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Shipping Car from USA to Germany
Ship Overseas, Inc. has been shipping cars back and forth between USA and Germany for almost 4 decades. There’s no reason to be scared or nervous if you have never shipped a car. This page should answer nearly all questions regarding the shipping process including Pricing, Documents, Departure and Arrival Ports. To get pricing we only need the Year/Make/Model of your car, Pickup Zip Code or Departure Port, and Destination Country (in this case Germany).
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When you get a quote to ship your car to Germany, you’ll see an OPTIONAL charge if you want us to pick up your car for you and transport it to the shipping port. You can do it yourself, but you should compare the costs of gas & food, time off work, how you’ll get back home, and maybe a couple nights at hotels. Or you can just pay a couple hundred dollars for us to take the hassle out of taking the car to the nearest port.
Departure Shipping Ports
This is a list of departure ports where the ships leave from.
- New York, NY
- Baltimore, MD
- Charleston, SC
- Brunswick, GA
- Jacksonville, FL
- Newport News, VA
- Galveston, TX
- Long Beach, CA
- Tacoma, WA
As mentioned above, you can take your car to one of these ports or we can handle it for you.
Arrival At Shipping Terminal in Germany
All shipping lines arrive at Bremerhaven, Germany. This is where the designated person will pick up the car. Remember that we only send quotes for the transport of your car. Whoever picks up the car in Bremerhaven will need some cash to pay in person for Tax or Duty. See the section below for Vehicle Import Tax & Duty
If you ship your cars to Bremerhaven, Germany, you can also send them to the following cities:
How Much Does It Cost to Ship a Car to Germany
- Pricing to ship a sedan or regular SUV to Germany ranges from $781 to $1,000.
- Pricing 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 if you want to drop it off at the shipping port.
- Destination handling charge E150 ($165 USD)
The cost to ship a car to Germany depends on a few main factors. A compact car is cheaper to ship vs. a large SUV. If you’re shipping from the East Coast USA, it’s cheaper than shipping from the West Coast. If you need us to pick up your car at your house, that’s an additional cost. If you want to personally drop off the car and meet us at the departure shipping port, you’ll save money (of course you’ll need to make your own travel arrangements for getting back to your house).
Departure & Arrival Ports, Starting Costs, & How Long Shipping Takes
The Estimated Time in Transit does not include the transit time from when the trucker picks up your car. It only includes the time from when your car arrives at the shipping terminal.
|Shipping To/From||Estimated Time in Transit||Cost|
|Ship Car New York, NY to Bremerhaven, Germany||11-21 Days||From $781|
|Ship Car Baltimore, MD to Bremerhaven, Germany||11-21 Days||From $781|
|Ship Car Charleston, SC to Bremerhaven, Germany||11-21 Days||From $781|
|Ship Car Brunswick, GA to Bremerhaven, Germany||11-21 Days||From $781|
|Ship Car Jacksonville, FL to Bremerhaven, Germany||11-21 Days||From $781|
|Ship Car Newport News, VA to Bremerhaven, Germany||11-21 Days||From $781|
|Ship Car Galveston, TX to Bremerhaven, Germany||21-33 Days||From $791|
|Ship Car Long Beach, CA to Bremerhaven, Germany||28-35 Days||From $1,175|
|Ship Car Tacoma, WA to Bremerhaven, Germany||31-40 Days||From $1,280|
Vehicle Import Tax & Duty & Destination Handling Charge
Destination handling charge E150 ($176 USD)
If you are in USA, contact the Germany Missions in USA by phone if you need the latest information.
4645 Reservoir Rd NW
Washington, DC 20007
German Missions in the United States – Federal Foreign Office
Please note, Ship Overseas does NOT collect the import duty. It must be paid at the time the car is being picked up.
When shipping a car to Germany as a private person and your final destination is another country, you will be charged 30% tax on the value of the vehicle. This is refundable once you register your car in your country.
If you are a German citizen, you will pay 10% customs taxes + 19% VAT. This will not apply if you can show residence out of Germany for more than one year. If the vehicle is owned by a German citizen for less than 6 months and residency is out of Germany for one year, then duty is payable. The destination handling charge is €150.
If you are a Private EU Citizen returning with your vehicle to Europe, you will be subject to the same destination charges above and have to pay a Customs Tax and VAT TAX on the Value of your vehicle. However, if you have owned the vehicle for 6 months or more and can prove residency in the United States for 6 months or more you will not pay the Taxes.
For active military personnel, normally the payment for the shipment of your car to Germany is covered by the military. If you have a 2nd car (normally when a spouse is shipping a car too), you are the one who pays for the shipment.
We are authorized shippers for the US military.
POV Transfer Requirements for Military
- The car must be owned or being leased by a member of the military or a dependent
- The auto must be self-propelled and legal on public highways
- If a leased vehicle, written consent for transport must be included from the third party
- Must have four wheels or more, with exceptions for mopeds and motorcycles
Travelers (Temporary Imports)
Anyone traveling to the EU will be able to bring their car for up to 6 months. This is a temporary import. You’ll need to leave a deposit for the temporary import upon arrival. This deposit needs to be paid upfront. Once a traveler is leaving, the deposit is refunded.
