Ship Your Car To Or From the UK
Typical Shipping Prices – How Much Does It Cost?
- Vehicle transport 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 shipping options, which means you can sometimes find a slightly cheaper price.
Cost & Time Examples For Shipping a Car to UK
|San Jose, CA to (California port) to Felixstowe||$200||$3,200||5+39|
|New York, NY to (New York port) to Liverpool||$275||$1,800||5+28|
|Boston, MA to (New York port) to London||$400||$2,100||5+12|
|Las Vegas, NV to (California port) to Felixstowe||$450||$3,200||5+39|
|Portland, OR to (California port) to Liverpool||$475||$3,200||6+30|
|Phoenix, AZ to (California port) to Liverpool||$550||$3,200||6+30|
|Detroit, MI to (New York port) to London||$575||$2,100||6+12|
|Chicago, IL to (New York port) to London||$675||$2,100||6+12|
|Atlanta, GA to (New York port) to Felixstowe||$700||$2,100||6+12|
|Dallas, TX to (California port) to Felixstowe||$1,025||$3,200||7+39|
*Prices and times are estimated. They can vary depending on the season and the type of vehicle.
*Save the ground transport cost by delivering the vehicle to the nearest port.
*Allow an additional 10 days to process the documents.
*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.
*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! Armed with the correct information, it can be done as smoothly as possible. One of the best things about shipping your car to the UK is that there is NO language barrier, and therefore, information is seldom misconstrued or misunderstood.
To begin, you must ensure your vehicle meets a number of 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 provide proof that your car meets all environmental and safety regulations. This can be done by using the Individual Vehicle Approval scheme. Details on this process can be found on the UK government’s website.
Click here to learn more about vehicle registration process in the United Kingdom.
Popular Shipping Destinations
A-1 Auto Transport ships vehicles worldwide. Click here or call 1-800-518-8708 to get a free, no obligation to buy price quote to ship your car.
Required Documents For Shipping A Vehicle To The United Kingdom
- Bill of lading.
- Proof of ownership (registration)
- Certificate of insurance.
- Import document C104A.
Upon entry into the UK, you must pay duties and taxes, as with 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 as detailed at.
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 6 months (also known as temporary admission relief)
If you do not fall into one of these categories, 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 extremely helpful 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 placed on vehicles over 10 years old, so it would be in your best interest to contact the DVLA prior to attempting to ship a vehicle of that age (see this website).
Upon arrival, it is extremely important that you 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 are not allowed to drive the vehicle until it is both properly 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.
Shipping Specialized Vehicles To The United Kingdom
The necessary documentation and applicable regulations will be much the same, when shipping a motorcycle, RV, boat or classic car to the United Kingdom. However, keep in mind that as covered above, vehicles manufactured more than 10 years ago (such as classic automobiles) may be subject to certain restrictions.
Duty and Tax Exemption
If you’re only visiting the UK and your specialty vehicle will be imported on a temporary basis (six months or less) - then you must fill out 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 own 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 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, in order 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 prior to shipping your motorcycle, RV, boat or classic car is mandatory (3).
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 vehicle registration and either 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 may need to provide additional documents. For instance, if your vehicle was manufactured under six months ago, then Declaration Form C384 is necessary. Form C179B or Community Transit Form T2 may also be needed in certain cases. Finally, for all shipments regardless of exemption status, an Economic Operators Registration and Identification (EORI) number is required (6).
Shipping Options For Specialized Vehicles
Roll-on/roll-off shipping is often a consumer's first choice for many different vehicle types. The reason RoRo shipping is so popular, is due to the fast and easy loading and unloading which this method provides (7). In addition, RoRo shipping is typically more economical than container shipping. However, a container shared with other vehicles (a consolidated container) may be nearly the same price in some cases.
One drawback of RoRo shipping is the inability of some ports to accommodate RoRo vessels - so your options may be more limited compared to using a container ship with its own crane on board (8).
It’s extremely unlikely 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 accommodate nearly all cars and even most SUVs, trucks and vans (10). That said, you must verify that your specific vehicle will fit before shipping (being sure to leave room for egress of the vehicle after loading).
Similar in most aspects to container shipping, 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 shipping a car 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 which can’t fit inside a standard 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.
If you wish to ship an oversized RV or even a boat to the UK, then lift-on/lift-off (LoLo) shipping could be the best avenue to explore. Unlike a ship that must use a crane housed on the dock, a LoLo ship has its own crane on board. This will either be a jib, derrick or gantry crane - and each design has its own 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 & FAQs.
- How to ship a car from Los Angeles to London
- How much does it cost to ship a motorcycle from USA to UK?
- Import vehicle into USA from the UK
- Moving from USA to UK: cost
- Education & learning in the UK
- Moving & packing services (from USA to the UK)
- Moving overseas - to UK
- Passports & living abroad in the UK
- Visas & immigration in the UK
- Moving your family to the United Kingdom
- The difference between an immigrant and non immigrant visas
- The United Kingdom container shipping
Found on Atlas Int’l “Importing Personal Belongings Into the UK” page.
Written By:Joe Webster
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.
Email me - firstname.lastname@example.org