Easy customs clearance when importing your car into the UK

1 - Submit your details

Complete the below form so that we have some basic info for your vehicle import customs clearance to start with

2 - Send us your documents

send your Purchase Invoice, (Valuation from a UK Garage), Log Book, Vehicle Registration Number, Chassis Number, Transport details etc to mail@universalcustomsclearance.co.uk

3 - Get your import clearance

Mon to Fri, 09:00 to 15:00, you can expect us to complete your personal effects clearance within a couple of hours during a normal working day.   Once Clearance is completed we/you can apply for a NOVA Certificate then after that is done you can register the vehicle with the DVLA 

    Customs clearance when importing vehicles into the UK

    When importing vehicles into the UK, you need to ensure that your automobile is customs cleared and that the DVLA have approved it. This involves payment of duty and VAT (if applicable), and will include registration with the DVLA.

    Below is the process for customs clearing a car in the UK.

    What do you need to import a car into the UK?

     

    For us to declare your car to HMRC, we need the following documents from you:

    – A commercial invoice (if your purchase was in the last three months), or a valuation of your vehicle from a UK garage. Note that the DVLA do not accept online evaluations.

    – A vehicle logbook.

    Firstly, a commercial invoice (or document showing a current, correct valuation if there is no invoice) will be required so that your broker can declare a value for the vehicle.

    Second, the Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) is needed for the declaration to customs. If there the VIN is unknown, then it could cause you delays, complications, and costs at the border if the car is required to be unpacked to obtain the VIN.

    Finally, HMRC require a secondary declaration with the use of a Notification of Vehicle Arrival (NOVA) form.

    For your vehicle to be used in the UK, it must be approved as roadworthy by the DVLA. This may include inspection, or the request for additional documentation to prove the vehicle’s condition.

    Once the DVLA have approved your vehicle, and issued a V5C logbook, you may tax it and then drive your imported car on the road.

     

    Do I pay duty and Vat when importing vehicles into the UK?

     
    Unless you are importing vehicles into the UK as part of a Transfer of Residence, temporary import, or returning export, you are liable to pay duty and Vat. 

    If the vehicle is a temporary import or returning export, then supplementary documentation will be required. 

    A returning export will require proof of export, including the commercial documents and export declaration. If your vehicle is a temporary import, then it will require the submission of a C110 form to declare that it will only be in the UK for a limited amount of time.

    When do I register a vehicle when importing one into the UK?

     
    Before you register an imported vehicle with the DVLA, you must have cleared the automobile with customs and obtained vehicle approval.

    For your V55/5 application, you need to send the clearances and your ID documents to the DVLA. You must also tax your vehicle before approval.

    If your application is successful, then the DVLA will issue you with a V5C logbook for your vehicle, and you will then be allowed to use it on UK roads. Your car should not be driven in the UK before this time.

    Need advice on importing a vehicle into the UK?

     
    Universal Customs Clearance provide car import clearance services in all major UK seaports. Send us your question on the below form and one of our experts will be back to you as soon as possible. 

      Universal Customs Clearance don't only provide customs clearance when importing vehicles into the UK

      Customs when importing a vehicle FAQs

      Do I need to clear a car with customs when I import a vehicle in the UK?

      Yes, you need to have customs clearance when you are permanently importing a vehicle into the UK. If you are just visiting the UK, do not have residency here, and the car is taxed and insured, then you do not need to have customs clearance. Check your insurance for details of your cover.

      If you do need clearance for your vehicle, then you need to clear the car with customs before you register the car with the DVLA. To do this, you need a valuation from a UK garage and the details of the shipment it is arriving in, as well as a customs broker with a link to the port that you are shipping the vehicle into.

      Universal Customs Clearance has links to all major UK ports. For help with clearance when importing a vehicle into the UK, contact us for more information.

      How easy is it to import a car into the UK?

