Car Import Duty Explained

Import Duty on new and used left hand drive cars is something we explain almost daily..


So lets set the record straight!


Import duty is a Customs tax applied to goods imported into a country. Generally speaking within Europe this is 10% of the value of the goods. Typically you would then be expected to pay sales tax on top of this. In the UK we call it VAT in other countries you may know it as TVA or something similar. This is the principle rule behind import of goods be it widgets or a left hand drive car import.


There are exceptions to this. Cars bought from another EU member state do not attract import duty and do not attract VAT if VAT was paid in another EU state and the car is over 6 months old. If you are moving residence permanently from outside of the EU to the UK then you can bring you car in without paying duty or VAT. The same if you are visiting.


If the car comes from outside of the EU unless you can provide EUR1 or INF3 documentation (which is unlikely for used cars) it will attract import duty and VAT. These two documents demonstrate that the car originally came from the EU and is now returning. 


If it is a genuine non-EU car import then you will need to pay these taxes. As an example in the UK it would be 10% import duty and 20% VAT. This is demonstrated by the invoice for the car by the seller. So for example:


Left Hand Drive Hyundai purchased from Switzerland at £3000 GBP would attract £300 import duty. Then 20% VAT is charged on £3300 at a cost of £690.


Total Auto can quickly establish what your liability is and help you with you car import into the UK supporting you in registering a left hand drive car too.