- Car Shipping Germany
- Taxes & Duties When Shipping A Car To Germany
- Typical Car Shipping Prices – How Much Does It Cost?
- Average Cost & Time Examples For Shipping Cars To Germany From The Usa
- Popular Germany Car Shipping Services Destinations
- Required Documents For Shipping A Car To Germany
- Germany Auto Transport Resources
- Shipping Of Heavy Equipment & Oversized Cargo To Germany
- Shipping Method
- Lift On/Lift Off
- Fat Rack Shipping
- Container Shipping
- Other Services
- Related Information
Car Shipping Germany
Taxes & Duties When Shipping A Car To Germany
Shipping A Car To Germany from The USA.
Typical Car Shipping Prices – How Much Does It Cost?
- The typical car shipping costs for a car to Germany from The USA are $1,800 to $3,900, with much of the shipping cost depending on the escrow service and which part of the U.S. you’re shipping from.
- Both container and RORO shipping are generally available to Germany within the price range mentioned above.
Average Cost & Time Examples For Shipping Cars to Germany From The USA
|San Jose, CA to (California port) to Bremerhaven||$200||$3,000||5+30|
|Denver, CO to (California port) to Bremerhaven||$775||$3,000||7+30|
|Boston, MA to (New York port) to Bremerhaven||$400||$2,100||5+12|
|Portland, OR to (California port) to Bremerhaven||$475||$3,000||6+30|
|Phoenix, AZ to (California port) to Bremerhaven||$550||$3,000||6+30|
|Detroit, MI to (New York port) to Bremerhaven||$575||$2,100||6+12|
|Chicago, IL to (New York port) to Bremerhaven||$675||$2,100||6+12|
|Los Angeles to (California port) to Bremerhaven||$350||$3,000||5+30|
|Memphis, TN to (New York port) to Bremerhaven||$800||$2,100||6+12|
|Miami, FL to (New York port) to Bremerhaven||$925||$2,100||7+12|
*Car shipping prices and times are estimated. They can vary depending on the season and the type of vehicle.
*Save the ground transport cost by delivering the vehicle to its final destination before shipping the car to Germany. You can deliver the car to the nearest port with a big parking garage.
*Allow an additional ten days to process the documents.
*Prices are for one classic car in a dedicated 20-foot shared container service. This is the safest and most reliable way to transport a vehicle internationally. Other items may be included in the container to help save you money when moving.
*Using the RoRo (roll-on, roll-off) method is less expensive and shipments can be completed in fewer days. Contact us now for a free RoRo quote.
It can be complicated to ship a vehicle internationally, but the import and export laws of Germany are more or less consistent with the United States, which makes the process a little easier than it would be from some other parts of the world.
As a general rule, the duty on imported autos in Germany is 10% and there’s also a VAT tax of 20%. For motorcycles, the duty is usually between 6% and 8%. For more information about the value-added tax in Germany, this resource has a good explanation.
*Note that the value-added percentages on vehicle imports can fluctuate slightly depending on several factors.
Germany has strict environmental standards, which can cause additional expenses for people shipping a classic car to the country. There are also restrictive ecological zones in the country, which require a sticker if you’re operating a vehicle in the area.
If you’re becoming a permanent resident of Germany and forfeiting residence in the U.S., you can ship a car without paying import duties. This is contingent on being a new resident and having been outside of the country for 12 months consecutively.
Something that shouldn’t be overlooked when transporting a vehicle to Germany is that many of the roads are smaller and narrower than in the U.S., which can make it challenging to navigate with the larger, wider motor vehicles that are more common in the States.
Popular Germany Car Shipping Services Destinations:
A-1 Auto Transport ships multiple vehicles worldwide. Click here or call 1-800-518-8708 to get a free, no-obligation to buy price quote to ship your compact car.
Required Documents For Shipping A Car To Germany
The paperwork needed to ship a car to Germany is pretty standard regarding import and export laws for vehicles. Here’s what you’ll need to ensure everything goes as planned when shipping a car, truck or motorcycle to the country.
- Original title & registration.
- Export permit (from The U.S.)
- Proof of insurance.
- Bill of lading.
- German driver's license.
- Proof of ownership.
- German registration (Anmeldebestatigung)
If you have questions about required forms or documents before shipping a car to Germany, your auto transport company should be able to explain the details and give you any assistance you might need along the way, including forms, documents, laws, import duties, permits, licensing and taxation.
Germany Auto Transport Resources
U.S. Embassy In Germany - Information and resources for U.S. citizens in Germany, including citizenship, visas, security and general assistance with living in Germany for residents of the United States.
Getting Around In Germany - Learn the road rules for Germany, including right-of-way, licensing, legal and parking issues, traffic regulations and other resources for driving in the country.
Shipping Of Heavy Equipment & Oversized Cargo To Germany
Shipping heavy equipment or oversized cargo to Germany requires precision and a logistical aptitude with decades of overseas car shipments.
At A-1 Auto Transport, we offer car shipping services using decades of accumulated experience to get your shipment to Germany and help you through all the permitting and regulatory processes.