      It is generally not difficult to import a car into the UK, but there are some specific requirements and procedures that you will need to follow. Here is an overview of the process:

      - Check that the car meets UK standards: All vehicles imported into the UK must meet specific standards for safety, emissions, and other factors. If your car does not meet these standards, you may need to make modifications before it can be imported.

      - Obtain the necessary documents: You will need to have proof of ownership, a valid driving license, and a certificate of conformity (COC) if the car was built after 1 April 1998.

      - Arrange the freight of your car. It is recommended to add insurance to your shipping.

      - Clear your car through customs and pay import Duty and VAT: If you are importing a vehicle for the first time (not returning a previous export), you will need to pay import duty and VAT on the value of the car. The rate of duty and VAT will depend on the type and age of the car, and the country it is being imported from.

      - Register the car with the DVLA: Once the car has arrived in the UK and has been customs cleared, you will need to register it with the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) and obtain a UK license plate.

      Overall, the process of importing a car into the UK can be quite involved, and it is important to be well-prepared and to follow all the necessary procedures. If you are unsure about any aspect of the customs process, contact us for assistance.

      How are customs involved when importing a car into the UK?

      When you import a car, commercially or privately, you need to follow customs processes before you can drive it on UK roads. This includes completing an import customs clearance and registering the car with the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA).

      Before you can register with the DVLA, you need to clear the goods through customs. To do this, you need to provide your broker with the following documents or information:

      - Value of the car (on a commercial invoice dated within 3 months, or using a UK garage to evaluate the vehicle).
      - A vehicle log book.
      - Date of arrival.
      - Port of arrival.
      - A Transfer of Residence (TOR1) approval number (if it is part of a personal effects import).

      Once the customs clearance has been completed and any taxes (if applicable) have been paid, you can then register your vehicle with the DVLA. When they are satisfied with the legality of the vehicle, they will provide you with a V5C logbook and you can then tax the car for use on UK roads.

      If you need help with clearing vehicles or personal effects in the UK, contact Universal Customs Clearance for assistance.

      How much tax do I pay when importing a car into the UK?

      The amount of tax that you pay on your car will depend on the type of vehicle and the circumstances under which you are importing it. Here is a general outline; however, it is best to check your specific vehicle with an expert on a case-by-case basis:

      - Transfer of Residence TOR1 (personal effects) movement when you have owned the car for a long time: 0%
      - Importing a vehicle that has been newly purchased abroad: circa 0% duty and 20% VAT.
      - Commercial vehicles: circa 10% duty and 20% VAT.
      - Historical or vintage cars: 10% duty and 5% VAT.

      Beware that the value used for duty and VAT is not only the cost of the vehicle, but the border value. This includes the freight, insurance, and other expenses incurred before the vehicle gets to the UK border. Check your INCOTERM to find out what your commercial invoice value includes.

      For help with clearing a vehicle into the UK, contact Universal Customs Clearance today.

      What's involved with car customs UK?

      When you are working with car customs in the UK, you need to clear the goods with HMRC and the DVLA. These two government offices oversee different aspects of the customs process when importing a car into the UK, as follows:

      HMRC are responsible for collecting data on imports and will collect the clearance data on your car customs clearance. You need a customs broker to make the declaration, documents for the commercial sale or valuation, and you will need to pay the import duty and VAT before the vehicle is released from the border.

      The DVLA are responsible for ensuring the car is safe for UK roads, that you have registered the vehicle, and that you have paid the UK road tax. This part of UK car customs is secondary, as the DVLA require you to complete the import car customs clearance with HMRC before you can register the vehicle. You must not drive your imported car until it has been registered and taxed with the DVLA.

      If you need help with car customs clearance with HMRC, please contact us for more information.

      How do I process car a car through UK customs?

      To import your car through customs in the UK, you need to both clear the car with HMRC and make it road-legal with the DVLA. You will need to use an agent for the first part of the car customs process.

