<img height="1" width="1" alt="" style="display:none" src="https://www.facebook.com/tr?ev=6015199818423&amp;cd[value]=0.00&amp;cd[currency]=USD&amp;noscript=1">

HOW TO IMPORT CARS TO THE UNITED STATES FROM OVERSEAS

Ship your car to the United States with West Coast Shipping, a US based car shipper with over a decade of experience importing cars. We are one of the largest car shipping companies in the US, with locations in California and New Jersey. We handle ground transportation, vehicle documentation, import clearance, and shipping via container, air-freight, and roll-on/roll-off. Door to door service for all vehicles imported into the US from overseas..

International Car Shipping Calculator
US Car Import Quote

Import Cars to the United States

There is no arguing that importing vehicles to the US is a complex task. From the strict import laws, customs and documentation requirements, consumers and businesses alike require guidance and support on car imports. Which is why West Coast Shipping strives to keep the process of importing a car to the US simple and effortless.

For the last decade, we have imported all types vehicles including classic cars, development vehicles, concept cars, Formula 1 and Formula E cars, and rally cars. We arrange door to door shipping using containers and air freight for single cars, fleets, and road rallies. 

We work with US Customs, NHTSA, DOT, EPA, and the DMV to ensure cars and motorcycles are allowed to be imported into the US.

CAR IMPORT SERVICES

  • Clearing US customs
  • Trucking container from US ports
  • Unloading at one of our warehouses
  • Short-term & long-term storage
  • Delivery to anywhere in the US
  • Temporary and permanent imports

How to: Meet Compliance and Import to the US

Tackling EPA and DOT requirements

For cars less than 25 years old, the Environmental Protection Association (EPA) requires that your vehicle meets US emission standards. You can verify if your vehicle meets EPA standards by locating the Vehicle Emissions Label in your vehicle. The label will typically be located under the hood, near in the engine compartment. On a motorcycle it can be found on the frame or in the glove compartment.

If your vehicle is less than 25 years old, it will also have to conform to Department of Transportation (DOT) standards. It includes safety standards, bumper standards, and theft prevention requirements. It is unlikely a car obtained overseas can meet all of these requirements, unless the same vehicle was originally sold in the US as well. Those that are will have a certification label near the driver’s side door of the vehicle from the manufacturer, specifically denoting the vehicle as certified to meet US standards.

If your car does not meet the US car import requirements, the vehicle can only be imported by a registered importer. The car must also be modified into compliance, which can be an expensive and lengthy process.

On a positive note, if your classics or any vehicles are over 25 years old and are also unmodified, then they do not have to comply with DOT or EPA requirements.

Contact us today to import a vehicle to the USA.

CONTACT

The duty rate for vehicles manufactured abroad and imported to the US are as follows:

  • 2.5% for automobiles

  • 2.4% or free for motorcycles, depending on the number of cylinders

To import a car into the United States, the US Customs and Border Protection will need the following documents:

  • original bill of lading

  • bill of sale

  • Foreign registration

  • EPA Form 3520-1

  • DOT Form HS-7

OPTIONAL SHIPPING INSURANCE

The cost is calculated from the vehicle's value. Contact us to get an insurance quote.


Import Under the 25 Year Law

Federal Restrictions

  • Vehicle must be over 25 years old
  • Original engine or EPA certified engine

State Restrictions Vary by State

  • Some require seat belts, headlights and certain emission standards.
  • For example, California requires vehicles manufactured after 1975 to be certified to operate in the state.

 

Import Under the Show & Display Law

The car has to meet the following criteria:

  • Production run didn’t surpass 500 examples
  • Never been offered for sale in the US
  • Must be out of production
  • Must not be a kit car or a replica

Even after getting it into the US, you have other laws to follow:

  • You are not allowed to sell the vehicle without the permission of the NHTSA
  • You are also not allowed to drive more than 2,500 miles per year.

A list of previously approved & dissaproved cars can be found here.


Motorcycle Shipping Overseas

Motorcycle Imports to the USA

Like cars, we provide an import service for motorcycles to the United States. We ship bikes to the US by air or sea, clear import customs, and deliver them to your door. 

We have previously imported motorcycles for these events:

  • Sturgis Motorcycle Rally
  • Rolling Thunder Ride
  • Daytona Bike Week
  • Bike Week in Myrtle Beach
  • Republic of Texas Biker Rally


About Us

We pride ourselves in safely and reliably transporting vehicles for consumers, dealers, collectors, and wholesalers around the world. We speak English, German, French, Dutch, Russian, Arabic, & Spanish.

star0 star1 star2 star3 star4

"Professional service at unbeatable prices. We have tried WCS with a number of cars from NJ and CA to Bremerhaven and we are happy with the results. They handled our classic cars with care and responded rapidly to any of our emails. All together they offer a great service!"

READ MORE REVIEWS

WEST COAST SHIPPING IN THE NEWS:


Read Our Guides

star0 star1 star2 star3 star4

"With West Coast Shipping, I am always on top of what's going on in the industry. Their guides are a great resource for beginners and seasoned car professionals alike. I have learned so much since I partnered with West Coast Shipping 5 years ago."

READ MORE REVIEWS