- Car Shipping United Kingdom
- Ship Your Car To Or From The Uk
- Typical Car Shipping Prices – How Much Does It Cost?
- Cost & Time Examples For Shipping A Car To The Uk
- Popular Car Shipping Destinations
- Required Documents For Shipping A Car To The United Kingdom
- In Short, You May Qualify To Have Duties And Vat Waived If
- Specialized International Car Shipping To The United Kingdom
- Import Duty And Tax Exemption
- Required Paperwork
- Additional Paperwork For Non-Exempt Vehicles
- Shipping Options For Specialized Vehicles
- Roll-On/Roll-Off Shipping
- Container Shipping
- Crate Shipping
- Flat Rack Shipping
- Lift-On/Lift-Off Car Shipping Services
- Related Information
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
|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 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.
Click here to learn more about the vehicle registration process in the United Kingdom.
Popular Car Shipping Destinations
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Required Documents For Shipping A Car 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 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).
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 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).
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).
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.
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).
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(6) Found on Atlas Int’l "Importing Personal Belongings Into the UK" page.
Frequently Asked Questions
What are the most important ports in the UK for car shipping cars overseas?
The UK is an island nation and thus naturally has an abundance of seaports, too many to list here, but some of the most important and most iconic ports are as follows:
Felixstowe Port: This port handles 48% of the country's container shipment operations. It can deal with 3.8 million TEUs of container traffic which makes it more than capable of handling car shipments in bulk. Also, since the port connects the UK with the major commercial centers of mainland Europe, it would not be wrong to call it the jugular container UK shipping. Plus, it has three train rails which connect it with 47 freight trains.
Southampton Port: While this car shipping port is primarily known for its passenger handling capabilities, it is also capable of dealing with cargo import/export business. Since it is well-linked with UK roads and rails, it functions continually even with bulk cargo influx. It handles about 820,000 car shipments every year, plus it has a container capacity of 1.5 TEUs.
London Port: Connected with the financial core of the UK, this car shipping port handles massive trade operations, around 51.2 million tons in a year! And if things go on steady as predicted, this number is expected to swell to 80 million tons. Plus, since the port handles all sorts of cargo, even hazardous ones, car shipments are not that big of a stretch.
Immingham Port: This port is a vital cargo shipping center with an impressive tonnage capacity of about 55 million tons. Aside from handling 10 million tons of coal and twice as much oil, the port also deals with car shipments, especially roll-on, roll-off car shipping.
Liverpool Port: This port is perfectly equipped for dealing with automobile shipments, primarily via roll-on, roll-off shipping. With a massive car shipping terminal, the port welcomes several large container vessels and other ships every day.
How much will ocean or air freight from the USA to the UK cost me?
There is no exact figure when it comes to car shipments because of all the variables involved and whether you can secure concessions or not. Ideally, you should consider a budget of between $2,300 to $4,800 when shipping a vehicle overseas.
This rate is based on the standard cost of the shared container shipping option; you can, of course, minimize the sum by opting for the roll-on, roll-off method of shipping a car overseas. Then there are other details like the overseas travel distance, taxes, and customs duties, that can affect the final price.
When should I expect my car shipment to arrive in the UK from the USA? Can you explain the timeframe?
If you've relocated to the UK and want to ship a car to your address there, then you'll need to schedule it smartly because it won't happen overnight. The time frame is not fixed because there can always be unexpected delays in the process.
However, the most significant factor in this equation is the overseas travel distance, taking the most substantial chunk of your time. The distance is predicated on your selection of the optimal shipping lines in your case.
For this, you'll need to select the departure and final destination ports based on the original location of the vehicle and the delivery address. Based on this, the time taken for the delivery to come through will vary.
For instance, the New York Port to the England arrival port will take about 23 days. However, if the starting point is the California port, the voyage will take about 35 days. Based on this information, your car shipment will take more than a month to reach you.
There are other factors to consider such as the overland travel distance for transport and delivery, customs clearance, and registration. Then there are unexpected delays to consider, such as those created by the COVID-19 pandemic.
What are the recommended preparations when shipping a car from the USA to the UK?
Pre-shipping preparations are essential; you don't need to do much but do it right. Start with cleaning the exterior, including the undercarriage, preferably via steam cleaning. You need to ensure that the undercarriage is free from foreign soil before shipping a car to the UK.
This may seem trivial, but it's not. While it may not be a legal import requirement worldwide, it is still a good idea nevertheless. It is essential because this way, you can ensure that you don't accidentally introduce any pests or invasive species to the new habitat.
Make sure to clean the interior and that none of your personal belongings are left inside the vehicle once you're done if you're going to ship a car safely with the roll-on, roll-off shipment option. In this case, your car will be operable, so you'll also have to put gas into the tank but no more than a quarter of its cubic capacity.
If you want to ship a car, contact The A1 Auto Transport via our toll-free line and let us handle everything for you.
What documents do I need to import my car from the USA to the UK? Can you give me a checklist?
