So you have decided ship a car to France as part of your upcoming move or maybe you are taking it on holiday. Bringing your personal vehicle with you can be a tough decision as well as turn into a nightmare if you don't first learn about the different steps involved.
Fortunately, our auto shipping company ships cars to France regularly and has more than 38 years experience. Our goal is that this overview will help you with the process.
The following information is specific to car shippping to France from the USA. For more general info like loading, FAQs and services, visit our page on vehicle shipping.
**Our warehouse locations include Los Angeles, Houston TX, Savannah, Miami and New York.**
To ship a car to France, the two primary options are with your own 20ft sole use container, or using a shared container service which means your car will be loaded with others in a 40ft container and then transported.
Another method is called Roll on Roll off. This is an option, however the logistics involved when using a container to ship a car overseas, provides an added level of protection which is why we recommend it.
Also, the availability of entry ports when shipping cars to France via container service are more widely available because not every port can handle RoRo vessels.
If you need to transport a larger vehicle like a truck or automobile that is too wide to fit in one of the mentioned containers, you can call one of our representatives and discuss the options available to you.
The cost to ship a car to France will depend on the 1) type of vehicle 2) which departure port you use in the USA as well as the 3) method of shipment and the 4) final destination.
If you are looking for the most cost effective and secure way to ship a vehicle to France, use a shared container service rather than paying for your own 20ft. It will save you hundreds of dollars.
Additionally, another factor to take into consideration when looking at overall price is pickup/delivery to the departure port or warehouse.
It's understandable that not everyone will live close enough to one of our 5 USA warehouse locations. For those that do, you will always be able to deliver vehicles in person rather than using our dispatch service.
Below, we've listed the port information as well as estimated transit times when shipping a car from the USA to France.
These estimates are for port to port and assume that we receive all the necessary documents up front, the car is ready for departure and that we have a full container ready to be shipped.
Shipping a car to Le Havre:
Le Havre is a more common port for container services and is in the north of France. Sailings for this port of entry are more regular and have a shorter time on the ocean.
It generally takes between 4-5 weeks on the water from our west coast office in Los Angeles. This time is the ocean transit, and does not include the consolidation period.
From the west coast, we recommend clients give themselves at least 6-8 weeks for the entire process. However, it can take longer when sharing a container.
Those relocating to France and shipping a vehicle from the east coast have a shorter port to port sail time of 2-3 weeks.
Car Shipping to Marseille Port (Southern France):
Assuming the same criteria as listed above, it takes 5-6 weeks port to port from Los Angeles once there is a full container. It takes a little longer, as do all the Mediterranean destinations.
From the east coast, the sail time is shorter around 20 days port to port when shipping a car to Marseille, France.
If you are importing a vehicle to France from the US(non-European country), vehicles are subject to the local customs duties as well as France's 19.6% VAT, or value added tax.
There are a few exceptions to this. For those bringing a vehicle on holiday, car or motorcycle, only a deposit is required upfront which you'll receive back upon the export of the vehicle from France.
If you are a US citizen and ship a car to France from the USA as part of a relocation, ie. for work, you can import the automobile as part of your personal effects as long as you have owned it for more than 6 months. You will not be liable for the VAT tax only the 10% duty based on the value of the car.
EU citizens that have lived in the USA for more than a year AND have owned the vehicle longer than 6 months are allowed a one time tax free import for their car.
Since, these taxes can change without notice we advise clients to contact the French embassy to ask what the most current customs duties and taxes are for the imported automobile.
Although not as common, we can also help you ship your car from France back to the USA. There are completely different requirements and you will find that there are fewer options for container services, however we have our own import department and a dedicated import specialists who can help make the process extremely easy. Visit our page on importing vehicles to get started.
If you have any additional questions for car shipping to France please contact us or call (562) 408 6677.
Written by Damien Shields