If you would like to know more about shipping a car from the USA to France, you will appreciate this in-depth guide. We will cover:
Shipping Car from USA to France
Because Ship Overseas, Inc. has been shipping cars back and forth between the USA and France for 40 years, you can rest assured we know a thing or two about the industry. Don’t worry about the process. It may seem daunting at first, but we will hold your hand throughout. We are here to answer all your questions regarding the shipping process to France, including Pricing, Documents, Departure, and Arrival Ports.
To receive accurate pricing, we will need the Year/Make/Model of your car, Pickup Zip Code or Departure Port, and Destination Country (in this case France).
Most people pay us a bit extra to pick up their vehicle from their residence rather than getting it to the port themselves. When you get a quote to ship your car to France, you will see an optional charge for us to pick up your car for you and transport it to the shipping port. This option is easiest for you because you don’t have to incur the costs of gas and food, time off work, getting back home, and possibly spending a couple of nights in hotels. Letting us do it for you will only cost you a couple of hundred dollars extra and we’ll take the car to the nearest port in France.
The departure shipping ports located throughout the United States that ship to France include:
Newport News, VA
Long Beach, CA
Remember, you can take the car to one of these ports or we can pick up your car for you at your doorstep and do it for you.
Arrival At Shipping Terminal in France
All shipping lines arrive in Le Havre, the port authority of the French city of Le Havre. The second-largest commercial port in France in tonnage, it’s also the country’s largest container port featuring three sets of terminals. This is where your designated person will pick up the car, bringing cash to pay in person for Tax or Duty. See the section below for Vehicle Import Tax & Duty.
I feel bad as I see a lot of people writing bad comments about this company. I've NEVER had a problem with them. NEVER.(Regarding the negative reviews..)Ship overseas is not an insurance provider, but rather a shipping company -- you must make sure to get insurance when shipping your vehicle so that no damages occur to it. They don't own the ship, nor workers, and of course as a result cannot guarantee the people on the ship won't damage your car.ShipOverseas is my go-to when I have to ship my cars. Which sounds funny to say, but I've actually shipped my car multiple times with them.Jack, one of the agents and owner is always very helpful, and does a great job of putting in trust in clients by making sure you understand the process in detail.I've transported my CLA45 AMG from the US to Belgium, without a problem, and have shipped it back, and am now buying a new car and shipping it back!You could say I'm somewhat of a (very happy) repeat customer – Photos for reference!
We highly recommend Shipoverseas services! Not only are they specialized in shipping gas/diesel motor operated cars but also specialize in shipping EV vehicles as well. We used there International shipping services to ship a 2022 Porsche Taycan to Dubai. The car arrived in less than a month in perfect shape, same as leaving our location. We worked with both Jack and Gary, both were great communicating and providing a timely status update. We will definitely be a regular customer! Thank you Jack and Gary!
Thank you Miron and Ship Overseas Team for helping me ship my car to Finland. I appreciate your response when I needed answers. Also many thanks for helping me find an agent in Kotka, Finland.I will definitely refer your company to my friends and colleagues.
We got a really good services. Jack always answers your so many questions with a short delay , for sure in the day , most of the time in the hour ( and in the minute too ). Really good communication. That's why we choose Ship Over Seas from the other company quotes we received. Good services , good prices , that's the criteria for our choice we don't regret at all. Thanks again.
Shipped my car from NC to Puerto Rico. They took care of the transport of my car from NC to the port in FL, and then on the ship from FL to PR. The staff was very responsive to all communications I sent, especially while my car was in transit. I always knew exactly where my vehicle was. Very kind and helpful staff, especially when I was just calling to inquire in the beginning. Will use them again if I ever need to ship my car back stateside.
Very helpful, quick response to questions. Shipped my car to Costa Rica, no issues what so ever. I had shipped cars previously with other companies but Ship Overseas helped with the best solution which for my needs was RORO. I will definitely ship with them again, thanks again SHIP Overseas..
Shipped my vehicle from Newark, NJ to Southampton, United Kingdom safely and quickly. All the complicated paperwork was laid out clearly for me to figure out the process. I was able to drive my own car in England a few weeks after dropping it off in the US. Would recommend!
I used Ship Overseas back in 2019 to ship my 2008 Harley Softtail from Galveston Texas to Belgium. I forget exactly how long it took, perhaps in the two month range. However, the bike did eventually arrive and was completely ready for me at pickup. They even handled all the import paperwork etc. My only complaint would be that somehow the bike had accumulated almost 100 extra miles on it from when I dropped in off, and picking it up. Perhaps they needed to run it around the boat a few 1000 times. Also, there were a couple of parts missing from my saddle bags. Lesson: NEVER leave anything that can't be bolted to the object you are shipping. Otherwise, great service and a very good shipping experience.
