Shipping a Car From The USA to UK

We are industry experts when importing vehicles into the UK, so rather than attempting this process alone, we strongly recommend utilising our services to make life considerably easier for you. If you are shipping a car from the USA to the UK, detailed below is the process we follow to get you on the road in the shortest possible time frame.

Inland USA Transport of the Vehicle

Our US agents, with with who we have forged a 10-year partnership, will arrange the collection of your vehicle from your address or the address of the person you have purchased it from within a few days of booking.

We offer enclosed or open transport services to meet all requirements and budgets. We will then have the vehicle transported to the nearest port whether it be Oakland, Houston, Savannah or New York.

Vehicle Loading & Shipment

After your car arrives at our depot, we’ll then load it into its shipping container with the utmost care and attention. Our agents on the ground in the USA have been handpicked because of their experience and attention to detail, so will go on to securely fasten your car in place for its journey.

Should you wish for further assurance, we do offer optional transit insurance which covers your vehicle up to its full replacement value.

Tax Guidelines for Imports

When importing a car from America to the UK, you can do so completely tax-free should you have owned the vehicle for at least six months and have lived outside the EU for over 12 months.

If these criteria don’t apply then vehicles built in the EU are subject to £50 duty and 20% VAT, based on the amount you paid for the vehicle, with those built outside of the EU coming in at 10% duty and 20% VAT.

Most vehicles that are over 30 years old will qualify for 5% import VAT and no duty when being imported, providing they haven’t been significantly modified from their original use and are not intended to be your daily driver.

Testing & Modifications

On arrival in the UK, your vehicle will be subject to several tests and modifications to ensure it reaches UK highway standards.

Modifications mainly include adjustments to the signal lights on the vehicle. US manufactured vehicles tend to have different coloured indicators, which are often integrated into the brake light bulbs. They also have different coloured sidelights and regularly have no side indicators or fog lights.

We will convert your car to UK standards using the latest LED light technology, allowing us to complete all changes with a very minor aesthetic impact.

Vehicles imported from the USA that are under ten years old will then need to undergo an IVA test before the DVLA will approve registration. As the only company in the UK with a privately operated IVA testing lane for passenger vehicles, which is approved by the DVSA, the time it takes to complete this feature of the import is considerably quicker as your vehicle never needs to leave our site and we are not subjected to government waiting times.

An IVA test isn’t required for vehicles over ten years old, however, it will need to pass an MOT so must be roadworthy in terms of signal lights, tyre wear, suspension and brakes, which we will of course check, to be fit to be driven on UK roads.

USA light conversion

UK Number Plates & DVLA Registration

As we successfully lobbied for our clients to have access to our own My Car Import dedicated DVLA Account Manager, on passing the testing phrase the registration can be approved far quicker than alternative methods.

We can then fit your new UK number plates and have the vehicle ready for either collection or delivery to a location of your choice.

Shipping a car from the USA to the UK couldn’t be easier when you choose My Car Import, so call us today on +44 (0) 1332 81 0442 to run through how we can help you.

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