Here's a checklist of documents you'll need for clearing your car import to the UK:
- Certificate of title
- Bill/Invoice of sale
- Lading bill
- Documents proving your ownership over the vehicle
- Car registration documents
- A valid passport
- C104A form
Also, look up the legal import requirements on the UK customs website to stay up to date about what you need. Make sure that all of the information on your documents is entirely accurate and that none of them are missing.
This way, you can avoid unnecessary delays with the customs department.
Can you lay down the details of the whole process of importing a car from the USA to the UK, sequentially and briefly?
Here's a breakdown of the whole process of shipping cars from the USA to the UK starts with the following:
Start with research – you need to look for a couple of things before you take things any further:
- Import requirements to ship vehicles in the UK
- List of documents you need to import your car
- Whether or not you can secure a VAT tax exemption
- The conformity standards your vehicle needs to comply with in the UK
- Whether or not you can make your vehicle comply with those standards via modifications
Gather your paperwork – you need the following documents to import your car legally in the UK:
- Certificate of title
- Documents proving the origin of the vehicles
- Bill of lading
- Ownership documents
- Invoice of sale
- Registration paperwork
Analyze the costs – next, you need to figure out how much all of this is going to cost you and what you can do to minimize the sum:
- Shipping insurance coverage charges
- Ocen or air-freight charges
- Storage charges
- Transport/delivery charges
- Import processing fees
- Customs Import duties
- Import taxes
- Vehicle registration fees
- Pre-shipping preparation fees
- Customs broker's charges
- Logistics services company's fees
Select a shipment company – then you need to figure out who you're going to trust your vehicle with; you need to look for:
- A proven track record (check out reviews and references)
- Customer service
- The versatility of ocean or air-freight options
- Complete support at all levels (At A1 Auto Transport, we always have your back!)
Pre-shipping – at this stage, you need to ensure a couple of things before you ship your car:
- Clean the interior of the car
- Clean the exterior plus the undercarriage
- Determine the departure port
- Select the destination port
- Choose your shipment option, i.e., RoRo shipment, or shared container shipping.
Ship your car
Arrival at the selected port
Paying the taxes and customs duties
Putting on the assigned number plates
Can you summarize the customs import duties and taxes applicable for car imports from the USA to the UK?
Unless you can claim a vehicle tax exemption to transport your car tax free, you'll have to pay the following taxes and customs duties for your car import to the UK:
- 10% import duty (customs duty)
- 20% vehicle value-added tax (VAT) for collector's vehicles
- If you've imported a collector's vehicle, you'll only have to pay the 5% customs duty without the VAT.
When do I have to pay import taxes for a car import to the UK?
In the following cases, you'll have to pay a tax for importing a car to the UK:
- If the vehicle is new and has not been driven for more than six months
- If you're not an EU resident and plan on staying in the UK for over a year
- If you've already claimed a tax refund on the VAT/sales tax of the said car
- If you purchased the vehicle tax-free, to begin with
When can I claim a tax exemption for importing a car from the USA to the UK?
You can get an exemption for your tax payments in the following cases:
- If you're currently residing in the EU and importing the car temporarily
- If you're moving to the UK and can claim transfer of residency
- If you're not an EU resident but are temporarily importing the car
Plus, you need to satisfy these conditions:
- You need to be residing in the UK
- The said vehicle should be registered in the USA
- Plus, all the taxes should be cleared in the USA
- It would help if you were planning on using the vehicle only temporarily, i.e., six months
What import regulations should I look out for when importing a car from the USA to the UK?
The legal regulations for transporting classic cars are not all that strict in the UK; however, some regulations are worth your attention:
- Compliance with the UK Roadways Vehicle Lighting Regulations, 1989
- Compliance with safe emission levels
- Compliance with vehicle safety standards for the passengers
If you want to ship a car that is perfectly safe and not too bad for the environment, you shouldn't have any trouble importing it. If you're unsure whether your vehicle complies with the said standards, you can have it tested, and if needed, you can modify the car accordingly.
Is the tax for imported cars from the USA to the UK constant?
No, the taxes and duties for different car imports will be variable. You can skip the customs duties for classic vehicles (pre-1950) and only pay a 5% VAT. You'll have to pay 22% customs duties and a standard 20% VAT for trucks and commercial vehicles.
For cars that are more than thirty years, you should contact the HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) via a toll-free number before you ship a car. But you most probably won't have to pay a penny in duties save for a 5% VAT.
This only applies to unmodified (engine and chassis) cars.
For new cars, those no older than six months, you'll need to fill in the details on the C110 and C104A forms and submit them to the relevant authorities.
What is mutual recognition for vehicle imports to the UK, and does it apply to cars coming from the USA?
Mutual recognition applies when a car from one EU country is shipped to another, in which case there is no doubt that the vehicle complies with the legal import regulations. Cars shipped with a UK agent will not qualify for mutual recognition unless the vehicle is of EU origin and was temporarily shipped to the USA.
You'll have to contact the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) in the UK via a toll-free number to check whether or not your car complies with the requirements. Also, if want to ship a car older than ten years, you need to double-check whether it will be allowed inside the UK then leave your contact details for correspondence.