When it comes to the industry of shipping cars to Europe from the USA, we utilize all the main base ports.
Main Container Ports for Vehicle Shipping in Europe:
|West Europe||North Europe||Mediterranean|
|Rotterdam, Netherlands||Felixstowe, UK||Barcelona, Spain|
|Le Havre, France||Dublin, Ireland||Genoa, Italy|
|Bremerhaven, Germany||Oslo, Norway||Marseille, France|
|Antwerp, Belgium||Aarhus, Denmark|
This list highlights the majority of coastal countries in Europe. These are the main European ports that accept vehicle shipments from the USA.
Start your car shipment to Europe by filling our Online Quote Form and read our guide on how to ship a car to Europe below.
How to Ship a Car to Europe
Shipping cars to Europe is a simple process with the right shipping company.
Schumacher Cargo Logistics is a premier leader in the industry and have shipped cars to and from Europe since 1977. With our dedicated auto export department, we offer the best rates and services to every European country.
Container Shipping to Europe
Container shipping is the most common way to ship a car to Europe. Containers offer necessary protection for the long trip and allow for additional services. Some services include consolidation rates, all-risk insurance, and loading goods inside the vehicle.
Consolidated car shipments are our most popular offering. With our volume of shipments, we can consolidate multiple cars going to the same location in Europe. By doing this, you only need to pay for the space your car takes up. This services offers the best rates with the protection of a container. The only downside with this is the shipment takes longer than exclusive containers because of the extra time to consolidate.
Exclusive containers are generally used when you have enough cars to fill it by yourself. This type of shipping is also used if you need to skip the time for consolidation and need to ship sooner.
RoRo to Europe (Roll on Roll off)
Roll on roll off shipping is less popular, but some niche destinations only offer this service. With this type of shipping, your car is loaded into the belly of the shipping vessel on a first come first serve basis. Since it is open to the elements, all-risk insurance is not available for RoRo.
Air Freight to Europe
Air freight shipping to Europe is used when time is the main concern and cost is not an issue. When using air service, the total transit time is around 2-3 weeks. This shipment type is very expensive and is usually for events or shows where there is a tight deadline and the vehicles are high value.
Shipping a Car to Inland Europe
What if you shipping a car to Switzerland, Austria, the Czech Republic, Hungary, or other inland European countries ?
We can also handle any of the other European countries without direct port access.
In this case, we ship your vehicle in through the nearest European base port. Then we arrange to have the vehicle relocated to its final destination in your country of choice. You can lower your costs by picking the automobile up at the base port, but many customers prefer to have it delivered right to their door.
There are two benefits to doing this
- These base ports will have the best container rates, so you will save money on the ocean freight.
- It’s not always the case, but it often costs less to transport a vehicle to a base port and pay for inland delivery than it does to try to move a car in its own 20′ container to the ‘closest’ port just for the sake of being closer.
Paying for car transport in Europe obviously costs more, but may save you from travelling to the port to collect the car yourself, and then drive it home which adds hundreds of miles to the clock!
When entering in through any EU base port, if your final destination country is within the EU, you can clear customs at the port of entry.
This clearing process is handled by what are called receiving or destination agents. We have many global partners and these agents will assist with things such as documentation to import a car to Europe, clearing customs, pick up and unloading the container.
Best Ports to Use When Shipping a Vehicle to Europe
This question really depends on the client’s specific requirements and schedule but we recommend Bremerhaven, Germany for vehicles.
Germany is a great entry port for many shipments that end up in Austria, Switzerland and the Czech Republic. Antwerp and Rotterdam also serve as easy options.
If you are shipping a motorcycle and clients don’t need their own container, then it is best to use a shared container service to high volume ports like Bremerhaven, Antwerp and Rotterdam.
Remember, the port you choose will also depend on the status of your shipment and the best cost factor for inland transportation.
We have vast experience with inland moves like this, and we can advise on the best route for you and your vehicle(s).
Are There Any Special Documents I Need?
Whenever you are shipping to Europe from the US, documentation is fairly straightforward and will only vary slightly depending on the commodity you are shipping.
If you are moving a vehicle to Europe, such as a car or truck, then the most common documents that we need to export are:
- Original title
- Bill of sale (if vehicle has not been owned for more than 6 months)
- Valid passport or ID
- Power of attorney in some cases, depending on the port of loading
We will use these documents to clear customs, and export your vehicle.
Once the shipment sails from the US, we send all original documents to our handling agent at the port of arrival. They will act on your behalf and clear customs for import.
All documents will be handed back to you when you receive your car.
You will also have your stamped import docs which you should keep in a safe place, as you will need them to register the vehicle at the final destination, and they come in handy should you ever want to relocate the car or motorbike back to the US.
Common Conversions for US Vehicles
Your local customs office or embassy will be able to give you the most up to date information for conversions.
There are a few common ones that will be mandatory if you are importing a vehicle to Europe long term and plan on registering and driving legally.
- Odometer conversion from MPH to KPH
- Meeting emissions standards enforced by the EU country
- Lighting: headlight mirrors, fog lights, yellow parking/side lights
*Some of these will not apply if the vehicle is over 25 years old.
Cost to Ship a Car to Europe
When you are ready to ship your car to Europe, and if price is a major factor when determining who you choose, ask us for a quote.
Rates start as low as $850 for cars depending on vehicle dimensions, pickup location, and EU base port of entry.*
*These estimates are for ocean freight only in a shared container and don’t include destination fees or duties and taxes.
You will get a clear written quotation defining your options from the US origin port to Europe.
Should you need any advice or information prior to making that decision, we are happy to answer all your questions.