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Import Vehicle Into USA From The UK

🇬🇧 United Kingdom, (GB)

What's in this article?
  1. Importing Vehicles Into Usa From The Uk
  2. Cost & Time Examples For Import A Car From Uk
  3. Ascertain Eligibility Of Vehicle
  4. Understand Car Importation Regulations
  5. Hire Registered Importers
  6. Preparing Your Vehicle
  7. Prepare Documentation For Shipping To Us
  8. Shipping
Import Vehicle Into USA From The UK

Importing Vehicles Into USA From The UK

In 2016, the United States overtook China as the largest importer of vehicles from the UK. The country has seen a record high in exports which is attributed to the international appeal of car brands manufactured in Britain. Some of the popular car brands exported into the US includes Range Rover, Jaguar, and Land Rover. Even so, getting a car imported into the US involves a unique process that needs to be well understood if it is to be successful. If you are to have a car shipped from the UK into USA, here are some facts to help your car shipment journey much smoother.

Cost & Time Examples for Import a Car from UK

From/ToOceanGroundEstimated Time
Birmingham to (California port) to San Jose, CA$3600$20029+5 days
Birmingham to (California port) to Las Vegas, NV$3600$45029+5 days
Birmingham to (California port) to Portland, OR$3600$47529+6 days
London to (California port) to Seattle, WA$3700$55030+6 days
Manchester to (New York port) to Charlotte, NC$2200$57510+6 days
London to (New York port) to Chicago, IL$2400$67515+6 days
London to (New York port) to Atlanta, GA$2400$70015+6 days
London to (California port) to Denver, CO$3700$77530+7 days
Manchester to (New York port) to Memphis, TN$2200$80010+6 days
Manchester to (New York port) to Houston, TX$2200$1,07510+7 days
  1. *Prices and times are estimated. They can vary depending on the season and the type of vehicle.
  2. *Save the ground transport cost by delivering the vehicle to the nearest port.
  3. *Allow an additional 10 days to process the documents.
  4. *Prices are for 1 car in a dedicated 20ft container. This is the safest and most reliable way to transport a vehicle internationally. Other items may be included in the container to help save you money when moving.
  5. *Using the RoRo (roll on, roll off) method is less expensive and shipments can be completed in fewer days. Contact us now for a free RoRo quote.

Ascertain eligibility of vehicle

Prior to shipping, it is important to confirm whether your vehicle meets the eligibility criteria. If followed, the criteria should give you an idea on whether importation is possible or if modifications need to be done beforehand. The safety as well as emissions standards in the US are quite strict, making it important to understand those that govern the type of vehicle being imported. You will also be required to give reasons for importation into the US as well clarifications on your personal status as well.

Understand car importation regulations

Vehicles manufactured outside the US have to adhere to the safety and emissions standards of the country. These regulations are stiffer for cars that are below twenty five years of age. However, a majority already conform to the standards before being allowed in. Most times, importation of such vehicles depends on your ability to have the required modifications done. These modifications are usually done with the guidance of a ‘Registered Importer’ (RI) or Independent Commercial Importer (ICI). These officials are registered by the government and are skilled in undertaking various types of adjustments so that your car meets the right standards for use in the US.

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Hire registered importers

Registered importers are crucial when planning to import vehicle into USA from the UK. They are best placed to confirm whether your vehicle will have to be modified before being allowed into the US or not. These importers work closely with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), the agency responsible for maintaining high standards of safety on roads and motor vehicles. The agency has a list of registered importers on their site, making it easy for you to contact genuine ones to assist with modifications. Even so, getting modifications done on your vehicle that is being imported into USA from the UK can be time consuming. It is therefore advisable to confirm eligibility through the NHTSA before starting the shipping process to the US.

Preparing your vehicle

Before your car is released for shipping, it is important to have it thoroughly cleaned and eliminate any dangerous pests. When cleaning, focus on the dashboard, underneath the seats, corner areas, wheel arches, mud guards, and tires, including the spare wheel. These spaces often harbor insects and cobwebs which can delay the clearance of the vehicle at the port. In cases where the vehicle does not meet the standard of cleanliness, officials from the U.S Department of Agriculture (USDA) will request for a do over which causes delays and is also costly.

Prepare Documentation For Shipping To US

Apart from working with a dependable shipping company to import vehicle into USA from the UK, there is some documentation you need to provide them. Most times, having these documents and following the required procedure makes it easy to import a vehicle from the UK into USA. The documents are usually provided as copies of the original and they include the license document of vehicle, passport, MOT certificate which is valid. In most cases, the MOT certificate is needed for vehicles that need to be picked up in an open or enclosed carrier from your residence in the UK.


When your vehicle leaves the UK, it should be accompanied by a bill of lading from your shipping company. This document should have information about the vehicle being shipped to the USA which includes estimated arrival date and relevant contact details. Once the vehicle arrives in America, port shipping charges are cleared by making payments to receiving agents. These processes are handled by agents of the shipping company who have experience in handling such processes for their clients. Also, after clearance and the procedure of importation of the vehicle into USA from the UK are concluded, you will need to register your vehicle. This is done at the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) in your state.

