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Ship Car To UK (United Kingdom)

United Kingdom (GBR)

What's in this article?
  1. Car Shipping United Kingdom
  2. Ship Your Car To Or From The Uk
  3. Typical Car Shipping Prices – How Much Does It Cost?
  4. Cost & Time Examples For Shipping A Car To The Uk
  5. Popular Car Shipping Destinations
  6. Required Documents For Shipping A Car To The United Kingdom
  7. In Short, You May Qualify To Have Duties And Vat Waived If
  8. Specialized International Car Shipping To The United Kingdom
  9. Import Duty And Tax Exemption
  10. Required Paperwork
  11. Additional Paperwork For Non-Exempt Vehicles
  12. Shipping Options For Specialized Vehicles
  13. Roll-On/Roll-Off Shipping
  14. Container Shipping
  15. Crate Shipping
  16. Flat Rack Shipping
  17. Lift-On/Lift-Off Car Shipping Services
  18. Related Information
  19. Sources
Ship Car To UK (United Kingdom)

Car Shipping United Kingdom

Ship Your Car To Or From the UK

Typical Car Shipping Prices – How Much Does It Cost?

  • Vehicle shipping costs to the UK from the United States will most commonly be between $2,300 and $4,800.
  • Because there is a lot of cargo that flows between the US and UK, there are plenty of car shipping options, which means you can sometimes find a slightly lower price.

Cost & Time Examples For Shipping a Car to the UK

To/FromGroundOceanDays
San Jose, CA to (California port) to Felixstowe$200$3,2005+39
New York, NY to (New York port) to Liverpool$275$1,8005+28
Boston, MA to (New York port) to London$400$2,1005+12
Las Vegas, NV to (California port) to Felixstowe$450$3,2005+39
Portland, OR to (California port) to Liverpool$475$3,2006+30
Phoenix, AZ to (California port) to Liverpool$550$3,2006+30
Detroit, MI to (New York port) to London$575$2,1006+12
Chicago, IL to (New York port) to London$675$2,1006+12
Atlanta, GA to (New York port) to Felixstowe$700$2,1006+12
Dallas, TX to (California port) to Felixstowe$1,025$3,2007+39

*Prices and times are estimated. They can vary depending on the season and the type of vehicle.

*Save the ground shipping cost by delivering the vehicle safely to the nearest port.

*Allow an additional ten days to process the documents.

*Prices are for one car in a dedicated 20-ft 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.

*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.

This DOES NOT have to be an intimidating process! If you have the correct information, it can be done as smoothly as possible. One of the best things about shipping cars overseas is that there is NO language barrier, and therefore, information is seldom misconstrued or misunderstood.

First, you must ensure your vehicle meets several specific regulations, such as the Road Vehicle Regulations 1986 and the Road Vehicle Lighting Regulations 1989. If you are importing the vehicle permanently, you must also prove that your car meets all environmental and safety regulations. This can be done by using the Individual Vehicle Approval scheme. You can find details on this process on the UK government's website.

Auto Transport Uk United Kingdom

Click here to learn more about the vehicle registration process in the United Kingdom.

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Required Documents For Shipping A Car To The United Kingdom

Best Car Shipping Company Uk United Kingdom
  • Bill of lading.
  • Proof of ownership (registration)
  • Certificate of insurance.
  • Passport.
  • Import document C104A.

Upon entry into the UK, you must pay duties and taxes and any import into a foreign county. You may also be subject to VAT (Value Added Tax), but there are a number of scenarios in which this fee can be excused.

In short, you may qualify to have duties and VAT waived if:

  • You are making a permanent move to the UK.
  • You are importing a previously exported UK vehicle.
  • You are a non-European Union member, and you don't intend to stay longer than six months (also known as temporary admission relief)

If you want to ship a car and do not fall into one of these categories, you should be prepared to pay all duties, taxes, and VAT upon the vehicle arriving in the UK. It is also essential that you notify HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) that you will be importing a vehicle by completing the "Notification of Vehicle Arrivals" service online at this link. Once this process is completed, the total owed for the VAT will be sent to you by the HMRC, and you will be instructed to pay immediately. Penalties will be assessed if the VAT is not paid.

Before you import your vehicle, it would be beneficial to obtain a "Vehicle Import Pack" from the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (henceforth referred to as DVLA), the UK equivalent of the US Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV). This can be accessed on the Department of Transport website.

There are certain restrictions for transporting classic cars over ten years old, so it would be in your best interest to contact the DVLA before attempting to ship a vehicle of that age (see this website).

Upon arrival, you must insure and register your vehicle as soon as possible. It is highly recommended that you transport your car from the port to its final destination because you cannot drive it until it is adequately insured and registered.

Please remember that it is in your best interest to always keep copies, or originals, if available, of all documentation used throughout the process, as these are the forms you will most likely need to present to secure proper registration.

Specialized International Car Shipping To The United Kingdom

The necessary documentation and applicable regulations will be the same when shipping a motorcycle, RV, boat, or classic car to the UK. However, keep in mind that, as covered above, cars manufactured more than ten years ago (such as classic automobiles) may be subject to certain restrictions.

Import Duty and Tax Exemption

If you're only visiting the UK and your specialty vehicle will be imported temporarily (six months or less) - keep in mind that shipping vintage cars to the UK starts with obtaining form C110 to receive temporary admission relief of duty and VAT. To be eligible, you must continue to pay all vehicle taxes required by your origin country and maintain the vehicle's registration in that country. Also, the vehicle must be for your personal use, and it cannot be rented out, lent to others, or sold in the UK (1).