      To get your car through customs, you need to provide your agent with documentation for the sale or a valuation from a UK car trader. This is so that your agent can provide the correct value to HMRC for the tax. You will need to pay tax on your car before it can be brought into the country, unless it is being imported as part of a Transfer of Residence procedure when you are moving to the UK from abroad.

      Once you have cleared the car through customs, you need to register your vehicle with the DVLA. This will allow you to file your MOT status with the agency and tax the vehicle for UK roads. You must not drive your car on until you have completed the entire UK car customs process: clearance with HMRC, registration with the DVLA, and confirmed MOT and road tax.

      If you need to clear your car through HMRC, contact us for assistance.

      How much is car import duty in the UK?

      The standard duty for a car in the UK is 10%, when the primary use of the vehicle is for the movement of people. For larger cars, vans, pickup trucks, and other vehicles, the duty can be as high as 25%. It depends on the type of vehicle and what it's primary use is.

      When you are importing a vehicle into the UK that you have owned for over six months, you may be able to import it as a personal belonging. However, strict conditions need to be met for you to do this, including proof of purchase, proof of address in both the country of origin and the UK, and the completion of a Transfer of Residence TOR1 form.

      Universal Customs Clearance are experts in clearing vehicles through customs. Contact us for more information today.

      Do I need an EORI number when importing a car into the UK?

      No, unless you are importing the car commercially and would like to reclaim the VAT.

      If you are importing a car as a private individual, then you may need to pay duty and VAT on your vehicle. However, if your car import is part of a Transfer of Residence movement, then you may be able to waive the import duty and VAT on the vehicle. To do this, you must have owned the car for at least six months and have it registered at a foreign address which you were a resident of (from which you are moving your goods back to the UK).

      You also need to have an EORI number if you are completing the declaration as a temporary import, and intend to reclaim the tax once the car is reexported from the UK.

      Contact us for help with customs when importing a vehicle into the UK.

      What's the best way to bring a car to the UK?

      Depending on where you are bringing it back from, it may be best to ship your car in a container or contract a large vehicle to move it. You can also drive the vehicle over the ferry, provided you have successfully registered the car with the DVLA, it is roadworthy, and you are insured.

      The cost of the car and the type of transit insurance are also essential considerations as insurers may demand you protect an expensive car in a container or dedicated tautliner, whereas an old car may be fine on a car carrier trailer.

      Customs clearance of a car is required if the car is not a returning domestic vehicle or exempt if you are a tourist. You may also need to pay the import taxes for the car if it is a private import and not part of a Transfer of Residence. Typically, the import duty for a car is 10% of the value and must be evaluated by a UK garage.

      Whether you are bringing in a private or commercial vehicle, Universal Customs Clearance are here for your import clearances. Contact us for more information.

      How much does it cost to clear a car through UK customs?

      Importing a car into the UK requires import customs clearance upon arrival. The cost for this will depend on the port of arrival, method of transport, and the customs broker that you use.

      If you are importing a car into the UK inside a container, you can expect to pay inventory and port security fees. Other fees associated with the inventory can be, but are not limited to, infrastructure, ship-to-shore, or green energy / sustainability charges. There are also charges from the shipping line to consider we importing a vehicle in a container.

      For Roll On / Roll Off (Ro/Ro) imports, you will still need to pay for the customs clearance of the vehicle, but the inventory and shipping fees will often be lower overall.

      Contact Universal Customs Clearance for more information on the costs associated with your car clearance.

      Is it cheaper to import a car into the UK than buy domestically?

      You can save money when importing a car into the UK when compare to buying from a UK dealer. However, there will be extra costs and processes to consider - as well as the time taken to complete the import.

      Shipping costs, customs clearance, registering with the DVLA, and the risk of buying from a reputable supplier are all considerations that you need to bear in mind - as well as ensuring that the car has the steering wheel on the right side (literally)!

      Universal Customs Clearance provides import clearance for imported vehicles across the UK, servicing every major UK sea port.

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