A lot of planning goes into moving overseas and of course, you want to get the most out of your money and minimise expenses where possible. With that in mind, it’s important to consider whether it’s financially viable for you to either; take your car with you when you move or sell it and buy a new one there.

Whilst selling your current car and buying one abroad can seem like a good option, often it’s a better decision (financially) to ship it, however, this isn’t always the case and there are a few factors that come into play…

Cost Comparison: Ship or Sell?

To answer the question of whether it’s a good idea to ship your car, you have to know the value of your car when it comes to selling it and the cost of buying a new one at your final destination. This gives you a figure to compare with when looking at shipping costs.

It’s also important to ask what your car is worth to you. Does it hold a lot of sentimental value? Is it rare or a classic that you don’t want to part ways with? Is it going to be hard to replace? If the answer to these questions is yes, then shipping it is the obvious option.

However, if you don’t have a strong attachment to your vehicle and you feel it’s something you can replace relatively easily, the next step is to look at the cost comparison between shipping and buying. As it turns out, shipping your car is usually cheaper.

Shipping a Car is Stressful and Time-Consuming, Right?

Before we get into the costs, you might be under the impression that shipping a car is a lot of trouble and that you’d rather save yourself the stress and just buy one overseas regardless.

If this is one of your concerns, you’d be surprised how simple car shipping really is, especially with professionals like Autoshippers at your side. When you consider that selling and buying a car can also be a challenge, it’s best not to disregard shipping altogether just because you’re unsure of the process!

Companies like ours make it extremely simple by helping you organise everything such as paperwork, regulations and customs clearance. So, if you’re anxious about how it all works, don’t be. We’ve seen it all and it’s our job to make shipping your car as easy and stress-free as possible.

Cost of Selling and Buying Overseas

Take some time to research the type of car you want and the general cost of buying one in your chosen destination, taking exchange rates into consideration. If you have the money and if you’re willing to buy new, then any savings from shipping your current car may be significant to you.

For most of us though, this isn’t the case and saving money where possible is a priority. So, look into the cost of used cars overseas compared with how much you’d expect to sell your current one for and take into account the costs of tax, insurance and registration, too.

If you’re running a cheap car that can be easily replaced for less than £1000-£2000 then selling it and buying a new one may be the better option, however, you can’t answer that definitively until you get an idea of how much it’d cost to ship it.

It’s also important to consider the reliability of your current car, and whether you can acquire an equally reliable car with your budget once you move. A worst-case scenario would be buying a used car overseas only for it to break down soon after, potentially costing hundreds if not thousands to repair or replace.

Cost of Shipping

Shipping costs depend on your chosen destination, the service you require and the value of your vehicle. We’ll be happy to help you figure out these costs with a quote. It’s completely free, there’s no obligation to follow through and it only takes 5 minutes.

Typically, for less than the price of a good used car, you could ship your current car and have it delivered straight to your door. A standard used saloon car in Australia, for example, can cost $10,000 – $20,000. Shipping the same car to Australia could cost less than £1,500.

If you’re looking for a rough idea of costs for your destination, we list all of our general port to port car shipping costs on our website. For the USA, for example, see here. Or check here for car shipping costs from the UK to Australia. For other destinations, navigate to the destinations menu on our main website and choose from the options there. If your destination isn’t listed, we might still ship there, so give us a call or fill out our quote form and we’ll get back to you soon.

Remember, these listed shipping costs are general port to port costs only and there are other factors involved. You’ll still have to pay any duties/tax for the vehicle, as well as landing charges, customs clearance and onward delivery (if required) – all of which your chosen shipping company will advise you on. We list these other costs for you in our comprehensive car shipping guides:

With all of the above considered, altogether it could cost anywhere from £800 to £2500 to ship your car. Again, this depends on your destination, service and the value of your vehicle. In most cases, this is usually cheaper than replacing your car.

We highly recommend getting a tailored quote as this will give you a much more accurate estimate.

Now that you have an idea of the costs involved in shipping your car, you can start comparing that with the potential cost of buying a new/used car aboard.

How Much Time Do You Have?

As well as costs, you’ll want to consider other aspects such as how much time you have to arrange everything. The process of selling and buying a car could potentially eat into the time you have to prepare for other important matters regarding your overseas move. It’s not always easy to sell a car and likewise, it can be hard and time consuming finding a new one that fits. If you’d rather not go through the trouble, shipping might be a good choice.

On the other hand, if you’re moving next week and you need a car on arrival, shipping might not be a good option unless you’re willing to rent or use public transport for a while. Transit times for most shipments range from anywhere between a few weeks to a month or more (depending on the destination).

Please see our destination pages for more information on transit times. USA transit times range from 10 days to 28 days depending on the port of arrival. If you have time to plan ahead and book your shipment in advance for when you arrive, there shouldn’t be any problems.


To summarise, in many cases it actually turns out cheaper and maybe even easier to ship your car as opposed to buying a different one. Sentimental value, time constraints, rarity of the car and your budget are all factors that will play into your decision. If you’re still unsure or have any questions, our team will be more than happy to help. Give us a call on 0800 389 0784 or contact us here.