Advice for anyone wishing to import a car from overseas.

Talk about E-Types here

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Wilder
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#1 Advice for anyone wishing to import a car from overseas.

Post by Wilder » Sat Jan 12, 2019 10:44 pm

As an importation and sourcing agent I thought I would offer some advice on how to import and pay the minimum of costs on a classic car.
Now to import an E type you pay on arrival into the UK, or treasure Island as its better known, , 5% historic car tax and no VAT as the car is over 30 years old. You can also use this if the vehicle is newer than 30 years, but is a vehicle of "Historic significance"..So if you are importing John lennons Roller, or have the Popes old ride, then you can avoid paying the full rate of VAT and duty in such cases.
Newer cars less than 30 years old are subject to 20% Vat and 10% duty on the purchase price AND shipping costs combined ... The exception is a car made in the EU and sold in another country outside the EU which for example, a 1999 Ferrari 355, bought in the US, will be subject to the VAT but a flat rate duty fee of £50 as it was made in the EU... People can and do get charged 10% duty when importing such cars by mistake, due to the lack of knowledge by some shipping company staff.. John Goode Shipping at Felixtowe has handled a number of such cars for me, and we only ever get charged the flat rate fee of £50..
As a private individual , your shiping agent will submit the relevent paperwork for you (NOVA) and Private Motor Vehicle – Application for release on payment of Customs Duty, and VAT C384 ( which you fill in and E mail back to your agent)
so that when your car arrives, the shipping company will only need to arrange an invoice for HMRC`s import duty, which must be paid before your vehicle will be released.
You get 7 days from date of unloading in the shipping agents bonded warehouse free of charge..If you go over this time before collecting your car, its usually around a £15 per day storage charge.
You need to have all documents sent from the seller to your agent before the ship arrives in the UK, and you must specify to the company handling the shipping if you want to use your prefered agent in the UK.
If you do not, then whoever the shipping line has a contract with will automatically take custody of your car, and handle charges payments through their disbursement account and bill you 2.5% to do so ( this is normal).
I would always find your own UK agent for the port you want to use, and check their charges against the competition. That way you know exactly what the charges are in advance, and compare them with other companies providing similar services.
The difference can be hundreds of pounds, so never allow the shipping company to "appoint" their agent for you, which they will unless you insist to the contrary..
Most companies operate at all major UK ports, so ring the office at the port of your car`s arrival, and deal with them direct rather than an agent at head office.
Now a couple of important points:
Never ever arrange a UK company to to ship the car
You will on average pay double the cost of engaging a USA shipping company to handle your car.
When i brought my last E type in from the US, a certain UK company was asking for £2800 to arrange the shipping (ex ins), and I ended up booking with a US company direct which cost me $1600, and it would have been $1300 had they not screwed up the booking requiring me to go with a last minute replacement ....
John Goode were actually about the same as the USA company I went with as it turned out, so I would definately speak to them ( James Smith).
It is a simple process to google then E mail shipping companies operating at the nearest port location to your car, and if you buy from a reputable car dealership, they will likely help you to find a company for this if they are familiar with selling to overseas buyers. Be aware never just go with who they recommend, always compare other companies who can handle the shipping...In the day of internet and cheap overseas phone calls, its quick, easy, and can save you a lot of money..
Ensure photos are taken by the seller when it gets loaded onto the truck ,and ask the shipping company to take many photos and E mail them so you can provide the insurance company covering the shipping process with detailed photos of the car, along with a condition report ( which is standard practice, but ask them to confirm both will be E mailed to you before the ship sails).. The insurance company may need these if you subsequently lodge a claim. They will certainly ask you for these photos, and you will need them to validate the insurance cover with Hegertys.
My advice, is to get some photos before the car gets loaded into the container. It is nice to have shots of it in situ, or being loaded, but the important point is they have a condition report and photos from your shipping company in the event of a claim.
A condition report completed by the shipping company is standard practice when the car is received, and loaded into a container, but again, make sure you get in writing that both the dispatching and the receiving agent will conduct and supply a condition report and photos prior to sailing/ on unloading at destination. It is no use claiming damage once it has left the agents care. and control.
Do NOT use the marine insurance offered by any shipping company... I shipped a car from New york that would have cost nearly $5k in insurance...I went to Hegertys classic car insurance ( parent company is in the USA) in the UK and they charged me £320 for a vehicle valued at $220k for shipping insurance...I shipped 5 cars using Hegertys now, and they have always provided excellent customer service.
One last point, the selling dealer will usually have a tow truck company they use regularly, who can transport your car to the shipping companies warehouse at the docks...Make sure that whoever you use are familiar with loading classic cars, and do not simply wrench them onto a flatbed nose first with a winch.
I had that happen by a dumb truck driver who caused $5k of damage to a Ferrari doing exactly that - again photos during/after loading onto the tow truck are essential....Ask the selling dealer to wrap and strap the bonnet and trunk ( shrink wrap), as this stops anyone opening the bonnet and helping themselves to your lovely triple SUs or taking your tools and jack.....You can go with a shared container ( 6 cars and yours is stacked in a 40ft container), or you can take a single 20ft container. Last time I did this, a Shared container was under $1000 and a sole occupancy 20ft container started around $1300, but you do not run the same risk of damage with your car in its own snug 20 ft box as you do when loading/unloading 3 cars stacked on the top, and 3 on the bottom of a 40 ft container, with port staff juggling cars in and out .. Damage can and does occur, just far less in your own 20 ft container.
When you have your own container it will be locked with a numbered seal prior to loading onto the ship.
When it is unloaded at the UK port, you and the warehouse manager, or his represdentative, will be the first people to break the seal on the door.
Until you arrive, it always remains locked unless HMRC conduct an inspection ( Never known that happen ever, as they are far too busy).
Take your camera phone, and when you open the container, film the whole process, so if there is any damage, it is recorded in real time. (Take lots of still photos as well). Also point any damage out to the representative who is with you, and ask them to record and supply you with a copy of the condition report listing the damage.
Once the container is open, you can remove the straps, and push the car out yourself, or with help ( for shipping they require batteries to be disconnected, and no more than 1/4 a tank of fuel in the car).
NOTE* Ports do NOT allow children on site, so do not take them as they WILL refuse you entry.
You will also need photo ID (passport) to retrieve your vehicle, and the vehicle you are using, its registration number also need to be passed to your agent to clear you to go and collect your car. I am not 100% certain, but I think you may need the same for any passengers in the car, but your agent will clarify what is needed for the port you are visiting.
Transport companies are familiar with this routine, so they will liase with your agent direct if collecting on your behalf. You need to make it clear that the company collecting your car must agree on an E mail or in writing,to do exactly the same if acting for you, as you would do if you were collecting in person.
Otherwise, many will not check the car properly, citing time issues, but it is very important, and you have no recourse if your car has scratches down the side, and it wasn`t recorded because your driver was in a rush......
This indemnifies you against damage caused by the driver during the time they pickup and load onto their trailer, to final delivery to you. (yes this happens more than you might think as well)....
Again, shop around and compare costs/services ..Most shipping companies use Maersk, MSC and these are the worlds largest shipping companies , though you cannot book with them direct as an individual.
When booking with a shipping company , you can specify Liverpool port if you live in the North of England but they do not receive shared occupancy containers, or if sharing a container, or if its nearer, you can specify using London port,. Felixtowe or Southampton. Felixtowe is by far the busiest UK container port, so odds on you will get a better deal, and more options choosing to devan there.
Hope this helps for anyone thinking of buying from the USA or anywhere else overseas.
Last edited by Wilder on Wed Jan 23, 2019 6:55 pm, edited 11 times in total.
Jonathan K
1969 S2 OTS

