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Import Car Insurance

Looking for ways to lower the cost of your imported car insurance? Our expert tips will guide you through the process, helping you secure a more affordable deal for your import car cover.

Whether it’s parallel imports, grey imports, or left-hand drive vehicles, our comprehensive guide will walk you through the necessary steps to register, tax, and insure your imported car without breaking the bank. Save money and ensure your imported vehicle is adequately protected with our valuable insights.

Are imported cars more expensive to insure?

Yes, insuring imported cars often comes at a higher cost compared to standard car insurance for vehicles purchased within the UK.

This is particularly true for cars imported from outside the European Union, as they may not comply with EU standards.

Eu Standards

The increased insurance premiums stem from the challenges faced by insurance providers in assessing the risk associated with insuring foreign cars in the UK, especially when such vehicles boast higher specifications or are left-hand drives.

Performance-oriented cars designed for speed tend to have higher accident rates, leading to increased premiums for cover.

In the event of an accident, repairing an imported car might necessitate the expertise of a specialist garage, and sourcing the required parts can prove more complex and costly. As a result, the potential claim amount for the insurance provider may be higher, impacting the overall insurance costs.

Due to the increased risk and complexities involved, not all insurance companies offer policies for imported cars. Consequently, the options for insurance providers might be limited, leading to less competitive premiums compared to standard car insurance.

Imported Left Hand Drive Car

To get the most suitable and affordable insurance cover for your imported car, it’s crucial to research thoroughly and explore specialised insurance providers experienced in handling imported vehicles.

By taking the time to compare car insurance quotes and assess the cover options, you can find the optimal insurance policy that meets your specific needs and ensures comprehensive protection for your beloved imported car.

See how to import a car from overseas into the UK.

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What documentation do I need to get imported car insurance?

When insuring your imported car, you’ll need specific documentation to get it registered with the DVLA (Driver & Vehicle Licensing Agency).

Two crucial pieces of information are:

If your imported car was previously registered in an EU country, acquiring the necessary documentation may be relatively straightforward, as you can often get it from the car manufacturer.

However, if your car originates from outside the EU or is a left-hand drive vehicle, it must pass the individual vehicle approval (IVA) test.

Import Car From Outside Of The Eu Into The Uk

To undergo the IVA test, you’ll need to book a visual inspection and other required tests at a DVSA (Driver & Vehicle Standards Agency) approved testing facility or an authorised private test centre.

It’s worth noting that if you purchased your imported car from a dealer, they might have already handled some of these procedures for you.

Nonetheless, it’s essential to understand the situation thoroughly when buying the car to determine which steps you need to take for proper registration and insurance cover.

Check With Dealer To See If They Have Done Checks

To ensure a smooth and hassle-free process, research the specific requirements for your imported car and promptly gather the necessary documentation.

By being well-prepared, you can navigate the registration and insurance process efficiently, allowing you to enjoy your imported car with complete peace of mind on the roads.

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What are the different categories of imported cars?

Importing cars can lead to various categories of vehicles, each with its unique characteristics and considerations. Let’s explore these categories:

Grey Imports

Grey import cars typically originate from outside the European Union (EU). This category includes specific high-spec Japanese and American cars such as the Nissan Figaro, Mitsuoka Viewt, and the Eunos Roadster, which is the Japanese version of the MX-5.

To ensure compliance with the UK’s safety and environmental standards, all vehicles imported from outside the EU must undergo inspections. In some cases, modifications, like adjustments to the lights, may be necessary before these grey import cars can be legally driven on UK roads.

Insurance costs for grey import cars may vary. The more mainstream the car model, the more likely it is to have cheap insurance. However, grey imports often boast higher specifications and increased power, which might require specialised and consequently more expensive insurance cover.

Parallel Imports

Parallel imports refer to cars imported from EU countries, typically from well-known brands like Peugeot, Volkswagen, and Ford, which already meet UK safety standards.

As parallel import cars are built to meet European regulations and are often easier to repair, they generally do not attract significantly higher insurance costs compared to similar models bought in the UK.

However, it’s essential to consider that specifications might differ between countries, potentially influencing insurance premiums for parallel import cars.

Personal Imports

A personal import simply means a car you have imported yourself, without involvement from a dealer. If you choose to import a car personally, you will need to register the vehicle to ensure legal compliance.

When importing a car, understanding its category is vital for navigating the registration process and getting suitable insurance cover. Depending on the type of imported car and its specifications, insurance premiums can vary.

Conduct thorough research, and consider seeking expert advice to ensure you secure the most appropriate insurance for your imported vehicle. With the right knowledge and proper preparation, you can fully enjoy your imported car, knowing it is well-protected on UK roads.

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How can I save money on my imported car insurance?

