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Author Topic: Personal Imports  (Read 6127 times)
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Goff
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« on: 03 October, 2007, 10:27:16 PM »

Dear All

Does anybody out there know what the correct procedure is for importing a vehicle  from mainland Europe? What difference does it make if the vehicle is in a non-EU country ie. Switzerland? What are the do's and dont's? Apart from the actual purchase
price agreed for the vehicle are there any taxes or duties to pay? Most importantly what are the major pitfalls to avoid?

Ebay is an obvious source to scour for a suitable purchase but are there other sources and how easy are they to identify and contact?

Look forward to your replies.
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fay66
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« Reply #1 on: 03 October, 2007, 10:42:12 PM »

Have a look at this link http://www.dft.gov.uk/pgr/roads/vehicles/vssafety/importsapproval/howtoimportyourvehicleperman4559 Grin
It's the Department of Transports document of do's & Don'ts,  It used to come in a booklet form as PI3, and I would expect there is  an updated version, if not the site has lots of information, it was what I used when I personally imported my new Y Elefantino Rosso in from Rotterdam in 1999, & I found it very useful.

If you stick to the letter of what it says, you may well not be able to bring the vehicle you're after into the UK, so read it with a touch of tongue in cheek.

Brian Hilton
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« Reply #2 on: 05 October, 2007, 12:22:51 PM »

Goff,

The first point is whether the car is less than 6 months old or 6000miles then their is a difference, But cant remember.

If you are buying new, then you can play the tax game? check the tax in each country if it is higher than 17.5% buy tax free and pay British tax. If less pay the tax in the country of origin. Some countries like Holland charge a luxury tax on cars as well as vat, so the export fiqure is a lot less going the tax free route.

If you are importing from out side the EU then you have to pay VAT (on the price you paid) and some countries you are also charged import tax. As Brian says read the form with a bit of tounge in cheek with regard to the speedo (not an MOT item) and headlights.

Regards

Simon
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Lindsay
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« Reply #3 on: 05 October, 2007, 12:33:45 PM »

My understanding is if it's less than 6 months old, you pay VAT in the UK regardless of whether it has been paid abroad.

EU - over 6 months old, no VAT to pay.

Non EU - pay VAT, this includes switzerland. This is done on the basis on HM Customs valuing the car. You can give them an invoice but they wont necessarily calculate on the basis of that.

Over 10 years old - no Certificate of conformity needed and all you need is an MOT.
Under 10 years old, need the certificate of conformity, have to prove it has a mph speedo and lights "permanently" dipping to the left - ie no stickies, even though stickies are ok for the MOT. As you can't get RHD dipping lamps for the Kappa, you need to be inventive!

Not sure about the getting here. In Germany you can buy transit plates which give you 5 days insurance, perhaps 200 euros.

Bit of a hassle but worth it in the end.
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nyssa7
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« Reply #4 on: 05 October, 2007, 06:58:49 PM »

One beauty of buying a used Lancia (probably excluding integrales) from Switzerland is that HM Customs have no idea of their value, something like a Thema or kappa might as well be valueless to them. They valued by Thema SW at 44! The fuel in it cost more than that, but I wasn't going to complain when presented with a VAT bill of less than 7 Grin
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fay66
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« Reply #5 on: 06 October, 2007, 09:20:23 AM »

Re transit number plates, if you're buying new & driving it back you will need transit plates to get it out of the country you are buying from, arranged by the Dealer, you will also need insurance, I got insurance on my Ypsilon on the chassis number until I got it registered in the UK, & then the insurance company changed the documentation.
Certificate of conformity, As I bought my ypsilon from the Netherlands it was supplied in Dutch, so unless the DVLA have it translated they won't even know what it says. in 1999 the C of C only stated that the vehicle complied with european regulations, with nothing specific about speedo & headlights, I understood from Tim speechley at the time that it would be going specific for headlights & Speedo, but I don't know if this came in or when.
Brian Hilton
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Scarpia
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« Reply #6 on: 06 October, 2007, 09:41:11 AM »

The rhd /headlights issue remains a problem of course for the uk but since 2003 all new vehicles sold in Europe have a  "european certificate of conformity" rather than a country specific one.This has made the importing of vehicles from other European countries a great deal easier. We have imported several vehicles from germany to Belgium and Uk to belgium in the last 15 years and most recently last year.On previous occasions it took weeks of petty admin and frustration . Last year it took 3 days from collecting the vehicle in Germany to receiving the belgian number plate with no hassle and negligible cost.

