Did you know that there is a long, fascinating, German word for all kinds of things? For example: überbürokratisierung, basically means “excessive bureaucracy.” Let’s face it, any time we do anything big, like moving to another country, this word applies.

This means that there are many details you need to handle if you plan to ship your car to Germany. As usual, we are here to help.

Honestly, the easiest part to this will be finding a reliable international car shipping company to ship your car from the US to Germany from door to door. All you need to do is compare and contrast a few companies, look at reviews, talk to people with past shipping experiences, and the choice will become clear. 

However, there are many steps and questions you need to consider in order to ensure your vehicle will be accepted into Germany, according to the legal and technical regulations of the German government. Keep reading to find out more!

Before You Ship Your Car to Germany, Ask Yourself…

Is this a temporary or permanent move? 

  • Temporary: You may bring your car (or motorcycle) on a holiday to Germany for up to six months. You will pay a deposit, which will be returned upon export from Germany. 
    You must have a registration document with a German translation and hold proof of insurance. You will also be required to have a technical inspection to prove road-worthiness. This article talks about the top ten reasons that cars fail German inspections
  • Permanent: If you’re moving to Germany permanently, you may be able to bring your car in free of duty and the import turnover tax (Einfuhrumsatzsteuer); however, this will require more paperwork on your part, which we will discuss below.  

Have you been the owner of the vehicle for at least 6 months? 
A car is considered new if you have owned it for less than 6 months, which means your costs will be higher. 

Does your car meet the eligibility requirements for Germany?   
Some used cars will have different eligibility requirements than newer vehicles. It’s important to check these before you ship your car, as the worst thing that could happen would be it be rejected by customs. 

Pay The Tax Man 

Any car less than 30 years old coming into Germany is subject to a 10% import duty and a 19% value added tax (VAT) based on bluebook value. Cars older than 30 years might be considered old-timers. The customs officers could waive duties on them, but that is totally up to their discretion.

If, however, you intend on becoming a permanent resident, it is possible bring the car in for free. In order to do that you’ll need to prove: 

  1. That you have given up residency in the non-EU country you’re coming from (i.e. the US) 
  2. That you’re establishing a new residence in Germany 
  3. That you have not lived in Germany for at least 12 months (there may be exceptions to this if you had to return to Germany for reasons beyond your control)

Prepare Your Required Car Shipping Documents 

As with any bureaucracy, you’ll need some documentation to help with all of this. Check with your shipping company to see if they’ll help you with that, but ultimately it’s your responsibility to be sure that you provide all the necessary information for your vehicle to pass through customs with ease.

To make it easy, here’s a chart explaining what you need for a temporary visit and/or a permanent move:

What you need to ship car to germany infographic

We don’t know about you, but that second list sounds stressful – hence our reccommendation to find the right company to transport your vehicle. If überbürokratisierung is your thing, though, once you have all the right paperwork and your car has satisfied all of the necessary conditions, you’ll receive a certificate issued by the government to send your car to Germany.

How Much Will Shipping My Car To Germany Cost? 

The average cost of shipping a car from the US to Germany is between $900 - $1300 and can take 12 to 30 days to ship (depending on port of departure). This does not include your import duty and taxes, as we have already shown that these will really depend on your personal situation and your vehicle. 

Factors that affect the cost of shipping your car to Germany include: 

  • Pick-up and delivery: Are you taking it to the port, or are you requiring door-to-door pick-up and delivery which requires overland transport? 
  • Make and model of your vehicle: larger vehicles will cost more. 

Type of transport: Air vs. sea. Shipping container vs. roll-on/roll-off, etc.

Opt For Ease, Ship Your Car to Germany With ShipLux 

If you need to move your vehicle from the US to Germany, you’re in the right place. ShipLux is a team of shipping professionals who are passionate about making the vehicle shipping process as easy as possible for you. Reach out today to talk with one of our expert agents, ask for a 100% transparent price quote, and get all your Germany shipping-related questions answered.

With a supportive team available 24/7 and our standard Premium Service, we can help get your car on the way and wish it Bon Voyage or better yet, Gute Reise!