Vehicle shipping (excluding the Darien Gap)

If you need to get your car to South America to start your trip, or you want to get your vehicle back to your home country after you're done with your traveling, this article has the information you're looking for.  

Shipping from Buenos Aires to the United States

Like the options for the Darien Gap above, you can chose between a RORO or container service.

Below are a few options for companies and prices from Buenos Aires


Crowley Auto Transport 

Crowley Auto Transport Inc has several options available from South America/ Central America and Los Angeles USA. The company offers roll on/ roll off service as well as container shipping.  Depending on the ports, costs are usually around $1000.  You can call or email 24 hours a day for a free quote. 


K-Line has ships sailing about twice a month to Jacksonville (among other possible destinations). Their agent (Capricorn) in Buenos Aires is very helpful but does not speak English. '''

Beware! Really think twice about leaving anything in your car - we put our belongings in boxes that had two padlocks and one regular lock and bolted the boxes to the inside of our car. Despite these precautions, when we received our car the boxes were gone.


  • All costs in USD
  • Shipping fee: $600/vehicle
  • Document fee: $50
  • Terminal fee: $7/meter cubed (vehicle volume)
  • Wharfage fee $8.35/vehicle
  • Bill of Lading fee: $35

Contact information in Buenos Aires'

  • Reconquista 672 3rd floor - B(C1003ABN)
  • PHONE: (0054) 11 5031 4015
  • FAX: (0054) 11 5031 4015
  • email:  [email protected]


NYK has ships sailing twice a month to Baltimore, Houston and Tampa. The ships take about 20 days to reach the US. The car must be empty during the shipping (customs requirement). However, they are not used to dealing with individuals shipping their cars (they deal with large shipments) so aren't very helpful with the details.


Shipping costs depend on the height of the car:

  • Up to 1m60m, $835
  • From 1m60cm to 2m, $970
  • Above 2m, $1020

Additional costs:

  • The car can sit at the sending and receiving docks for up to 5 days without any additional fees
  • $70 terminal handling fee per car in Buenos Aires, plus $7 per cubic meter
  • $45 plus IVA for Bill of Lading
  • $50 terminal handling fee in the US, plus additional $50 for a car or $90 for an SUV, plus wharfage fee if $2.25 per every 2000 pounds (with a minimum charge of $25)

Contact information (both speak English)


San Martin 483 (5th floor), cross street is Lavalle, Buenos Aires

Container Shipping

If you have some extra cash after your trip and want to treat you and your car right, you can send it through Argentina International Moving by container and have it delivered to your door. Contact Noelia for a quote, as costs depend on locations, but included below are the price options for shipping a Honda Element from Buenos Aires to Miami Florida.


  • Option 1 - "Door to door" services:
  • Picking up the automobile
  • Loading into a 20' container
  • Customs in Argentina
  • Ocean freight to Port Everglades
  • Customs Clearance in the United States of America
  • Delivery in Tampa, FL
  • Price : US$ 5.040,75

Option 2 - "Door to warehouse" services:

  • Picking up the automobile
  • Loading into a 20' container
  • Customs in Argentina
  • Ocean freight to Port Everglades
  • Customs Clearance in the United States of America
  • Price : US$ 4.390,75

Contact information (speaks English)

Noelia Oviedo
[email protected]
+54 11 4325-0500 x107

Shipping from Costa Rica to the United States

If shipping to the US, you can't ship things inside the vehicle, only the vehicle itself. This is a policy of Seaboard Marine due to DEA enforcements in the US.

If using Seaboard Marine on the Costa Rica side and JP Reynolds on the Florida side, you have to have a customs broker in CR to sort out the aduana, shipping etc.

First contact the company in the US and in CR. You just need your title, copy of passport and Costa Rican car permit. The cost of the customs broker in Costa Rica was about $300. The RORO is about $650. The broker on the US side is $250 plus a $35 fee for customs.

