If you are considering importing a car, here are a few things you need to know.
If you are going to import a car that is on sale in your country from somewhere else for example Japan, it’s known as a parallel import.
Why import a car?
The main reason is to save money over the dealer list price in your country. You may be importing because the car you want isn’t on sale in the country you live in, or you just want a higher quality car. Speed limits in some other countries are considerably lower and the car’s usually have a lower mileage and are generally in a better condition.
There is a good chance that an imported car will come to a higher specification than one you would buy from your local dealership and so you’ll get all the fancy gadgets and gizmos. The downsides are that servicing may be a problem, as you may have to find a specialist to do the work. Imported cars are unlikely to have a warranty unless you use an import broker, and so you may have to shell out extra for warranty cover. You will get familiar with various factors of import a car here.
Where to start
Start off by making a list of the entire car’s you would consider buying including the mileage you want, the age of the car and the average list price from local dealerships in your area.
Next consider the insurance for each vehicle as grey imports cost more to insure, and add that to the price.
Now have a look around on the net at some import brokers, and the car’s they have in stock. Find out how much extra they charge for doing all the paperwork. Using an import broker is the easiest way of importing a car, as you don’t have to handle the mountain of paperwork that goes with importing a car. The downside is the car will cost more to import than if you did it yourself, and some don’t include shipping arrangements in the deal, which you might have to sort out yourself.
Importing a car yourself
The first step is to find the car you want, contact the dealer in the other country and negotiate a price. Next arrange shipping arrangements to get the car to a place where you can pick it up.
As soon as your car arrives in the country Customs and excise will be waiting for you. If the car is less than 6 months old or has travelled less than 3,750 miles it will be classified as new and you will have to fill out form vat 415. If it is older than 6 months or has travelled more than 3,750 miles you will have to fill out form vat 414. If you are importing from outside the EU you will have to fill out a different form which is C&E 386.
After this you will want to register the car as soon as possible.
If the car you are importing is new, you will have to present a type approval certificate from the dealer or manufacturer. This shows that the car is built to a high standard of safety and use. Cars from outside the EU are unlikely to have this which means your car will have to undergo a single vehicle approval which is like a very thorough mot and costs around £250.
You will also need to sort out any work that needs to be done to change it to legal specifications such as changing the Speedo from km to mph.
After this you’re home and dry. It’s up to you if you decide to use an import broker or the diy method, but whatever one you choose you’re going to save a lot of money.