Requirements for Car Shipping From the US to the UK

What to Know Before Shipping Your Vehicle to England, Scotland, Wales, or Northern Ireland

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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
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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.

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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.

On a spreadsheet listing dollar amounts, a calculator and red pen sit ready for use.

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
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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.

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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.

Multiple cars on the deck of a cargo ship being transported to another location
A container ship is loaded by Crain.

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.

A ship, loaded with containers, leaving its port.
Trans Global Auto Logistics
4.8
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William Reynolds
William Reynolds
14:10 28 Jan 21
I would like to take the time to thanks Anna Payton for her professionalism and help when getting my vehicle ready to... ship back to the US. She took the time to answer all my questions and concerns about the process and even took pre-shipment photos of my car (I thought this was a great addition). This the fourth time using TransGlobal and I have been impressed with their service each time.read more
Talisman Kreationen
Talisman Kreationen
18:47 15 Oct 20
The representitives here are outstanding, Amanda and Andre were great. They were there every step of the way;... questions, guidance and direction. Great to have a team that I was able to contact by email or phone while they where going through Covid-19 operating hours, never hesitating to answer a question within a reasonable time. Awesomeness at its finest.read more
My Blackjacks
My Blackjacks
15:05 24 Jul 20
Great service. Mandy is amazing and super helpful. All my emails and calls were responded to very quickly and once I... had my quote and paperwork complete she coordinated everything else and I had my car shipped to me extremely quick. Driver was friendly and professional. Highly recommended.read more
Barbara Hutton
Barbara Hutton
12:06 10 Oct 19
I used Trans Global to ship a 1970 Fiat Spider from Florida to New York. I worked with Mandy. She was extremely... courteous and very helpful. She made this whole process very simple. The car carrier they used was very courteous, prompt and ensured that the car was secured safely. Thank you Mandy for a job well done.read more
Sabrina Harder
Sabrina Harder
19:33 25 Mar 19
If I could I would give 5 stars. Brenda has been AMAZING. Seriously highly recommend them to anyone. Quick response to... emails and calls. Brenda has went out of her way to ensure everything is smooth. I can’t give her enough praise! The world needs more people like her - compassionate and caring!read more
Kelly Holliday
Kelly Holliday
23:25 23 Jul 18
Working with trans global has been an amazing experience. From trying to begin a process without hard dates to... suffering mechanical issues and arriving later than expected at the dock, the team that works for trans global have been amazing. They helped our process of getting the truck to its destination and I feel blessed by the angels at Trans Global who assisted us along the way. Mandy was a breath of fresh air as the process for me was a first time endeavor. I feel grateful that she was the one who handled the whole entire process and even helped me laugh when I stressed out and thought I messed up my money order. I will definitely use this company again when we have to ship our truck off of the island in a few years.read more
Cris Madar
Cris Madar
20:22 14 Jul 18
We moved from North Carolina to Hawaii and the process of shipping a car over an ocean seemed daunting. However, Mandy... at Trans Global was absolutely amazing and provided superb customer service. She responded to emails very promptly regardless of time and provided frequent updates. I highly recommend Trans Global and ask for Mandy.read more
Eric Alvarado
Eric Alvarado
05:06 16 Jun 18
OUTSTANDING customer service! THANKS to Mandy Brantley and the Team for tracking my two vehicles and providing all the... details to this picky customer. Couldn't be any happier with the service provided before pick up, in-transit and delivery.read more
Chop Chop
Chop Chop
04:23 28 Jun 17
Great
See All Reviews
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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.

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