Whether or not you were drawn to this exotic land by the desire to traverse through the legendary Alps or to see the oldest zoo ever, established in 1752, or to roam the wide-open streets of Vienna, a city bordering both the modern and historical identity of the country, you have to admit, Austria is a fine place to be in. But wherever you are, no experience is complete without your car. After all, where would we be without modern transportation?
If you wish to get your car shipped to your new address in Austria, then there's much you'll have to do to ensure that the move is smooth and that there are no troubles with the customs. Unlike moving a car from one EU country to another, transporting vehicles from outside the EU to Austria can be complicated if you don't prepare well.
Fret not. In this article, we'll guide you through the whole process of shipping a car to Austria!
Find An International Auto Transport Contractor
You'll probably start with a couple of Google searches for a reliable, licensed, and reputed auto transport contractor for international shipping. Let us make this step a bit more fruitful for you. All international car shipping companies will have very positive remarks about their work posted on their website. Who wouldn't do that? But you need a truly capable services provider.
First, look at the website itself, the estimated rates, and then move onto their blog section if they have one – if not, you should leave. Brush through their writings, just skim a bit to understand whether or not the site owner (company) creates a sense of confidence about their work. Then you should look them up on other sites like Google My Business, Yelp, Bing, and so on, where you'll get to see what their customers have to say about their services.
Once all of this is done, give them a call, ask if they are licensed and insured (ask for proof/verification), and whether or not they can handle your shipment to Austria while guaranteeing that no damage will befall your ride. For instance, A1 Auto Transport has a solid reputation for handling domestic and international car shipments with full assurance of safety and convenience.
Calculate The Costs
The shipment cost is never constant. It varies depending on your method of shipment, the distance, and other factors. Usually, the cost of transporting your car from the USA to Austria is between $2,500 and $4,500, but this is merely an estimate, and the actual price is always subject to change because of:
- The size and weight of your vehicle
- The make and model, and the original price of your car
- Import taxes and customs duties
- The travel distance, i.e., the distance between the departure port and the destination port
- The shipment option opted for, i.e., roll-on, roll-off transport, container transport, or air freight
- Delivery option selected, i.e., port-to-port delivery costs less than door-to-door delivery
- Insurance dues
- Cost for registering the vehicle
You do have control over the costs, your choices will matter a lot in this regard, but the more you spend, the easier the process will be on your end.
Preparing Your Vehicle For Shipment
Now comes the part where you prepare your vehicle before sending it off. Firstly, you'll have to clean the exterior thoroughly, including the undercarriage (to rid it from any soil deposits), which may need steam cleaning for better results; you can't skip the latter because it is compulsory for a vehicle entrance in an EU country like Austria.
Then you'll have to empty the interior as well, make sure that none of your possessions are left inside. Clean out the glove compartment and take out anything inserted into the console that can be removed. You need to strip off all the non-factory components, i.e., radar antennas, add-ons, accessories, etc., that can get damaged during the transport.
Don't keep the tank of your car bone-dry, especially if you want to opt for the roll-on, roll-off transport, but don't fill it up either. Instead, a quarter of the tank's volume filled with fuel should do the trick, don't exceed this limit, though.
Lastly, you'll need to call over an expert to get your car inspected for vehicle safety and emissions compliance (with the EU standards). If there are some issues, you should resolve them at this stage. This inspection will also help you compare the state of your car after it has been delivered to you.
Plus, record the state of your vehicle as well, scanning the surface carefully for any dents, marks, scratches, and so on. Take photographs and note down everything (including the reading of the mileage meter) for comparison later on.
Prepare The Paperwork
The document requirements throughout the EU are more or less the same, and you won't have to do much to get them all ready. But be sure that you check for an updated list of required documents from the website of the Austrian customs department.
You'll most probably need:
- The original title of the car
- An export permit from the US government
- Your passport (copy)
- Vehicle registration documents
- Driver's license
- Sales invoice detailing the price & other specs of the car
- Exit certificate
- Lading bill
- Proof of insurance
- Proof of vehicle ownership
Just be sure that all of your documents are up-to-date and error-free.
Select A Suitable Shipment Option
Based on your budget, you'll have to select a shipping option from the following:
RoRo Shipment: The roll-on, roll-off shipment is the most basic form of overseas vehicle transport and the cheapest one. In this case, the vehicle is transported on board a vessel, fastened tightly with the said ship, and then driven off-board upon arrival at the destination port. During this whole time, the vehicle stays under the open sky, and thus the method is also called open-air shipment. Though simple and cost-effective, this method is not the cheapest.
Container Transport: Enclosed transport is pretty much like the first option, only with a container in the equation. The car is sealed inside one and thus safeguarded from all excess of the environment during transport. This method is comparatively more expensive but provides better protection too.
Air Freight: If you're in a hurry and want your ride to your new place in a matter of days rather than weeks, then you can have it transported by air. This is the most expensive option, but it is safe, reliable, and fast – perfect for high price vehicles.
Select Your Delivery Preference
This is once again another area where your choice matters. You can trade money for convenience and vice versa. The port-to-port delivery option is cheaper, but you'll have to drive the vehicle to the departure port and from the destination port.
Or, you can pay a bit extra and have your vehicle picked from your door and delivered to your new address in Austria.
Secure Customs Clearance
Following the import processing, you'll have to get clearance from the Austrian customs department. For imports from the USA, 10% in customs duties and 20% in import taxes are applicable unless you secure a tax exemption via one of the following conditions:
- At least one year residence in a country outside the EU
- Planning to settle in the country and acquiring citizenship there
- Ownership of the vehicle and having used the said car for at least the previous six months
- No plan on selling the car for a full year following the import
Following this, your car will be inspected for compliance with vehicle and environment safety (emissions level). If your car clears everything, you'll be free to register your vehicle with the Austrian government.
Register Your Vehicle
The registration process is rather simple. All you have to do is to visit the Vehicle Registration department and provide them with:
- Sales contract (with your name)
- Certificate of title
- Certificate of approval
- Documents proving your identity (a copy of your passport)
- Insurance documents
After registration, you'll be able to drive your vehicle freely in the country.
With this, it'll be all done!