Car Shipping from USA to France

Are you moving to France from the USA and do you need to ship your car over? While the decision to bring your car with you should not be taken lightly, with the help of auto shipping specialists, it need not be difficult. Our auto shipping specialists are well-versed with the procedures involved in shipping a car from the USA to France and can help you every step of the way.

The below guide focuses on car shipping to France from the USA. For general information and to view the answers to common questions about shipping a vehicle, visit this page.

**Our warehouse locations include Los Angeles, Miami and New York**

Car shipping to France from the USA can be done in three main ways.

The first involves the use of a 20ft container used solely by the vehicle owner. The second option is to use a shared container service. Your car will be loaded into a 40ft container together with other vehicles and then shipped to France.

There is another option available as well called roll-on/roll-off, where the vehicle is stored in a large cargo area, but is not sealed in a container.

In addition, shipping using a container tends to be more widely available as there are more entry ports in France that can accommodate vessels used in container shipping, as opposed to roll-on/roll-off vessels.

Those who wish to ship larger vehicles such as trucks or automobiles too wide to fit into one of the above containers still have options open to them. Call one of our specialists to discuss your options.

Car Shipping Costs to France

The cost to ship a car to France depends on various factors including the type of vehicle you wish to ship, which departure port in the USA your car will leave from, the shipping method and the final destination.


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How do costs vary based on the method of shipping?

Roll-on/roll-off – Vehicles are loaded onto a ship that contains a cargo area built like a very big parking garage. This option tends to be cheaper as other than the shipping charge, you are required to pay only port charges and customs clearance charges.

Shared container service – This method requires multiple vehicles to be loaded into one container. While there are more fees involved than with the roll-on/roll-off shipping method, due to the fact that the container must be processed, these charges are shared between the various clients who are using the container. Such fees include a trucking charge, terminal handling charge, customs clearance and charge for unloading the vehicles at a bonded warehouse.

One disadvantage is that you might face a longer wait before your vehicle can be shipped, as the container must have a full load before departing.

Full container load – This shipping method is similar to the shared container service, except that there is only one vehicle per container. Fees mirror those of the shared container service, but are paid by only one client.

One key benefit of container loading is that it is a highly secure shipping method. When we receive the vehicle, we photograph it together with the loading process, locking the container door securely soon after. The vehicle will remain locked up until arrival at the destination when one of our agents will reopen the container and photograph the unloading process. Because the vehicle will be kept locked up throughout the journey, clients are free to place items inside the car, although they should ensure they are securely packed and loaded, as we will not be held liable for loss or damage of any kind.

This method offers weekly departures, being more frequent than most roll-on/roll-off services.

We use a steel loading system that guards against damage and loss, unlike the wood ramp system most companies use.

Additional services

Escrow services – We collect funds from vehicle buyers. After the car is sent to us and we have verified its condition and processed the necessary paperwork, we then pass the money on to the seller and collect the vehicle.

Sourcing vehicles – Overseas clients who wish to buy a vehicle can turn to our long list of car buyers, who can find and purchase vehicles for an additional fee or commission.

Please have a look at our Rate Request page to obtain a quote.

CFR Rinkens Car Shipping from USA to Australia

How long it takes

An estimated timeframe measures the duration of a port to port service. Typically, shipping a vehicle to France from the USA will take between 4-8 weeks, depending on your port of departure, arrival and method of service. This is provided all the required documents are submitted to us in a timely manner, the vehicle is prepared to depart and all other vehicles to fill the container have been secured.

What ports we ship to

CFR Rinkens ships to the following ports in France and nearby (sometimes another European country’s port is the port of arrival, with the final destination being France):

  • Le Havre
  • Fos-sur-Mer
  • Marseilles
  • Bremerhaven, Germany (Many clients bring in here with final destination within France)
  • Rotterdam, Netherlands (Many clients bring in here with final destination within France)
Customs Duties and Taxes When Importing Cars to France

If you are shipping a vehicle to France from the USA, your car will be subject to local customs duties as well as a value added tax or VAT of 19.6% levied by the French government.

However, in certain circumstances you might be able to gain exemption from paying customs duties and taxes. If you are bringing your car or motorcycle on holiday, you only have to pay a deposit upfront and will get it back when your vehicle is exported out of France at the end of your stay.

US citizens who are moving to France from the USA and shipping a car when they relocate may import the car as part of their personal effects so long as they have been the owners for over 6 months. In such situations, VAT tax is not levied, although the 10% duty calculated based on the car’s value will still have to be paid.

EU citizens who have resided in the USA for over a year and have been the owners of a vehicle for over 6 months will be granted a one-time opportunity to import their car tax-free.

As taxes can sometimes change with no advance warning, you should contact the French embassy to confirm the latest customs duties and taxes payable on imported automobiles.

French Homologation

All vehicles imported to France must comply with all the legal and technical requirements stipulated by the French government.

Once your car has met the standards set out by the government, you can obtain a government-issued certificate permitting you to bring your vehicle to France.

If you are unsure as to how to proceed with the homologation process, one of our agents can provide you with the necessary assistance.

Car shipping to France from the USA does not have to be difficult with our team of auto shipping specialists who are ready to assist you at every turn. If you have any other questions about shipping a vehicle to France, speak with one of our specialists or use our quote form to get a free estimate!

If you need additional information for vehicle shipping overseas, we’ve prepared these convenient online vehicle shipping guides with info specific to each country, including steps when shipping your vehicle overseas, as well as customs and vehicle homologation info.
Don’t see the country you’re looking for? We work with shipping agents all over the world and can assist you with all your worldwide vehicle shipping needs. Request a quote above, or give us a call at 1-888-886-6683.


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