I recently asked Schumacher Cargo Logistics to assist me with shipping three cars (2 from Ohio,1 from Connecticut) to the UK. At all times they were most helpful and communicative, assisting me with the safe transport, export and arrival in the UK.
They were more than happy to go the extra mile with anything I needed, sent photos of the cars on arrival at their facilities and kept me constantly informed of their location. The whole operation went very smoothly indeed.
Car Shipping to The UK
Transporting Cars to the UK for Over 35 Years
Whether you need to ship a car to the UK or multiple vehicles, the process is straightforward as long as you have all the necessary documentation and you've allocated yourself enough time.
With 5 locations across the U.S. near major departure ports and one in Suffolk, England, you'll always have options to choose from for departures, domestic transport and arrivals in the UK.
In the next few sections we'll cover the different car shipping options from the USA, important documentation and UK's mutual recognition policy when it comes to importing autos.
How to Ship Your Car to the UK
There are two main ways to ship a car from the USA to the UK: via a containerized service or roll-on roll-off. We will explain the benefits of both and the service options.
You can ship cars two ways with a container; consolidated or individually. As we are consolidation experts, this is the method that we recommend to clients. You can watch us load multiple vehicles here.
Using this service, your vehicle is shipped inside a 40ft container with others bound for the UK not only reducing the ocean transport costs but the destination and unloading fees as well.
We can also move your auto inside its own 20ft container just as easily. The fees will be more, but arrival and departures times will be less and if you're bringing household goods they can go inside the container as well.
Container services are available from all five of our locations:
- Los Angeles
- New York / New Jersey
Our port of entry for containers in England is Felixstowe.
Roll On Roll Off
Shipping a vehicle via Ro-Ro to the UK is a second option. All cars must me in running condition to use this method, as they must be driven into the hull of the shipping vessel.
Depending on departure locations and which arrival port you use, single vehicle rates may be less, however nothing is allowed inside the car and sail times can be longer.
If you elect this service for shipping a car to the UK, departure and arrival ports are different.
The primary U.S. RoRo departures ports we ship from are:
- Baltimore, Maryland
- New York, New York
Arrival ports for autos using RoRo include Liverpool and Southampton with the latter being more frequented.
Matters related to how long it will take, how much it will costs and specifics all depend on the service chosen and the type of vehicle, so the quickest way to obtain accurate information is to fill out our quick quote form or call us at (562) 408 6677.
To ship a car to the UK, international auto transporters will need original documents for both exporting the vehicle from the U.S. and importing it into the UK. These include:
- original title
- certificate of origin
- bill of lading
- doc receipt
You won't have to worry about anything on the exporting side, as it is included in our service. We will need the paperwork from you in order to prepare it for customs. Once the vehicle is with us, we'll take care of the rest.
For automobile shipping to Ireland, Northern Ireland in this case, a good starting point is determining whether or not you can ship a car at all.
We recommend contacting either the DVLA in Great Britain or the DVA if you intend to import a motor vehicle that is over 10 years old. This is to insure that it meets the requirements for approval.
UK Entry Ports:
- Southampton (leading vehicle-handling port)
Mutual Recognition and Why It's Important
Mutual recognition only applies to those who are shipping a car to the UK that was originally registered in the EU.
It is important because it will save time and a lot of extra work in assessing the cars conformity status to UK roadways.
When importing the car, there are different scenarios that will dictate what charges you incur upon arrival.
These depend on whether you're relocating and changing primary residency, you are importing a previously exported vehicle or it's a temporary import. Specifics are listed below.
Instances Requiring VAT and Vehicle Tax
- You are importing a new vehicle, less than 6 months of drive time
- Staying for a period of time over 12 months and you normally live outside the EU
- You received a refund on the VAT or sales tax of the vehicle prior
- You purchased the vehicle under a duty or tax free scheme
Instances NOT Requiring VAT and Vehicle Tax
- You live in the EU and it is only a temporary import
- You are moving to the UK and meet the qualifications for residency transfer
- Someone from outside the EU imports it for temporary individual use - Requirements:
- Must be visiting
- Only use the car for a 6 month period
- Vehicle must be registered and taxed in its home country
- Students and workers that live outside the UK are eligible for a slightly longer period
*It's important to contact the HMRC to obtain proper documentation for proof of customs relief
UK Vehicle Import Taxes:
If the above mentioned scenario does not apply to your situation, then you will have to pay the import duty and VAT tax to customs. You must also make sure that you have valid car insurance.
Those numbers are:
- Import Duty: | 10%
- VAT: | 20%
- Import Duty for Collector’s Vehicles: | 5% | with no VAT
For more information regarding car shipping to the UK, visit Great Britain's government website for guidelines pertaining to vehicle importation.
Written by Damien Shields