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Advice for shipping cars from the UK

When shipping a car from the UK it is advisable to find out as much information before committing to ship it overseas.  The period you intend to export your vehicle will determine what declarations are made upon arrival. For example, is your shipment only temporary or are you looking to ship it to your chosen destination permanently?  This information will determine what documentation is required both in the UK and upon arrival overseas.

Exporting cars from UK offers challenges depending on which destination you are looking to have it shipped to.  You must ensure that your paperwork is in order and that you have copies at hand for your shipping agent in the UK and at destination.  Most destinations will insist on having the original hard copy of the V5C or vehicle title along with the original purchase invoice for you to re-register the vehicle.  Sometimes copies will not be enough which may cause unnecessary delays that can result in storage fees being added on to your arrival charges.

Before you Ship Overseas

Do as much research as possible.  It is always a good idea to go on the destination’s government website.  On there you will find a lot of useful information on importing your vehicle.  Some destinations insist on a minimum or even a maximum age for your vehicle. For example, to permanently import a vehicle in to the USA it either must be over 25yrs old or be of US spec.  Walvis Bay in Namibia insist that the vehicle should be no older than 8 years old to stay inside Namibia. Jamaica has a maximum age of 6 years for cars and motorcycles unless you are a returning resident, 12 -20 years for buses or up to 25 years for trucks.  This depends on the seating or weight capacity, so it is always best to check first.

You will also need to find out if your destination requires you to have an import permit in place such as South Africa, Australia or Jamaica for example.  Some import permits can take anything from 1 week up to 120 days to be issued, so finding this information out in plenty of time is the key to a successful shipment.

Tips for a successful vehicle export from the UK

You must notify the DVLA that your vehicle is going to be exported from the UK, you can do this by signing and dating section 11 on the back page.  The address in Swansea is situated on the back of section 11 to let you know where to post this to. It is advisable to send this once the vehicle has been delivered to the UK port of exit and not before.

Finding a reliable custom clearing agent at destination is an essential part of the shipment process.  Contact 3-4 companies and compare rates and services in plenty of time. Ask them to confirm in writing what you will be expected to pay in duties and taxes upon your vehicle arriving.  A good agent will be able to advise costs to you or at least give you a clear idea of what to expect to help you make a fully informed decision beforehand.

For further information on exporting a car from UK, please contact one of our very experienced staff today.