Depending on what you are shipping, there will be different procedures to get it there. Size, weight, and industry all play a part in the process and we are happy to have a wide array of successful transports in our history. Based on our expertise in car shipping, we have the following list of resources:
- Pile drivers
- Large trucks and heavy vehicles
- Engineering equipment
- Agricultural equipment & machinery
- Hydraulic equipment
- Tractor combines & other farm equipment
- Backhoes and excavators
- RVs and motorhomes
- Industrial equipment
There are several ways to ship your oversized cargo and/or heavy equipment to Germany. The following methods are the most popular, yet we are open to special cases and welcome a call concerning those.
Lift On/Lift Off
Lift On/Lift Off (LoLo) is a common form of transport for inoperable cargo like boats, crated equipment, or machinery. This method is a bit more expensive than container and RoRo shipping due to the use of a crane and the precision involved.
Roll-On/Roll-Off, also known as RoRo Car Shipping, is the most inexpensive way to transport heavy equipment or oversized cargo overseas. Given that your cargo is wheeled and operable, it will be stored within the ship’s hull.
This shipping method requires using a ship’s ramp and height restrictions depend on the vessel and hull size.
Fat Rack Shipping
Flat Rack shipping is a form of international transport that allows the most flexibility when it comes to your oversized cargo. It comes in variations of a flat rack or a car shipping container sans walls to allow your cargo to be attached to the corner points of the container frame.
Your heavy cargo will be secured and then placed on the back of the ship. Since this type of car shipping to Germany exposes your load to the elements, you may want to consider your car shipped while shrink-wrapped.
Container shipping to Germany is what most people are familiar with as it’s easy to see ships stacked high with shipping containers. As far as oversized cargo is concerned, 40-foot shipping containers may be too small for your purposes.
This is the most expensive and secure form of shipping classic cars we have available. It will protect your cargo from the outdoor elements. In the case of shared container shipping, you'll exclusively be paying for a single vehicle.
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Frequently Asked Questions
What are the top ports in Germany for shipping classic cars by sea freight?
- The Port of Hamburg is located on the Elbe River in Hamburg, Germany. It is the largest port in Germany by volume and is called Germany’s “Gateway to the World.”
- The Port of Bremen is Germany’s most important industrial center, situated at the edge of the Weser River.
- The Port of Wilhelmshaven is the only deep-water port between the Ems and Weser river on the western embankment of the Jade delta. The port is located behind a dual-chamber sea lock, and it consists of two sections, the outer deep-water port and the inner harbor.
- The Port of Duisburg-Ruhrort is located between the Rhine River and the Ruhr Channel. It is the chief inland shipping port in Germany and is regarded as the largest inland port in Europe.
- The Port of Rostock is the fourth-largest port in Germany. It is located in the northeastern part of the country at the mouth of the Warnow River on the Baltic Sea.
How long does it take to ship a car to Germany?
When shipping overseas, you should expect the entire process of importing classic cars to take anywhere from three to seven weeks.
Your overseas carrier will accommodate your shipment by finding your motor vehicle a spot on a ship that is making a trip to the German port closest to the location you will want the car. Your car will be exported from the United States and imported into Germany, which will require a fee.
Documents will need to be reviewed by both export and import parties, which may take additional time. Proper transport is not a quick task, and to ensure the highest level of care with your vehicle, you will need to plan.
What duties and taxes are due when importing a vehicle into Germany?
All taxes and duties must be paid before German customs clearance will release a vehicle. There are different levels of duties and taxes that may be due:
- The United States Military Service Members
No taxes or duties apply to vehicle imports.
- Temporary Imports
In most circumstances, you can ship a car with foreign plates in Germany, free of taxes or further registration if your entry meets the following criteria:
- You are visiting the country and do not plan to live there
- The vehicle is registered and taxed in its home country
- You only use the car in Germany for up to six months
- A security deposit of 10% + 19% of the vehicle’s value plus international shipping charges are collected – which is refundable when the car leaves the EU
- Moving Goods
Must have owned the vehicle for at least six months and lived outside of Germany for 12 months before moving, then the tax and duties are 0%
- Purchased by European Citizen
The vehicle is less than 30 years old. It will have a tax of 19% and a duty of 10%
- Purchased by European Citizen
The vehicle is more than 30 years old. It will have a tax of 7% and a duty of 0%
Does a car being imported into Germany require conversions?
The registration regulations in Germany are strict, probably some of the most strict throughout the European Union to ship cars. Import vehicles are required to undergo inspection and be checked for any technical defects.
During this inspection, it is also checked to see if it complies with Germany’s registration regulations. If the vehicle is not up to the required standards, it will need to be converted before being registered in Germany. There may be exceptions to these rules, but they are minimal.
What shipping methods are available when shipping cars to Germany?
There are several ways that we ship vehicles, oversized cargo, or heavy equipment to Germany. These are the more popular methods of international car shipping to Germany (special scenarios may be accommodated):
- Lift On/Lift Off (LoLo)
This loading process Used for inoperable equipment or cargo, it requires a crane and precision placement.
