Can I transport my car overseas by train?

Your question, answered: do options exist to transport car long distance?

29 June 2020
By Liv Rowland


Is it true you can no longer transport your car long distance by train? Do you know of any alternatives? H.N.


Unfortunately, the SNCF no longer offers its Autotrain service, as of the end of last year. This allowed you to put the car on the train to send it to a distant destination and pick it up again there. For example, a Parisian going on holiday in Nice could pick their car up on arrival. The service had been offered for 60 years.

Read more: Eurostar to provide contactless travel from UK to France


The reason given for cancellation was it was making a loss and surveys found clients would not accept a steep tariff rise. One alternative is to use the service (formerly called Expedicar), a specialist company recommended by SNCF, which organises transport of a car by a member of the public or professional driver, or in a lorry. For example, a trip from Paris to Fréjus in the Var driven by a volunteer member of the public who wants to go to that area (arrival time depending on their availability) costs €98, or a whopping €829 by a professional within three days.

Read more: UK-France flights and restart plans for July

To have it taken by a lorry in under eight days to an agency costs €530, or in under 10 days door to door €1,500. The member of the public option involves the firm publicising the request on a website to obtain offers. Drivers are checked for a valid licence and identity, the car is inspected on departure and arrival, and the trip is insured by Allianz. In comparison, the Autotrain service for that journey used to cost €266.

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