Welcome to Import American Cars

Here at Import American Cars, we have become experts in providing the very best logistics, import, testing and registration services for customers looking to import cars from the states.

Totally professional, trouble - free service from door to door... Import USA cars are the real deal. Absolutely everything taken care of. Great service and price as per the quotation. Faultless. I would recommend them to anybody
Chris Horsley
I contacted three companies to get my car imported. Two of them cited all kinds of complications and problems. Import cars USA made the whole process incredibly easy and they were the nicest people to deal with. As my name suggests I'm not the easiest to please and these chaps were magnificent.
Laurence Blackall
From the first point of contact i received nothing but professionalism with regards to advice, arrangements and procedures. The communication with this company was first class. What can i say? A big thank you for all the team...
Kevin Willey

We handle the entire process from door to door and are leaders in UK compliance to ensure you have your American car ready for UK roads in the quicker than anyone else!

Import American Cars are the 'American' side of our company My Car Import and we are the UK's leading importer of cars from around the world to the UK.

If you are looking for a company that will handle your American car, motorbike, or vehicle import from the United States we are the foremost leader of vehicle imports in the United Kingdom.

We deal with trade companies who import hundreds of American vehicles into the UK each year and private individuals looking to either transfer their residency or simply bring back a classic they’ve dreamt about for years.

Whilst other companies say they’re the ‘leading’ experts in the UK – we are the only company in the United Kingdom to have a private IVA test lane. Your vehicle is modified at our premises and no more than a few feet away can an IVA test be conducted.

We have worked hard, and we are recognised by the government for our efforts in striving for compliant and safe vehicles.

Our ethos is a business is to offer a ‘full service’ import. And we have strived to make that as seamless as possible at great cost to us as a business.

Everything from collection to registration is taken care of to make it a less stressful process for you.

USA INLAND TRUCKING.

We can collect a vehicle from anywhere in America and deliver to the relevant port or airport ready for shipping or airfreight. The drivers we use are skilled, knowledgeable and punctual. We ship from these ports.

image

AIR FREIGHT.

If you have a vehicle that requires air freight, we are more than happy to organise this and can fly the car to the UK from multiple locations in America. We have flown everything from classic cars to the latest SUVs and handle the entire process during transit.

CONTAINER SHIPMENT.

Container shipment is the most common way to transport your American car to the UK. We consolidate our shipments, but only ever to 2 cars per container, meaning quicker sailing times and added safety for your vehicle.

Image
image

UK CONTAINER UNLOADING.

We manage and enact your container unloading and transport the vehicle to customs warehouses, ready for customs clearance.

CUSTOMS CLEARANCE.

As part of our service, we administer the whole customs clearance process with the HMRC, for both tax paying purchases and customers who are moving to the UK and bringing their existing vehicles with them.

image
image

VEHICLE TESTING

We have our own IVA testing lane on site, meaning we can control our testing schedules and test your vehicle faster than anyone else. It also means your car does not have to leaveour premises in order to be registered in the UK.

USA LIGHTING CONVERSIONS.

Our in-house team of skilled Mechanics and Auto Electricians convert your car’s lights using LED technology to comply with UK regulations. We prepare your car ready for our onsite testing to ensure it is ready for UK roads.

image
image

ONWARDS DELIVERY

Can’t make it to our premises to collect your car? Not an issue, we can deliver your vehicle either as a driven service, open transporter or enclosed transporter to your UK address once the car is registered.

DVLA REGISTRATION

We have direct links to the DVLA and a dedicated account manager enabling quick correspondence and fast turnaround on registrations. No other importer has the resource and correspondence that we do.

image

ENQUIRE ABOUT IMPORTING YOUR AMERICAN CAR

We can ship your vehicle from

Start to ship your vehicle today

Getting a quote is the first step to start shipping your vehicle back from America. Get a quote today and get the ball rolling!

Frequently asked questions about shipping...

How quickly can you pick up my vehicle?

We usually pick up your vehicle within a week. Specialist vehicles or very large vehicles may take a little longer as we need to use rarer types of transporters to suit your requirements.

Can I bring over spare parts with my car?

Absolutely, if you are shipping your car back from the United States of America then why not take use of the spare space in the boot of the car? We have a number of customers who have shipped back additional parts for their classics, just incase they need them in the future. Please be aware these are not covered by marine insurance, so if they are of high value let us know and we can organise separate freight for these.

How much tax will I have to pay for my vehicle upon entry into the United Kingdom?

If your vehicle was manufactured in the European Union, you will pay 20% VAT and a flat rate of £50 duty.

If your vehicle was manufactured outside the European Union you will pay 20% VAT and 10% duty.

If the vehicle is over 30 years old, you will pay a reduced rate of VAT of 5%.

These values are based on a current valuation or a recent purchase invoice.

Is my vehicle insured at all times during the import?

Your vehicle is insured throughout each step of the process. Our marine insurance covers you for total loss, with an excess of £450.

How much fuel can be in the car?

As little as fuel as possible – but enough to allow for moving and manoeuvring of the vehicle at the port.

Can a car be shipped with outstanding finance?

Proof of the vehicles ownership and a cleared balance is required before any vehicle can leave the USA.

