Check if car is imported before you buy

Buying a used car is tough, check if its imported beforehand

Why check if car is imported? What are its benefits?

While importing a vehicle in UK, the road tax must be paid properly, you can’t use any car on public roads until you have paid the excise duty for it, VAT, all that sort. Check if car is imported to make sure that you are buying a good used car that is worth your while.


There are standards for accepting cars into the UK to remain permanently, we shall see more of that later. A vehicle importer or shipper must handle majority of the procedures while importing a vehicle into the UK.


The HMRC must be informed about this import process for you to pay your VAT accordingly. There are different rules for importing a car for a temporary basis when compared to permanently importing it.

How to check if car is imported?

Enter your reg number to know more about you used car and obtain an import check and find out if you are buying a used car that you can actually maintain, check if car is imported before you commit to buy, since used cars can take up a lot of insurance, along with maintenance charges over the long run.


Knowing if a car is imported can let you know more about the car’s price as well, suppose that it has a parallel model with nearly the same features, then you should be able to figure out the valuation as well and it could help you in negotiation. European Cars are generally UK compliant to the most extent but grey imports could be troublesome if you have to make it UK compliant. Check if car is imported to understand better about your buying position.

check if car is imported

Importing a Vehicle into the UK: Steps to follow

Step 1: Most importer or shipping companies handle all the steps of vehicle importation for you, but they do so with a charge, since lot of procedures are involved. Firstly the HMRC must be informed within a fortnight (14 days) from the date of arrival of the vehicle. Pay any VAT or excise duty as told by the HMRC.


Step 2: A type approval must be obtained to show, that the car meets safety and environmental standards as per UK norms. The car or vehicle in question must be registered with the DVLA so that they can monitor the road tax and other necessities concerning the car.


Step 3: Eventually, the DVLA provides a registration number for the vehicle’s number plates. There is a minimum insurance that must be applied for in the UK to drive legally; third-party insurance is the minimum insurance one can take to legally drive in the UK.


Step 4: Using the vehicle on a public road before finishing these procedures can lead to a penalty with exceptions for driving it to a pre-booked MOT check or for a VIC.


Step 5: Vehicles can be moved easily between Great Britain & N. Ireland, provided the vehicle is registered in either Great Britain or Northern Ireland. DVLA must be notified if there is any change in the registered keeper address. Check if car is imported before you agree to buy a used car, Get to know a used car’s history with a full car history check.

UK’s Automotive Priorities

The UK is gearing up for Brexit and planning to restrict imported cars by putting on a 10% tariff, along with that a lot of car manufacturers might be planning to move their base out of UK depending on Brexit’s status in January 2021. This would improve UK economy and create an inflow that could boost up the UK for years to come. Car Buyers should move fast if they want to avoid a price rise or wait for a long time till the market demand is faded out, “buying off season”. While planning to buy used cars, do make sure that you check if car is imported by getting an import car check, to avoid unnecessary expenses that follow through.

Why it is best to not go for imported cars?

The UK government has imposed a 10% tariff on imported new cars, (UK’s Brexit transition period ending), some of the car dealers will most likely end up buying some of the imported cars but they will try to sell that once the stock gets old, so steer clear from that. UK’s automotive priorities for international trade might bring up the economy by restricting imported cars. Car manufacturers have stated that the prices of their cars will increase post Brexit.


Buy a car from UK is preferable and has lower insurance, it is generally a good rule of thumb to avoid imported cars, just because they are too much of a hassle and can be a trouble in the long run like making it UK compliant, having a garage where they know how to handle your car’s insides.


Among all this, there is the possibility of a theft and insurance quotes will be higher than usual. Check if car is imported before you buy a used car, if it is an import, heads up!

CarDotCheck and cardotcheck.co.uk are trading names of Bloomsoft Solutions Limited.