The Average Cost to Ship a Car Overseas

by Joseph Eitel

It's difficult to generalize how much it costs to ship a car overseas because it greatly depends on the size of the car, its operating condition and the shipping destination. It's also important to understand that cars located closer to shipping terminals will cost dramatically less to ship than those located far from terminals. Thousands of people ship their cars to different locations every year. While it may seem overwhelming initially, it can be done with little trouble.

The Facts

Shipping a compact car from the U.S. to Europe generally will start around $750. The price skyrockets if shipping a larger automobile, such as a full-sized SUV, which will begin around $2,000. Transporting a standard-sized car to Australia from the United States will cost about $2,950. In most cases, shipping your car overseas requires shipping it in an ocean container. The extra space in the container can be utilized for personal items that will be shipped along with your car. If, for example, you've included household items along with your car being shipped to Australia, the price will be about $3,200 for a 20-foot container that can handle a car and a few small items, or you can pay $4,600 for a 40-foot container that holds up to 47,500 pounds.

Time Frame

The time it takes your car to reach its destination depends on where the car is being shipped. It may take a few days or several weeks. The company you choose to ship your car will provide you with these details as well as any pricing issues that may come up if your car is being shipped to a very distant or unusual location.


Cars can be shipped from several major U.S. cities, including San Francisco and Los Angeles in California; Jacksonville or Miami in Florida; New York City, New York; Norfolk, Virginia; Charleston, South Carolina; Wilmington, Delaware, and Baltimore, Maryland, among others. If a car owner does not live near a terminal, the overseas shipper or local auto mover can transport the car to the nearest shipping terminal for a fee. Depending on the distance from your location to a shipping dock, the price can start at $100 for a few miles or climb to $900 if you're located in the Midwest.


Shipping insurance runs about 1.5 percent to 2.5 percent of the estimated value of the vehicle; some auto policies even cover transport. There also may be port of entry taxes in Europe that can cost around $200. Also, non-operational vehicles will be charged extra for loading and unloading. Other fees include necessary paperwork, such as two copies of a notarized title, a Shipper Export Declaration Form, and a Declaration of Dangerous Goods form.


Sending your car overseas in a shipping container ensures that it will arrive at its destination in the same condition it left the United States.

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