The best guide: How to import a vehicle from the USA to Europe from day 1

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import car usa to europe

All the information you need to import a vehicle to Europe.

Can I import a vehicle from the USA to Europe ?

The answer is yes! It is perfectly possible, but the process is not as easy as we would like. You have to locate a seller, of which there are not a few, carry out the purchase operation and then proceed to import the vehicle. The best option, for the purchase, is to travel to the United States, although the operation can be done remotely both by phone and by email.

There are a few steps that need to be followed in order to achieve this:

  • You need to have the car in use and possession for a minimum of six months.
  • You lived outside the European Union for at least 12 consecutive months.
  • You will not be lending, renting, or transferring the vehicle within twelve months after the date on which the vehicle was imported.
  • You are importing the vehicle within the year of taking up residence in the European Union.
  • Import a vehicle from the USA to Europe

How much does it cost to import a vehicle from the USA to EU?

The cost to import a vehicle from the USA to Europe ranges are between $850 to $5,000, depending on the size of the vehicle.  If you want the car to travel alone in a shipping container, the cost could double. However, travelling in a solitary container could be the best option if you’re transporting a classic or antique car.
It will also depend on where your vehicle is located, the size of the vehicle, the transport method you choose, and destination requirements.

How do I export a vehicle from the USA to Europe?

To transport your car from the USA to Europe, you’re going to need to hire the services of an experienced international car shipping company. You cannot possibly do it on your own, it has many steps, and it has to be done by a company with experience.

Some tips you need to follow before exporting a car from the US:

  • Search for reputable auto shipping companies that specialize in overseas car transport.
  • Compare car shipping quotes from each company to have the best option.
  • Be sure the overseas car shippers are properly licensed by the Federal Maritime Commission.
  • Make a comparison with the estimated price you’ve received from each company. Take a special look at the car shipping services and conditions, that is super important.
  • Read customer reviews and check import a vehicle from the USA to Europe the overall ratings left by previous customers.
  • Choose the auto transport company that offered the best price and has the best ratings.

Can you register an American car in Europe?

In order to register an American car in Europe, the vehicle needs to be homologized.

Homologation is the process which requires imported vehicles to comply with safety and other regulations before they can be approved for registration in Europe. If the car is imported from outside the EU, it must be subjected to the homologation procedure, ensuring that it is certified by an officially recognized laboratory or the manufacturer itself. Basically, the vehicle must be tested for compliance before it can be registered in a particular European country.

It is important to know, it is a complicated and lengthy process. Details and documentation required by authorities vary from one country to another. So, it is best that you visit the customs website of the country you are planning to import the JDM car to.

Does it cost more to insure an import car?

Usually, yes. That is something that can be expected.
Many insurers won’t even give you a quote for an imported car, so you would need to look for a specialist in imported car insurance.
The reason an imported car is more expensive to cover is because of the huge unknowns an insurer will face. It’s not always clear how much it would cost to find replacement parts, for example.
Not being able to fully understand the risks of an imported car (particularly when it comes to repairing costs and sourcing replacement parts) means most insurers are unlikely to provide cover.

Import a vehicle from the USA to Europe

Here are some important tips:

  • Search for an insurer that specializes in high-performance or imported cars.
  • Be aware that high-performance and modified cars are more expensive to insure. Investigate that before starting the process.
  • Show the insurer that you keep the vehicle secure by installing an alarm or keeping it stored in a locked garage.

What is the cheapest way to ship a car to Europe?

Importing a vehicle from the USA to Europe is not an easy task. We all know the fastest way to ship a vehicle from America to Europe is in a private Container. But it is also the most expensive, so here you have two alternative options that are more affordable:

Roll-on Roll-off (RoRo shipping): RoRo shipping is typically the cheapest way to ship a car to Europe in terms of car shipping rates, but least secure. In the roll-on roll-off process for shipping vehicles, the car is physically driven onto the ship and physically driven off the ship.
With this in mind, be sure not to leave personal items on it, since other people will have access to your car.
Also, you need to make sure your car functions correctly, or you will incur additional costs for the handling of vehicles that cannot be driven.

Shared Container: This option might take longer because you need to wait until the container is filled, but it allows you to share the costs with other people.
With shared container shipping, the trucker makes a condition report when the vehicle is picked up, and CFR makes one when the car is received. The process of loading the vehicle into the shipping container is also photographed and recorded, and the shipping container is then shut and sealed and not opened until delivered, except for a customs inspection. The car doesn’t need to run and drive, you can also store additional items inside the vehicle so long as you create a packing list.

Some of the most popular vehicle brands imported: