Ship a Car to Panama

How to Ship a Car to Panama

When tasked with shipping a car to Panama, you may fret that you won’t know where to start – particularly if this is your first time. Let us take the worry and stress out of the process, as we’re here tohold your hand through each step. It’s our goal to keep you as well informed as possible so you can make the right decisions.

Rely on Ship Overseas, in business for more than 35 years, to ship your vehicle to Panama from the USA.It’s our hope that this page guides you in gaining the answers you seek to your questions. But as always, if you have more questions after reading through the information, call us on the phone.

The best way to kick off theprocess of shipping a car to Panama from the USAis to obtain a free quote right here on our website. Be prepared to give us the Year/Make/Model of your car, Pickup Zip Code or Departure Port, and Destination Country (in this case Panama) and we will handle the rest!

How Much Does it Cost to Ship a Car to Panama?

  • Pricing to ship a car to Panama ranges from $866-$1000 for sedans and regular sized SUVs.
  • People who are part of an international organization, a U.S. contractor, or an accredited diplomat don’t pay high import/duty.
  • Arrival port is in Manzanillo.

It’s hard to predict the exact price you will pay until we have specific information regarding the type of car you have, how you will get it to the port, which part of the country you plan to ship it from, and which method of shipping you want. Once we have that from you, we will be better able to estimate costs.

Additional Information

  • All cars that are imported into Panama incur fairly high import/duty taxes. The only time these high import/duty tax won’t occur is if the owner of the car is a member of an international organization, a U.S. contractor or an accredited diplomat.
  • Taxes are payable when the car is delivered. If the car is going to be delivered to one of the surrounding countries, the taxes have to be paid at the destination country.
  • 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.

Vehicle Import Duty For Panama

If you are in USA, contact the Panama Embassy by phone.

Panama Embassy
2862 McGill Terrace NW
Washington, DC 20008
(202) 483-1407

If you are in Panama, contact the Autoridad Nacional de Aduanas.

Offering weekly sailings from ports in the USA to Panama

Our shipping vessels depart on a weekly basis from U.S. seaports to the port of Manzanillo in Panama. The way in which your car gets there will depend on your preferences, type of car, budget and more.

You can partner with us in confidence, as we bring more than 35 years of experience to the table as a go-to freight forwarder. Ship Overseas ships to the above port on a regular basis, using one of these two methods: 

RoRo Shipping – RoRo ships, meant specifically for transporting wheeled cargo such as cars and motorcycles, entails vehicles being driven onto the ship of their own power (think of it like a big parking garage ramp).

Container Shipping – Your car is shipped inside a container, along with other cars, if you select shared shipping, or it can make the journey all by itself if you choose exclusive.

We will check these out in further detail later,so keep browsing.


Ship Your Car to Manzanillo

Manzanillo International Terminal sits east of the Atlantic opening of the Panama Canal on Manzanillo Bay, Colón Province, Panama. This is a distribution center for cargo destined for cities within Panama and nearby countries in Central America and the Caribbean, known as one of the largest container transshipment terminals in the region. Rest assured, we have a lot of experience shipping cars from the USA to this port, so ask us any questions you like.

Trusted Military Partner

Serving the Active Military community with attention to detail and quality services, we happen to be a trusted provider of international car shipping services.Let us help you look at the many factors that will determine your final price tag. These range from modifications and weight to time limits and licensing.

So, if you are an active military member and you need to ship a car to Panama, we can help. In fact, we also shipSUVs, RVs, motorhomes, heavy machinery, boats, yachts and motorcycles to the Panama port.We also import cars internationally into the USA from Panama.

Two Types of Shipping Methods

If you’re new to the international car shipping world, get peace of mind knowing we have you covered on all the ways you can get your car where it needs to be. There are many advantages to each of these methods…let’s explore them here.

RoRo Shipping (Roll On/Roll Off)

Many of our clients select this option for its affordability and predictability. It’s called that because it stands for Roll On and Roll Off. If you have a wheeled vehicle, such as a car, motorcycle, motorhome, camper, trailer, bus, construction vehicle or boat, and it is in working order,you would choose this. This method isn’t feasible if your car is in disrepair because it must be able to make it up and down the ramp without assistance.

This shipping method, extremely efficient and cost-effective, features the most reliable departure and arrival dates. New car manufacturers are big fans of this method and choose it when shipping their own vehicles overseas. All vehicles are protected against external elements,tied to the deck with little exposure to the ocean.

Container Shipping

Your other option? Use a shipping container to ship your car to Panama. There are two ways you can do this: shared or exclusive container shipping. The one that fits your needs best will depend on many factors.

Shared Container Shipping

This is just the way it sounds: your car shares a container with other vehicles and each container holds four vehicles. The drawback here? You have to wait until the whole container is filled with vehicles before it can be loaded onto the container ship and set sail for the destination. Therefore, you won’t know your fixed departure date in advance like you would with the RoRo method.

You could find yourself waiting on standby an extra week until the container is filled with more cars.

On the plus side, you are able to ship additional items in the trunk or the backseat of your vehicle, which you can’t do with RoRo. You are also able to ship vehicles that do not work.

If you have two or more vehicles to ship to Panama, or if you’re not in a rush, this method is the more affordable one.

Exclusive Container Shipping

Exclusive container shipping means it’s just your car in the container, perfect for transporting exotic, expensive or rare vehicles like Bentleys, Ferraris, Aston Martins, etc.With added protection and attention to detail, you will get more peace of mind BUT you will shell out more money for the privilege — more than RoRo and Shared Container shipping.

However, your car will be the only one in the container, you can ship vehicles that do not work, and you can include personal belongings along with your car.


Select from one of twoways to get your car to the departure port.

Open and Enclosed Auto Shipping

We will transport your vehicle to the port for you, via open and enclosed auto shipping, if for any reason you are unable to drive your car to the port yourself. Our drivers will pick up the car from your location and deliver it to the port for shipping to Panama.

Open Auto Shipping – Our most common type of car shipping method, this is good for when you need to ship vehicles such as compact cars, sedans and minivans. It will cost you the least amount yet it is cost effective and safe.

Our transport trucks are able to hold nine to 10 cars and as few as five cars at one time. The transport truck driver loads and unloads vehicles while making their way across the country. These transport trucks are filled to full capacity. Translation, the cost is split among all cars, lowering the overall shipping costs.

Enclosed Auto Shipping – Ideal for transporting luxury, exotic, specialty, or vintage cars to Panama, the price is higher but the risk to the vehicle is lower. Your car is not in contact with the elements and treated to a higher level of protection. If your budget allows, this is a good option for you, as it will be shipped along with two other vehicles, driven onto the truck on a special ramp or lift-gate.

We think you can never go wrong with added protection for your investment. As a result, we strongly recommend you purchase 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.

Think of it this way: would you be able to afford to pay for repairs, damage or loss on your own? If the answer is no, buy the insurance. Of course, the chance of damage or loss is very slim. The only time this may present a problem would be during hurricane season, lasting from June till November, when the seas are rougher. Learn more about Marine Insurance by clicking on the link below.

We hope this page has helped you sort through your first time shipping cars to Panama. More questions?Give us a call toll free at 888-805-4994 or 858-547-0840.

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