Importing a Car from the USA to the UK? Car imports from the USA to the United Kingdom start at a cost of $650 USD with an estimated turnaround time of 14 – 28 days, depending on make and model of the vehicle, the nearest departure port in the United States, and your final destination in the UK. Below, our 2020 guide will explore everything you need to know about importing cars from the USA to the United Kingdom.
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Want more information on car import services to the UK from USA?
Read on below for our US to UK Vehicle Import Checklist, Vehicle Import Options, US to UK Car Import Costs & Time Frame, US to UK Vehicle Import Options, Ports Served in the US & UK, and other details on how to import a car from the USA to the UK.
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US to UK Vehicle Import Checklist
Vehicle Import Options
As you engage in the vehicle import process, some of the most important questions to consider include:
These questions and more will determine whether your car is eligible for import to the UK. You should never assume your scenario is the same as someone else’s. Some vehicles such as classic cars may have eligibility requirements that differ from those for newer vehicles. Our expert import agents can help you determine whether your vehicle is eligible for import to the UK from the USA.
To obtain an estimate of the cost to import a car to the UK from the USA, fill out our free quick quote form.
Vehicle Import Approval
Upon arrival of your vehicle import to the UK, the vehicle must be declared in Customs.
You’ll need the following documentation:
Things to Consider
US to UK Car Import Costs & Time Frame
Using a baseline of a compact car being imported using the roll-on/roll-off method from the Port of Los Angeles to the Port of Felixstowe, our estimate to import a car from the USA to the UK starts at a cost of $650 USD with an estimated turnaround time of 14 – 28 days.
However, the cost to import a car to the UK can vary according to factors such as the model and make of your vehicle, your current location, the nearest departure port in the USA, your import method of choice, availability of your chosen services and your final destination. Additionally, you’ll need to consider costs such as storage, cleaning, other vendor fees, and UK taxes & duties.
Taxes & Duties for Car Import from the USA to the UK
UK Vehicle Import Taxes
- Import Duty: 10%
- VAT: 20%
- Import Duty for Collector’s Vehicles: 5% with no VAT
Instances Requiring VAT and Vehicle Tax:
Instances not requiring VAT and Vehicle Tax:
Please Note: If you are a student or employee who is not living in the UK, you qualify for a period that’s a bit longer. Do contact the HMRC in advance and get hold of the official documentation for proof of customs relief. If you do not meet the above criteria, then import duty and VAT tax will be payable to customs. You must also ensure your car is validly insured.
The amount of taxes and import duties payable when importing a car to the UK from the US will vary and depends on the details of your import.
To obtain an estimate of the cost to import a car to the UK, fill out our free quick quote form.
US to UK Vehicle Import Options
Car Imports from the USA to the UK can be performed using a shared container, a sole container or a roll-on/roll-off service.
Roll-On/Roll-Off – With this method of shipping, cars are driven into a vessel with a cargo area like a sizeable parking garage. This option tends to be more inexpensive, as only customs clearance charges, port charges and the shipping charge are payable. Your car will need to be in working condition to ship via this method, as it will have to be driven onto a transport vessel.
Shared Container Service – Your vehicle will be shipped together with multiple others in one container. There will be a wider range of fees payable than with roll-on/roll-off shipping, which are to be shared between all the people using the container, such as a terminal handling charge, trucking charge, charge for unloading the vehicles at a bonded warehouse and customs clearance charge.
One of the downsides of the shared container service is having to wait a longer time for transport, as the container can only depart when it has a full load.
Full Container Load – This shipping method resembles the shared container service, except that your vehicle will be the only one in the container. Similar fees to those charged for the shared container load are collected, however these are borne by only one client rather than divided between several.
This method tends to result in quicker transits, since weekly departures are possible. With Ro-Ro services, departures are often not as frequent.
Instead of wood ramps which other companies use, we rely on a steel loading system, which is more effective at preventing loss and damage.
Sourcing Vehicles – Our many car buyer contacts make it easy for us to find and buy vehicles on behalf of overseas clients at a commission or additional fee to be paid to the car buyer.
Other Services – Some of the auto transport services we offer in overseas territories include domestic pickup, vehicle import assistance, tracking of your shipment, customs clearance in the USA and a full vehicle inspection report.
Ports Served in the US and the UK
Departure Ports – United States
The location your vehicle will depart from depends on the method of car transport to the UK, where your vehicle is located, your budget and which services the nearest port offers. We have multiple departure locations in the USA, including Los Angeles, New York, Houston, Miami, Savannah and more.
Destination Ports – UK
Here are the UK entry ports that we can import your vehicle to.
Cleaning Your Vehicle’s Undercarriage
Before importing your vehicle to the UK, the undercarriage must be cleaned and free of foreign soil to prevent the introduction of invasive plants, animals, fungi and microorganisms. This can be accomplished through steam cleaning or other thorough cleaning methods.
CFR Rinkens can assist with finding an appropriate cleaner to help ensure you comply with this requirement. We do not recommend washing the interior of the vehicle as it can cause mold during transport. Vacuuming the interior is usually more than sufficient.
Plating Your Vehicle in UK
You must register any vehicle you bring into the UK permanently. You can’t register before you do all the following:
- Tell HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) you imported the vehicle and get confirmation that your NOVA application is processed.
- Pay VAT and duty if HMRC tells you to.
- Get proof of vehicle approval.
You also tax the vehicle when you register it with DVLA – there’s a £55 fee. DVLA might ask to inspect the vehicle. It can take up to 6 weeks for your registration certificate (V5C) to arrive. You need the V5C to get number plates made up. You can find more information on the Vehicle Registration here.
To obtain an estimate of the cost to import a car from the USA to the UK and other services, fill out our free quick quote form.
Other UK/US Import Options
Importing a Car from the US to the UK
Importing a Car from the UK to the US
Car Shipping from the US to the UK
Car Shipping from the UK to the US
Cargo Shipping from the US to the UK
Cargo Shipping from the UK to the US
Moving Household Goods from the US to the UK
Moving Household Goods from the UK to the US
This information was updated in September 2018. All information, time frames, pricing, and regulations are subject to change. Please contact a sales representative for the most current rates and information.