International Automobile Shipping Services to Ports in West Africa, Europe, and the Middle East!

International Automobile Shipping Services to Ports in West Africa, Europe, and the Middle East!

What You Need to Know about International Car Shipping Companies

Overseas car transport services can be easy to come by with an experienced freight forwarder. In our globalized world, clients can transport vehicles/cars/automobiles of all makes, models, and years to virtually any port in the world from the United States. However, various ports have specific services, capabilities, and regulations that international shipping clients should be aware of to get the best value on their shipment.

The price and capability of transporting certain vehicles can depend on whether you are shipping to Europe, West Africa, the Middle East, or another region. The type of automobile you are transporting will also affect rates, be it a used vehicle for sale, a vintage or classic car, or a large vehicle like a truck or bus.

Although this can seem like an overwhelming amount of information, especially for those new to automobile shipping, a reliable international shipping company like K International Transport can help clients understand the ins and outs of the international shipping process, no matter whether they are transporting cars to Europe, West Africa, or the Middle East.

vehicles on cargo ship
Photo by Tobias Tullius

Age Restrictions of Used Vehicles and Salvage Cars Imported to West Africa

Automobile shipping is a very popular and important industry in West Africa, with 71.1% of the continent’s vehicle imports going to ports in West Africa including:

  • Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire (Ivory Coast)
  • Lagos, Nigeria
  • Dakar, Senegal
  • Tema, Ghana
  • Lome, Togo

The approximately 990,000 vehicles imported into West Africa arrive mostly from the United States, the European Union, and Japan. The vast majority of vehicles transported into this region are used automobiles/cars/vehicles because of the large market for the import and re-selling of these types of cars. However, clients should be aware of the various restrictions and regulations on these types of autos. These regulations are common to West Africa but can vary slightly by country.

Used automobiles shipped to Abidjan, Ivory Coast have age restrictions specific to the type and utility of the car. Large fines worth thousands of dollars may be applied if these restrictions aren’t followed.

Regular-use automobiles and taxis imported into the Côte d’Ivoire must be at most 5 years old, at most 7 years old for mini-buses, and 10 years at most for large buses and trucks. Typically, vehicles that are older may be susceptible to a uniform tariff as well as an additional cost for each year that it goes over the age limit.

Similarly, Nigeria, Senegal, and Ghana have age restrictions on used vehicles as well, ranging from 5 to 15 years. On the other hand, Togo has minimal restrictions compared to its neighbors.

However, ports Abidjan, Lagos, Dakar, Tema, and Lome can accept automobiles that aren’t used, as well as other types of cargo. All five ports offer both roll-on/roll-off (RORO) and container service and take on a large portion of the traffic into West Africa thereby reducing shipment times and offering more transport dates. K International Transport can help clients ship all vehicles into West Africa, including ports not mentioned, with impressive international automobile shipping services. 


Transporting Contemporary and Vintage Cars to Europe

The import of cars is very widespread in Europe as well, especially to countries in Western Europe. In fact, Germany, the U.K., Italy, and the Netherlands, along with other European countries, are among the 15 countries in the world that have import the highest dollar value of automobiles in a year. Some popular ports for antique car shipping and overseas car transport to Europe include:

  • Southampton, UK
  • Bremerhaven, Germany
  • Livorno, Italy
  • Rotterdam, Netherlands

Although clients transport automobiles of all makes, models, and years to ports in Europe, vintage and classic vehicles are often popular imports into these countries. Luckily, antique car shipping to Europe is typically affordable, with western Europe offering the lowest costs. However, clients should be aware of the various tariffs on automobile imports as well as the requirements imposed on important cars.

Luxury and antique auto transport to many European countries can be expensive. This is primarily due to the necessity of using container shipping rather than the cheaper RORO option for nonrunning vintage cars.

Many countries also impose other costs. Germany, for example, enforces a larger tax on rare and antique cars. However, this cost can often be refunded when the vintage vehicle leaves Germany, which can be helpful for shipments that don’t seek to permanently transport an automobile.

Additionally, cars transported to Europe can face up to 10% in import duties and a 19-22% value added tax depending on country and age and make of the vehicle. Clients may also need to retrofit their automobiles to European specifications, including various registration and licensing requirements.

white coupe car inside building
Photo by Anastasia Dulgier

Luxury Car Transport to the Middle East

The Middle East is growing into a powerful luxury car market due to low fuel costs, low import tariffs, and low taxes in general as well as great insurance options. Many clients are choosing to ship cars overseas and transport automobiles of luxury brands to countries like Bahrain, Jordan, Kuwait, Oman, and the United Arab Emirates. Some notable ports include:

  • Manama, Bahrain
  • Aqaba, Jordan
  • Kuwait, Kuwait
  • Sohar, Oman
  • Abu Dhabi or Jebel Ali, UAE

Most Middle Eastern countries charge a value added tax (VAT) for imported automobiles. However, the amount of the VAT and other tariffs and taxes varies depending on the country.

For example, Jordan has a 0% tariff on cars and trucks and a 16% sales tax. There is no age restriction on used automobiles/cars/vehicles, but a restriction of 10 years on personal vehicles. On the other hand, Kuwait has a 5% tariff and a strict 5-year age limit.

Countries may also have vehicle safety requirements that clients should be aware of before they ship. The United Arab Emirates, for example, have requirements that include but are not limited to country-specific safety standards, vehicles must have not been in certain accidents, cars may not have damage on the outside, and former taxis or police automobiles are prohibited.

However, the low taxes, and low cost of transporting vehicles can often make up for these regulations and convince clients to utilize reliable international automobile shipping services.

yellow Lamborghini
Photo by Dexter Flexter

Although clients may be overwhelmed by the concept of transporting often valuable automobiles, a reliable international shipping company like K International Transport can help demystify the process. K International Transport is an expert in shipping cars overseas. They relay important information regarding port and customs regulations to clients to minimize the hassle of international automobile shipping.

Contact K International Transport today for questions or international car shipping quotes to the Middle East, Europe, and West Africa. Call us at 212-267-6400 or email us at You can also reach out to us on Skype at kinternationalny. We look forward to working with you and shipping your automobile!