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abowie
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#2 Re: Advice for anyone wishing to import a car from overseas.

Post by abowie » Sun Jan 13, 2019 1:46 am

Thank you Jonathon for sharing your knowledge.
Admins; could we maybe put this a sticky somewhere to make it easy to find in the future?
Andrew.
881824, 1E21538. 889457..oops
http://www.projectetype.com/index.php/the-blog.html
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politeperson
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#3 Re: Advice for anyone wishing to import a car from overseas.

Post by politeperson » Sun Jan 13, 2019 8:36 am

A very informative guide Jonathan, thankyou.
James

L.J.K. Setright was right.
"You just cant beat a good E-type"

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Durango2k
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#4 Re: Advice for anyone wishing to import a car from overseas.

Post by Durango2k » Sun Jan 13, 2019 8:41 am

Excellent. It becomes even more complicated with Citroens because they will lay down flat. You always get fork marks from lifters underneath on those. Best you can try is someone to drive them into the box and only YOU drive it out.

Carsten
Jag E '66 S1 2+2, Citroen DS 23 Pallas iE, Citroen SM 3.0, Concept Centaur MK1, Citroen 11 BL '54, Sinclair C5, Velosolex

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Wilder
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#5 Re: Advice for anyone wishing to import a car from overseas.

Post by Wilder » Sun Jan 13, 2019 11:51 am

Durango2k wrote:
Sun Jan 13, 2019 8:41 am
Excellent. It becomes even more complicated with Citroens because they will lay down flat. You always get fork marks from lifters underneath on those. Best you can try is someone to drive them into the box and only YOU drive it out.

Carsten
A certain US shipping company used old mattresses to put under forks of telehandlers and forklifts to move vehicles.
They were caught red handed doing this.... You only get a car lifted when loading into a "stacked" or shared container btw :banghead: ......in your own container this is not a problem...
Jonathan K
1969 S2 OTS

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mgcjag
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#6 Re: Advice for anyone wishing to import a car from overseas.

Post by mgcjag » Tue Jan 15, 2019 1:10 pm

Great post Jonathan....always best to get a recomended shipper
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Steve
1969 S2 2+2 & Building a C type replica

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#7 Re: Advice for anyone wishing to import a car from overseas.

Post by cactusman » Tue Jan 15, 2019 2:53 pm

Off topic but I'd like to see that crossing the Atlantic :bigrin: :bigrin:
Julian the E-type man
1962 FHC
1966 MGB....fab little car too

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Wilder
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#8 Re: Advice for anyone wishing to import a car from overseas.

Post by Wilder » Tue Jan 15, 2019 7:27 pm

mgcjag wrote:
Tue Jan 15, 2019 1:10 pm
Great post Jonathan....always best to get a recomended shipper
Image
Ah yes, insurance....What`s the worst that could happen?
Jonathan K
1969 S2 OTS

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Meonstoke
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#9 Re: Advice for anyone wishing to import a car from overseas.

Post by Meonstoke » Tue Jan 15, 2019 8:54 pm

I recognise that boat! Isn't it one of the "ships" enlisted by the UK Government as part of their back up plan to keep trade flowing across the Channel ....

Sorry, couldn't resist!

M.

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