ENQUIRE ABOUT IMPORTING YOUR AMERICAN CAR

What work will need to be done to your vehicle?

We can’t recommend Import American Cars highly enough. Originally, we thought that customising our car for driving on British roads was a matter of getting a quick cover note, adjusting the headlights and joining the queue to get a UK registration over the counter. How wrong we were, the real battle was with the DVSA and DVLA. Our local dealer did his best, by offering to replace the entire headlight system (for some £2000!) but that left one wire dangling, which would not be allowed, even if taped up. He sent us to a small garage near a US Air Force base, which was used to modifying American cars, but they had given up, because of DVSA’s rigidity and constantly changing rules. They pointed us to Import American Cars. Two months to the day after we collected our car from Liverpool docks, Jack had it ready for us, UK-registered, DVSA-approved and licensed. The service that Import American Cars gave us was priceless.
Rev'd Michael Skliros

Most american vehicles need

Rear Indicators

What Needs Changing?

American vehicles often have the indicators integrated into the brake light and they are usually red. We alter this with LED technology to show  amber UK indicators with the correct flash rates.

Front Indicators & Repeaters

What Needs Changing?

Vehicles in the United Kingdom are required to have repeaters on the side of the car alongside the front indicators. Most vehicles from the USA do not have side repeaters or need them modifying to meet UK standards.

Headlights

What Needs Changing?

Headlights may need adjusting to ensure that they have a beam pattern that does not blinds other road users and meets UK testing standards.

Rear fog light

What Needs Changing?

Most vehicles from the United States don’t have rear fog lights fitted. However, they are required by law in the United Kingdom. We incorporate them into existing light clusters or add a subtle LED rear fog light strip.

Reverse light

What Needs Changing?

We may have to rewire and reposition your reverse light within existing lighting clusters to ensure all the necessary lighting requirements are correctly positioned for UK standards.

Ensuring your vehicle is compliant in the United Kingdom is important but so is maintaining the classic look of your new american vehicle.

Use the experts to import your vehicle into the UK by getting a quote today... Fill in your vehicle details and we will come back to you with a quote to import your vehicle from America.

What about classic cars?

Don’t let the modern IVA lighting conversions fool you – we work with vehicles of all ages. With the attractive import duties and VAT, the classic import market is booming and we’re here to help you to get that classic car on the roads.

As classic imports often have a different route to registration here is a short guide as to the process of importing and registering one.

Some of the most popular classic imports range from muscle cars through to pickup trucks like the much sort after Ford 1959 F-100.

If you haven’t already purchased a classic vehicle but would like a second opinion we can advise a little further if required and reach out to our contacts in America for a vehicle inspection.

Once you have the vehicle, the first step to importing your vehicle is getting it here.

The classic car will need collecting and taking to the closest port for shipping. Depending on the value of the vehicle enclosed transport is an option, but we can use standard vehicle transporters to get it to the port.

If you know the vehicle well it is worth noting any quirks about it. This helps the shipping agents to better navigate the starting and moving of your vehicle (sometimes classics have a mind of their own). If the car is a non-runner then it can still be shipped.

On arrival, the vehicle is professionally loaded into a container ready to set sail. We use consolidated shipping to bring the cost down for you but a private 20ft container is always an option. We highly recommend if you want any car classic parts for your vehicle to throw them in the car to save money in the future if there is a known issue with the car or it is a project car.

During the shipping process, your classic car is covered by Marine insurance. More details on that can be discussed with the team at the time of quotation if you are concerned.

On arrival in the United Kingdom depending on the age of the vehicle, and the vehicle itself, you should be entitled to the lower VAT and duty rates (often referred to as the historic import rates). Due to that fact in some respects its one of the best places to register a classic car.

We take care of the process of getting it through customs on your behalf and then deliver the car to you. Unless you would like us to undertake any work.

Most classic vehicles can be remotely registered as they don’t require an MOT which saves you transport costs later on down the line.

That means we can do all of your registration paperwork whilst the car resides with you. This includes any date of build letters or arrangement of government inspections.

Please don’t make you think we don’t like to work on classic vehicles – we’re more than happy for it to be delivered to our premises if you would like remedial work undertaken.

Whilst you won’t need an MOT for a car manufactured over 40 years ago – it does still need to be road legal. We recommend that the classic is taken to a garage yearly for a service to check for any faults. We also detail cars onsite and can securely store it indoors.

Frequently asked questions about modifying your vehicle...

What if my vehicle does not pass IVA and MOT testing?

If your vehicle requires additional work above what would normally be required to be considered roadworthy, then we will provide you with a detailed remedial estimate for you to sign off.

The IVA test conducted is looking for the overall compliance of the vehicle as per regulations outlined in the UK, as opposed to the roadworthiness of the vehicle like the MOT that looks for unsafe features.

Often we will try to advise a cost-effective solution but you are more than welcome to have work undertaken elsewhere if the estimate does not satisfy you.

Remedial work is not undertaken onsite unless it relates to a lighting-related issue or IVA issue.

We don’t want you to feel locked in at any point and you are more than welcome to get a second opinion.