- Roll-On/Roll-Off (RoRo)
The most inexpensive form of car shipping to Germany, the vehicle is driven or rolled onto the ship and once the car arrives at its final destination, it is unloaded in the same manner.
- Shared Container Service
The most preferred shipping method to Germany, containers are stacked onto the ships for transport and unloaded at the port. It is also the most expensive and most secure form of car shipping to Germany.
When should I expect delays in overseas shipping?
Not all delays can be prevented. Sometimes there are delays in the vehicle shipping services that are beyond anyone’s control. Some of the scenarios that may result in delays include:
- A global pandemic
The COVID-19 pandemic is still causing delays into 2021 for some carriers due to the lack of equipment and space restrictions on many vessels. You can find out ahead of time if your car shipping company is experiencing extreme delays at your port of choice and if there is a way to circumvent those delays.
- Extraordinary events
Events in the open sea are not always predictable. Vehicle shipping companies may run into factors including, but not limited to, weather, wars, piracy, fire, and other events described as “force majeure.” These also include natural catastrophes like cyclones and hurricanes.
- Schedule changes or traffic challenges
There are peak seasons when shipping a car to Germany, especially overseas. More people tend to ship during the summer months, making it almost impossible to predict how busy the ports and other areas will be. Shipments scheduled around holidays can also delay the truck driver to its final destination.
- Issues with customs clearance
Shipping a car to Germany requires paperwork, documents, and even more daunting processes. When you are missing paperwork or do not pass inspection, you may be faced with a delay until the problem is rectified.
- Port congestion/strikes
When too many containers are in a port, it leads to congestion. Whether it be due to peak season or extraordinary events, congestion can occur. When labor strikes occur, ports can be out of commission for weeks at a time. These strikes by workers can cause severe delays and even the inability to collect goods.
No one likes to be the one to mess up or miscommunicate directions on a shipment – but it happens. Sometimes communication delays happen and jeopardize the entire line.
What is an ocean or air freight forwarder?
Ocean and air freight forwarders are experts connected within the supply chain and concentrate on the logistics and physical transportation of cargo.
They communicate with any entity involved in the shipping process that handles or is aware of any shipment moving via truck, boat, plane, or any combination thereof. Air freight forwarders are also in charge of assembling and completing vehicle documentation and compliance filings.
What is a Bill of Lading?
A Bill of Lading (BOL) is a document used in auto shipping and other types of cargo transport. The BOL is a legal document that specifies what is being shipped from one location to another and by whom.
It also outlines the vehicle's condition before it is turned over to the auto shipping company and again when it is returned to the owner at the time of delivery. The BOL serves as a contract between the trucker and the vehicle owner, including the agreement terms. At the same time, the BOL also acts as the receipt for the transaction.
What documents are required to ship a car overseas?
Different documents may be required when shipping a car to Germany. As your shipping services provider and representative, we will make sure you are informed beforehand of what papers you will need when shipping a car to Germany. Some of these documents include:
- Whether your car is owned outright or financed, the original title and registration (or equivalent) must be present with the vehicle when it is shipped. A notarized letter from the lien holder will also suffice if the original title is held until paid in full.
- Proof that the car is insured must also accompany the vehicle. If it is not insured, it cannot be shipped, and the insurance should not be expired either.
- Photo ID of the owner (or legal representative) must be presented – can be done as an unexpired driver’s license, state ID, or passport.
- If someone is acting on behalf of the vehicle owner, there must be a notarized letter indicating that they have the permission or power of attorney documentation. The VIN must be present on the paperwork showing the authorization to transport the vehicle.
- A bill of sale showing the price of the vehicle or a notarized copy of the bill of sale must be present in international shipments.
- The Bill of Lading is required between the customer and the shipping company to ship a car in the same condition as documented before the shipment.
- Documents that prove that state sales tax was paid when the vehicle was purchased.
- Payment for the import duty or taxes must be made before it can be brought across the border of any country.
Many of the documents required in vehicle transport are meant to ensure that the vehicle is not stolen and that it is legal for import or export.
What happens if the required documents are not present at the time of shipment/border crossing?
If the required documents are not present when you ship a vehicle, it is possible that customs at the border hold your vehicle or reject it altogether.
While it is possible to try and ship your vehicle overseas without a shipping agent or customs broker, we recommend having one so that you know that you are compliant with all of the country and port requirements ahead of time.
What is a customs broker, and what do they do?
A customs broker works closely with U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) and is a group of empowered individuals, partnerships, associations, or corporations licensed and regulated by the CBP. A customs broker assists car buyers, vehicle owners, importers and exporters to ensure they meet the Federal requirements governing how to ship a car.
Customs brokers also submit all the necessary information and payments to the CBP on behalf of their clients and bill a terminal handling charge for other car shipping services. Brokers need to have expertise in:
- Entry procedures
- Admissibility requirements
- Rates of duty and any applicable import turnover tax and fees for imported merchandise
Applicants who want to be a customs broker must be U.S. citizens at least 21 years of age, not current Federal Government employees, and be of good moral character. Those who are eligible must do the following to become brokers:
- Pass the Customs Broker License Examination
- Submit the broker license application and applicable fees
- Have your application approved by CBP