For older vehicles it remains a struggle. At the moment I am registering a UK fulvia (raised headlamps) in Belgium.I need to therefore get a "gelijkvormigheidsattest" (think yourselves lucky you can call it a "certificate of conformity"). For this they have to measure everything, it will cost a 150 euro's approx but fortunately they are not making me swop the headlamps. They have agreed to accept stick on deflectors as a practical solution.(no doubt until some petty official spots them in next years mot and makes a problem of it....)
If the vehicle is pre 68 you don't need to certificate which makes life a lot easier.
(just seen a nice 67 fulvia gt saloon for sale, mmm...)
« Last Edit: 06 October, 2007, 09:44:53 AM by Scarpia » Logged
fay66
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« Reply #7 on: 06 October, 2007, 06:03:02 PM »

Hi Scarpia,
go  for it, if you've never had a saloon you don't know what your missing Grin on the other hand I am biased Wink

Brian
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« Reply #8 on: 06 October, 2007, 06:47:43 PM »

No - I agree, saloons are gorgeous...
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Chris Owen
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« Reply #9 on: 08 October, 2007, 09:54:29 PM »

...but all Lancia saloons are better than the Coupes!!! (Beta, Gamma, Fulvia, Flavia etc etc....not that i am at all biased!!)
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« Reply #10 on: 09 October, 2007, 06:12:47 PM »

Goff

There is areal problem with insurance since the EU changed things to "simplify" purchase abroad! the regulation expect you to buy from a dealer who can arrange insurance locally, private sales seem to have been forgotten in drafting to regs.

You now have to have insurance taken out in the country in which the car is registered, UK insurers are no longer permitted to issue a covernote on a foreign registered vehicle.  Most foreign insurers will only issue cover to someone resident in their country so you need to have an address this could be supplied by the seller if willing.  The only other alternative is to bring your purchase back on a trailer.

Don
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Don Williamson
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Rodders
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« Reply #11 on: 10 October, 2007, 04:06:27 PM »

Good and valid point, Don.  All my french insurance expired the day I moved back to the UK, though as I trailered all my cars back here it wasn't a problem.  However it WILL be a problem when I want to take one for an MoT!  I have insurance on my UK-registered cars, which I believe includes TP cover for any vehicle I drive.  Do you suppose this cover extends to cars on foreign plates?

Rodders
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donw
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« Reply #12 on: 10 October, 2007, 04:38:09 PM »

Rodders

The driving other cars extension almost certainly only covers vehicles you do NOT own.

Were your cars previously registered in UK and if so do you have the old V5?  If yes then you can get a cover note on that number and apply to DVLA for its realloction.

Your UK insurer can give up to 3 weeks cover on either the chassis number (on which you can also get an MOT) or the foreign number, you then have to get the MOT reissued once you have a UK reg (or you forget it till next year).

Still it all makes work for the public emplyees who are paid from our taxes.

If this does not give you enough ring me.

Don
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Don Williamson
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toby2449
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« Reply #13 on: 11 January, 2008, 01:58:30 PM »

mmm, this topic got me thinking! (rare event indeed!), since it seems Lancia won't be returing to these shores, i am thinking about doing a personal import for the new Delta, & only thought about the UK as a country of origin, but surely if i went to mainland Europe i'd save quite a bit of money as i'd be working in Euro's & not Sterling, however that then leads me onto more problems,ie which country to buy in,dealers etc... oh & does a european dealer have to supply a RHD car??
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fensaddler
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« Reply #14 on: 11 January, 2008, 06:00:40 PM »

Yes - you could order a UK spec car with RHD in any EU country, and play the game to get the best tax free price.  When exchange rates made this really attractive a few years ago I bought my car this way from a dealer in the Netherlands, and had it delivered to my front door.  There is a little more paperwork, but it is also notable that the options (such as leather seats) were half the price in the Netherlands compared to the UK, so I was able to spec up for very little, as well as getting the basdic car for 25% under UK list.  Just make sure you spec up to the UK equivalent, or the thing will be harder to sell on later, especially if you want to sell it on in the UK.  Clearly being in Eire, you might as well look around, since the level of hassle will be much the same, but the prices may vary substantially.  Moreover the sense of satisfaction at having completely beaten the system is really very good!
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Chris Owen
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