Importing a vehicle from the UK: THE complete guide

God save the King. Haute cuisine, good weather and the metric system: three things that don't define the UK. When it comes to cars, however, we have every reason to envy the British. Between attractive prices and atypical vehicles, the British market is full of bargains. But when it comes to importing, how do you go about it? Scam or real bargain? Benzin tells you all. par TeamBenzin

Why import a car from the UK?

For the price. Indeed, it's no secret that the British market is far more affordable than the continental European market. We've already heard you say "but the steering wheel's on the wrong side", yes, but not always. For a variety of reasons, some left-hand drive cars end up on sale across the Channel. These include American muscle cars, VW Combis, supercars and cars that have never existed in right-hand drive (such as the Lancia Delta Evo). The UK market is also full of JDM nuggets that won't require long, costly and tedious periods of shipping.

For style. Like it or not, the English have taste. If you're looking for the ultimate configuration of color and equipment, chances are you'll find it in the UK.

What is the procedure for importing a vehicle?

As of January 1, 2022, the United Kingdom is no longer a member of the European Union and its economic area. As a result, the procedure for importing a vehicle from the UK is very similar to that for importing a vehicle from Switzerland.

There are two main stages in the process.

The first stage at the British customs office: you must pay customs fees. These are calculated on the basis of the trade-in price of the vehicle, and represent 10% of its value.

A second phase VAT: payment of VAT to the French customs authorities. This represents 20% of the car's trade-in price, plus English customs duties.

Avantage gasoline : Congratulations on acquiring a vehicle through us! You've just avoided lengthy negotiations, and we know carriers who can deliver your vehicle to your door. They'll take care of UK customs (10%), and you'll just have to go to the nearest customs office to pay VAT (20%).

Once this has been done, you will be given a certificate of customs clearance (846A) to start the process of registering your vehicle in France.

Obtaining the definitive vehicle registration document

To register it, you will need :

  • Obtain a COC (European Certificate of Conformity) from the vehicle manufacturer. This document can be obtained either directly from the manufacturer, often via a dedicated service, or from generalist websites that can supply them. On average, this document will cost you between €150 and €300.
  • French technical inspection.
  • Provide the certificate of sale if you bought the vehicle from a private individual, or a purchase invoice if you bought the vehicle from a professional.
  • Provide the 846A customs clearance certificate, proving that all taxes have been paid. This certificate may be in the seller's name, if it has been agreed in advance that the seller will pay the import charges.
  • Provide the English vehicle registration document, otherwise known as the "V5C"; it is compulsory to complete the "New keeper" and "Permanent Export" sections.

All you have to do is go to the ANTS website and click on "Make another request", then "Register a vehicle in France for the first time".

Benzin can also refer you to professionals partners to help you through the registration process.

Cars over 30 years old: VAT 5.5

For vehicles over 30 years old in their original configuration, the import procedure is greatly simplified, and the cost is also much lower. In fact, as the vehicle is now considered a work of art, it is only subject to a single fee. TVA of 5.5%.

Why buy on Benzin?

As with any car, buying a vehicle from Benzin is a simple and secure transaction. What's more, Benzin's network of partners includes transporters who are used to exporting vehicles on your behalf. So all you have to do is wait for your new acquisition, from the comfort of your sofa.

The sale lasts 10 days, giving you plenty of time to study the vehicle and think carefully about your potential purchase. For 10 days, the car is on Benzin and not elsewhere. You're sure not to miss out, provided you're the highest bidder!

Finally, if you trade-in a vehicle, you don't pay the seller directly. You transfer the funds to a secure escrow account and obtain the seller's contact details once the funds have been paid in. The vehicle is reserved for youYou have one month to do so. You have one month to do so.

This will allow you to manage the details of your import with complete peace of mind, including insurance and arrangements with the seller. Isn't it reassuring not to have to worry about payment?

To conclude :

Treat yourself! Don't listen to the joyriders or pseudo-specialists who are convinced that an imported car is necessarily of poor quality. Open up your search to foreign markets, like England. You're sure to find THE rare pearl at the right price.

And for those who think the procedure is complicated, just show them this Guide!