grey import car check
7 minutes

A car import check reveals the import status of the vehicle. If you’ve already decided to purchase a used car, you must perform the DVLA car import check since buying an imported or exported vehicle has its pros and cons. Here, we will discuss the common queries of people associated with an imported vehicle check.

What is meant by an imported car?

An imported car in the UK market reaches Britain’s shores from any other country. These vehicles are mainly divided into parallel import and grey import. A parallel import vehicle lands in the UK from a European country, while the grey import cars are transported to the UK from overseas. The grey imports usually come from Japan. Let’s discuss this in detail.

Benefits of car import checks

Performing car import checks provides several benefits for individuals looking to import a vehicle. Here are some key benefits:

  • Avoiding scams and fraudulent activities: Car import checks help uncover discrepancies or inconsistencies in the vehicle’s documentation. This can prevent buyers from falling victim to scams or purchasing stolen or illegally imported vehicles.
  • Ensuring the vehicle’s legality and authenticity: Importing a car involves complying with various regulations and legal requirements. Car import checks verify the vehicle’s import status, ensuring it has been legally imported and meets all necessary standards and regulations.
  • Identifying hidden issues and potential problems: Car import checks provide detailed information about the vehicle’s history, including any previous accidents, damage, or mechanical issues. This helps buyers make an informed decision by understanding the vehicle’s condition before making a purchase.
  • Saving money on repairs and maintenance: By uncovering any hidden issues or problems, car import checks can save buyers from purchasing vehicles that require costly repairs or extensive maintenance. This helps avoid unexpected expenses and ensures that the imported vehicle is in good condition.
  • Peace of mind for buyers: Importing a car can involve a large emotional and monetary investment. Car import checks offer peace of mind by providing comprehensive information about the vehicle’s background, ownership history, and overall condition. This allows buyers to have confidence in their purchase decision.

Overall, conducting car import checks is essential for ensuring a safe and successful process. It helps buyers avoid scams, verify the vehicle’s legality, identify potential issues, save money on repairs, and gain peace of mind. Individuals can make informed decisions and enjoy a hassle-free car import experience by prioritizing these checks.

What are Grey imported cars?

Vehicles imported from outside the EU are known as Grey Imports and accessible as standard in the UK. Regularly, they are Japanese or American models with higher determination.

The number of Japanese cars on UK roads has risen 38.2% in the last five years. Most UK people prefer Japanese used cars as they are affordable, durable and have excellent performance.

Grey imports are generally vehicles that don’t have an identical model in the UK market. Imported vehicles with indistinguishable or comparable UK models are known as equal imports. Equal imports are typically less expensive to protect than grey imports as they agree with UK regulations.

As dark imports regularly don’t agree with EU principles, they should be changed to be reasonable to drive on UK streets.

Grey import car: Should you take one?

Honestly, it is your personal choice. A grey import has pros and cons, so you should pen it down on paper and weigh them to make an informed decision.

The pros of buying a grey import are outstanding dependability and performance at a reasonable cost. The cars from Japan come equipped with a lot of advanced standard equipment and gadgets, which are typically not present in their respective segment vehicles made in the UK.

However, it could be challenging to find replacement parts, and you may have to pay high insurance premiums on imported grey vehicles. Besides, you may have to modify the cars to meet Great Britain’s vehicle standards.

Make sure you buy a grey imported car from a reputable dealership offering a complete auction report containing accident and service history.

Does the UK manufacturer repair imported vehicles?

The issue doesn’t end there, either. What would you do, for example, if you purchase a used grey imported car with a manufacturer defect? Will this be honoured by showrooms in the UK? Here, the solution needs to be made apparent.

When it comes to new cars, it’s a lot simpler to comprehend. A UK person who purchases a new car in another EU member state and then imports it into the UK will be covered by the same guarantee because warranties on new vehicles purchased in an EU member state are valid throughout the EU.

However, although contracts in the UK often last for three years, those in other EU nations may only last for one or two – make sure you read the tiny print.

Parallel import:

Approved dealers sell vehicles for the benefit of makers. The dealership contract frequently incorporates working intimately with the processing plant of the producer to request, import, and sell the vehicles. This continually holds fast to the processing plant’s image insight and levels of administration.

Then again, parallel importers often purchase vehicle models abroad, requesting production lines through a middle person.

How to check imported car history?

The easiest way to discover the history of an imported vehicle is to run our car import check. We offer this service for free, so it is wise always to perform this test before any car purchase. The report only tells if the car is imported or not. You would not be able to know its country of origin and its accident and service history.

What is a personal import vehicle?

