Next year my husband and I want to travel to Europe for 3 months and we would like to ship our car so that we could use it there. We've been renting a car several times for several long-ish periods of time and each time just the rent cost us an arm and a leg. One day on average cost us $90, not including fuel. My husband is very tall and he won't fit in just any car. It has to have a good amount of headroom, and those "bigger" cars cost a lot to rent in Europe. Plus cars with an automatic transmission cost more, and neither of us know how to drive a car with a manual transmission.
The car in question is a 2013 Land Rover LR2. We really want to have this car with us in Europe because it does very well in the mountains (we like to travel in Austria and Switzerland the most), and it isn't very big but is "tall" enough for my husband. It is paid off and we have a title for it. We bought it here in the US and it is made for the US market. Does anyone know if driving a car that is made for the US market could possibly be an issue in Europe if you only travel up to 90 days with it? We will not be registering it in Europe and after 90 days we'll take it back home.
We really don't want to rent or lease a car for 3 months. Our 8-year old car has only 50K miles on it and has new tires. It's in a very good condition, not brand new but close to it.
I checked one car shipping company and it looks like we can ship our car from a port in a town near where we live to Bremerhaven, Germany. The cost of shipping a car round-trip is around $1,800. If I compare this price to the rental cost we've paid in Europe, it is equivalent to 20 days of rent. And we'll be using it for 90 days, which would save us a lot of money. We'll have to add the insurance cost.
We just want to have a peace of mind, flexibility, freedom, and not to have to worry about scratching and denting a rental car and then deal with huge repair bills. And also not to have to depend on the trains (been there, and the worst part is all those railway strikes that suck joy out of your trip!). We've traveled with Eurail passes for the past 20 years and now we want to try to travel with our own car.
I've found a US insurance company that can insure our car while we travel in Europe. But I'd also like to see if anyone had experience with a car insurance for their US car they took to Europe. Not for moving to Europe (relocating), which requires you to register your car and get the local license plates. Just travel or a short visit. Were you able to use your own US insurance or did you have to buy a separate coverage for your trip? Our insurance company doesn't offer coverage in Europe.
Also, did anyone face any problems when driving their US car in Europe? For example, maybe you had to buy a permit to use a certain country's highways/autobahns. Or your headlights were not up to the EU standards. Or you had to have that oval sticker on the back of your car with the "USA" on it (not sure if they're mandatory for the US cars). Or maybe you had some other issues related to your US car?
We're planning to take our car back when we return to the US. We only want to use it for those 3 months and not to have to rely on trains and rental cars. This is not about importing a car, it's just to travel with it and for personal use.
Hope someone has had some experience with taking their car overseas and can answer at least some of my questions. Thank you in advance!