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How To Import Cars Into The USA | A-1 Auto Transport

A-1 Guide To Importing Cars Into The USA

There are two important consideration when importing a car into the U.S.: emission standards and vehicle conformity (“safety” might be a better way to describe conformity for these purposes).

How To Import Cars Into The Usa A 1 Auto Transport

Emission standards are dictated by the Environmental Protection Agency and conformity is overseen by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), which is part of the U.S. Department of Transportation. Here’s a little more about each of them as it pertains to importing a vehicle.

Emission Standards

If a car is brought into the U.S. for permanent usage, you will need to get a certification from the E.P.A. that it complies with emission standards. Most cars manufactured outside of the USA do not have a label of compliance, which indicates that it meets EPA standards (some may—check around the driver side door or contact the manufacturer).

If you are importing a car into the US for permanent usage, you will have to fix any issues regarding emissions, safety, or functionality of the vehicle before getting clearance. Generally, the period given in which to make the necessary repairs is one month.

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Department of Transportation Standards

Just like imported cars must passed muster with the E.P.A. in regard to hazardous emissions, they also need to meet standards established by the Department of Transportation and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. This test looks at basic components of the vehicle, checking that seat belts, wipers, head lights and other necessary safety measures are in place and working.

Country Specific Import Restrictions

Cars and other goods may not be imported from certain countries, such as Iran and Cuba, so make sure to check with the Office of Foreign Assets Control to see which countries are currently prohibited (see below under resources for more information).

Any vehicle imported into the U.S. must have a clean title and pay a duty, which is generally around 2.5% of the value of the vehicle, though there are some exceptions.

Call us today at the number at the top of the page if you’re planning or considering shipping a car to the U.S. from another country! Our international shipping and import staff are on hand to answer your questions and offer advice 24 hours a day! Contact us today to learn more, or if you’d like a FREE cost estimate!

USA Vehicle Import Resources

NHTSA Vehicle Import Certification - Information about which types of vehicles may be imported, as well as import certification guidelines. This is a great place to look if you need to know more about meeting U.S. standards for vehicles.

Sanction Programs By Country - A current listing of the countries that the U.S. has sanctions against, many of which prohibit the import of goods, which includes vehicles. Vehicles from countries with sanctions against them may also not be brought into the country through a third party or another country.

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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.


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Testimonial
Mylene Rutllant
It’s my number one pick in auto shipping to this day.
★★★★★

Due to the nature of my work, I must relocate every couple of years to where my company needs me. Because of this, I’ve tested several moving and auto transport companies over the years.

And my 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.

The only time my shipment was delayed was during winter when a snowstorm closed down all the major roads. And they still found an alternative and got my car delivered before roads got unstuck.

When I moved to West Virginia, they picked up my car the very day I called them. I like to think they take special care of me considering all the business I’ve sent them. I’ll continue to support A1 Auto Transport. It’s my number one pick in auto shipping to this day.

Testimonial
Luis Rodriguez
You have my full support and recommendation!
★★★★★

I considered selling my car when I moved to Washington. It was old and rusty, but I grew attached to it. So, I called a couple companies to transport it to my new home, but they both fell through.

The first one couldn’t decide on a schedule. He would constantly change the pickup date till I got frustrated and canceled. The second was insufferable, very rude on the phone, even worse in person.

They started picking a part my car asking me why I still have it. If that’s their opinion of my vehicle, how can I trust they’ll take care of it? If something happened midway, why wouldn’t they just blame it on the car instead of paying up?

So, I cancelled this company as well and turned to 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!

If I didn’t know any better, I would’ve thought they were lacking customers, but the email spoke for itself. In just one email, everything I needed to know was there, including a contact number I could use to get more information or confirm the transport.

I called and got things rolling. I was very pleased with the driver. He followed standard procedure and represented his company well. Can’t remember his name, but props to him!

The car arrived in Washington 6 days later in excellent condition. From what I understand, the transport was delayed a bit by a storm, but since the time window was 4-6 days from the beginning, I don’t really care. You have my full support and recommendation!

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.

After doing some research, I got even more worried reading about all the scams and accidents that can happen. But, I have work to do and couldn’t afford to drive my newly purchased Mini Cooper all the way to Virginia.

Fortunately, I made the right choice with A1 Auto Transport. They are very good at their jobs. I spent more than an hour drilling Joe with various questions, and he never once lost his patience. He saw I was interested, so he bore with me until I was satisfied. The driver was also very courteous and my car was intact on arrival. I couldn’t have asked for more.

By the way, the price we first agreed on stayed the same. There were no delays or unexpected “surprises.” I can safely say this is a legit company that will get the job done.

Testimonial
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.

We were abroad during the transport, so the transport was a bit tricky. The driver had to pick it up from storage on short notice and get it to its destination within at most 10 days. I was happy to note it arrived sooner. We got it 3 days early, right when we got home to pick it up. It made getting around way easier. Awesome service!

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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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