How difficult is it to import a classic car to the UK, and what are the rules? These questions have run through the head of many an ardent enthusiast, browsing the classifieds and dreaming of taking that ‘rrari for a spin around the roundabout mayhem of Milton Keynes. Okay, maybe not quite…
But still, importing a classic car is a common enough occurrence, especially in a world where the motors of yesterday have spread far and wide. Italian Stallions that have never left Italy, LHD Porsches that are sitting in the California sun, all are fair game for the classic car lover willing to put themselves to the trouble. We’ve even heard of cars being shipped over from Australia.
The challenge with any import is understanding the rules, and the inevitable paperwork. We’ve had a look at the broad process and requirements, and what you may need to consider before signing on the dotted line.
What do I legally have to do when importing a car to the UK?
The legal requirements for importing a car to the UK are broadly the same whether it’s a modern car or a classic. However, they can be more complicated for classic cars. The VAT or duty may vary, and classics tend to demand more in the way of vehicle approval.
Either way, you should check all the below requirements and plan accordingly before you go ahead with the import.
- Tell HMRC within 14 days of the car’s arrival
- Pay VAT and duty, if HMRC tell you to
- Get vehicle approval to show your vehicle meets safety and environmental standards
- Register and tax the vehicle with the DVLA
- Insure your vehicle before you drive it on the road