When it comes to importing a car into the UK there are more than a few things to consider….
One thing we know a bit about is importing cars. Here at Total Auto we have trucks arriving most days at our site in Cambridgeshire with left hand drive cars imported not only from Europe but all over the world. From used left hand drive Nissan’s to Gulf Spec Land Rover’s. Every car has a different story and is destined for a new or exisiting owner in the UK or somewhere else in the world. Every car also comes with it’s set of challenges and problems.
So here are some of the things you need to think about when importing a LHD car that you have sourced yourself or already own.
Taxes: What tax is due when it arrives in the UK? If the car is an import from outside of the European Union then it may well attract 20% VAT and 10% import duty. This won’t be the case if it is an EU import but equally if classed as a new means of transport (under 6 months old or 6000 kilometres) then it may attract VAT even if you have paid VAT in another member state. So buying it tax free is important.
Paperwork: There is going to be some level of official recognition of it’s type approval or build standards. If you have a certificate of conformity then this makes life really simple, used left hand drive vans and commercial vehicles may require a commission notice. The vehicle may not be EU type approved at all so may need to go through SVA inspections. Also don’t forget the log book or export certificate without one of these you will hit a wall when it comes to registration.
Logisitics: This can get really out of control. Many continental dealers will push you towards sea freight which is really expensive and unecessary but do it to ensure that VAT is paid at the other end. Equally you need to consider all costs associated with moving your vehicle. For example, flights, hotels, trains, pre-plan and get quotes beforehand to get the full picture.
These are just a few areas to consider but a process that can be very fruitful and maximise cost savings on your new or used left hand drive car can also spiral out of control and become stressful especially when dealing with foreign dealers, foreign tax offices, logisitics companies, customs, HMRC, VOSA, VCA and DVLA.
Total Auto can help support the import of your car either from the foreign dealer through to delivery and registration in the UK or help your register your LHD car that is alreay here.