Car Importation Costs from Japan to the United Kingdom

The free trade deal between the European Union and Japan launched the largest open economic area across the world. Naturally, more people in the United Kingdom became interested in checking out car auctions in Japan. After all, many of these used vehicles are highly equipped and incredibly affordable. Moreover, there are many obscure JDM models that are not available in the UK.

So, you might wonder how much you need to spend when importing cars from Japan to the UK. In this post, we are going to share the fees you will generally encounter during the process.

Typical Fees Involved in Importing Cars

  1. Auction Japan fee.
  2. Transport charges from the auction house to the exporter’s yard, then to the port.
  3. Fees for export and de-registration documents.
  4. Shipping fees. Typically, the charges are based on the cubic meters of space occupied by the vehicle.
  5. Insurance for shipping (optional).
  6. Commission for the UK import agent or car dealer.
  7. UK port charges.
  8. UK customs clearance agent charges.
  9. Import duty – calculated at 10% of the FOB and the shipping fees. 22% for commercial vehicles and pick-up trucks.
  10. VAT – Depending on what the HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) imposes, usually from 17.5 to 20% of the FOB, shipping fees, and import duty.
  11. Transport fees from the port of delivery to your home in the UK.
  12. Fees for the MOT (or IVA) test.
  13. Registration charges.
  14. Fees for compliance modifications, including speedometer conversion and fog light installation.
  15. Excise duty.
  16. Number plates.

Getting Exempted from VAT

According to the Gov.UK portal, you do not have to pay for VAT if your used car meets ALL these conditions:

  • You’ve paid VAT in any EU country, including the UK.
  • You have used the car for more than six months.
  • The vehicle has run for more than 6,000 km (approximately 3,728 miles).

Permanent Car Imports

When you’re importing a vehicle to the UK, you need to ensure that your car meets certain environmental and safety standards. Moreover, you need to make sure that your vehicle holds a European Certificate of Conformity. If you’re getting your car through Carused.jp, we can provide you with this document. This certificate officially declares that your car is a left-hand-drive or a right-hand-drive vehicle, ensuring that it is approved for use on roads in the UK. Just to be sure, it is advisable to contact the Vehicle Certification Agency (VCA) to know if your car is eligible for the certificate.

When you’re purchasing a vehicle from an auction in Japan, you need to use the Notification of Vehicle Arrivals (NOVA) service. Moreover, you need to inform the HMRC about your shipment. To do this, you need to create a Government Gateway account online. The NOVA will give you all the information needed to help the HMRC determine whether you need to pay any VAT or duty on your vehicle.

Finally, you need to register your imported vehicle with the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) in the UK. After all, when you’re shipping a car from Japan to the UK, you need to change the foreign plate number to a local plate number. Only then can you drive your vehicle on UK roads. Keep in mind that you will only be permitted to register your car once you’ve settled all the duties and VAT.

Clearly, importing used cars from Japan to the UK is a complicated process. However, we can make it easier for you. Contact Carused.jp today and let us help you throughout the buying process!

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