Shipping a Car to Spain


Shipping Car from USA to Spain

When you choose Ship Overseas, Inc. as your partner in car shipping to Spain, you get 40 years of experience behind you. The process may seem a bit confusing at first, but rest assured, it’s easier than it looks. That’s because we will guide you through it all, answering any questions you have about the shipping process to Spain, including Pricing, Documents, Departure and Arrival Ports.

Note: in order to get the most accurate price quote, provide us with the Year/Make/Model of your car, Pickup Zip Code or Departure Port, and Destination Country (in this case Spain).

Pick Up

Most of the time, we pick up your car from your home for an extra fee of a couple hundred dollars. If you want to save this money, you can always bring your car to the nearest departure port, but you’ll have to factor in the cost of getting there, staying overnight in a hotel, paying for food, and getting time off work. Most people find it’s more convenient to just pay us to handle pickup.

Departure Shipping Ports

The USA departure shipping ports that currently ship to Spain include:

  • Newark, NJ
  • Baltimore, MD
  • Newport News, VA
  • Charleston, SC
  • Brunswick, GA
  • Galveston, TX
  • Long Beach, CA

You can take your car to one of these ports or we can pick up your car and transport it for you, at an additional cost.

Arrival At Shipping Terminal in Spain

There are three arrival ports in Spain: Vigo, Barcelona, and Valencia (shared container from Newark, NJ and from Long Beach, CA only). These are the ports where your designated person will pick up the car. Tell them they will need to bring cash to pay for Tax or Duty at the time of pickup. See the section below for Vehicle Import Tax & Duty for more information.

How Much Does It Cost to Ship a Car to Spain

Your next question may be: how much will it cost me to ship my car to Spain? Here are the answers.

Starting costs to ship a car to Spain are $1150 from Baltimore, MD to Barcelona.

Car shipping from Newark, NJ to Vigo starts at $1290.

Keep these factors in mind on the cost to ship a car to Spain:

  • It’s generally more affordable to ship a car from the East Coast USA than the West Coast.
  • It’s more affordable to bring your car to the port than for us to come to get it from your residence.
  • If you choose that option, remember you’ll have to arrange for your own transportation back and all the lodging, food, etc. costs that go with it.
  • You will spend more to transport a compact car than a large SUV.

Departure & Arrival Ports, Starting Costs, & How Long Shipping Takes

The base cost to ship a car from USA to Spain is as follows:

  • $1770 Long Beach, CA to Vigo
  • $1290 Newark, NJ to Vigo
  • $1150 Baltimore, MD to Vigo
  • $1150 Baltimore to Barcelona
  • $1290 Newport News, VA to Vigo
  • $1320 Charleston, SC to Vigo

Please note, the Estimated Time in Transit only includes the time from when your car arrives at the shipping terminal — not the transit time from when the trucker picks up your car at your home.

In terms of timing, it will take about five weeks with the RoRo method from the East Coast, and six to seven weeks with the RoRo method from the West Coast.

The final price you will pay will also depend on your car’s year/make/model, which departure shipping port you use, and whether you bring the car to the port or we come get it for you.

Vehicle Import Tax & Duty & Destination Handling Charge

To ship a car from the USA to Spain, 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 for RoRo and $500 for shared container.

If you are in the USA, contact the Embassy of Spain by phone if you need the latest information.

Embassy of Spain

2375 Pennsylvania Avenue NW

Washington, DC 20037

(202) 452-0100

Be aware that Ship Overseas does NOT collect the import duty. You must pay it at the time of vehicle pickup.

US Military

We are authorized shippers for the US military to Spain. The military should cover the cost of shipment; however, if you plan to ship a second car (such as your spouse’s) you’re responsible for paying for that second shipment.

POV Transfer Requirements for Military

  • The vehicle MUST:
    1. Have four wheels or more, with mopeds and motorcycles being the exception.
    2. Be owned or leased by a member of the military or a dependent.
    3. Be self-propelled and legal on public highways.
    4. Have written consent for transport from the third party if it is leased.
      For more information, read about military car shipping.

Travelers (Temporary Imports)

Anyone traveling to the EU will be able to bring their car for up to six months. This is what is known as a temporary import. A deposit for the temporary import is due upon arrival, but will be refunded when you leave.


If you are an EU citizen and have lived outside the EU for 6 months, you may bring your car back without having to pay import fees.

New/Used Car Purchase

You will pay 20% Import Tax; 9% VAT (Value Added Tax) on a car that has been owned for less than 1 year and if the final destination is an EU member country. Salvage titles are accepted and there are no limits on vehicle age.

Classic Car Purchase

Duty for importing classic cars is 7%. Duty for all other cars is 20%.

Storage Fees

When it’s impossible to arrange for timely pickup when the car arrives at the port, the Spanish ports listed above will charge you storage fees. Contact us for the latest storage fee amounts.

Optional Marine Insurance

It’s our recommendation that you buy the optional marine insurance. Things happen on the open sea that are out of our control, especially during hurricane season which is June 1 through November 30. That said, damage and loss are rare. We offer full coverage 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. Here’s where you can learn more about Marine Insurance here.