In Puerto Limon, contact Customs Broker Fabio Rodovi. He speaks some English but speaking Spanish helps.
His contact information is:

Fabio Madrigal
JOMAR Asesores Aduaneros
Cell: (506) 813-8585
Tel/Fax: (506) 758-4840
[email protected]

In Miami, contact Carroll, the customs broker at JP Reynolds:

J.P Reynolds Co.
2801 N W 74TH AVE
MIAMI, FL. 33122
Carroll J Quant
Import Supervisor
Ph: 305-592-9916
Fax: 305-592-9948
[email protected]

In Florida, contact Suzette, the customs broker at Crowley Auto Transport:

Crowley Auto Transport
6601 Lyons Road
Suzette Cardozo
Import Supervisor
Ph: 800-467-3066
Web site: Car Shipping

Thanks to Jennifer and Matthew for the Costa Rica shipping information

Also check out for additional international shipping options


Agent recommendation: from United States to Ecuador


Of the five US-based agents I was in touch with in September 2015, Stephen Aron was the only one who was both knowledgeable and helpful. Stephen's e-mail is [email protected] and his full details are below:

Stephen Aron

International Freight Experts, Inc.

7725 261st Street East

Myakka City, Florida 34251-5107

Tel (941) 322 9464

Fax (941) 322 9465

Cell (941) 321 8744

Wed, 05/20/2015 - 07:17

Share a Container from Cartagena to Houston in June

We will be shipping our vehicle from Cartagena to Houston on June 20th.  The vehicles need to be dropped off on the 15th.  We would love to share the cost of this more secure way to ship if anyone would like to share a 40 ft. container with us.

Sun, 10/11/2015 - 22:09

Shipped an oversized tractor to LA

It was in late 2013, I shipped my Kubota to Naples from Orlando, FL. I hired auto shipping services from a vehicle shipping company. Got the best quotes for hauling my Kubota from the company. Those people were true professionals.

Fri, 11/06/2015 - 12:47

Shipping from N-America to S America

Hi guys!

We are hoping to drive to Patagonia! We live in Canada and our itinerary could take many forms. We are hoping to avoid El-Salvador, Honduras and Nicaragua since the violence is escalating there at the moment. We are hoping to leave in approx one year. 

We thought of either shipping our mini-van from the US straight to either columbia or Ecuador, and fly to Mexico, take buses to see what we want to see there and in Guatemala, and take a flight from Guatemala city to where ever our car would have arrived... 

Another option would be to drive Mexico and Guatemala, but then we would need to organize shipping the vehicule from Guatemala, which I am not able to find much information about. Most of the beaten path for car shipping and ferrys seems to be from Costa Rica to Columbia. 

Does anyone have advice on what plan would be the most likely to be simplest (note, I don't expect it to be simple, just looking for the simplest hehe) and hopefully least expensive.

I read that they really charge you hefty prices when you ship cars down to south america - has anyone have difficulty with this? Is there any way to avoid this if we plan on re-shipping the car back to Canada after?

Thank you so much for your help! Also, if you could share prices paid, that would help us make sure we are not getting totally scammed when we start looking seriously...


Thanks fellow travellers!



Thu, 12/17/2015 - 13:59

Shipping Uruguay-USA

Anyone know of a contact for shipping from Uruguay to the US? Thanks


Thu, 12/17/2015 - 14:00

Shipping Uruguay-USA

Anyone have any contacts or experience shipping from Uruguay to the US? Thanks

Mon, 07/11/2016 - 02:53

Is the RORO cost so high as in the quote I received ?

I received this quote for shipping an F-250 with camper (pop-up) .

The total may well be over 8,000$ ( insurance can be $1500-$1750) or highr.

Are these the real total prices ?

here is the quote:

Point of Origin: Port in Houston, TX, USA

Point of Destination: Port in San Antonio, Chile

Your Shipment: Truck with camper

Type of Service: Port-to-Port via Roll-on Roll-off ocean service

Cost of Service: $3950 plus fumigation
The same service from port in Los Angeles, CA will be $6150 plus fumigation

Special Notes:

Pick-up: Pick up cost from the seller can be provided upon request.
Loading: loading onto the ocean ship is included
Dimensions: quote is based on provided TOTAL dimensions
Availability: the rate is subject to equipment, space and vessel availability.

Marine Insurance Cost and Options:
ALL RISK cost of insurance is calculated as 1.5% of cargo declared value. You get 100% coverage for loss + damage.

TOTAL LOSS cost is 0.75% of the declared value (covers 100% complete loss only).


Documentation, export declaration (AES), bill of lading

US Customs clearance, title validation (if required)

Loading and bracing in the container or on Ro/Ro vessel

Ocean freight, fuel surcharge (BAF/EFAF), port charges (THC)

Liaison in place of destination, referral of overseas Custom's broker



Destination port charges, warehouse unloading, delivery

Custom duties and import taxes, clearance at destination

Random Customs inspection (this is rare), fumigation

Special permits, licenses, CTN/FERI/BSC for Africa, etc.

