How to Move Your Household Goods and Car to Germany

🇩🇪 Germany, (DE)

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The process of moving your car and household goods to Germany is actually much easier than anything else you may need to prepare for before the move. This is especially true for those who choose to hire professional international movers for their assistance with the relocation. Depending on the services you choose to purchase, you may not have much responsibility in this matter. For instance full service moves mean that the movers will care for everything from the packing, to loading and unloading, pickup to delivery.

Although some people fear the cost of overseas full service moves or additional services such as full packing, in the end- it’s worth every penny. Any service you purchase through your mover is likely to be affordable and cost efficient. With them caring for the packing and transport of your goods, you can spend more time on the legalities and other facets of your international move.

Complying with Germany’s Import Policies and Gaining Import Approval

Before you can ship your belongings over to Germany, you must first abide by their import laws. Fortunately, this process isn’t all that hard and your movers will help provide you with guidance.

Items Restricted from Entering Germany

  • Weapons and ammunition
  • Drugs including some medical prescription drugs
  • Pornographic materials
  • Fireworks unless they’re in small quantity and meet the restrictions of the Federal Office for Material Searching and Testing
  • Counterfeit products
  • Media content declared as unconstitutional
  • Plants
  • Any pets must meet strict regulations
  • Food must be declared to Customs

Obtaining the Proper Approval

Custom authorities will require that the owner of these possessions has resided in their current country for at least 12 months if they wish to import. They must also fill out a Single Administrative Document (SAD).

All imported goods must also be accompanied by a customs declaration. This must be submitted in writing and copied. You will need a commercial invoice that states the following:

  • Company and address of seller and buyer
  • Place and date of issue
  • Number, kind of packages
  • Precise description of articles
  • Volume or quantity in normal commercial units
  • Invoice price (in invoice currency)
  • Terms of delivery and payment
  • In some cases, you may be asked to provide a certificate of origin

There are also requirements you must meet in order to obtain a customs declaration which include:

  • That you have lived in your country of origin for at least 12 consecutive months.
  • That you plan to take up official residence in Germany.
  • That you have owned the imported items for at least six months.
  • That you intend the goods for personal use only.
  • That you wait at least one year before reselling them in Germany.

Meeting the above requirements may make it so you’re exempt from paying import duties and tariffs.

Importing a Vehicle

Importing a vehicle into Germany is much simpler than most other nations. In fact, you may even be exempt from paying taxes on it if you meet the same requirements as held for household goods’ tax exemptions. As for importing your car, you can do so without registering it or getting plates for the first 12 months you’re in the nation. After the first year, you’ll need to register the vehicle and provide the following documentation:

  • passport or other identification
  • proof of official address registration in Germany
  • customs clearance papers
  • export permit
  • proof of ownership
  • original vehicle registration papers
  • certification from the German Federal Motor Vehicle Registry indicating the vehicle has not been registered in Germany before
  • proof of insurance
  • proof the vehicle has successfully completed the safety and roadworthiness inspection and emissions control test

Getting Your Stuff Shipped Over

Once the proper approvals are gained and everything is approved for import, you must decide how you’d like to have your stuff shipped over and what exactly you would like to bring. The less you have to ship over, the less your moving services and import taxes will be. Go through your home before you begin packing or having the movers pack to rid of anything you don’t need. Throw broken and useless items away while donating and selling off items you don’t want to bring yet are still in good condition.

Once you have sorted through your things, make sure you pack everything according to Germany’s labeling and packing regulations. Otherwise, they may not be able to enter. You must also decide how you’d like your items to be shipped through the mover. In most cases, enclosed shipping services are the best option. Enclosed shipping lets you put your vehicle and all of your contents inside of a large shipping container for the transport. This keeps everything of yours together during its travels.


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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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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.

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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.

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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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🇩🇪 Germany, (DE)

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Trans Global Auto Logistics, Inc.
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Arlington, TX 76011
NO. 018191NF
CFR Rinkens
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ABC Worldwide LLC
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FMC 22206
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45 Campus drive
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NO. 17858N
ShipYourCarNow LLC
1160 South Rogers Circle Suite 1
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NO. 025646
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