Car Shipping Netherlands
Importing Vehicles into the Netherlands From The United States
Shipping A Car To The Netherlands
Typical Shipping Prices – How Much Does It Cost?
- Vehicles transported to the Netherlands from the U.S. usually cost from $1,600 to $4,100 to ship.
- A shipping container is the cheapest way to ship a car to the Netherlands, particularly since the country has a number of available shipping ports.
Cost & Time Examples For Shipping a Car to Netherlands
|Los Angeles to (California port) to Rotterdam||$350||$3,000||5+30|
|Las Vegas, NV to (California port) to Amsterdam||$450||$3,000||5+30|
|Phoenix, AZ to (California port) to Amsterdam||$550||$3,000||6+30|
|Charlotte, NC to (New York port) to Amsterdam||$575||$2,100||6+12|
|Chicago, IL to (New York port) to Rotterdam||$675||$2,100||6+12|
|Atlanta, GA to (New York port) to Amsterdam||$700||$2,100||6+12|
|Denver, CO to (California port) to Rotterdam||$775||$3,000||7+30|
|Memphis, TN to (New York port) to Amsterdam||$800||$2,100||6+12|
|Miami, FL to (New York port) to Rotterdam||$925||$2,100||7+12|
|Dallas, TX to (California port) to Amsterdam||$1,025||$3,000||7+30|
*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 the nearest port.
*Allow an additional 10 days to process the documents.
*Prices are for 1 car in a dedicated 20ft container. 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.
Importing a car into the Netherlands may sound like a daunting task, but understanding the rules and regulations involved will make the process much easier. A foreign registered vehicle may be driven in the Netherlands for up to three months; after that point, the vehicle must have Dutch number plates. The fees for importing and registering a vehicle in the Netherlands vary according to several factors, including the age, origin, and condition of the vehicle.
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Choosing The Right Shipping Method
Several different shipping methods are available, when transporting a vehicle overseas to the Netherlands. The perfect choice for your situation may depend upon the specific type of vehicle being shipped (car, motorcycle, RV, boat, etc), speed, safety, cost and other factors.
Roll-on/roll-off shipping uses specialized cargo ships with lowerable ramps - allowing vehicles to be driven directly onto the vessel. Often these ships are very large, with multiple decks for housing cars, trucks, vans, RVs and more. The advantages of this approach are fast loading and unloading times, and in many cases a lower cost compared to other transport options (1). RoRo shipping is also available for motorcycles, as long as they’re strapped securely down into place.
If you’re relocating to the Netherlands and have household goods to ship along with your vehicle, then container shipping could be a sensible choice. This will enable you to pack all of your belongings into a single weather-tight space for the long ocean crossing.
Cars, Trucks, SUVs and Vans
Nearly all cars fit easily into a shipping container, though you may wonder if your truck, SUV or van can be accommodated. You may be surprised to learn that the dimensions of SUVs and even full-size cargo vans typically allow them to be shipped via container. For instance, even a Cadillac Escalade will have almost 1.5 feet of height clearance - though the side to side clearance will be tight (at just over 1 foot) (2).
Recreational vehicles are another story, however, and it’s extremely unlikely that you’ll be able to use a container to ship an RV. As a case in point, the average width of a Class B recreational vehicle (the smallest class) is 7 feet - which would leave 8 inches of clearance. However, the height of even shorter models is well over 9 feet - which is too tall for even a high cube container (which has an interior height of just 8’9”) (3).
In fact, your full-size travel trailer probably can’t be shipped in a container either. The average width of a travel trailer is 8 feet, and containers provide only a fraction over 7’8” of sideways clearance (4). However, a compact travel trailer (often referred to as a Lite model) will often load easily into a standard container (5).
Flat Rack Shipping
If you want an alternative to RoRo shipping for your RV or full-size travel trailer, flat rack shipping could be a viable option. Rather than using an enclosed container, flat rack shipping employs containers without a roof or sides. The ends of the container can either be collapsible or fixed (6).
Since the vehicle being shipped can be wider and taller than the container (to a point) - flat rack shipping can be used for oversized vehicles that won’t fit in a standard container. Though typically utilized to export large cargo like heavy machinery, you could use this method for an RV or travel trailer, as it may well be cheaper than some other options (7).
Finally, lift-on/lift-off (LoLo) shipping is available, and this approach has its own set of advantages and drawbacks. With a built-in crane on board, a LoLo ship can utilize more ports, as it doesn’t require a fixed crane to be available at the docks. In addition, a LoLo ship can typically handle large and even very large vehicles - possibly making this a good choice if you wish to ship an oversized RV or boat to the Netherlands (8).
In addition, your RV doesn’t need to be in working condition, as the crane will load it onto the ship (9). However, lift-on/lift-off shipping tends to be more expensive than RoRo and container shipping, and the loading and unloading process is slower than RoRo shipping (10).
If a vehicle has been owned for at least six months and has been driven more than 6,000 km, it may qualify to be imported duty-free. The documents needed to request a tax-free import may be obtained from the Tax Administration. Contact Dutch customs at 0800-0143 to start the process of your tax-free import.
Note: If you import a vehicle tax-free, you must own it for at least 12 months after immigrating to the Netherlands. If a vehicle is sold prior to being in the Netherlands for 12 months, you will be liable for paying all of the import fees that were waived.
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Taxes and Fees
The Netherlands levies several taxes and fees on vehicles before a number plate can be issued. These taxes and fees may include:
- Value Added Tax (VAT/BTW)
- BPM - a “green” tax that the first person to register a vehicle in the Netherlands is required to pay
- Import Duties
Required Documents For Shipping A Vehicle To The Netherlands
- Bill of sale/purchase invoice
- Proof of identity (passport or driver’s license)
- Foreign Vehicle Registration CertificateCertificate of Conformity
- Title or proof of ownership
- Proof of insurance for 6 months
- VAT (value-added tax) receipt
- Proof of residency outside EU (12 months)
- Bill of lading
All vehicles operating in the Netherlands must be approved by the RWD (National Service for Road Traffic). An RWD location can be found by calling 0900-0739. When you visit an RWD approval center, the following are required:
Note: Vehicles registered in another EU country, or those that are included as part of your personal moving inventory (no matter the country of origin) will be approved for operation in the Netherlands.
After your vehicle has been approved by the RWD, you may register your vehicle. This process takes place within the BPM department of the Customs Authorities, located within the RWD offices. You must bring the following:
- The vehicle
- BPM form issued by the RWD
- Proof of origin of the vehicle
- Certificate of Conformity or the Individual Vehicle Approval (if the vehicle is coming from outside the EU
During the registration process, the BPM amount that you owe will be calculated. After you have paid the fee, the Customs Authorities will submit proof of payment to the RWD, and they will send you a vehicle registration certificate showing that the vehicle is registered in your name.
Note: In some cases, BPM fees may be waived. Visit the website of the Tax Authorities for further details.
Click here to learn more about vehicle registration process in the Netherlands.
Number Plate and Insurance
After your vehicle is registered, you can obtain a number plate for your vehicle through the RWD. At this time it is also important to arrange auto insurance. The Netherlands mandates carrying liability insurance; you may elect to purchase more comprehensive insurance for your protection.