To reduce the cost of your imported car insurance, consider the following tips:

  • Overnight Parking Location: Where you park your car overnight can impact insurance premiums, especially for luxury or sports cars that might attract thieves. Opt for secure parking spaces or garages to lower the risk of theft and potentially save on insurance costs.

  • Choose a Lower Insurance Group: When importing a car, aim for one that falls into a lower insurance group. In the UK, cars are categorised based on factors like price, engine size, and safety features. Vehicles in higher insurance groups generally come with costlier insurance premiums.

  • Minimise After-Market Modifications: Select a car with a lower specification or fewer after-market modifications. Even seemingly minor alterations to the car can affect insurance costs, making them more expensive. Maintaining the car closer to its original factory specifications can be beneficial.

  • Consider a Higher Voluntary Excess: Opt for a higher voluntary excess amount, but ensure you can afford it in case of making a claim. A higher excess can lead to reduced insurance premiums, but it’s crucial to strike the right balance between affordability and potential savings.

  • Protect Your No-Claims Discount: Building up and safeguarding your no-claims discount can significantly impact insurance costs. A higher no-claims discount can translate to substantial savings over time.

  • Annual Payment: If possible, pay your insurance premium annually instead of monthly. Monthly payments typically incur interest, which can add to the overall cost.

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By applying these money-saving tips, you can make importing and insuring your car a more cost-effective endeavour. For an effortless way to explore insurance options and find the best deals, utilise our comparison service at Comparoo.

Money Saving Tips

Simply provide your details, and we’ll generate car insurance quotes tailored to your requirements, ensuring you access the most suitable and budget-friendly cover for your imported vehicle.

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Frequently asked questions

To import a car into the UK, follow these essential steps:

  • Inform HMRC: Notify HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) that the car has arrived in the UK within 14 days of its arrival.

  • Pay Taxes: HMRC may require you to pay VAT and customs duty on the imported car. The amount of tax depends on the vehicle type and its country of origin.

  • Get Vehicle Approval: Ensure the car meets UK environmental and safety standards by obtaining vehicle approval.

  • Register and Tax the Car: Register the car with the DVLA (Driver & Vehicle Licensing Agency) and pay the necessary vehicle tax. The DVLA will issue a registration number, enabling you to acquire UK number plates. Please note that it may take up to six weeks to receive the registration certificate (V5C).

  • Insure Your Imported Car: Arrange at least third-party import car insurance before driving on UK roads legally.

For more comprehensive information on importing a car from overseas, refer to our detailed guide.

To initiate the process, consult the GOV.UK guidance on importing vehicles into the UK.

Following these steps diligently will ensure a smooth and successful importation, allowing you to enjoy your newly imported car on UK roads while complying with all legal and regulatory requirements.

Using a left-hand-drive (LHD) car in the UK is legal, but it’s essential to ensure you have appropriate left-hand drive car insurance. While getting LHD car insurance should not be overly challenging, it might be relatively more expensive than insurance for right-hand-drive cars.

To find the most suitable and cost-effective insurance cover for your left-hand-drive car, take the time to shop around and compare insurance quotes from different providers.

Keep in mind that if you import a left-hand-drive car into the UK, you’ll also need to get a Certificate of GB Conversion Individual Vehicle Approval (IVA) before proceeding with registration, taxation, and insurance.

Ensuring compliance with these requirements is crucial to legally operate your left-hand-drive car on UK roads.

By conducting thorough research, obtaining the necessary approvals, and securing the appropriate insurance cover, you can confidently enjoy driving your left-hand-drive car while adhering to all legal obligations and ensuring adequate protection on the road.

The amount of VAT and duty applicable to your imported car hinges on several factors. VAT will be charged based on the vehicle’s value, and if you purchased any accessories along with the car, VAT may also apply to those items, as well as the delivery cost.

Additionally, you’ll be required to pay duty on the imported car. The exact duty amount will depend on the car’s type and the location of the purchase. If you are purchasing the car through a dealer, they should be able to provide you with this information.

For a comprehensive understanding of how to calculate and pay VAT and duty on imported cars, refer to the detailed guidelines on GOV.UK. By familiarising yourself with the VAT and duty requirements and consulting with relevant authorities or experts if needed, you can accurately assess the costs associated with importing your car into the UK and ensure a smooth importation process that adheres to all legal obligations.

Yes, insuring Japanese import cars, often known as grey imports, can be more expensive compared to standard UK models.

The reason for this lies in the fact that Japanese import cars do not conform to European and UK safety standards.

As a result, insurance providers find it challenging to accurately assess the risk associated with insuring these vehicles and predicting the likelihood of claims.

Imported Japanese cars can also present difficulties when it comes to sourcing parts for repairs. These parts may be less readily available in the UK, making them more expensive to get, and they might require the expertise of a specialist garage.

