Shipping in USA/Canada
While you’re waiting…
While you are waiting for your new velomobile, there are a few important things you can do to prepare. First, due to shipping regulations, velomobiles sent outside the European Union will not be shipped with a battery or a charger (Europe is 220V vs North America at 110V power). Velomobile World recommends a 14.4V battery. These (often in 14.8V form) are used in model RC cars. You can find them at various hobby stores such as Hobby Lobby, a store local to me. Several US velonauts have chosen to use the 12V TalentCell LiFePo4 instead, which is available via places like Amazon. They have used this with both the Lupine and Busch, and Mueller lights and say they have had no problems. Ultimately your choice of battery is up to you and your comfort with and knowledge of electrical systems.
The larger batteries (7-10+ Ah) are ideal for riders doing especially long distances running power hungry lights. If you tend to ride only shorter distances, the smaller size batteries (under 7aH) will be sufficient and will save a bit of weight. Please note the TalentCell batteries use a traditional 12V DC plug. You will need either an adapter, or the soldering skills to add a Molex plug to the end of your battery cable. For a video on how to adapt the TalentCell connector [click here].
Second, the factory does not install the mirrors to allow you the option to choose the spot that works best for you. For tips on mirror installation [click here]. If you are picking your velomobile up and riding it home from there, you will probably want to install the mirrors…
Third, you can familiarize yourself with the features of your velomobile by reading the manual [Click Here].
Also note that some models such as the Bülk, will be shipped with pedals, while others offer it as an option. Be sure to check if pedals are included if you will be riding it home from the pick-up location.
Arranging for your shipment
Customs and Border Patrol typically, though not always, require a broker for purchases valued over $2500. The broker will take care of customs paperwork, notify you of when it has cleared customs, and can even arrange to deliver the velomobile to your door. Your local customs and border control office has a list of brokers in your area, view here for USA and here for Canada. When selecting a broker, be sure to read the fine print about what fees they do and do not cover.
You will also want to have the broker use CBP code HS8712.00.5000, the code specific to non-ebike velomobiles. This code will get you the lowest import duty fees. Fees include: Entry fee (fee paid for the broker services) $125-160, single entry bond $50-60, courier fee (if you have the broker pay airport terminal fees), customs duty 3.7% of purchase price, merchandise processing fee, and airline terminal fee $60-120. Your broker will also need power of attorney for the shipment. If picking up from the airport, some fees can be paid directly to the airport at pickup avoiding a handling fee from the broker. Jan and his team will provide you with an Airbill (essentially the plane ticket for the shipment) and a final invoice. A similar “ticket” will be sent for sea freight.
If you are picking up the velomobile at a shipping office, you have the option to either ride it home or rent a van. If riding home, you would need a place to dispose of the crate and tools to mount the mirrors and adjust the chain after moving the bottom bracket holder to the correct position for your leg length. Please note you will need a van, truck, or trailer than can fit a crate 300x86x110 cm.
Jan and the team will arrange for insuring the shipment (roughly $60). You might also want to talk with your broker to verify that you can inspect the shipment before signing acceptance documents to check for any damage. The velomobile will be crated so you will also need to ask about how to dispose of the crate if you are riding home.
Before shipping the box containing your velomobile, we will send you a document like this [click here], so you can see how we packed it.
⬇️ Click below on “+” to see some customer experiences of shipping a velomobile to the US