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Shipping a car from the Netherlands

The Netherlands, known for its picturesque landscapes, rich cultural heritage, and efficient infrastructure, is a popular destination for both tourists and expatriates. If you’re planning to relocate to another country or simply exploring new horizons, shipping your car from the Netherlands can offer a convenient and reliable option. Here’s a comprehensive guide to help you navigate the process:

1. Selecting a Shipping Method:

There are typically two main methods for shipping a car internationally: roll-on/roll-off (RORO) and container shipping. RORO involves driving your vehicle onto a specialized vessel, where it’s secured for transit. Container shipping entails placing your car inside a container, offering additional protection. Consider factors such as cost, convenience, and the condition of your vehicle when choosing a method.

2. Researching Shipping Companies:

Research reputable shipping companies that offer services from the Netherlands to your destination. Look for companies with experience in international car shipping, positive customer reviews, and comprehensive insurance coverage. Obtain quotes from multiple companies to compare prices and services, ensuring you choose one that meets your needs and budget.

3. Preparing Your Vehicle:

Before shipping your car, it’s essential to prepare it for transit. Clean both the interior and exterior thoroughly, removing any personal belongings and ensuring it’s free from debris. Document any existing damages or issues with photographs or written records. Consider servicing your vehicle to address any mechanical issues and ensure it’s roadworthy.

4. Completing Documentation and Customs Procedures:

Shipping a car internationally involves a series of documentation and customs procedures. Prepare essential paperwork, including the vehicle’s registration, proof of ownership, insurance documents, and any required customs declarations. Familiarize yourself with the import regulations and duties of the destination country to ensure compliance.

5. Coordinating Transit and Delivery:

Once your vehicle is ready for shipping and all documentation is in order, coordinate the transit and delivery process with your chosen shipping company. Arrange transportation of the vehicle to the departure port in the Netherlands, where it will be loaded onto the shipping vessel for transit. Stay in regular communication with the shipping company to track the progress of your vehicle and receive updates on its estimated arrival date.

6. Receiving Your Vehicle at the Destination:

Upon arrival at the destination port, coordinate with the shipping company to arrange for the collection or delivery of your vehicle. Depending on the services offered, you may opt for door-to-door delivery or port-to-port delivery. Inspect your vehicle thoroughly upon receipt to ensure it has arrived in the same condition as when it was shipped.


Shipping your car from the Netherlands to another country requires careful planning, attention to detail, and coordination with shipping companies and customs authorities. By following the steps outlined in this guide and working with reputable shipping companies, you can navigate the process smoothly and ensure your vehicle reaches its destination safely and efficiently. Whether you’re relocating or embarking on a long-term journey, shipping your car can provide flexibility and convenience, allowing you to explore the world with ease.

Frequently asked Questions

How long does it take to ship a car to the Netherlands?

Shipping times can vary depending on factors such as the origin of shipment, shipping method (RORO or container), and any transit stops. Typically, it takes between 1 to 2 weeks for a car to arrive in the Netherlands from most major ports.

What are the costs associated with shipping a car to the Netherlands?

The costs of shipping a car to the Netherlands depend on factors such as the size of the vehicle, the shipping method chosen, and any additional services required. It’s advisable to obtain quotes from shipping companies to get accurate cost estimates.

What documents are required to ship a car to the Netherlands?

Commonly required documents include the vehicle’s registration documents, proof of ownership (such as the vehicle title), a bill of sale, and any relevant export permits or certificates. Additionally, customs paperwork may be necessary for clearance in the Netherlands.

Can I ship a used car to the Netherlands?

Yes, used cars can be shipped to the Netherlands, but there may be specific regulations regarding emissions standards, safety requirements, and taxes or duties. It’s important to research and comply with the Netherlands’ import regulations for used vehicles.

What is the difference between RORO and container shipping for cars?

Roll-on/roll-off (RORO) shipping involves driving the vehicle onto a specialized vessel for transit, while container shipping involves placing the car inside a shipping container. RORO shipping is generally more cost-effective, while container shipping offers greater security and protection.

Can I ship personal belongings along with my car to the Netherlands?

Some shipping companies may allow personal belongings to be shipped inside the car or in the trunk, but there are usually restrictions on the types and quantities of items allowed. It’s essential to check with the shipping company for specific guidelines.

Is insurance necessary for shipping a car to the Netherlands?

While insurance is not mandatory for shipping a car to the Netherlands, it’s highly recommended to have coverage for protection against loss, damage, or theft during transit. Most shipping companies offer insurance options for added peace of mind.

What should I do if my car arrives damaged in the Netherlands?

If your car arrives damaged in the Netherlands, you should immediately notify the shipping company and document the damage with photographs. You may need to file a claim with the shipping company’s insurance provider to seek compensation for the damages incurred.