For those moving to the UK long-term instead, a ToR1 application is necessary to receive import duty and tax exemption. This Application for Transfer of Residence relief (ToR1) is now the required document to declare permanent vehicle importation, and it replaces Form C104A (2).

In addition, to have import duty and tax waived on permanent vehicle imports, you must have purchased and personally used the vehicle for more than the last six months. Further, you must certify that you won't sell or get rid of the vehicle for at least one year after moving to the UK. Finally, registration with the DVLA before shipping a car, motorcycle, RV, or boat is mandatory (3).

Move Car Uk United Kingdom

Required Paperwork

You'll need to show a purchase invoice, proof of insurance, or other paperwork demonstrating that you've owned and used the vehicle in your origin country for at least six months (4). Customs will also ask to see proof that your previous residence was in a non-EU country, and either a bank statement or utility bill is acceptable for this purpose. Your car registration and the Original Bill of Lading or Air Waybill for the shipment are also required (5).

Additional Paperwork For Non-Exempt Vehicles

If your classic car, boat, RV, or motorcycle doesn't qualify for duty and tax exemption, you must provide additional documents. For instance, if your vehicle was manufactured under six months ago, Declaration Form C384 is necessary. You may also need form C179B or Community Transit Form T2 in some instances. Finally, an Economic Operators Registration and Identification (EORI) number is required (6).

Shipping Options For Specialized Vehicles

Roll-On/Roll-Off Shipping

Roll-on/roll-off shipping is often a consumer's preferred shipping method for many different vehicle types. RoRo shipping is so popular due to the fast and easy loading and unloading that this method provides (7). In addition, RoRo car shipping is typically more economical than container shipping. However, a container shared with multiple vehicles (a consolidated container) may be nearly the same price in some cases.

One drawback of RoRo shipping is the inability of some UK ports to accommodate the RoRo shipping vessel - so your options may be more limited compared to using a container ship with its crane on board (8).

Container Shipping

It's improbable that your RV will fit into a container, though many small towable camping trailers will fit comfortably (9). With usable interior space in a standard container measuring roughly 7 feet 10 inches high and 7 feet 8 inches wide, containers can ship cars and even most SUVs, trucks, and vans (10). That said, you must verify that your specific vehicle will fit before auto shipping (being sure to leave room for egress of the car after loading).

Crate Shipping

Similar in most aspects to the container shipping method, the key difference is the size of the unit. Rather than a 20 or 40-foot shipping container, crate shipping allows you to use a custom-built crate that's perfectly sized to hold the item being shipped. While international car shipping in this way isn't typical, customers often wish to encase their motorcycle in a protective crate - to prevent scratches, dents, salt exposure, or other damage during transit.

Flat Rack Shipping

Flat rack containers are open on the top and sides, enabling them to hold vehicles that cannot fit inside a standard car shipping container. This makes flat rack shipping a viable option for RVs, as long as the wheelbase isn't too wide to rest securely on the flat rack's base.

Ship Your Car Uk United Kingdom

Lift-On/Lift-Off Car Shipping Services

If you wish to ship an oversized RV or even a boat to the UK, then the lift-on/lift-off (LoLo) UK shipping method could be the best avenue to explore. Unlike a ship that must use a crane housed on the dock, a LoLo ship has its crane on board. This will either be a jib, derrick, or gantry crane - and each design has its specific features and capabilities. A LoLo ship is typically set up with flexible cargo areas, allowing it to make space for even outsized vehicles and sailing vessels (11).

Related Information

SOURCES:

(1) https://www.gov.uk/importing-vehicles-into-the-uk/temporary-imports

(2) https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/application-for-transfer-of-residence-tor-relief-tor01

(3) https://www.iamovers.org/ResourcesPublications/CountryGuides.aspx?ItemNumber=3511

(4) https://www.fidi.org/sites/default/files/public/2020-03/M_Svcs_Customsregulation_United%20Kingdom_0.pdf

(5) https://www.iamovers.org/ResourcesPublications/CountryGuides.aspx?ItemNumber=3511

(6) Found on Atlas Int’l "Importing Personal Belongings Into the UK" page.

(7) https://www.a1autotransport.com/shipping-a-car-overseas-via-roro-ship/

(8) https://www.a1autotransport.com/is-the-ro-ro-shipping-a-safe-way-to-ship-your-car-to-the-philippines/

(9) https://camperreport.com/average-width-of-a-travel-trailer-with-11-examples/

(10) https://westerncontainersales.com/shipping-container-dimensions/

(11) https://www.automobiledimension.com/large-suv-4x4-cars.php

(12) https://carindependent.com/average-size-half-ton-pickup-truck/

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the most important ports in the UK for car shipping cars overseas?


How much will ocean or air freight from the USA to the UK cost me?


When should I expect my car shipment to arrive in the UK from the USA? Can you explain the timeframe?


What are the recommended preparations when shipping a car from the USA to the UK?


What documents do I need to import my car from the USA to the UK? Can you give me a checklist?


Can you lay down the details of the whole process of importing a car from the USA to the UK, sequentially and briefly?


Can you summarize the customs import duties and taxes applicable for car imports from the USA to the UK?


When do I have to pay import taxes for a car import to the UK?


When can I claim a tax exemption for importing a car from the USA to the UK?


What import regulations should I look out for when importing a car from the USA to the UK?


Is the tax for imported cars from the USA to the UK constant?


What is mutual recognition for vehicle imports to the UK, and does it apply to cars coming from the USA?

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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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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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