Car Shipping from the US to the UK
Interested in car shipping from the US to the UK? Trans Global Auto Logistics can transport your possessions from the states to the UK using our local connections at ports worldwide. With over three decades of shipping experience, we make it easy to move your vehicles, machinery, or personal goods overseas, using your selected methods for personal customization. Let us help you with details such as customs paperwork, import regulations, and ensuring a timely arrival wherever you need your goods in the UK.
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US Documentation: Export Requirements for Shipping Cars from the US to the UK
For car shipping from the US to the UK, US military service members need the original title, or original notarized lien letter with a copy of the title, for the vehicle as well as their PCS orders and passport or EIN as the US documentation export requirements. For non-military US exports, required documents include the vehicle’s original title, a copy of the bill of sale, and the passport or EIN.
US Military Service Members:
- The Original Title/Original Notarized Lien Letter with a Copy of the Title
- PCS orders
- EIN or passport
Non-Military US Exports:
- Vehicle’s Original Title
- Copy of the Bill of Sale
- EIN or Passport
UK Documentation: Import Requirements for Vehicles
The UK required documentation for imported vehicles is a copy of the bill of sale and a copy of the registration certificate or vehicle title.
- Copy of the Bill of Sale
- Copy of the Registration Certificate/Vehicle Title
UK Duties and Taxes for Imported Vehicles
Temporary imports, where a vehicle is registered and taxed in its home country, used for up to six total months in the UK, and is owned by a visitor with no intention of living in the UK, allows vehicles to be used with foreign number plates without UK registration or tax.
- Owned by a visitor with no intention of living in the UK
- The vehicle is registered and taxed in its home country
- The vehicle is used for up to six months (total)
If your vehicle does not meet those conditions, there will be duty and taxes. You must pay any VAT and duty when shipping your car to the UK before your car will be released by customs. Vehicles more than 30 years old with no major modifications have no duty and a 5% VAT, while vehicles 30 years old or less have a 10% duty and 20% VAT. Different numbers apply for boats.
Vehicles Less than 30 Years Old:
- 10% Duty
- 20% VAT
Vehicles More than 30 Years Old:
- 0% Duty
- 5% VAT
- In the Original Condition/No Major Modifications
Boats Under 12 Meters:
- 17% Duty (2.7% if boat doesn’t exceed 100kg)
- 20% VAT
Boats Over 12 Meters:
- 0% Duty
- 20% VAT
*An additional “retaliatory duty” rate of 25% is enforced by the EU/UK for motorcycles and boats manufactured in the US.
Cost and Transit Times for Car Shipping from US to UK
Cost and transit times vary greatly depending on departure and arrival port locations. Generally speaking, vehicles coming from the East Coast take about 15 days to get to the UK and 30 days from the West Coast. You will need to factor in more time for customs clearance and vessel loading and unloading, so expect the whole shipping process to take about 30-45 days from the USA East Coast and 45-60 days from the West Coast.
- About 15 Days from the US East Coast
- About 30 Days from the US West Coast
- Factor in Additional Time for Customs Clearance and Vessel Loading/Unloading
- Approximately 30-45 from the US East Coast and 45-60 days from the US West Coast
To determine the cost of car shipping from the US to the UK, submit a free quote request with no obligation.
UK Vehicle Import Approval and Registration
You will need to demonstrate proof of vehicle approval, meaning that your imported vehicle meets regional environmental and safety regulations. UK exemptions mean you might not need approval for a vehicle that was first registered or manufactured over 10 years ago. You can download the required forms and get more information here to contact the DVLA to ensure your vehicle meets all requirements.
- Make Sure Your Vehicle Meets All Requirements by Contacting the DVLA
- Download Required Forms/Find More Information at gov.uk
Vehicles brought to the UK permanently must be registered. Registration cannot occur until HM Revenues and Customs has been notified and gives confirmation that your NOVA application is processed. You will need to pay VAT and duty if instructed by HMRC and then get proof of vehicle approval, which includes a tax with a £55 fee. DVLA might ask to inspect the vehicle. It can take up to 6 weeks for your registration certificate (V5C) to arrive, which you need for number plates.
- Notify the HMRC you Imported a Vehicle/Confirm your NOVA Application is Processed
- Pay the Duty and VAT if Instructed by the HMRC
- Get Proof Your Vehicle is Approved
Ports Serviced in the US and UK
Trans Global has service from all US Ports, including New York, Baltimore, Charleston, Savannah, Jacksonville, Galveston, Los Angeles, and more as departures. From there, your car can come to any destination port in the UK, including Southampton, Felixstowe, Liverpool, London Gateway, Dublin, Belfast, and Aberdeen, before being further transported to any inland UK location, right to the door.
Vehicle Transport Options for Shipping Your Car from the US to the UK
Roll On Roll Off (RORO)
We offer RORO, shared container shipping, dedicated container shipping, and air freight options for car shipping from the US to the UK. RORO offers competitive rates and sometimes has the quickest container time, but has limited port calls and requires that vehicles are in good running condition.
Shared Container Shipping
Shared container shipping allows more port options and shared costs, but the transit time can be longer since the container can only depart with a full load.
Dedicated Container Shipping
Dedicated container shipping is the quickest and most expensive besides air freight, which is rarely used. For more questions about what transport option is right for you, reach out.
Experienced and Safe Shipping
Once you’ve followed the rules for preparing your vehicle for shipment overseas, our comprehensive logistics services will cover the rest. We also offer additional customizable shipping options, including marine insurance, third-party vehicle purchase inspections, escrow service, and inland transport when car shipping from the USA to the UK.
Connect with our expert staff to determine the best shipping method and for your shipment and budget. As a leader in the shipping logistics industry, Trans Global Auto Logistics is here to guide you through the shipping process every step of the way. Start the process for car shipping from the US to the UK with a free quote today.