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IF you are planning to visit or even move to the United Kingdom from the United States, you will likely want to bring your vehicle with you.

Since there is a lot of shipping between the United States and the United Kingdom, finding the right shipping option that works for you will be an easy task. Most vehicle shipments are made via cargo ship, meaning you can choose RoRo (roll-on/roll-off) or container shipping.

The shipping process from the US to the UK does not have to be intimidating, not when you have a professional car shipping company on your side.

Shipping a used vehicle into the UK requires that it meets specific regulations. A professional car shipping company that has experience shipping cars to the UK will be able to help you determine if your car meets the requirements.

After you know your car meets the requirements, you can choose the method of shipping you want to use. You also need to learn the rules for driving in the UK. Accidents occur when foreign motorists do not understand the rules of the road in a new country.

RoRo is a cheaper method of transport but doesn’t come without risk.  Your vehicle is driven onto the cargo ship, where it will be parked and locked throughout the journey. Just like parking your car in a parking lot at a mall, you are susceptible to theft.

Your shipping company will give you a list of items that you can do to help protect your vehicle from potential theft. Anything that can be removed from the exterior of your car easily should be removed before shipping it.

License plates from the United States are the most commonly stolen items due to the popularity of collecting them internationally. You should remove this and carry it with you during the travel process.

Container shipping is a little more expensive but can provide peace of mind during your vehicle’s shipping. Your vehicle is placed inside of a container (large box) that is protected on all sides. A crane is used to lift the container and set it on the cargo ship. Many containers can be shipped at once due to the ability to stack them on top of one another.

The import process will depend on whether you plan on relocating permanently or if you are coming to the UK temporarily. The process is a lot simpler for those who are only temporarily visiting and bringing their vehicle. For those who are relocating, you will need to register your vehicle in the UK to be able to drive it on a long-term basis.

To register an imported vehicle, you will need to:

  • Inform HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) of your imported vehicle and get confirmation that your NOVA application has been processed
  • Pay the required value-added tax (VAT) and duty, if applicable
  • Get proof of your vehicle’s approval

You can obtain a “used vehicle pack” for the registration, ensuring you will have all the forms required. An inspection of your vehicle may also be requested. You will need to send in the following supporting documents:

  • The proof of the vehicle’s approval
  • Form V267 (also known as the declaration of newness)
  • Proof of the date the vehicle was collected, like the invoice from the supplier
  • The original registration from the vehicle’s origin country

After everything has been reviewed, the registration will be issued. You will receive the V5C, which will be necessary for the number plates to be made.

For more information, and to calculate the costs of shipping your car to the United Kingdom from the United States, visit A-1 Auto Transport has resources and information available to help with your vehicle shipment to the UK, and the experience to get it there safely.