As a consequence, the potential cost of repairs can be higher, leading to increased expenses for the insurance provider in the event of a claim.

To ensure appropriate cover and manage costs effectively, it’s essential to explore insurance options tailored to Japanese import cars.

By researching specialised insurance providers experienced in insuring grey imports and comparing quotes, you can secure the best possible cover for your Japanese import car while being well-prepared for any potential claims.

Taking these steps will allow you to enjoy the unique and exciting features of your imported car while safeguarding your investment with comprehensive and reliable insurance cover.

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Yes, cars imported from America, classified as grey imports, generally incur higher insurance costs compared to vehicles purchased in the UK or imported from the EU.

As with any car insurance, the premium for American import car insurance is influenced by several factors. These factors include the make of the car you select, its safety features, repair costs, as well as your age, address, and driving history.

Vehicles with advanced safety features and those that are more expensive to repair may result in higher insurance premiums.

To find the most suitable and cost-effective insurance cover for your American import car, it’s essential to shop around and compare insurance quotes from various providers.

By considering your unique circumstances and driving needs, you can identify insurance options that offer optimal protection while remaining within your budget.

Being well-informed and proactive in obtaining insurance for your American import car will enable you to enjoy driving it confidently and securely, knowing you are adequately covered in various situations on the roads.

Yes, you can get insurance options that cater specifically to temporary cover for imported cars.

This type of insurance can be beneficial when you require additional time to arrange your annual policy or complete other necessary formalities.

Specialist insurance providers are available to offer temporary cover based on your vehicle’s unique VIN number. This allows you the flexibility to handle the registration process for your imported car in the UK without worrying about extended insurance commitments.

By opting for temporary car insurance for your imported vehicle, you can efficiently manage your insurance needs while ensuring your car remains protected during the transitional period.

Take advantage of these specialised insurance options to have the necessary cover in place, giving you peace of mind as you complete the essential steps for your imported car’s registration and long-term insurance plan.

If you are contemplating importing a car to the UK, it’s crucial to ensure you’re making a well-informed and advantageous decision. To begin, seek guidance from the British Independent Motor Trade Association (BIMTA), a reputable trade body representing the independent vehicle trade industry.

BIMTA offers valuable services, including background checks and mileage verification on the car you intend to purchase. This step is essential in safeguarding against potentially fraudulent activities, such as dealing with stolen or tampered vehicles, particularly when acquiring a used car.

Additionally, consider reaching out to owners’ clubs, as they serve as valuable resources for information and advice throughout the entire importation process. These clubs can assist you in sourcing the car at the right price, locating a reliable and knowledgeable garage, and navigating the often complex paperwork involved in importing a car.

By utilising these resources and seeking expert advice, you can confidently proceed with your car importation, knowing that you have taken the necessary precautions and gathered relevant information to make an informed choice. This way, you can ensure a successful and gratifying experience with your imported car in the UK.

While higher insurance costs are a notable factor when importing a car to the UK, there are several other crucial considerations you should keep in mind:

  • Manufacturer’s Warranty: Imported cars often do not come with a manufacturer’s warranty, or if they do, it may have a limited cover duration, possibly only lasting for a year. This lack of warranty protection can leave you responsible for repair costs should any issues arise.

  • Depreciation and Resale Value: Imported cars may experience higher depreciation rates and could be more challenging to sell compared to UK models. Potential buyers might be hesitant due to concerns about the car’s history and unfamiliarity with its specifications.

  • Driving Differences: Imported cars may have subtle differences in driving characteristics from their UK equivalents, especially if they are from regions with distinct road regulations and driving conditions. Familiarizing yourself with these differences is essential for a safe and enjoyable driving experience.

  • Servicing and Maintenance: Servicing, repairing, and maintaining an imported car might be more complex and costly, as specialized garages may be required, and parts could be challenging to obtain. Ensure there are reputable service centres knowledgeable about your specific make and model.

  • Car Finance Challenges: Securing car finance for imported vehicles might be more difficult, as lenders could perceive them as riskier investments. It’s advisable to explore financing options in advance and be prepared for potentially stricter eligibility criteria.

  • Certification and Compliance: Ensure your imported car meets UK environmental and safety standards to avoid complications during registration and certification processes.

  • Tax and Duty Costs: Calculate and prepare for any applicable taxes, customs duties, and import fees associated with bringing the car into the UK.

  • Paperwork and Documentation: Be diligent in gathering and organizing all necessary paperwork, including import documentation, vehicle history, and registration papers.

By carefully considering these factors and seeking advice from experts, owners’ clubs, and industry associations, you can make informed decisions and navigate the importation process smoothly.

With thorough preparation and attention to detail, you can enjoy the benefits of your imported car while minimizing potential challenges along the way.

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