehicles to the US is the quality of the cars. Camper vans are known to be durable and built with quality materials. They can withstand any terrain or weather. These owners may feel if they already own a dependable vehicle, why should they use another one?

Another good reason is the comfort and familiarity offered by their campervans. When British owners rent a campervan in America, the layout may differ, And American-made campers may not have the same features as British campers. For example, the electrical system may be different.

And if you're planning an extended road trip in the US, shipping will be less expensive. See the comparison below.

How Much Does It Cost?

Shipping a camper van from a UK port (Liverpool or Southampton) to North America (US or Canada) starts at around GBP 2,200. That is around 2,800 in US dollars.

Then, you must add other shipping charges like bill of lading fees, customs, terminal handling charges, and marine cargo insurance, among others. The total can come up to GBP 3,500 or USD 4,395.

If you want to ship to your destination port on the West Coast, the price becomes slightly higher by several hundred dollars. Naturally, the price may double if you send it back to the UK from North America. Ask for a free quote from several shipping companies to compare prices.


Influencing factors

A few factors influence the shipping price. Chief among them are distance, shipping method, and import taxes.


Distance also influences the price. You can ship your camper van to Canada if your schedule is flexible. Entry to North America via Canada may be faster. It only takes around 8 days to ship a campervan from the UK to the East Coast of Canada.

Meanwhile, it takes around a fortnight to ship to the East Coast of the US. Shipping on the US West Coast is the longest, which may take up to 36 days.

Shipping method

The size of a camper van can be awkward to transport. Container shipping is generally more expensive. It may not also accommodate your camper van's size if it's a bigger model. For example, a VW Transporter may travel nicely inside a 20 ft container. However, a Mercedes Sprinter may not fit inside a 40 ft container because its width is more significant than the container's opening.

RoRo shipping, or roll-off shipping, is also cheaper than container shipping. Shipping rates for roll-on roll-off start from GBP 3,000 (USD 3,768). Container shipping is usually more expensive, at GBP 1,500 (USD 1,884), than Ro-Ro services. The 40-ft container will be even more costly than the 20-ft container.

Import taxes

Another factor that influences your campervan shipping cost is import taxes. Your campervan is subject to import taxes if you bring in your van for over a year. No taxes apply if you're only temporarily bringing in your van (less than a year).

A similar rule applies regarding your camper van's safety and emissions standards. If you're importing your vehicle for less than 12 months, you don't need a Temporary Import Approval Letter from the Environmental Protection Agency. Otherwise, you must apply for the Approval Letter before shipping your campervan. Without it, your camper van may be denied entry to the US.


Rental fees

Rental fees in the US are calculated per night. You may get different fees depending on what camper vans you want to rent.

For example, a Dodge Sprinter rental starts at USD 125. To rent it for one month (30 days), you must pay USD 3,750 (GBP 2,987). This is already more expensive than shipping it one-way from the UK's standard departure ports in Liverpool or Southampton.

Even if your rental place offers a discount for road trips longer than 30 days, the total cost is still more expensive than shipping.

Tips to Get Your Campervan Ready to Ship

Now that you know the fees, you can compare shipping options with various vehicle shipping services. But UK camper van owners may need to see more about shipping to the US. Here are several tips to prepare their camper vans to get in good condition to ship.

Clean your campervan

Cleaning your campervan before shipping it is a must. This includes the exterior of the campervan and the wheels. Ensure that no dirt or harmful materials are attached to the van. Secure all doors and windows. If your campervan has a slide-out, lock it securely.

The interior of the campervan must also be tidy and organized. Any loose items or hanging accessories on the walls must be removed. Removing any personal effects from the campervan for safety is also advisable. Also, check if the doors and cabinets inside the campervan are shut securely.

Sort out your paperwork.

Even though you may be traveling on land with a campervan, you're still entering foreign soil. This means you must have your visa and international driver's permit to visit the United States and drive your vehicle there legally.

You must also bring your campervan's official papers (like a vehicle log book) to verify that it belongs to you. Prepare any other documents you may need to travel to another country.

Furthermore, because there's a big chance you're not traveling to the same American port as your camper van, make copies of any documents your vehicle needs. This will help you avoid tossing any crucial documents during your travels.


Get insurance

Although you may think insurance is another fee that makes your motorhome shipping cost higher, insurance is your protection against the unexpected. It would be best to get travel and vehicle insurance for your campervan. Some insurance companies offer mechanical assistance or towing services for your campers.

If you bring valuable tools and gear, you may also want to insure them individually. These may include laptops, cameras, sports equipment, and camping gear.


The shipping cost of a campervan from the UK to the US is not cheap. However, affordable options are available. Choosing roll-on-roll service as a method of transport and the nearest port of destination will save you some money. Thus, your motorhome shipping can be even more worthwhile.

A1 Auto Transport is a vehicle shipping service that helps you transport your campervan from the UK to the US. A1 Auto Transport's team of shipping specialists will ensure your vehicle arrives safely and is ready for use. Get a free instant quote today.

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Tamar Hela is one of our featured writers at A-1 Auto Transport, researching everything from AI auto shipments out of China to what paperwork is required to move long distance. We can safely say she's become well versed in all things shipping and logistics while making the information easy to digest and understandable. 

Tamar has been a copywriter for over 16 years and was trained in the 7-Figure Copywriting Accelerator course through American Writers & Artists, Inc. (AWAI). She's also an incredibly seasoned copyeditor, having previously been the Chief Editor and Publishing Director for Cosby Media Productions, based in Atlanta, Georgia. 

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Boca Raton, FL 33431
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1160 South Rogers Circle Suite 1
Boca Raton, FL 33487
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Cooper City, FL 33026
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