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Shipping a Car to France

Shipping Car to France Guide

Shipping Your Car to France? Car Shipping from the USA to France starts at a cost of $750 USD with an estimated turnaround time of 4-8 weeks, depending on the make and model of the car, the port of origin, and the method of shipment. Below, we explore everything you need to know about shipping your car to France in our 2024 guide.

Are you ready to get started shipping 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 shipping and moving services to France.

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

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

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

Shipping a Car to France: Checklist

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

    • Sales Contract / Bill of Sale

    • 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 French 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 France
  • 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 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 process of car shipping to France, some of the most important questions to consider include:

  • Whether you plan to permanently keep the car in France 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 shipping to France. Your actual tax rate is based on these details.

When shipping cars, you should never assume your international shipping scenario is the same as someone else’s. Importing classic cars or 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 ship a car to France, fill out our free quick quote form.

Vehicle Import Approval

Upon arrival of your vehicle shipment 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 shipped 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.

Shipping a Car to France: 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 Marseilles, our estimate for Car Shipping from USA to France starts at a cost of $750 USD.

However, the cost to ship 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 shipping method of choice, availability of your chosen services, your destination port, and your final destination. Additionally, you’ll need to consider costs related to shipping cars such as storage, cleaning, other vendor fees, and French taxes & duties, such as France’s value-added tax.

An estimated timeframe to ship a car to France measures the duration of a port-to-port service. Typically, the timeframe to ship a car 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 France Car Shipping

Prior to car shipping to France from the USA, verify your vehicle’s specifications and compliance with French requirements.

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 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 shipping 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 ship 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.

Shipping a Car to France: Options

Car Shipping 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 international car shipping 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 for car shipping to France requires multiple vehicles to be loaded into one shipping container. While there are more fees involved to ship a car from the USA to France with shared container service 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 departs, as the container must have a full load before shipping to France.


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 when shipping cars with 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 that other shipping companies use, 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 when shipping to France, 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

Destination Ports – France
Here are the entry ports in France that we can ship a car to.

  • Le Havre
  • Fos-sur-Mer
  • 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)

Departure Ports – United States
The location your vehicle will depart from depends on the method of car shipping to France, where your vehicle is located, your budget and which services the nearest port offers. We have multiple departure locations from which we can ship cars from the USA, including Los Angeles, New York, Houston, Miami, Savannah and more.

Cleaning Your Vehicle’s Undercarriage

Before shipping to France, the undercarriage of your car 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 before car shipping to France. 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 prior to car transport.

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 one 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

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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