If you have lived in USA for 1 or more years and you are a returning EU citizen, you’ll be able to being back your car duty free! You cannot have any liens on your car. Please check with the German Customs Department.
New/Used Car Purchase
If the final destination is an EU member country, you pay 10% duty and 19% German VAT if the car is owned for less than 1 year.
Classic Car Purchase
If you are shipping a classic car (30 years old or more), then you’ll pay a lower amount of duty. Duty for importing classic cars is 7% while duty for cars less than 30 years old is 10%.
Sometimes when someone’s car arrives, they do not pick up their car on the scheduled date. When this happens, the port in Bremerhaven will charge storage fees. If you need to know the latest storage fees, contact us.
Optional Marine Insurance
We HIGHLY recommend purchasing the optional marine insurance. We offer FULL COVERAGE Marine Insurance against Loss or Damage from the time your car is loaded onto the ship. The cost is 1.75% of the value you wish to insure the car for. Purchase Marine Insurance if you cannot afford to come out of pocket for repairs or loss. We have never ‘lost’ a vehicle unless it was a hurricane. Hurricane season is from June 1 and ends on November 30. You can learn more about Marine Insurance here.
Shipping Car to Germany Military, Government Contractors
US Military and Government employees (or 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.
US Military and Dependents
At the Base ports of Germany, Belgium, and the United Kingdom, you will be required to pay a destination offloading fee of $280.00 per car and $350.00 per SUV. These prices are subject to change but not by much. To get a release of your vehicle, you will need to Identify yourself, and before that, you will go to the Officer at your Base in charge of Transport, who will give you a document to complete which will act as Military Tags and will enable you to drive to your base.
If you would like your vehicle delivered to your Base, then you can request a delivery service from us, and we will arrange the forwarding for you at an additional fee.
Government contractors follow a similar procedure as US military active-duty personnel.
Documents Required to Ship Car to Germany
If you are in the Military, Government, or State service and there is a Lien recorded on the vehicle, the Lien Holder needs to give permission to export the vehicle. This permission must be an Original Letter from the Lienholder together with 3 certified copies of the Certificate of Title. You will also need to present your Military orders or a letter from the Government or State authority and a copy of the Title Record History obtainable from the Department of Motor Vehicles in the State the vehicle is registered.
You will need the original title of the vehicle and your ID.
Vehicle Registration For Military & Government Contractors
This will be taken care of at the military base. Talk to your Officer in Charge. You’ll also be getting your military tags for your base.
RoRo (Roll On Roll Off)
These ships are made specifically for vehicles.
RoRo ships are built so anything with tires can Roll On and Off the ship. Automobiles and motorcycles are the most common vehicles. Other types of vehicles that can be shipped are motorhomes, campers, trailers, buses, construction vehicles, and boats. RoRo shipping is normally used when you only ship one vehicle. The car MUST be able to make it up and down the ramp without any assistance. The inside of a RoRo ship looks like a big parking garage. Once loaded on the RoRo vessel, each vehicle is tied down securely in its designated spot (as shown in the picture)
This shipping method has proved highly efficient and extremely cost-effective. When compared to container shipping, it has an additional advantage: it provides reliable departure and arrival dates. The ship’s departure and arrival schedule run almost like an airline flight schedule.
Also, RoRo shipping is the preferred shipping method for new car manufacturers to ship their own vehicles. All vehicles are tied to the deck and are not exposed to the ocean. That way, the vehicles have all the protection against external elements.
Payment Methods / Options
Payment doesn’t have to be made until your vehicle is at the departure shipping port.
Wire Transfer or Cashier’s Check
This is a very common way to pay for your shipment if you are not in USA. We will send you our bank information once your order is placed.
Credit Card & Zelle
There are no service fees if you choose to make payment with Zelle. Basically, Zelle is bank-to-bank transfer.
There is a 3% service-fee if payment is made with credit card.
Canceling Your Order
If for some rare reason you need to cancel your order, let us know by email. Normally payment is refunded via the same payment method you chose. If you cancel your order, there is a $300 cancelation fee
USA Customs Clearance
Ship Overseas, Inc. will clear US Customs for you.
When your car is shipped via RoRo ship, US Customs agents simply look through the window. At most, they will open the trunk and peek inside.
When it comes to container shipping, the US Customs agent may sometimes need to open the container to check whatever is inside the container. This process takes longer than the RoRo method, but either way, Ship Overseas, Inc. will clear customs for you.
Who Can Pick Up The Vehicle in Germany
You can nominate any person to pick up the vehicle at the destination Port. You must advise us of this a few days prior to the sailing of the date so that we can enter their name as the Receiver or Consignee. They will be required to identify themselves with a picture ID as well as produce the Title of Ownership and a letter of permission to pick up the vehicle. There is a charge by the shipping line if you notify us of any changes after your cargo has been loaded on the vessel.