Car Shipping to United Kingdom (UK) from USA

» Posted by in How Import My Car | 0 comments

Shipping Cars to United Kingdom (UK) from the USA

Shipping Cars to England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland



Whether you need to ship a car to the United Kingdom (UK) or multiple vehicles, the process is straightforward and simple. Depending on the service you choose, there are different options to lower your costs or send a vehicle to the United Kingdom (UK) fast. 

If you are just looking for rates or car shipping costs to the United Kingdom (UK), there a multiple options to choose from including our cost effective shared container service, as well as sole use 20ft and 40ft containers for those considering a household removal with your vehicle.

With 5 locations across the U.S. near major departure ports and one in Suffolk, England, we can pick up anywhere in the USA and deliver directly to your flat in the United Kingdom (UK) reliably and easily. You’ll always have options to choose from for departures, domestic transport and arrivals.

In the next few sections we’ll cover the different car shipping options from the USA, important documentation when importing a car to United Kingdom (UK) and the mutual recognition policy.

How to Ship Your Car to the UK

There are two main ways to ship a car from the USA to the United Kingdom (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. 

Using this service, your vehicle is shipped inside a 40ft container with others bound for the United Kingdom (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.

US Departures

  • Miami, FL
  • Houston, TX
  • Los Angeles/Long Beach
  • New York/New Jersey
  • Savannah, GA

Our port of entry for containers in England is Felixstowe.

Roll On Roll Off
Shipping a vehicle via Ro-Ro to the United Kingdom (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 United Kingdom (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.


To ship a car to the United Kingdom (UK), international auto transporters will need original documents for both exporting the vehicle from the U.S. and importing it into the United Kingdom (UK). These include:

  • original title
  • certificate of origin
  • bill of lading
  • dock 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.

United Kingdom (UK) Entry Ports:

  • Aberdeen
  • Belfast
  • Dublin
  • Liverpool
  • London
  • Southampton (leading vehicle-handling port)

Import a Car from US to United Kingdom (UK) 

Mutual Recognition and Why It’s Important

Mutual recognition only applies to those who are shipping a car to the United Kingdom (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 United Kingdom (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 United Kingdom (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 United Kingdom (UK) are eligible for a slightly longer period

*It’s important to contact the HMRC to obtain proper documentation for proof of customs relief

United Kingdom (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 further information or to find out how much it costs to ship your vehicle to United Kingdom (UK), Contact us or Ask a Car Quote

Pro Imports Motors Partnership - be our partner
Subscribe to our Newsletter

Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>