Alistair Benn
By Alistair Benn

Quotes from car importers vary significantly from each other which can be very confusing and even misleading. Some seem very low, but aren’t including anything other than the cost of your car. Knowing the costs of importing a car makes the experience much easier to understand. This check list shows you the seven key fixed and optional costs you need to know about so you can confidently compare the quotes you are given and know the questions to ask to see you final costs from each importer.

Seven costs you must know about before importing your car.

Marine insurance:  Make sure you have insurance provided for the full value of your car. Some importers insure you for the weight of the car i.e. the scrap value which is going to make a bad situation even worse if you needed it.

Local Insurance:  You need to have full insurance for your car whilst it is being transported in the country you have bought it from and also when it arrives in your country.

Land transport: Your car will need to be transported from the supplier to the port and then from the port in your country to your agreed destination.

Shipping Transport: The cost of the shipping journey will be cheaper if your car is quoted as a roll on /roll off service. We would recommend your car is not shipped on the top of the boat, but shipped below deck for greater safety in a storm. Container shipping is more expensive but this can be kept down by using a shared container. This is successful for longer shipping journeys.

Inspections: Most countries have a mandatory roadworthiness inspection. This may happen before the car leaves the country of origin. In some cases e.g. New Zealand this happens when your car reaches its destination country.

Local Preparation: Not all cars are prepared to the same standard. Make sure you agree on:

  • Whether your car will come with 2 keys, tyres good all around (agree a minimum tread depth), good brake pads all round (again its recommended you agree the depth), an up to date service history, owners manual in your language and a set of mats (specify whether you get 2 or 4 mats).
  • Whether any accidental damage which happens during the journey is going to be repaired for you?
  • Whether your car is the car going to be prepared to a showroom standard when you collect it (valeted).

Warranty: Many European manufacturers provide a standard 2-3 year global warranty. Suppliers can also provide a warranty for older cars. Agree with you supplier on what yours covers: engine, body, tyres etc?

At MHH International we operate a one clear price policy so you can see your final costs from the outset. This takes the worry out of importing and so you can be confident you won’t have any nasty surprises when your car arrives. Instead you will enjoy driving your dream car from the day you receive it. Contact the team today and find out how much you could save by importing your next car. 

* Very occasionally import taxes can change whilst a car is on the water. This change is out of the control of any importer, but you should be able to check newspaper announcements which forewarn of intended changes.

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