Shipping Car to Spain Military, Government Contractors

Who are the only ones that can ship a car overseas and still carry a lien on the car? The answer to that is members of the US Military and Government employees (or contractors). They will need authorization from the lender, required to pass US Customs. Failure to do this means the car could be considered stolen.

US Military and Dependants

At the Spanish ports, you will be expected to pay a destination offloading fee of $300 for sedans and SUVs. (Prices subject to change.) To get a release of your vehicle, visit the Officer at your Base in charge of Transport. You will receive a document to complete for Military Tags, which will allow you to drive to your base and properly identify yourself.

If you would like us to arrange the forwarding of your vehicle right to the base, contact us and request delivery service for an extra fee.

Government Contractors

Government contractors are expected to follow a similar procedure as US military active-duty personnel.

Documents Required to Ship Car to Spain

Two main documents you will need are: the Original Title and Valid Identification.

US Military

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. This is expected in the form of an Original Letter from the Lienholder. You will also need:

  • Three certified copies of the Certificate of Title
  • 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.

EU Citizens

You need to present the original Certificate of Title of Ownership of the vehicle with no Lien on the Title.

Non-EU Citizens

You will need the following:

  • Copy of Passport
  • Power of Attorney Form for international residents.

Vehicle Registration in Spain

Get your International Driver’s License from the AAA Automobile Association in your area. Your American Driver’s License will be sufficient throughout Europe. For tourists or temporary residents, you are allowed to drive with your American license plates in a foreign country until your registration expires for that year.

  • Proof of export can be given to the Seller if requested; No Sales Tax is payable to the Seller.
  • If the vehicle is used or pre-owned, the existing Certificate of Title can be endorsed by the seller to the new owner.
  • 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 will pass Customs Clearance.

Vehicle Registration For Military & Government Contractors

This will be settled once at the military base and you speak with your Officer in Charge, who will also supply you with military tags for your base.

Vehicle Registration For EU Citizens

Now that your car has passed Spanish Customs, it is assumed to have met all safety standards. Next, take your car to the local DMV and bring with you the following:

  • Spanish Customs Clearance information
  • Original license plates
  • Proof of residency
  • Bill of Sale

Ship Overseas Inc. offers no further guidance from this point on.

Shipping Methods

RoRo (Roll On Roll Off)

RoRo shipping is available from these ports:

  • Jacksonville, FL
  • Newark, NJ
  • Baltimore, MD
  • Newport News, VA
  • Charleston, SC
  • Brunswick, GA
  • Galveston, TX
  • Long Beach, CA.

The inside of a RoRo ship resembles a big parking garage. 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, boats, campers, trailers, buses, and even construction vehicles. Most people use RoRo when shipping one vehicle.

Your car has to be able to make it up and down the ramp with no assistance. Your vehicle is tied down securely in a designated spot once loaded on the RoRo vessel.

Highly efficient and cost-effective, this method provides reliable departure and arrival dates — similar to an airline flight schedule.

RoRo shipping gives you assurance that your car will be protected from external elements. This also happens to be the preferred shipping method for new car manufacturers who wish to ship their products safely, as all vehicles are tied to the deck with no exposure to the ocean air or water.

Container Shipping

Container shipping is only available from Newark, NJ and Long Beach, CA to Valencia. This is when your car shares a container with other vehicles. It’s not as fast as RoRo shipping because the containers don’t ship until they are full.

Payment Methods / Options

You will pay for the shipment when your vehicle arrives at the departure shipping port.

Wire Transfer or Cashier’s Check

This is the most common payment method for customers who are not located in the USA. We will send you our bank information once you have placed your order.

Credit Card & Zelle

There are no service fees when using Zelle, as it’s a bank-to-bank transfer. But with credit card payments, a 3% service fee is charged.

Canceling Your Order

In the event your order needs to be cancelled, let us know as soon as possible. Payment will be refunded via the same payment method you chose, but please note there is a $300 cancellation fee.

Additional Information

  • The destination handling charge is approximately $300 for RoRo and $500 for container.
  • Make sure your vehicle has no more than ¼ tank of gas (safety reasons).
  • If the final destination is an EU member country, you also pay 20% Import Tax; 9% VAT (Value Added Tax) if you own the car 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.
  • Provide a 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 outlined.
  • If you bought the car new, your name must be listed as the registered owner on the front of the Title.

USA Customs Clearance

Rest assured, Ship Overseas, Inc. will clear US Customs for you. Most of the time, US Customs agents will just peek through the car’s window and clear the vehicle, but other times, they may look inside your trunk.

Preparing Your Car for Shipment to Spain

There are some things you can do to prepare your car for shipment to Spain.

  • Remove custom accessories so they don’t break off in transit due to their awkward size.
  • Look 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 can be extremely risky while in transport.
  • Disable the alarm for the truck drivers.
  • Leave as little fuel in the tank as possible. Because your vehicle is being transported, not driven, you don’t have to fill up prior to loading. On top of that, having a full tank of gasoline makes your car heavier, which adds risk to the shipment.

Lock the car – There’s no reason for your car to be opened until the time of delivery, once your vehicle is loaded onto the auto transport truck.

Who Can Pick Up The Vehicle in Spain

Anyone you want! Just tell us of their name and contact info a few days prior to the sailing date so we can list them as the Receiver or Consignee. 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, the shipping line will charge you a fee.