ShipOverseas was a great partner in shipping a Chevy Bolt EV to Helsinki Finland. The representatives provided easily understood descriptions of the roll on-roll off process, required paperwork, payments, etc. We drove the car onto the Galveston, TX dock with an accompanying guide. It was 100% smoothly accomplished. The car was transferred in Germany without problems (it is an electric vehicle with some unique starting characteristics) and offloaded near Helsinki, Finland. The photo shows incredibly clean conditions at the destination despite weeks at sea. I can highly recommend ShipOverseas for safe, economical, and successful vehicle shipping.
If you never had your car shipped before, I can tell you that it can be a very fearful, and stressful event, but I can vouch 1st hand that this agency took all the thought fear and stress away! We moved my XT-5 from DFW to overseas (Bahrain). We didn't have any issues, and it was relatively fast considering it's been shipped across the seas. I will 100% recommend this company to anyone and everyone. Hassle-free and delivers what was promised. I'll definitely be using them whenever we decide to return stateside!
i shipped an 89' Land Rover Defender from italy to the US without troubles, they took care of all docs and around 60 days later the car was at the port in VA. i'd definitely use them again in the future.
I shipped two cars from Savannah to Germany. Super easy process and the rates were better than anyone elses that i was getting for the same route. Would recommend them to anyone for their shipping needs. They helped along the way to get the documents needed and explained the process clearly so i knew exactly what needed to be done to have my cars on the boat that I needed them to be on. Pickup on the other side was easy as well with who shipoverseas was partnered with where my vehicles arrived. They were in contact with me often so i knew that the vehicles were on time and when to have everything ready. I will certainly be in touch again when it's time to return from my oversea travels. Thanks for the smooth process!
My car purchase and shipping to the Middle East was full of challenges and complications, however the one thing that was 100% smooth was the part handled by Miron from Ship Overseas. Great service and communication from beginning to end. Highly recommend.
This company and team were tremendously professional & also the least expensive company I found. I researched quite a few before settling on ShipOverseas. I’m glad I chose them, they were able to deliver my vehicle to my destination port in Korea when others said they could only deliver to one port in Korea and for less money. I will definitely use them again and recommend anyone shipping anyone to consult with ShipOverseas.com. Well done!
Hello Tere! Last summer I sent my car to Estonia. I was scared little bit because it was my first time ( maybe even last!) to do this kind of thing. But it went very smoothly - unexpectedly . Most difficult thing was driving myself to the port, but I did it! I could order somebody from Ship Overseas, but it cost money. And paperwork was pretty normal. The same day, I left to the airport, I got phone call that they sent car title to my old address. Wow! I thought that this title goes directly to the Estonian port, but I was wrong. They sent this very important paper over to my son.It arrived on time when I was ready to show car documents to the toll office. Everything ended very well ! Thanks to Ship Overseas. And , by the way, sending my car to Estonia was much, much cheaper than other companies offered. I am thankful !!!
I have worked with this company for many years. We started shipping cars overseas in 2004. They are the BEST! They take a serious interest in making sure your car gets where it needs to go and will walk you through all the steps to make it a smooth move! We have shipped many cars to the UK and Germany as well as several to Bahrain, I cannot imagine using anyone else. Jack, Paul, Miron and April all made my job a lot easier for over 18 years
Om my GOSH! Words can't express how grateful I am for the experience I had with Ship Overseas. Living and working overseas can be a challenge but when I called they knew exactly what to do. Other shipping companies gave a long list of the things I needed, the paperwork, questions, and the costs. Overseas got me situated in one phone call. It was fabulous!!
Ship Overseas has great rates and staff! After using them to ship my car to Germany I knew I would use them when returning to the US as well. I did get quotes both times from numerous companies but no one could beat Ship Overseas. Shipping is a breeze with them and their staff are great at getting back to you in a timely manner!
So, how much will it cost you to ship a car to France? It’s more affordable than you first assumed.
The cost to ship a car to France start at $1055 from Baltimore, MD.
The cost to ship a car to France will also depend on these factors:
You will pay more if you want us to pick up your car at your house.
Compact cars are more affordable to ship vs. large SUVs.
You will save money if you personally drop off the car and meet us at the departure shipping port (remember, you’ll have to make travel arrangements for getting back home).