To import vehicle into USA from the UK hassle-free, reach out to us through our Contact Us page.

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Joe Webster began his journey in the auto transport field by attending the University of Southern California (USC), where he graduated with a Bachelor of Business Marketing. 

After college, he started his career in the auto transport industry from the bottom up and has done virtually every job there is to do at A-1 Auto Transport, including but not limited to: Truck Driver, Dispatch, Sales, PR, Bookkeeping, Transport Planner, Transport Manager, International Transport Manager, Brokering, Customer Service, and Marketing. Working with his mentor Tony Taylor, Joe Webster has learned the ins and outs of this industry which is largely misunderstood. 

With over 30 years experience in the industry, we've been helping people ship their vehicles, motorcycles, RV's, heavy equipment, household goods and more across the country or overseas without a hitch. Ask us anything.

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Mylene Rutllant
It’s my number one pick in auto shipping to this day.

Due to the nature of my work, I must relocate every couple of years to where my company needs me. Because of this, I’ve tested several moving and auto transport companies over the years.

And my choice in terms of auto transport has to be A1 Auto Transport. It’s in the name, but also in the quality with which they do their jobs. I’ve never had a problem with this company.

The only time my shipment was delayed was during winter when a snowstorm closed down all the major roads. And they still found an alternative and got my car delivered before roads got unstuck.

When I moved to West Virginia, they picked up my car the very day I called them. I like to think they take special care of me considering all the business I’ve sent them. I’ll continue to support A1 Auto Transport. It’s my number one pick in auto shipping to this day.

Luis Rodriguez
You have my full support and recommendation!

I considered selling my car when I moved to Washington. It was old and rusty, but I grew attached to it. So, I called a couple companies to transport it to my new home, but they both fell through.

The first one couldn’t decide on a schedule. He would constantly change the pickup date till I got frustrated and canceled. The second was insufferable, very rude on the phone, even worse in person.

They started picking a part my car asking me why I still have it. If that’s their opinion of my vehicle, how can I trust they’ll take care of it? If something happened midway, why wouldn’t they just blame it on the car instead of paying up?

So, I cancelled this company as well and turned to A1 Auto Transport. From the get go, they were very different from my past options. Their website was very professional and up to date, full of useful information. I requested a quote using their online form, and I got an email response within an hour. Surprisingly fast!

If I didn’t know any better, I would’ve thought they were lacking customers, but the email spoke for itself. In just one email, everything I needed to know was there, including a contact number I could use to get more information or confirm the transport.

I called and got things rolling. I was very pleased with the driver. He followed standard procedure and represented his company well. Can’t remember his name, but props to him!

The car arrived in Washington 6 days later in excellent condition. From what I understand, the transport was delayed a bit by a storm, but since the time window was 4-6 days from the beginning, I don’t really care. You have my full support and recommendation!

Testimonial by Cristine Benoit
Cristine Benoit
I can safely say this is a legit company that will get the job done.

There are a lot of options for auto transport these days, which surprisingly makes it harder to find a good company. I received more than 10 offers to ship my car, but I couldn’t decide on any of them.

After doing some research, I got even more worried reading about all the scams and accidents that can happen. But, I have work to do and couldn’t afford to drive my newly purchased Mini Cooper all the way to Virginia.

Fortunately, I made the right choice with A1 Auto Transport. They are very good at their jobs. I spent more than an hour drilling Joe with various questions, and he never once lost his patience. He saw I was interested, so he bore with me until I was satisfied. The driver was also very courteous and my car was intact on arrival. I couldn’t have asked for more.

By the way, the price we first agreed on stayed the same. There were no delays or unexpected “surprises.” I can safely say this is a legit company that will get the job done.

David Osallo
We give A1 Auto Transport a big 10 out of 10!

We give A1 Auto Transport a big 10 out of 10! We chose them to move our car from California to Vermont, since we needed professionals.

We were abroad during the transport, so the transport was a bit tricky. The driver had to pick it up from storage on short notice and get it to its destination within at most 10 days. I was happy to note it arrived sooner. We got it 3 days early, right when we got home to pick it up. It made getting around way easier. Awesome service!

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A-1 Auto Transport is a disclosed agent for the following shipping companies:

Trans Global Auto Logistics, Inc.
3401 E Randol Mill Rd
Arlington, TX 76011
NO. 018191NF
CFR Rinkens
15501 Texaco Avenue
Paramount, CA 90723
NO. 013055NF
ABC Worldwide LLC
2840 NW 2nd Ave #105
Boca Raton, FL 33431
NO. 025472F
CSI Logistics
435 Division Street
Elizabeth, NJ 07201
FMC 22206
Intl Cargo
45 Campus drive
Edison, NJ 08837
NO. 17858N
ShipYourCarNow LLC
1160 South Rogers Circle Suite 1
Boca Raton, FL 33487
NO. 025646
Merco Air & Ocean Cargo, Inc.
6 Fir Way
Cooper City, FL 33026
NO. 021869F
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