United Kingdom

Import regulations for used and new cars from Japan to United Kingdom

Quick Reference: ・10 years or older easier to MOT ・ Monthly RORO shipping service to four ports ・Low customs brokerage fees ・Inner cargo shipping possible

Vehicles must be imported thru a customs clearance agent on the UK side. We work exclusively with Penguin Shipping to keep import costs to a minimum. Please contact Stephen Graham or Paul Clark for the most up to date import details. *You may use your broker of choice as well.

Please click here for a guide to registering your vehicle in the UK.

Japan Side Costs

Please visit the How to Buy page for information on the process and costs involved. Ocean freight costs are prepaid and vary based on the volume of the vehicle. Please register for access to the auction marketplace and your dedicated agent will contact you directly with information and a quote.

UK Side Costs

•  Terminal handling and documentation: £70.00 – £100.00 per vehicle (depending on shipping line – shipping line charge)
•  Customs clearance: £75.00 per entry
•  Additional vehicles: £10.00 per vehicle (on same vessel and customs entry, if applicable)

•  Winning Bid + Freight x 10% = Duty
•  Winning Bid + Freight + Duty x 20% = VAT

*Import duty is usually 10% on a standard motor vehicle. This is calculated on the cost of the vehicle, the shipping cost to the UK border and the marine insurance premium (if applicable). VAT is 20% and this is calculated on everything. The cost of the vehicle, the shipping cost to the UK border, the marine insurance premium, the duty paid and the UK charges (terminal handling, docs and clearance fee).

Documents required for import and provided by Japan Car Direct LLC:

•  Commercial Invoice
•  Japanese Export Certificate
•  English translation of Japanese Export certificate
•  Bill of Lading

The vast majority of vehicle arrivals are cleared within a few hours of the vessel arrival. Collection is then normally possible the working day after arrival. Most shipping lines allow 7 free calendar days on quay, including the day of arrival. After this they begin to charge storage.

If importing as a company, then your company must have an EORI number to be able to import cargo. You can apply for a number here: https://www.gov.uk/eori

Before you can register the vehicle, a NOVA will need to be completed. If you are a private individual or NON VAT registered trader then HMRC will complete this on your behalf. Penguin Shipping will make an application once the vehicle has cleared customs. The waiting time for a NOVA is currently around 2 weeks. The DVLA will not register the vehicle until the NOVA is complete. There is no charge for this service.

If you are a VAT registered company, then you must complete the NOVA. Penguin shipping can complete the NOVA on your behalf, they charge £20+VAT per vehicle for this service (VAT registered traders only).

Also required by the broker:

•  Application Form completed by the importer
•  Passport or driving license of importer (if private importer)

In addition to these costs, it is the responsibility of the importer to handle MOT and registration on the vehicle.

Click here for more info on importing vehicles into the UK.

We look forward to answering all of your questions and going forward to get you the best value for your money, and a fresh JDM ride. We can also be contacted directly via [email protected]