Importing a car from Spain to the USA can seem difficult and complicated, but CFR Rinkens can help. Below, we’ll explore everything you’ll need to know before deciding to ship your vehicle.
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Want more information on car import services to the USA from Spain?
Read on below for our Spain to US Vehicle Import Checklist, Determining Vehicle Eligibility for Import to the USA, Spain to US Car Import Costs & Time Frame, Spain to US Vehicle Import Options, Ports Served in the US & Spain, and other details on how to Import Car from Spain to USA.
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Spain to US Vehicle Import Checklist
Here’s a rough breakdown of the process you’ll need to go through to ship your vehicle to the United States.
More information on the process of importing a vehicle to the United States can be found here.
Determining the Eligibility of Your Vehicle for Import to the United States
As you engage in the vehicle import process, some of the most important questions to consider include:
These questions and more will determine the costs to ship the vehicle to the US, whether your car is eligible for import to the United States, and finally, whether you will need to go through additional steps to make your vehicle eligible for import. In some cases, such as temporary import for racing or other purposes, the usual standards may not apply. CFR Rinkens can help you through the process of determining what will be required to import your vehicle.
Conforming vs. Nonconforming Vehicles
Generally, if a vehicle already meets the requirements for import to the United States, it is because that model was originally designed for export and sale in the United States, or was manufactured in the United States for domestic sale. As such, nonconforming vehicles are required to be modified to meet all applicable FMVSS and EPA emissions standards.
Things to Consider
If your vehicle conforms to these standards, it will bear a manufacturer’s label on the engine compartment attesting to its compliance to emissions standards in English, as well as a certification label near the driver’s side door confirming that it complies to safety, bumper and theft prevention standards. You will need to complete EPA form 3520-1 and DOT form HS-7 attesting to your vehicle’s compliance. Additionally, you will need the shipper’s or carrier’s original bill of lading, bill of sale, foreign registration, and other documents covering the vehicle, to be provided to your Customs and Border Patrol (CBP) inspector.
If your vehicle is nonconforming, it may still be eligible for import with modifications by a DOT-registered importer, who modifies the vehicle and certifies that it conforms to all applicable FMVSS and emissions standards. Additionally, the importer must post a bond equivalent to one and a half times the dutiable value of the vehicle (in addition to the normal CBP entry bond). A copy of the bond must be provided with the HS-7 form. The same is applicable for EPA, the list is here: EPA Independent Commercial Importers.
A nonconforming car may be shipped from Spain to the United States under certain conditions, such as re-importing a previously exported vehicle, importing a vehicle for personal use not exceeding one year, importing a vehicle as a member of foreign armed forces, diplomatic personnel, or other exceptions authorized by the US State Department, bringing a vehicle into the country for testing, demonstration, or competition, or other special circumstances. CFR Rinkens can help you identify if your vehicle falls into one of these categories to Import Car from Spain to USA.
Spain to US Car Import Costs & Time Frame
Using a baseline of a compact car being shipped using the roll-on/roll-off method from the Port of Valencia to the Port of Los Angeles, our estimate to Import Car from Spain to USA starts at a cost of $1,500 USD with an estimated turnaround time of 14 – 28 days.
However, the cost to ship a car to United States can vary according to factors such as the model and make of your vehicle, your current location, the nearest departure port in Spain, your transport 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 American taxes & duties.
Duties are levied by Customs and Border Patrol before your vehicle is delivered; if you are staying in United States and the vehicle is imported concurrently with your arrival in the country, you are permitted to import a car for up to 12 months without having to pay duties.
Taxes & Duties for Importing Cars to the United States
Generally, foreign-made vehicles imported for personal use or sale are dutiable at the following rates:
Duty rates are based on price paid or payable, and most Canadian-manufactured vehicles are duty-free. If you are a resident of the United States returning to the country from travel, work, or study abroad, you may apply your $800 CBP exemption, and those of accompanying family members, towards the value of the vehicle under the following circumstances:
To obtain an estimate of the cost to import a car to the United States, fill out our free quick quote form. We guarantee a response within 24 hours.