Extended storage & demurrage charges, marine insurance.




what kind of permits are need for the import @ Chile and how much they cost ?





Mon, 01/16/2017 - 15:15

Shipping from LA to Colombia?

We are researching to ship our van from LA to Colombia or Ecuador for an arrival early April this year.

I have a hard time finding reliable companies that will ship our van in a container starting from LA. We are flexible and would like the van to arrive in Colombia / Ecuador or Peru.

Do you have any experience on this route that you would be so kind to share with us?

Thank you!

Mon, 08/21/2017 - 06:57

Vehicle Shipping to either Colombia or Ecuador

Hello everybody,

I'm planning to ship my car from Miami to either Colombia or Ecuador by the end of November. has anyone recently make arrangents to either country? If so, what shipping company would you suggest? Also, what advice and tips?

Thank you kindly,


Tue, 05/08/2018 - 07:32 (Reply to #58)


Just wondering if you ended up shipping and if so, can you please share some of your details/experiences?
Thank you!

Fri, 04/20/2018 - 07:35

Shipping from Chile to Canada

Hello! We are looking to share a container at the end of May leaving Chile and arriving in Vancouver.  Anyone else on the same schedule?

Happy travels!

Tue, 05/08/2018 - 07:36 (Reply to #60)

Hello there,

Hello there,
I am very interested in your details/experience once your vehicle arrives in Vancouver. If you could please share them, that would be great.
Good luck finding someone to share the container with!

Mon, 11/19/2018 - 12:54

We shipped our car from

We shipped our car from Florida (Port Everglades) to Colombia (Cartagena) in Oct 2018. We went RoRo with Hoegh Autoliners. You can find their sailing schedules on-line at Shipping cost was about 700 USD, to with you need to add about 300 USD for administative costs in the US and in Colombia.

Here are some recommendations:

1° I would rather contact Hoegh directly then go to a shipper. You will need a shipper though to fulfill US customs formalities (you can't do that yourself).

2° If you speak spanish, you will save time and money. Know that Hoegh Americas are managed from Panama so already in this stage your knowledge of Spanish may be an asset.

3° Make it clear that you are shipping your personal vehicle for tourism add will be applying for a temporaty tourist permit for your car. Import of second hand cars is not allowed anymore.

4° Contact Maritrans (Hoegh's agents in Colombia) before your vehicle arrives to check everything okay. They will deliver your original B/L after Hoegh okayed it ( they will do this after you paid their bill) AND you paid Maritrans bill (60 USD in my case). You pay your Hoegh bill by wire and Maritrans bill in cash at a local bank (you bring the amount in pesos).

5° With your original B/L, you have to go to the DIAN in Manga, and tell them you would like the tourist permit. Bring your this B/L, passport, drivers licence, title and vehicle registration.

If your car is in puerto bahia, you can try to obtain the invoices for port handling by e-mail to: [email protected].  So you can pay their invoices (total about 100 USD) at the indicated bank.

6° With proof of payment of port fees (bank receipts) go back to DIAN and obtain your temporary import (tourist) permit.

7° Opinion vary on this subject, but you may need to buy your car insurance at this point. Some people believe the normally mandatory car insurance is not applicable to tourism vehicles. On the other hand, the port may not be willing to deliver your car without you having it insured. This insurance is called "SOAT" and you can buy in from various insurance companies at various prices. The first company said: "3 months minimum", cost 150.000 COP (about 50 USD) and the second said: "2 month minimum", cost 100.000 COP. 

8° you are now ready to pick up your car at the port.

More notes: it took us 2 days to accomplish this.

If you don't speak spanish, you may need to get help.

you can use taxis to the DIAN ( was about 2.50 USD) and the port. For us that was Puerto Bahia, a small hour drive from Carthagena and the cost was about 25 USD.

you can also use this company to from Panama (port = Manzanillo) to Colombia (port = Cartagena) or to Florida (Port = Port Everglades)

Good luck fellowtravellers !


Mon, 07/29/2019 - 06:18

Shipping vehicle to South America

Hello everyone !

In case some of you are still searching, we had a great experience with the company Wave-Logistics.

We traveled from Antwerp to Montevideo, but I know they offer to ship from various ports from North America and Europe to South America (Cartagene and Montevideo)

They really take in charge all the customs duty, etc. Very nice and professional team. I totally recommand !

(they have a page where you can fill your depart information and they put you in contact for other travelers to share container)

Cheers xx