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What is Salvage title? Export cars from the U.S.

Buying & Exporting Auction Cars from the US to the UK

By Mike Richards Updated: 11/09/2021 Posted: 10/09/2015

Many people in the UK who are interested in being vehicles from the United States have been considering using online car auctions. However, there are some things people in the UK need to learn before buying a car at a US car auction.

Why Choose an Auction Export?

Buying through an auction is a great option for many people in the UK. They are able to find a wide range of vehicles at prices that are thousands of dollars less than what they might pay through other venues. People often like the idea of going through one of these auctions because they will not have to work with car dealerships (new or used) either.

What’s the Catch?

Even though buying from an auction to export has some great benefits, there is also one potential disadvantage that needs to be considered. Many of the auction-bought vehicles are actually salvage cars. In some cases, this means that they cannot be driven without substantial repairs or have sustained damage that would be more costly to repair than the actual value of the vehicle. However, this doesn’t necessarily mean they are a bad idea to buy. Prices at auction can be very low. This means that buying through the auction, even when factoring in the cost of repairs and shipping, can still make good financial sense.

Shipping To The UK

When you are buying an auction export from the USA, you have to consider not only the cost of shipping but also the shipper you will use.

One of the best options is to work with a shipping company that also handles the auction process for you. You can find some great dealers online that are able to attend a number of auctions, including dealer only auctions, so you can have the largest variety of vehicles. These third party companies generally have the capability to ship, or they will be able to suggest a shipper for you. They can advise you on what you need to do and where you need to ship, making the entire process much easier.

UK Customs & Tax

You have to make sure that you know where the vehicle will arrive, and what you need to do in order to get it through Customs. The vehicle needs to meet UK safety and environmental regulations. This means you may need to have repairs to the vehicle before you can register it and get a title and insurance.

If you are buying an auction export from the US, it will probably be a left-hand drive vehicle. This will need to have a European Certificate of Conformity or an Individual Vehicle Approval if it has no European Approval.

Also, you will have to pay VAT, as well as duty and vehicle tax when you buy an auction export. You will need to use the Notification of Vehicle Arrivals service to let HM Revenue and Customs know you are importing the vehicle. You will need to do this within 14 days of the vehicle arriving. You will then need to register the imported vehicle through the DVLA. They will issue the registration number.

In the UK, you are allowed to drive the vehicle to pre-made appointments expressly for the purpose of registering it. However, if you are driving on the road without it being registered, insured, and having the VAT and duty paid for any other reason, they could arrest and prosecute you. Make sure you do things the correct way to avoid any potential entanglements with the law.

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