Greetings from the team at There are some important elements to consider when serving our clients as a go-to resource in the space of shipping vehicles overseas. Over the past 34 years we have been successfully shipping vehicles overseas for a variety of clients. Today, we want to honor a specific group of our clients, which are those active in The Military. We understand that there are many moving parts that go into being re-located to a base overseas. We have the pleasure of serving many of our Active Military clients as they ship their vehicles to Europe. What we’ve found is there are six points to consider as an Active member of The Military shipping your vehicle overseas.

Before we explore these 6 points, we just wanted to clarify that no car can leave USA if it has a lien on it. The only exception to this rule is people who serve in the US Military as well as Government employees/contractors. In these cases, a letter of authorization from the lender will be needed to issue a pass from US Customs.We have some great news. The government will pay to ship one vehicle to your overseas destination. Below you’ll find the 6 key points that will support your overseas vehicle shipping process.


Limitations — You will be limited by your vehicle’s type and weight. The government will pay to ship a typical family car but not something that’s recreational or oversized. Your family sedan will usually pass the test, but you may have to make alternative plans for shipping your oversized truck or SUV overseas.

Vehicle Modifications — Many military members take great pride in personalizing their vehicle by adding fun modifications to it. Those modifications, completed using local standards and laws, may not be legal in other countries. Additionally, some non-factory modifications must meet special requirements to be shipped. The regulations vary, so be sure to check with your transportation or relocation office for information specific to your new duty station. This will set you up for a smooth process when shipping your vehicle overseas.

Time limits — While you may have to follow a strict timeline while relocating, there are multiple time limits when shipping your POV. Departure and return shipping times vary by service branch so be sure to discuss the terms with your transportation or relocation office and plan accordingly.

Weight — Weight limitations for vehicles are very strict. While your car may tip the scales 500 pounds below the weight limit, don’t assume that will give you unlimited space to pack personal items inside your vehicle while shipping overseas. There are Military guidelines detailing what can be shipped overseas inside your vehicle.

Licensing — Once you reach your destination, you will need to follow local licensing and registration laws. These laws vary significantly from country to country, and deadlines for registering your vehicle tend to be tight. Review these guidelines with your relocation office so that you can plan accordingly and avoid fines while shipping your vehicle overseas.

Buying a car at your destination — For some Military families, two vehicles are simply a necessity. For others, the option to save and enjoy a lower sticker price for a foreign car is a total win. Whatever the motivating factor, many people opt to purchase a car while overseas. Keep in mind that the regulations listed above also apply when moving back. Different countries have different standards and some vehicles in foreign countries — even American cars — may not be legal to drive in the United States. If you purchase a car overseas, do your research so you don’t run into any issues when returning home.


Thank you for joining us while we share some important information to support our Active Military in the process of shipping their vehicle overseas. is your resource for international vehicle shipping. We are equipped to ship cars to Europe, Africa, Latin America and The Middle East. With our 34 years of industry expertise you can trust that we deliver! Ready for an International car shipping quote, visit our website and let our team serve you

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Important info to Ship a Car Overseas:
  • No car can leave USA if it has a lien on it. What does this mean? Your car must be paid in full. The only people who can ship a car overseas and still carry a lien on the car are US Military and Government employees/contractors. For those people a letter of authorization from the lender will need to be issued to pass US Customs. Otherwise the car may be considered stolen.
  • A clear Title of Ownership with no Liens on the Title.
  • If you bought a car new, then your name must be listed on the front of the Title as the registered owner.
  • If the vehicle has been sold, then both the Seller and Buyer have to sign the back of the Title in the spaces as detailed on the back of the Title.
  • For safety reasons, the vehicle cannot have more than a ¼ tank of gas.
Import Duty for Destination Country:
  • Import duty is NOT collected by Ship Overseas. It must be paid at the arrival port by whoever is picking up the car. We wrote a blog post about vehicle import duty here. It talks about how to find out import duty for your country.
Travel & Living Abroad:
  • Most countries will allow a traveler to temporarily import their car for up to 6 months. After the 6 months is up, import duty will be charged. For many travelers going to Europe and taking their car, a deposit is paid up front. When the car goes back to it's destination country, the deposit is refunded. If a person has lived in USA for 1 or more years, most countries will allow that person to bring their car back duty free! The car must not have any liens on it. Please check with your Customs Department first.
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