One of the challenges of accurately estimating the cost of international vehicle transport is that it typically involves two parts: domestic and international auto transport. For example, if you’re shipping a car from Chicago to Italy, you’ll first need to have the car delivered to a shipping port in the U.S. This is the domestic side of the transport process and applies to the country importing the vehicle as well if it needs to be delivered on the back end. The other portion of the cost–and typically the largest part of it–is the international shipping, which we’ll address in the second section.
Shipping a vehicle domestically to a coastal port for international car shipping will cost around 50 cents per mile, though you can get a price break if you use the same company for both the domestic and international part of the transport process. If the vehicle you need to be transported is near an international shipping terminal, driving it there yourself is also an option and can save you money on the total cost.
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The Cost Of Shipping A Car To Different Countries.
The are two main methods of transporting vehicles internationally and they do affect the cost. The first, and most common, is “RORO” transport, which stands for roll on, roll off. Essentially, the vehicle is driven onto a ship, where it is then secured for transport, then driven off upon arrival. The other method is transporting the vehicle in a large shipping container (also aboard a ship). Container shipping is generally cheaper and it also allows for other items to be delivered along with the car. There is a third option, air freight, which is a premium service and costs two to four times more than standard methods.
Here are some price estimates for shipping a car to different countries from the U.S. Remember, these are only ballpark figures: they assume the cheapest method of transport from shipping port to shipping port and do not include the cost of domestic or overland auto transport, or the import fees of specific countries.
- U.S. to Australia – $2,500
- U.S. to United Kingdom – $1,700
- U.S. to Europe – $2,000
- U.S. to China – $3,200
- U.S. to South America – $1,550
- U.S. to Africa – $2,200
- U.S. to Japan – $2,200
- U.S. to Canada – $1,350
- U.S. to Mexico – $1,100
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Other Cost Considerations When Shipping A Car Between Countries.
In addition to the cost of shipping, there are some other financial considerations you should take into account when shipping a vehicle to another country.
- Insurance – International automobile shippers must maintain current licensing and insurance to legally move cars between countries. Part of the insurance requirement covers damages to vehicles during shipping, which is usually included in the price quote. In some cases–mainly high-value cars or classic autos–additional insurance is recommended and can be purchased.
- Vehicle Standards – Some countries have very specific vehicle specifications that must be met, though there is some consistency thanks to World Forum for Harmonization of Vehicle Regulations. For some countries, a vehicle may have to be under a certain engine displacement level or be a right-side driving vehicle.
- Parts – If you plan on staying in the country you’re having a vehicle shipped to, it’s a good idea to consider the possibility of having to find replacement parts. More common cars are not a problem to find parts for usually, but classic cars, electric vehicles and high-end models may be trickier in some locations.
- Import Taxes – This is the cost that can really vary from one country to another. The U.S. has agreements with some countries that allow for duty-free vehicle imports, but there is often a value added tax or another type of import fee. Make sure you speak with the auto carrier about this before signing anything so you get an accurate estimation of the cost of vehicle transport.
A-1 Auto Transport, Inc. ships vehicles worldwide. Click here or call 1-800-518-8708 to get a free, no obligation to buy price quote to ship your car.
International Auto Transport Resources.
Foreign Motor Vehicle Import Requirements (PDF) – A comprehensive listing of the vehicle requirements for importing a car to different countries around the world.
International Driving Permit FAQ – Frequently asked questions about the international driving permit from the National Automobile Club. Find out about the benefits, costs, where to apply for one, and which countries recognize the permit.
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