If you’re shipping from the East Coast USA, it’s cheaper than shipping from the West Coast.
Departure & Arrival Ports, Starting Costs, & How Long Shipping Takes
The Estimated Time in Transit only includes the time from when your car arrives at the shipping terminal; it does not include the transit time from when the trucker picks up your car. In general, it takes five weeks to get a car from East Coast and West Coast USA to the French port.
The base cost to ship a car from the USA to France is as follows:
$1190 Newark, NJ
$1055 from Baltimore, MD
$1195 from Newport News, VA
$1670 from Tacoma, WA
$1670 from Long Beach, CA
The final price tag to you will depend on the year/make/model of your car, the departure shipping port, and whether you need us to pick up your car or you decide to drop it off yourself.
To ship a car from the USA to France, it will cost you 20% Import Tax and 9% VAT (Value Added Tax). Please contact us so we can give you our Clearing Agent’s information. There is a destination handling charge of approximately $300.
If you are in the USA, contact the French Embassy by phone if you need the latest information.
4101 Reservoir Rd NW
Washington, DC 20007
Please note that Ship Overseas does NOT collect the import duty. It must be paid at the time the car is being picked up.
We are authorized shippers for the US military to France. Usually, you can expect the payment for the shipment of your car to France to be covered by the military. If you are shipping a second car (such as when your spouse also wants to ship their car at the same time), you will be responsible for paying for the shipment.
The car must have four wheels or more, with exceptions for mopeds and motorcycles.
The car must be owned or being leased by a member of the military or a dependent
The car must be self-propelled and legal on public highways
If the car is leased, written consent for transport must be included from the third party
Travelers (Temporary Imports)
Anyone traveling to the EU will be able to bring their car for up to six months, which qualifies as a temporary import. Leave a deposit for the temporary import upon arrival, due upfront. It will be refunded when you leave.
If you are an EU citizen and have lived outside the EU for 6 months, you can bring your car back without having to pay import fees.
New/Used Car Purchase
If the car is owned for less than 1 year and if the final destination is an EU member country, you will pay 20% Import Tax; 9% VAT (Value Added Tax). Salvage titles are accepted and there are no limits on the vehicle age.
Classic Car Purchase
Duty for importing classic cars is 7%, while duty for all other cars is 20%.
Sometimes you can’t arrange for pickup at the same time the car arrives at port. In this case, the Le Havre port will charge you storage fees. Contact us for the latest storage fee amounts.
It’s wise to buy optional marine insurance. We offer full coverage of Marine Insurance against Loss or Damage, which lasts from the time your car is loaded onto the ship until you take possession. The cost is 1.75% of the value you want the car insured for. We recommend this option if you cannot afford out-of-pocket cash for repairs or losses, which can be high. However, rest assured, we have never lost a vehicle unless in hurricane conditions, and that is rare. Note, that hurricane season is from June 1 to November 30. Please learn more about Marine Insurance here.
Shipping Car to France Military, Government Contractors
The only ones who can ship a car overseas and still carry a lien on the car are members of the US Military and Government employees (or contractors). You will need authorization from the lender, and that will be needed to pass US Customs. If not, the car could be considered stolen.
US Military and Dependants
At the French port, you will be asked to pay a destination offloading fee of $300 for sedans and SUVs. These prices are subject to change. To get a release of your vehicle, visit the Officer at your Base in charge of Transport. They will give you a document to complete for Military Tags, which will allow you to drive to your base. You will then have to provide proper identification.
Want your vehicle delivered to your Base? Simply request delivery service from us, and we will arrange the forwarding for you at an extra fee.
Government contractors follow a similar procedure as US military active-duty personnel.
Documents Required to Ship Car to France
If you want to ship a car to France, you’ll need to gather the Original Title and Valid Identification.
A1. If there is a Lien recorded on the vehicle, and you are in the Military, Government, or State service, the Lien Holder must provide permission to export the vehicle, in the form of an Original Letter from the Lienholder. You will also need three certified copies of the Certificate of Title and will have to present your Military orders or a letter from the Government or State authority. Bring a copy of the Title Record History obtainable from the Department of Motor Vehicles in the State in which the vehicle is registered.
A2. You must provide Everything in (A) The original Certificate of Title of Ownership of the vehicle without a Lien recorded on the Title.
A3. You will need the following:
Copy of Passport
Power of Attorney Form for international residents.
Vehicle Registration in France
Get your International Driver’s License from the AAA Automobile Association in your area. Your American Driver’s License will cover this throughout Europe. Are you a tourist or a temporary resident? You may drive with your American license plates in a foreign country until your registration expires for that year.
