How Long Does it Take to Ship a Car to Europe?

This will depend largely on the type of vehicle you’re shipping, what method you’re using, where you’re shipping it from, and which country it’s going to. To ship a car from NYC to Europe, this takes about 10 days. Los Angeles to Europe could take three to four weeks. It’s important to note that arrival times are not guaranteed, as weather and mechanical troubles can cause delays. But delays are rare: most ships run on a very tight schedule.


In general, vehicles can make it across the Atlantic to the destination port in two to three weeks.


Possible Delays

Transporting a car by ship means you have to contend with weather delays out at sea. The ship may hit inclement weather and slow down the transport. This may happen during hurricane season, which runs from June through November.

Other delays could involve the way you ship your vehicle. For example, if your motorcycle will be loaded on a shared container, you will have to wait until that container is completely filled with other motorcycles. This means your cycle could be sitting at the port for a while. You should be told about these possible delays due to shipping method when you book your trip.

Sometimes, vehicles can take up to a month to arrive, especially if there are weather delays or paperwork delays at Customs. That’s why it’s important to have all necessary documentation on hand, such as the title, to ensure smooth passage.



Being prepared beforehand will save time as well. There are things you must do to properly prepare the vehicle for transport:

  • Make sure there is no more than a ¼ tank of gas in the vehicle. This is for safety reasons.
  • Have a clear Title of Ownership with no liens on the title.
  • Make sure your name is listed on the front of the Title as the registered owner, if you have purchased the car new.
  • Your car must be paid in full.
  • Be prepared to pay import duty at the arrival port by whomever is picking up the car.
  • If you are using the RoRo shipping method, make sure you don’t have personal belongings in the vehicle. If you are using container shipping, you are allowed to ship additional items in the trunk or backseat of your vehicle.


If you’re ready to ship your car to Europe, call Ship Overseas toll free at 888-805-4994 or 858-547-0840, or get a quote online – the easiest and most convenient way!


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