Why Should You Perform Car Import Check?

A car import check reveals the import status of the vehicle. If you have made up your mind 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 import car?

An import car in the UK market is the one that reaches Britain’s shores from any other country. These vehicles are mainly divided into Parallel Import and Grey Import. A parallel import vehicle is the one that 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.

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 will quite often purchase vehicle models abroad, requesting from production lines through a middle person.

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 to 38.2% in the last five years. It’s evident that 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.

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
and, handling the desk work, and bringing the vehicle into the UK and expecting all costs yourself. This is shockingly normal for classic cars.

How to check if a car is an import?

You need to run a car import check to check if the car is imported. When a vehicle reaches Great Britain, the importer must register it with the DVLA. You can find the procedure of registration here.

Car Analytics offers a car import check as a basic report, which mentions the import and export status of any vehicle registered in the UK.

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

What does it mean if a car has been exported? How do I ship a car from the UK?

It means 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 could not 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 in a letter if you’ve relocated overseas and needed 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.

For more details on shipping your vehicle overseas, check this page.

DVLA imported vehicle Vs. DVLA exported vehicle

Whether you import a car in the UK or export it, you always need to contact the DVLA. 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 exports 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 have to go by the laborious process of ‘importing the car in the UK’ first and then re-register it with the DVLA.

Is it hard to assure a DVLA Import Vehicle?

We cannot say it is hard, but it is undoubtedly time-consuming for nonprofessionals. As an individual, if you like to import a car, you can either 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 your vehicle is fit and safe to drive on the 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 earnestly to guarantee and accompany higher charges. For a 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 pass the required safety and environmental standards to fit 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 different European Union countries, and obviously, the repair cost will be high and directly impact the insurance value.

Grey Import Car: Should You Take One?

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

The pros of buying a grey import include exceptional performance and reliability at an affordable price. 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.

On the other hand, it could be hard to find replacement parts, and you may have to pay high insurance premiums on grey imported vehicles. Besides, you may have to make some modifications to the cars to meet Great Britain’s vehicle standards.

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

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.