No Sales Tax is payable to the Seller and proof of export will be given to the Seller if requested.
If the vehicle is used or pre-owned, the existing Certificate of Title can be endorsed by the seller to the new owner.
You will need to provide a Bill of Sale.
Depending on which Port the vehicle sails from, you may need a Bill of Sale or a Notarized Bill of Sale.
When you buy a new vehicle, you will need an original Certificate of Origin from the Dealership that sold you the vehicle so it can get through Customs Clearance.
Vehicle Registration For Military & Government Contractors
This will be taken care of at the military base. Be sure to speak with your Officer in Charge. You will also get your military tags for your base.
Vehicle Registration For EU Citizens
Now that your car has passed French Customs, it should meet all safety standards. Take your car to the local DMV, bringing your:
French Customs Clearance information
Proof of residency
Bill of Sale
Original license plates
Note, Ship Overseas Inc. does not provide any guidance from this step on.
This type of shipping is for anything with tires that can Roll-On and Off the ship. These ships are made specifically for vehicles such as cars and motorcycles, as well as motorhomes, campers, trailers, buses, construction vehicles, and boats. Most people use RoRo when shipping one vehicle. The inside of a RoRo ship resembles a big parking garage.
Your car has to be able to make it up and down the ramp without assistance. Once loaded on the RoRo vessel, each vehicle is tied down securely in a designated spot.
Highly efficient and cost-effective, this method provides reliable departure and arrival dates, almost like an airline flight schedule.
RoRo shipping is also the preferred shipping method for new car manufacturers who wish to ship their products. All vehicles are tied to the deck and are not exposed to the ocean. You get peace of mind and additional protection against external elements.
Payment Methods / Options
You only have to come up with payment once your vehicle is at the departure shipping port.
Wire Transfer or Cashier’s Check
This is the most common method of paying for your shipment if you are not in the USA. We will send you our bank information once your order has been placed.
Wire Transfer or Cashier’s Check
This is the most common method of paying for your shipment if you are not in the USA. We will send you our bank information once your order has been placed.
Credit Card & Zelle
If you are paying with Zelle, you don’t have to pay service fees (bank-to-bank transfer).
For credit card payments, you will be charged a 3% service fee.
Canceling Your Order
Need to cancel your order? Email us as soon as possible. Payment will be refunded via the same payment method you chose, less a $300 cancellation fee.
For safety reasons, the vehicle cannot have more than a ¼ tank of gas.
The destination handling charge is approximately $300.
If the final destination is an EU member country, you also pay 20% Import Tax; 9% VAT (Value Added Tax) if the car is owned for less than 1 year.
If in transit through an EU country, leave a deposit of 30% of the value of the car which is refunded after the car is registered at the final destination country.
There must be a clear Title of Ownership with no Liens on the Title.
If the vehicle has been sold, then both the Seller and Buyer have to sign the back of the Title in the spaces as outlined on the back of the Title.
If you bought the car new, your name must be listed as the registered owner on the front of the Title.
USA Customs Clearance
Ship Overseas, Inc. will clear US Customs for you. While sometimes US Customs agents will look in your trunk, they usually just look through the car’s window and that’s that.
Preparing Your Car for Shipment to France
Here are some helpful tips for prepping your car for shipment.
Check for leaks in the undercarriage, as the car shipping company may refuse service if one is detected. Get it repaired before transporting it.
Check tire pressure, as under-inflated or over-inflated tires are just as risky in transport as they are on the road. You can increase the risk of damage to the tire during loading and unloading.
Disable the alarm so truck drivers don’t have to hassle with the disturbance.
Because your vehicle is being transported, not driven, you don’t have to fill up prior to loading. In addition, having a full tank of gasoline makes your car heavier, which adds risk to the shipment. Leave as little fuel in the tank as possible.
Lock the car – Once your vehicle is loaded onto the auto transport truck, there’s no reason for it to be opened until the time of delivery.
Remove custom accessories so they don’t break off in transit due to their odd size.
Who Can Pick Up The Vehicle in France
You can choose anyone to pick up the vehicle at the destination port. Tell us their name and contact info a few days prior to the sailing date so that they are listed as the Receiver or Consignee in plenty of time. They will have to provide proof of identification with a picture ID, offering the Title of Ownership, and a letter of permission to pick up the vehicle. If you notify us of any changes after your cargo has been loaded on the vessel, you will be charged by the shipping line.