A personal import vehicle is typically one that has been imported by an individual, not a vehicle import specialist. You will be entrusted with completing all the essential examinations, handling the desk work, bringing the vehicle into the UK and expecting all costs yourself. This is shockingly normal for classic cars.

How to do a car import check?

To determine whether the car is imported, you must do a car import check. When a vehicle reaches Great Britain, the importer must register it with the DVLA. You can check the procedure of registration here.

As a basic report, Car Analytics provides a car import check that details the status of any car registered in the UK in terms of import and export.

While buying a grey import, we highly recommend performing an import VIN Check. This report offers Japanese data records held for the car. You must contact the car supermarket you are buying from or companies that provide a Japanese car history check to get this report.

What does a vehicle’s exportation mean? How may a vehicle be shipped from the UK?

The car cannot be sold or driven in the United Kingdom. When the DVLA records a vehicle as ‘Exported,’ it erases some information about it, so dishonest sellers cannot clone the original car’s identity. It means you should never buy an exported car.

The DVLA has detailed the process of shipping your vehicle from the UK. Firstly, inform the DVLA about your export plan out of the UK. It also includes shipping to the Channel Islands (Jersey and Guernsey), Isle of Man, and Ireland.

Here’s a quick process:

  1. Complete the ‘permanent export’ part on the car log book (V5C).
  2. Dispatch it to the DVLA, Swansea, SA99 1BD. Add a letter if you’ve relocated overseas and need your car tax refund mailed to your new address.
  3. Save the rest of your logbook (V5C) – you must have it to register your car in the country you’re going to.
  4. Update the address on your driving license if you are relocating back to your home.

DVLA imported vehicle Vs DVLA exported vehicle

You always need to contact the DVLA if you import a car in the UK or export it. The difference between the DVLA imported vehicle and DVLA exported car is evident. You request the Licensing Agency to register your imported vehicle and do the opposite when shipping it.

There are temporary imports and permanent imports, each having its procedures. Similarly, the rules for permanent and temporary exports (for less than 12 months) vary. For instance, if you take your vehicle overseas for less than a year, you need to make sure your car is taxed in the UK and has a valid MOT and insurance.

Why not buy a DVLA-marked exported vehicle?

When the DVLA marks a car ‘exported,’ contrary to common belief, it does not remove all the vehicle details from its database. However, you cannot register and insure this car in the country now. You can only ship the vehicle out of the United Kingdom. Therefore, you should never buy a DVLA-exported car.

If you accidentally buy such a vehicle, consider yourself doomed. You must endure the arduous procedure of ‘importing the car in the UK’ first and then re-register it with the DVLA.

Is it hard to ensure a DVLA Import Vehicle?

We cannot say it is hard, but it is undoubtedly time-consuming for nonprofessionals. To import a car, you must hire an importer or a shipping company to perform the following task for you. Or you have to first:

  1. Inform HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) within two weeks that the car has landed in Britain.
  2. Pay VAT and duty if HMRC asks you to do so.
  3. Get car approval to demonstrate that your vehicle is fit and safe on UK public roads.
  4. Car with the DVLA – the agency will provide you with a registration number.
  5. Ensure your car before you drive it.

Can I insure an imported car in the UK?

You can expect vehicles worked for business sectors outside the EU to be more earnest to guarantee and accompany higher charges. In the beginning, numerous guarantors won’t give you a statement for an imported vehicle, so you need to search for a subject matter expert.

The explanation that an imported vehicle is more costly to cover directly results from the immense questions a safety net provider will confront. It’s not in every case clear the amount it would cost to observe new parts. This becomes more troublesome if these come from spaces of the world with an alternate arrangement of norms and testing to our own.

Most of the grey imports to be a higher performance specification, with incredible power, gross weight of the vehicle and suspension systems. The electronic pieces of equipment in the vehicle will likely be different. For instance, if the driver has an accident, which can have a knock-on effect on insurance for imported cars.

Parallel imports are vehicles made for the EU market. They’ve been manufactured to meet the required safety and environmental standards in the UK. In case they have been sold by a non-UK or non-European dealer. There is a huge chance to differ in specifications between European Union countries, and obviously, the repair cost will be high and directly impact the insurance value.

Answering your questions

What impact does an imported car have on its resale value?

Numerous elements, such as an automobile’s age, mileage, condition, and even color, affect its resale value. The value of used goods may also depend on their import status. The fact that many imported cars lack some safety features seen in domestically produced models can affect how valuable people view them.

Due to the dearth of compatible replacement parts and the lack of local mechanics who are familiar with their particular requirements, maintenance for imported automobile models may also be more challenging.

Get a free car check

Enter the registration number to check car details instantly

Get a free car check