Yes, it is possible to import Kei trucks to the United Kingdom, but like importing Kei cars, there are specific regulations and considerations that you should be aware of before doing so. Kei trucks, also known as kei jidosha trucks, are compact and lightweight commercial cars that are commonly used in Japan for various purposes. Here’s what you need to know about importing Kei trucks to the UK:
1. Individual Vehicle Approval (IVA) or Goods Vehicle Test (GVT):
Similar to Kei cars, Kei trucks typically do not meet the standard type approval requirements for cars in the UK. As a result, they often need to undergo an Individual Vehicle Approval (IVA) test if they are intended for personal use, or a Goods Vehicle Test (GVT) if they are intended for commercial use. The IVA test ensures that the imported car meets safety, emissions, and roadworthiness standards, while the GVT focuses specifically on commercial cars’ safety and roadworthiness.
2. Vehicle Modifications:
Kei trucks imported to the UK may require modifications to meet UK safety and emissions standards. These modifications can include adjustments to lighting, mirrors, seat belts, emissions systems, and load capacity specifications. Ensuring that the Kei truck complies with UK regulations is essential for safety and legal reasons.
3. Performance and Load Capacity:
Kei trucks are designed for urban and light-duty tasks, and their load capacity is limited due to their compact size. Before importing a Kei truck, consider whether its performance and load capacity are suitable for your intended use in the UK.
4. Road Tax and Insurance:
Imported Kei trucks will need to be registered and insured in the UK. The type of insurance and road tax requirements will depend on whether the Kei truck is intended for personal or commercial use.
5. Costs and Budgeting:
Importing a Kei truck involves various costs, including shipping fees, customs duties, IVA or GVT test fees, modifications, and more. Proper budgeting is important to ensure a smooth import process. Working with experienced import specialists can help you estimate the total costs involved.
6. Registration and Number Plates:
After the Kei truck passes the required inspection (IVA or GVT) and any necessary modifications are completed, you can apply for registration with the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA). Once registered, you’ll receive a UK number plate, allowing you to legally operate the Kei truck on UK roads.
7. Commercial Use Considerations:
If you intend to use the Kei truck for commercial purposes, such as delivery or transportation, additional regulations may apply. The type of license required, car weight limits, and other commercial car regulations should be carefully considered.
Importing Kei trucks to the UK requires careful planning, compliance with regulations, and possibly modifications to meet safety and roadworthiness standards. Consulting with import specialists, IVA or GVT testing centers, and legal advisors who are familiar with the process can help ensure a successful and compliant importation process.