The cost of shipping a car from the USA to France : an overview

How does shipping a car to Europe work ?

Car transportation to overseas destinations is usually done by boat or air, depending on the customers’ requirements and needs. Air shipping is obviously the most expensive option and is most of the time reserved for shipping luxury or collection classic cars that require extra care or fast shipment to a trade fair or other exclusive clients. Sea freight is the most common way cars are shipped internationally. It is a cost effective and safe solution to ship large items. There are many excellent car shipping companies that have years of experience in overseas transport ready to help you with your move.

General considerations

Overseas car shipping companies have the best logistics to organize secure and reliable transport to many European destinations. They use a range of various methods that are priced differently according to the customer’s request. Most cars are shipped using the Ro/Ro option. Cars are rolled on the boat and secured there for the crossing. They are then rolled off on arrival. Companies also offer crates and single or multiple car containers which are a bit more expensive but surely safer as the car is not exposed to salt and water. The average cost of shipping a car from the USA to France can go from $x,1000 to $x,4000. If the car needs to be picked up from the West Coast and you want to bring it to the East Coast, around $1,000 for cross country transport has to be added.

When do prices vary?

Prices can vary for different reasons. Costs are higher in the busy season between April and September, and then go down once the summer movement cools down in October and November. Also, if you choose to deliver the car to the port yourself, or to pick it up as well, the overall cost goes down. Choosing a dedicated container is more expensive but many companies let you fill it with other items that you might need to move. The most common way is the shared container. Your car is loaded in a container with 3 to 4 other cars in the container and the cost is split between the car owners included in the container. Car shipping companies have insurance coverage but, depending on the value of the car, you might want to consider additional coverage as well. To get a fair price, be sure to have a precise view of the kind of shipping you need. Once you have selected some companies to contact, you can start by asking for quotes. Most companies provide them free of charge. Beware of shipping companies that offer very low prices. You might end up with a damaged car and more money to spend on repairs and court fees. Real pros take their work seriously and they know that quality service costs. You should trust them with that. Always check the company’s FMC and BB status, so that you know your car is in capable hands.

What is included in the service?

Most car shipping companies also do all the boring administrative things you would have to take care of if you were doing everything by yourself. The price to ship a car to Europe often includes a lot of practical components such as making sure your car goes through customs. But you will still have to do some preliminary work. To learn about the general laws applicable to cars being imported to France, you can contact the French Embassy in the USA where they have a lot of resources to help you figure out the process. Custom duty of 10% is due on all vehicles of 30 years old and more and they have to be paid once the car is at port of entry. There, a value added tax ( VAT) at the rate of 19,8% will also be calculated and due at port of entry as well as some unloading fees in case you chose to go with a container. Car shipping companies will be able to tell you what other documents are required, and they will make sure you do not forget any. The most important thing is to start planning your shipment early enough, as it takes around 10 days just to sort out the papers.

What do I do once my shipment is booked?

You can either take the car to the port yourself or wait for the pick-up by the company if you have decided on a door-to-door delivery option. But before that, make sure to clean your car inside and outside, check the brakes, remove any unnecessary items, and turn off any alarm systems you might have. Do not fill the gas tank completely, it adds weight and is not really useful. Note if there are any existing damages, and as your car is shipped clean it will be easy to spot any new damages that could happen during transport. Once your car is on its way, some car shipping companies have tracking services available so that you can follow the delivery process.

Shipping a car from the USA to France does not have to be a stressful or excessively expensive experience. By following a few clear rules, planning in advance, and choosing the right company for your needs, your car will get to its destination securely and efficiently. Car shipping companies know how to get all the right discounts from trucking services, ports and warehouses, and the overall price of the transport will be way cheaper than if you had attempted it yourself. Peace of mind and time saved for other important matters in your life.