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Importing Knowhow


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hey, im guna try my hand at importing a car.. a starlet to be exact.

now, ive got the purchace and the shipping sorted out. its going to southampton. but thats as far as ive got at the mo.

i know theres a duty and VAT. but im not sure how to go about making it road legal. and most importantly, getting it from the boat to my house without breaking any laws. i know i need a SVA, but how do i go about it?

someone who knows their onions would be great. i really want to know how to do this. it'll be fun learning how. i just need someone to push me in the right direction.

thanks in advance.


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speak to Mat C (supracharged Is340) - he has experience of bringing cars in from Japan.

not sure if he has acess to the forums - as he is not at home at the moment.

He is in the UK for JAE - and will be takling to a few LOC guys about this - try and get in touch with him - maybe lookout at JAE?

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1. buy car

2. have it shipped over

3. clear customs - 10% duty, 17.5% VAT

if over 10 years old, rear fog light is sufficient for MoT.

Once have MoT, fill in forms, pay road tax, wait until tax disc arrives etc.,

if under 10 years old, need SVA - more money - requires immobiliser, MPH speedo conversion, possible lighting modification - all gets expensive...


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cheers mate, but i already know all that. the thing i need to know is how to go about it. do i pay the duty +vat when i go to pick it up?

how do i go about an SVA. where do i get that worted? at the port aswell? i know that an extra 165 notes. its already got an immobiliser, i was told you can get past MPH conversion. i plan on getting new dials. and i can do the fog light myself.

i know what i need, i just dont know how to go about it.

how do i get it from the dock to my house without insurance/mot/blah blah.?

any help appreciated.

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when you get the paperwork from the dealer in japan , you will need to get yourself a freight/shipping company to do the customs clearance , they will pay the shipping cost's if you have not done that already , and they will pay the duty+vat , you just pay them the total , Try http://www.penguin-shipping.co.uk/ , I have only just started to use them , but they have been highly recommended .

Once they have done there bit they will issue the release papers , and you can collect it from Soton docks , you are allowed to drive it from the docks to the place where the work is going to be done , and also to and from the Mot and Sva depots , but you will need insurance , your insurance company will cover it on the chassis number .

Then you need to apply for the Sva test , and then get a model report if the vehicle is under 10 years old , http://www.importedvehicles.co.uk/ should be able to help you with that .

Hope this helps , give us a shout if you need any more info .

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thanks mate, its a bit clearer.

so even though the company who i am buying the car from is shipping can that pengiun place take over and sort the stufff out for me??

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