When importing a car there are many things to take into consideration as the price of the vehicle may be less but the cost of transportation, VAT, customs and the costs you will have to pay if there are any problems with the vehicle. The law on importing vehicles is different with each country so finding out exactly what the laws are for the country you're importing the vehicle into is very important. Below are a few examples of importation processes:
- The UK from another country in the EU - This is probably the easiest route to take if living in the UK because the vehicle will (or should) already be up to the EU safety standards and should there fore be provided with the certificate of conformity to prove so. It is important to get your car registered as soon as possible once in the UK there are also VAT forms to fill in once its going through customs. If the car is under a certain mileage (around 3,500) or less than 6 months old then you will have to fill out a different form to if it was over that age. Once it has gone through this process and VAT charges and forms are completed then you need to get it registered, get suitable insurance for the vehicle and also have its MOT service done as soon as you can. You will have to ensure you keep as much of the correspondence material between you and the seller and of your final purchase, such as the receipt, all this will help prove ownership when need be.
- From out side the EU to the UK - There are many similarities apart from the forms through customs are different and you may pay less if the car is of a certain age, now classed as classic cars. Also adding some cost though is the fact that most vehicles from outside the EU are most likely not to have a type approval so the vehicle will have to go through a thorough vehicle inspection (SVA). It basically tests the cars safety and road worthiness and is far more in depth than an MOT, a lot of cars fail on the first test as other countries don't have as many restrictions on vehicles safety requirements. Common things they fail with are side mirrors, bumper badges and most importantly emission levels.
The different charges you face during the process are based on the type of vehicle you are buying, how much you paid and what its resale value would be. One thing I would suggest is taking insurance out on the vehicle as soon as you own it not when you get it in the UK this way if any damage is caused through the transportation stage you can take photographs and have a case to go forward with. In any case make sure you keep all the documentation you can and ensure the dealer in which you are buying from is registered and provide you with all the documentation that should come with the vehicle.