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Import Car from USA to France

Importing a Car from the USA to France

Importing a Car from the USA to France? Car imports from the USA to France start at a cost of $750 USD with an estimated turnaround time of 4 – 8 weeks, depending on make and model of the vehicle, the nearest departure port in the United States, and your final destination in France. Below, our 2023 guide will explore everything you need to know about importing cars from the USA to France.

Are you ready to get started importing a car from the USA to France?

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

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Want more information on car import services to France from the USA?

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

US to France Vehicle Import Checklist

Here’s a rough breakdown of the process you’ll need to go through to import your vehicle to France.
  • After you’ve determined that your vehicle is eligible and selected an import option, gather all necessary vehicle documentation including:

    • Sales Contract / BIll of Sale

    • Car Registration

  • Understand the costs of importing a vehicle, including:

    • Freight and insurance charges when importing 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 French State or Territory

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

  • Select an international car import company and preferred shipping method to transport your vehicle from the United States to France

  • Determine your vehicle’s departure and destination ports

  • Confirm the vehicle is clean and free of foreign soil

More information on the process of importing a vehicle to France can be found here.

Online Quotes - Guaranteed Response within 24 Hours!

Quotes are available online for domestic and international vehicle shipping services. Depend on us for reliable and expedited vehicle relocation services - Our dedicated team of shipping specialists are always a phone call away to answer any questions you may have.

Vehicle Import Options

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

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

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

  • Whether you’re importing a new or used vehicle.

These questions and more will determine whether your car is eligible for import to France. 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 France.

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

Vehicle Import Approval

Upon arrival of your vehicle import to France, 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;

  • Invoice, if there has been a sale;

  • Where applicable, an external Community transit declaration made using the New Computerized Transit System (NCTS).

Things to Consider

  • 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.

  • French law obliges any user of a motor vehicle to take out a third-party liability insurance policy. You must produce a certificate of insurance resulting from the obligation of automobile insurance. Otherwise, you must take out a special insurance called “border insurance”. Border insurance can be purchased for a period of 30 days or 90 days.

US to France Car Import Costs & Time Frame

Using a baseline of a compact car being imported using the roll-on/roll-off method from the Port of Los Angeles to the Port of Marseilles, our estimate to Import Car from USA to France starts at a cost of $750 USD.

However, the cost to import a car to France 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 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 French taxes & duties.

An estimated timeframe measures the duration of a port to port service. Typically, importing 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.

Taxes & Duties for French Car Imports

Prior to importing a vehicle from US to France, verify your vehicle’s specifications and compliance with French requirements. If you are importing 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 must 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.

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

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

Online Quotes - Guaranteed Response within 24 Hours!

Quotes are available online for domestic and international vehicle shipping services. Depend on us for reliable and expedited vehicle relocation services - Our dedicated team of shipping specialists are always a phone call away to answer any questions you may have.

US to France Vehicle Import Options

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


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.

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


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 – You have the added benefit of a fully enclosed container, just like our shared container service, but the 20 ft container is dedicated solely to your vehicle. Since there’s no wait for other cars to be loaded, you’ll enjoy a shorter wait before departure. However, additional terminal handling fees and other charges won’t be shared with other vehicle owners.

Our most selective customers prefer the high level of safety and expediency offered by our dedicated container shipping. When your vehicle is received, we’ll photograph and document the vehicle’s condition as well as the loading process. Your vehicle will be loaded using our modern steel loading system, which is not only environmentally friendly, but doesn’t rely on outdated wood ramps and nails, which can damage your vehicle.

After your car is loaded onto your own private container, it is locked and secured. This will ensure no one gains access to your car before reaching its final destination. Since the vehicle is fully enclosed in a secure container, we invite our clients to pack and transport other items inside the vehicle. However, everything must be loaded securely, as we won’t be responsible for loss or damage of any kind.

Once your vehicle reaches its destination in France, our agent will unlock the container, document the vehicle’s condition and photograph the entire unloading process. Every step of the shipping process is not only handled carefully but documented for your peace of mind.

Compared to our roll-on/roll-off shipping option, enclosed container shipping is not only more secure, but much faster due to frequent departures each week.

Additional Services


Sourcing Vehicles – Overseas clients who wish to buy a vehicle can turn to our long list of car buyers developed in our nearly thirty years in the auto industry, who can find and purchase vehicles 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 France

Departure Ports – United States

The location your vehicle will depart from depends on the method of car transport to France, 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 – France

Here are the France entry ports where your vehicle can be imported.

  • Le Havre
  • Fos-sur-Mer
  • Brussels
  • Marseilles
  • Bremerhaven, Germany
    (Many clients bring in here with final destination within France.)
  • Rotterdam, Germany
    (Many clients bring in here with final destination within France.)

Cleaning Your Vehicle’s Undercarriage

Before importing your vehicle to France, 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 Classic 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 France

After customs clearance, the service will give you:

  • a copy of the customs declaration;
  • a receipt;
  • a certificate of clearance No. 846 A: you must present this certificate, which justifies that you paid the duties and taxes, to the prefecture where your vehicle will be registered.

You’ll have a month following importation to register your vehicle and obtain a certificat d’immatriculation or registration certification.

For more information on the new Vehicle Registration System (SIV), visit the website of the National Agency for Secured Securities.

Other France/US Shipping Options

This information was updated in September 2023. All information, time frames, pricing, and regulations are subject to change. Please contact a sales representative for the most current rates and information.

Online Quotes - Guaranteed Response within 24 Hours!

Quotes are available online for domestic and international vehicle shipping services. Depend on us for reliable and expedited vehicle relocation services - Our dedicated team of shipping specialists are always a phone call away to answer any questions you may have.

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