Spain to US Vehicle Import Options
Import Car from Spain to USA can be performed using a shared container, a sole container or a roll-on/roll-off service.
Roll-On/Roll-Off – Recommended for working vehicles. Our most budget-friendly option! Your vehicle is driven into a cargo area on the shipping vessel that resembles a parking garage, where it is secured for safe transport.
Although shipping may take a bit longer, the only added charges are customs clearance and port fees.
Shared Container Service – Enjoy the peace of mind of importing your vehicle in a fully enclosed 40ft container yet share the additional handling charges of container shipping with other vehicles owners. We utilize an industry-leading steel rack loading system which allows us to safely and securely load multiple vehicles into a single container without the use of wooden ramps and nails, which can damage your vehicle.
*While you have the benefit of dividing the terminal handling, trucking, unloading and customs clearance charges, there might be a slight delay before your vehicle ships since the container must be fully loaded before it can ship out. However, you’ll still be enjoying the added safety of importing your vehicle in a fully enclosed container.
Full Container Load – All the benefits of our shared container service, without the wait! Enjoy a shorter wait between departure and arrival as your vehicle will be the sole occupant of the container. However, you will incur additional fees like terminal handling, trucking and unloading charges in addition to customs clearance and port fees. The added benefit of enclosed container shipping can’t be beat, as your vehicle won’t be exposed to the weather and other elements.
Once we receive your vehicle, its condition will be thoroughly documented with photos. We’ll also document the loading process as your vehicle is expertly and securely loaded into our shipping container. We utilize a modern steel loading system which minimizes the chance of damage because it doesn’t use outdated wood ramps and nails. Once loaded and secured, the container door is locked and won’t be opened until it reaches its final destination.
We invite our dedicated container service clients to pack and transport other items inside their vehicle, as it will be secured in a fully enclosed container and locked until it reaches its final destination. However, please make sure all items are securely loaded, as CFR Rinkens won’t be responsible for loss or damage of any kind. Once your vehicle arrives at its final destination in the States, our agent will access the container and document the vehicle’s arrival condition and unloading process with photo documentation.
*Container shipping is considered faster than our roll-on/roll-off service thanks to its frequent weekly departures. Also enjoy the added benefit and peace of mind of importing your vehicle to the US in a fully enclosed container.
Sourcing Vehicles – With over 20 years’ experience in the shipping industry, we’ve developed a wide network of car buyers. We can assist overseas clients with vehicle purchases, for a nominal fee. We can also arrange for expedient and convenient import of your new car!
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 Spain
Departure Ports – Spain
The location your vehicle will depart from depends on the method of car transport to the United States, where your vehicle is located, your budget and which services the nearest port offers. Here are the Spain ports we can ship your vehicle from:
Destination Ports – United States
We are able to import into any port in the USA, with CFR facilities in Los Angeles, New York, Houston, Miami, Oakland, and Charleston.
Cleaning Your Vehicle’s Undercarriage
Before importing your vehicle to the United States, 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.
Driving Your Vehicle in the United States
Before driving your vehicle in the United States, ensure that both you and your vehicle comply with US licensing and registration laws. Requirements differ based on your citizenship status and the length of your stay in the United States.
Your imported vehicle should bear the International Registration Marker, and you may wish to consider acquiring an International Driving Permit (IDP) if you are a foreign national. Spain is a party to the Convention on International Road Traffic of 1949, meaning that Spanish citizens can acquire an IDP and use their driver’s license in the United States.
Other Spain/US Import Options
Importing a Car from the US to Spain
Importing a Car from Spain to the US
Car Shipping from the US to Spain
Car Shipping from Spain to the US
Cargo Shipping from the US to Spain
Cargo Shipping from Spain to the US
Moving Household Goods from the US to Spain
Moving Household Goods from Spain to the US
This information was updated in September 2018. All information, time frames, pricing, and regulations are subject to change. Please contact a sales representative for the most current rates and information.