Car Shipping to Germany

Shipping a Car from the USA to Germany

Destination Ports:
Bremerhaven | Hamburg | Antwerp | Rotterdam

Shipping Your Car to Germany? Car Shipping from the USA to Germany starts at a cost of $650 USD with an estimated turnaround time of 4-6 weeks, depending on the make and model of the vehicle, the port of origin, and the method of shipment. Below, we explore everything you need to know about shipping your car to Germany in our 2020 guide.

Car Shipping from Germany to USA
Are you ready to get started shipping a car
from the USA to Germany?

Request a free online quote – Quotes are available online with a guaranteed response within 24 hours for car shipping and moving services to Germany.

Please do not hesitate to call or email us anytime with any questions. Contact our shipping experts for more information. We are always just a phone call away!

Los Angeles | International
+1 (310) 639-7725

Miami | International
+1 (786) 708-0215

Domestic Coast-to-Coast
+1 (786) 708-0200

Want more information on car shipping services to Germany from USA?

Read on below for our US to Germany Vehicle Shipping Checklist, Vehicle Import Options, US to Germany Car Shipping Costs & Time Frame, US to Germany Vehicle Shipping Options, Ports Served in the US & Germany, and other details for Car Shipping from USA to Germany.


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Car Shipping to Germany Checklist

Here’s a rough breakdown of the process you’ll need to go through to ship your vehicle to Germany.
  • Gather all necessary vehicle documentation, including:

    • Sales Contract

    • Car Registration

  • Understand the costs of shipping a vehicle, including:

    • Freight and insurance charges when shipping your vehicle

    • Wharf, transport, storage and delivery charges after your vehicle arrives

    • Duties, taxes and fees

    • Cleaning the undercarriage of foreign soil

    • Registration and insurance requirements in the relevant German State or Territory

    • Other charges such as import processing, customs brokers’, and logistics service provider charges

  • Select an international car shipping company and preferred shipping method to transport your vehicle from the United States to Germany
  • Determine your vehicle’s departure and destination ports
  • Confirm the vehicle’s undercarriage is clean and free of foreign soil

More information on the process of shipping a vehicle to Germany can be found here.

Vehicle Import Options

As you engage in the vehicle shipping process, some of the most important questions to consider include:

  • Whether you plan to permanently keep the car in Germany or if it’s just a temporary move,

  • Whether you have been the owner of the car for at least 6 months.

  • Are you importing for a holiday trip?

  • Are you moving to Germany and was the registered on your name at least six months before you ship it?

  • Do you plan to permanently bring the car to Germany?

These questions and more will determine whether your car is eligible for shipping to Germany. Your actual tax rate is based on these details.

You should never assume your scenario is the same as someone else’s. Some vehicles such as used cars may have eligibility requirements that differ from those for newer vehicles for import into Germany. To obtain an estimate of the cost to ship a car to Germany, fill out our free quick quote form.

Vehicle Import Approval

Upon arrival of your vehicle shipment to Germany, the vehicle must be declared in Customs.

You’ll need the following documentation:

  • Sales Contract / Bill of Sale
  • Registration certificate or any equivalent official document
  • The invoice, if there has been a sale

Things to Consider

  • Clients wishing to ship a vehicle to Germany need to comply with the German government’s legal and technical regulations.
  • Once your vehicle has satisfied all the necessary conditions, you will be issued a certificate by a government body authorizing you to send your vehicle to Germany.

Car Shipping to Germany Costs & Time Frame

Using a baseline of a compact car being shipped using the roll-on/roll-off method from the Port of Los Angeles to the Port of Bremerhaven, our estimate for Car Shipping from USA to Germany starts at a cost of $650 USD, with an estimated turnaround time of 4 to 6 weeks.

However, the cost to ship a car to Germany can vary according to factors such as the model and make of your vehicle, your current location, the nearest departure port in the USA, your shipping method of choice, availability of your chosen services and your final destination. Additionally, you’ll need to consider costs such as storage, cleaning, other vendor fees, and German taxes & duties.

Taxes & Duties for Car Shipping from USA to Germany

Prior to shipping a vehicle from US to Germany, verify your vehicle’s specifications and compliance with German requirements. The USA is not a member state of the EU, therefore anyone shipping a vehicle to Germany needs to pay certain duties and taxes.

If you are shipping a vehicle younger than 30 years to Germany from the USA, your car will be subject to local customs duties as well as a value added tax or VAT of 19% levied by the German government. There is an excemption from the duties in case your vehicle is in original shape and older than 30 years, your vehicle can then be considered as an old-timer. Please note that it will be the customs officers’ decision to waive the duties, we have no way to influence their decision.

