International Classic Car Transport: Overseas Shipping Costs
Two things that require special care and handling when shipping a vehicle are 1.) If it’s being shipped to another country and 2.) If the vehicle has a high value, such as a classic or vintage car. When shipping a classic car overseas, both of those factors come into play, which makes it all the more important to understand the intricacies of the process, as well as finding the right shipper to do the job. The more specialized the service, the more experience matters and shipping a classic overseas definitely falls into that category.
Shipping a vehicle to another country requires greater expertise than overland transport for a couple of reasons. The first is that international transport is done by boat in most cases. Overland transport certainly can be, and often is, a part of shipping overseas, but it’s shipping by boat and navigating the regulatory and legal requirements of different countries that presents the true challenge.
You don’t have to look too hard on the internet to find stories of customers encountering difficulty when shipping a car, and that’s just within the United States. You can imagine how much of a potential for trouble there is when shipping a classic car to another country. It may be okay to seek out a bargain basement shipper for hauling a daily driver over a short distance, but it’s not recommended for shipping a classic or for international transport.
Cost of Shipping A Classic Car Internationally | Overseas Auto Transport
Pinning down an accurate estimate for how much it will cost to ship a car overseas, much less a classic, is not an easy thing to “ballpark.” There are so many factors that come into play when shipping a vehicle to another country that it’s very difficult to provide accurate numbers. Any number of things can affect the total cost of shipping; the following being the most common:
- Vehicle Type
- Distance from shipping port
- Country & shipping distance
- Method of transport (RORO, container, or air freight)
- Import taxes & duties
- Residency status
Though import duties can vary wildly from one country to another, a good general breakdown of what you can expect is as follows: 20% for large vehicles and bigger trucks, 10% for cars and pickups, and 8% for scooters and motorcycles. It’s important to keep in mind that the VAT (value added tax) can add another 18% to 25% to the cost of shipping. Clearly, these additional costs can add up quickly and higher value vehicles can inch slightly above the percentages listed above.
The shipping costs for transporting a classic overseas varies by country and distance, but the vast majority of prices fall between $1,400 and $6,000. The shipping distance is the primary factor, with countries closer to a shipping port being more affordable and those that are landlocked and further from a port being more expensive.
Paperwork - One of the main challenges of shipping any vehicle internationally, classic or otherwise, is the paperwork involved. If you don’t have everything fully prepared, as per the requirements of the country you’re shipping to, it could become a time-consuming and expensive issue. Making sure you’re working with a reputable shipper and that you have all required documents is one way to make sure you don’t encounter any unexpected costs or dealys along the way.
Insurance - When you ship a classic vehicle, you want the peace of mind that it’s going to be covered in the unlikely event that it gets damaged. While there is basic insurance in place that will cover damages caused by the shipper, it does not typically cover other damages that are out of their control. While it’s perfectly safe to have a car or truck shipped overseas without supplemental insurance, it’s highly recommended for any classic, vintage or collector vehicle that carries a higher value.
Overseas Shipping Resources
Required Documents - Find out what documents are needed to ship a car to an overseas location. This is an important aspect of international vehicle transport as any missing or incomplete documents can lead to delays and potential cost increases.
Import Duty Calculator - A simple tool that can be used to determine the import duty and taxes for just about any item being shipped between two countries. The calculator can be used up to five times per day at no charge.
Written By:Joe Webster
Joe Webster began his journey in the auto transport field by attending the University of Southern California (USC), where he graduated with a Bachelor of Business Marketing.
After college, he started his career in the auto transport industry from the bottom up and has done virtually every job there is to do at A-1 Auto Transport, including but not limited to: Truck Driver, Dispatch, Sales, PR, Bookkeeping, Transport Planner, Transport Manager, International Transport Manager, Brokering, Customer Service, and Marketing. Working with his mentor Tony Taylor, Joe Webster has learned the ins and outs of this industry which is largely misunderstood.
With over 30 years experience in the industry, we've been helping people ship their vehicles, motorcycles, RV's, heavy equipment, household goods and more across the country or overseas without a hitch. Ask us anything.