If the car has been serviced regularly or looked after then there should be no issues. Although we do note that the main things imports fail on are usually…

Tyres not having adequate tread depth or showing signs of wearing adversely. Suspension issues resulting in unstable driving. Brakes not having sufficient depth left on the pads or issues with the callipers. Exhausts that have been heavily modified causing excessive emissions.

There are two types of fault on an MOT test – dangerous and major.

A dangerous fault is something that legally (unless you are a company like ourselves) cannot be driven away and used.

A major fault is still roadworthy but needs addressing for a pass certificate.

These will need fixing or addressing before the vehicle can be registered so we think letting us take care of this process makes your life a little easier. We’re insured to move the cares around on your behalf – but you might have issues making it to places like the MOT testing centre without insurance.

So the advantage is a lot less hassle for you. And whilst failing an MOT or IVA test is upsetting, the rules are in place to keep you and other road user safe.

Can you import all ages of vehicles?

Of course, we deal with pre-war vehicles all the way to the latest muscle cars coming from the States.

I want to keep my car looking authentic, will the USA light conversion preserve the car’s looks?

Our skilled technicians convert the lighting units of your car using LED technology which means the look and feel of your vehicle remains American.

Are you sure you can register my vehicle?

We’ve registered everything from trikes to school buses. The only issues that may stop us from registering a vehicle is it being beyond repair and unroadworthy, or a lack of paperwork that we cannot otherwise overcome using dating evidence.

Will my vehicle need a USA light conversion?

If vehicles are over 40 years old, the customer has the option not to conduct a lighting conversion, it is best to get in touch for a more specific quote.

How long does the process take?

Once the vehicle is at port in the US, shipping it can take between 2-4 weeks. You can expect port clearance in the UK to take a week before either visiting out premises or being delivered directly to your UK address. If undergoing a full lighting conversion your car will be registered 4 weeks after it arrives with us. If it arrives directly to your home and is being registered remotely, it will take 2 – 4 weeks.

Do you offer any other services?

Whilst your vehicle is with ourselves if you would like any servicing done we can arrange that on your behalf It isn’t uncommon for cars to be onsite for longer because their owners want us to get everything perfect before they collect it.

A great example of something you might want to do is to get new tyres if your car has arrived from Germany where winter tyres are a legal requirement but not really needed in the United Kingdom.

We can also detail your car or have it taken to a specialist for any work required. Don’t hesitate to ask as we like to ensure all our customers get the car the way they want it.

ENQUIRE ABOUT IMPORTING YOUR AMERICAN CAR

We have helped countless transferring residents to bring their American vehicles into the United Kingdom and we are more than happy to assist.

image

Transfer of Residency (ToR)

Apply for your ToR and once approved give us your unique reference number.

image

Import your car

Let Import American Cars deal with the customs clearance and import your vehicle into the UK.

image

Leave it to us

We'll take care of the entire car importation process on your behalf. Next time you see the car it will be UK registered and ready for collection or delivery.

TRANSFER OF RESIDENCY SUPPORT

Ensuring your application for tax relief for you move is correct and guidance on applying and approval.

Correct formatting and information provision whilst you make your application.
Phone and email support during your application to make sure it is correct.
Concierge submission service if required.

GUIDANCE THROUGHOUT THE MOVING PROCESS

Moving can be stressful, so leave the import of your car to us.

Customs, transport, import and registration advice during the process.
Dedicated account manager throughout your move.
Timely updates on the progress of your import.

TAX FREE CUSTOMS CLEARANCE

Handling the process with UK Revenue and Customs

We make your customs submissions on your behalf.
We clear the vehicles at port customs with full tax relief.
Once cleared we collect the vehicle from port and bring it to our facility for testing.

COORDINATION WITH REMOVALS PARTNERS

We can work alongside your removals partner and deal with your car import.

We can takeover your car import once cleared from port in the UK.
Co-ordination of timescales to suit your move.
We make relevant bookings for testing for your car whilst it is in transit to the UK.

Frequently asked questions about transferring your residency to the United Kingdom

Can I ship household goods in my vehicle?

Yes, as long as it does not impede the ability to drive the vehicle. We will also need an inventory of the items you have put in the vehicle.

Can I bring over spare parts with my car?

Absolutely, if you are shipping your car back from the United States of America then why not take use of the spare space in the boot of the car? We have a number of customers who have shipped back additional parts for their classics, just incase they need them in the future.

How much tax will I have to pay for my vehicle upon entry into the United Kingdom?

If you are a transferring resident and have filled out a Transfer of Residency application which has been approved, you will have no taxes or duties to pay on the vehicle.

Is my vehicle insured at all times during the import?

Your vehicle is insured throughout each step of the process. Our marine insurance covers you for total loss, with an excess of £450.

What if my car is in a container with my household goods?

No problem, we can takeover in the UK and deal with the testing and registration of the vehicle once cleared from port in the UK.

Can a car be shipped with outstanding finance?

Proof of the vehicles ownership and a cleared balance is required before any vehicle can leave the USA.

ENQUIRE ABOUT IMPORTING YOUR AMERICAN CAR

DESIGNED BY MY CAR IMPORT
Back to Top