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FAQs - Import a Car to the UK

Q: How much does it cost to import a car to the UK?

Due to the complexities of the car import process, it is difficult to provide a cost indicator as there are so many variants that will affect the price, such as type of vehicle, method of shipment and country of export. Please contact us for an accurate calculation based on your specific requirements.

Q: Will I require insurance when the vehicle is with Specialised Shipping?

A: No. Your vehicle is covered by our fully comprehensive Traders Policy from the time we take possession. If you appoint Specialised Shipping Services (UK) to legalise your vehicle, we will ask for insurance cover when the vehicle application is submitted to the DVLA. Securing cover prior to registration submission is a waste of your money!

Q: How long does the process take?

A: It depends on the method of legalisation and the documentation required. A vehicle that requires IVA testing can take approximately 4 weeks, if we have all the information to present the IVA application to VOSA three weeks in advance. This makes it extremely important to contact us well in advance of the vehicles arrival when importing a car to the UK. If UK car registration is required for a European car Import the process can take approximately three weeks if you already hold an original Certificate of Conformity.

Q: What can I do to speed the process?

A: Contact us as soon as you know that you will require shipping or legalisation and registration of your vehicle. Administrative requirements and liaison with the various governmental departments involved in the process is BY FAR the most time consuming element of the procedure.

Q: Following completion of all tests when can I expect to receive my vehicle?

A: The registration application is submitted to the DVLA on the day that all tests and paperwork has been secured. The DVLA are presently processing our submissions in approximately seven days. You notify us of the number awarded upon receipt of your registration document and we produce and fit the plates. Your vehicle is ready for collection on the same day.

Q:What happens with my original registration document/Title/Log book etc?

A: Your registration document is retained by the DVLA and returned to the country of origin following UK registration.

Q: What is an MOT?

A: It is an annual test of vehicle safety, roadworthiness and exhaust emissions required in the U.K for vehicles over three years old. It is NOT the same as an IVA (previously SVA)

Q: I have a foreign driving licence. May I still legally drive in the UK?

A: Yes. Most insurance companies will allow you to drive for one year on your current licence before applying for a UK driving licence.

Q: What about car insurance?

A: We have a network of preferred insurance companies who will endeavour to obtain the best possible rate for you and your vehicle.

Q: Can I sell my vehicle following registration?

A: You are free to sell your vehicle immediately after registration UNLESS it was entered as a transfer of residence when your vehicle must be kept for 12 months; otherwise HMRC will require full payment of duties and VAT.

Q: Can I put a personal plate on my vehicle?

A: Indeed you can – just send us the Retention Certificate and we will submit it, at no extra cost, with the registration application.

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