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 must pay a deposit upfront and will get it back when your vehicle is exported out of Germany at the end of your stay.
  • US citizens who are moving to Germany from the USA and shipping a car when they relocate may import the car as part of their personal effects so long as they are the owner of the vehicle and have registered the vehicle on their name for at least six months before shipping. In such situations, VAT tax is not levied.
  • EU citizens who have resided in the USA for over a year registered their vehicle for over 6 months will be granted a one-time opportunity to import their car tax-free.

The amount of taxes and import duties payable when shipping a car to Germany from the US will vary and depends on the details of your shipment.

To obtain an estimate of the cost to ship a car to Germany, fill out our free quick quote form.

Car Shipping to Germany Options

Car Shipping from USA to Germany can be performed using a shared container, a sole container or a roll-on/roll-off service.


Roll-On/Roll-Off – Vehicles are loaded into a vessel containing a large cargo area that resembles a big parking garage. This option tends to be more affordable as other than shipping charges, the only charges that need to be paid are port charges and customs clearance charges.

Transits tend to be faster than with the shared container service as the containers depart on a weekly basis.


Shared Container Service – A single container will be used to transport multiple vehicles. More fees are involved than with the roll-on/roll-off shipping method as the container will have to be processed; however, these fees are divided between the multiple vehicle owners using the container. These fees include a terminal handling charge, a trucking charge, unloading charges for when the vehicle reaches a bonded warehouse, and customs clearance charges.

One downside of this method is that shipping is only possible when there are enough vehicles to fill up the container, so there might be a wait if the requisite number has not been reached.


Full Container Load – This resembles the shared container service, except that each container is limited to one vehicle. Fees, which match those that must be paid for the shared container service, are similar except that they are not divided between several clients.

Container loading offers a very high level of security. Upon receipt of the vehicle, photographs will be taken of the vehicle itself and the loading process, and the container door will be locked. The vehicle will not be accessible by anyone until arrival at the final destination when the container is opened by one of our agents. Photographs will once again be taken to document the unloading process. As the vehicle remains completely secure throughout the entire process, items can also be loaded into the vehicle and transported along with it; however, it is advisable to pack and load all items securely as we will not be liable for any loss or damage.

This shipping method tends to be faster as there are weekly departures, more than are possible with the roll-on/roll-off service.

We use only a steel loading system for added protection against loss and damage, unlike other companies who use wood ramps.

Additional Services


Sourcing Vehicles – Vehicle owners wishing to sell their cars can benefit from our comprehensive list of car buyers, who source for and buy vehicles for clients located overseas for an additional fee or commission.


Other Services – Some of the auto transport services we offer in overseas territories include domestic pickup, vehicle import assistance, tracking of your shipment, customs clearance in the USA and a full vehicle inspection report.

Ports Served in the US and Germany

Departure Ports – United States

The location your vehicle will depart from depends on the method of car shipping to Germany, where your vehicle is located, your budget and which services the nearest port offers. We have multiple departure locations in the USA, including Los Angeles, New York, Houston, Miami, Savannah and more.

Destination Ports – Germany

Here are the German entry ports that we can ship your vehicle to.

  • Antwerp
  • Rotterdam
  • Bremerhaven

Cleaning Your Vehicle’s Undercarriage

Before shipping your vehicle to Germany, the undercarriage must be cleaned and free of foreign soil to prevent the introduction of invasive plants, animals, fungi and microorganisms. This can be accomplished through steam cleaning or other thorough cleaning methods.

CFR Rinkens can assist with finding an appropriate cleaner to help ensure you comply with this requirement. We do not recommend washing the interior of the vehicle as it can cause mold during transport. Vacuuming the interior is usually more than sufficient.

Plating Your Vehicle in Germany

Vehicles shipped to Germany must be registered to operate on German roads. All shipped vehicles to Germany must pass a safety inspection (German TÜV) before they can be registered.

In case any homologation/conversion processes need to be done to the car to get it TÜV ready we can liaise you to our partner who is sitting right in the warehouse in Bremen. This way the car doesn’t need to betransported to another location as all can be done “in-house”. With offices in both Berlin and Bremen, Germany CFR Rinkens can assist with vehicle inspections and other arrangements for car shipping from USA to Germany services.

To obtain an estimate of the cost for car shipping from USA to Germany and other services, fill out our free quick quote form.

Other Germany/US Shipping Options