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Shipping Car

Shipping Car

Old Jan 23rd 2011, 10:53 am
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Default Shipping Car

Has anyone ever shipped their UK car to the USA? If so, any rough indication of costs - google comes up with a wide range of figures!

Thanks
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Old Jan 23rd 2011, 11:43 am
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Default Re: Shipping Car

It is not worth it I looked into it and it is not just the shipping cost ( I could have got these cheap as I used to work for a company shipping to Houston) but you have to change several parts of the vehicle to meet US standards.

Plus cars here are cheaper than in the UK so whatever you sell your car for there you will be able to replace it here.
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Old Jan 23rd 2011, 1:06 pm
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Default Re: Shipping Car

Originally Posted by arh1 View Post
Has anyone ever shipped their UK car to the USA? If so, any rough indication of costs - google comes up with a wide range of figures!
You will need written proof that the car meets or exceeds US safety and emissions standards for its model year. Unless it's a classic or an antique, I advise against it.

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Old Jan 23rd 2011, 2:28 pm
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Default Re: Shipping Car

Originally Posted by ian-mstm View Post
You will need written proof that the car meets or exceeds US safety and emissions standards for its model year. Unless it's a classic or an antique, I advise against it...
Ian's right, the rules governing bumper design are different here, and emissions laws - especially in California - are even more strict than in the UK (even the very newest diesels have trouble passing). If it's a classic, I believe the car must be 25 years or older. After that age, it's exempt and you can register it for the road.

I've heard of people bringing cars over and (somehow) running them unregistered, but you're in for a world of hurt if you get into an accident.
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Old Jan 23rd 2011, 2:43 pm
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Default Re: Shipping Car

Isn't there a pretty heft customs duty on cars < 25 years old?
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Old Jan 23rd 2011, 3:49 pm
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Default Re: Shipping Car

Think it seems to be more hassle than its worth. Will sell or keep in storage here.

Thanks
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Old Jan 23rd 2011, 10:39 pm
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Default Re: Shipping Car

Originally Posted by MatK77 View Post

I've heard of people bringing cars over and (somehow) running them unregistered, but you're in for a world of hurt if you get into an accident.
You don't need to if it's a temporary stay and less than 12 months under certain circumstances.

Maintenance will be a hassle, as will insurance, as will having the steering wheel on the wrong side.

Stay longer than 12 months and the car will more than likely get crushed if not removed from the US.

The car has to be really something special to bother with the effort, Aston Martin kind of special.
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Old Jan 24th 2011, 12:04 am
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Default Re: Shipping Car

Ian's right, the rules governing bumper design are different here, and emissions laws - especially in California - are even more strict than in the UK (even the very newest diesels have trouble passing)
+1

The emissions are tested over a different drive cycle which requires a different calibration of the engine's management system so even if there is an identical model sold in the US it gets the US calibration loaded onto the EMS. This would almost certainly require an OEM dealer to do it for you, it might be a struggle to find a dealer willing/capable and they're never cheap in the first place.

I've just bought myself an American SUV, I did look at a few European made cars, basically because that's what I know, but decided that there isn't much point moving here to experience US life for a few years then driving the same cars I did in the UK.
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Old Jan 24th 2011, 12:27 am
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Default Re: Shipping Car

Originally Posted by arh1 View Post
Think it seems to be more hassle than its worth. Will sell or keep in storage here.

Thanks

I have a 3 series BMW and it is the one thing that will upset me to leave behind when we move next month. I spent a long time weighing up the pro's and cons of shipping and found the cost and hassle is not worth it (even though it is worth about double in the US). It would cost almost what the car is worth to ship and pay customs import charges without thinking about insurance and mechanic bills. Storage is a good option (I will be storing with family) and will save me car hire costs when visiting or making business trips back to UK
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Old Jan 24th 2011, 12:49 am
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Default Re: Shipping Car

Looked into shipping my car...cheap to ship but unless you have a US safety sticker or classic car then the costs to modify to meet US regulations are obscene and just not worth it.
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Old Jan 25th 2011, 2:07 am
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Default Re: Shipping Car

A Brit neighbour has a 1964 Mini in his garage that he's just finished restoring. He's had it with him on postings to Korea and the Netherlands. His wife jokes that he loves it more than he loves her. He just laughs, somewhat guiltily, somewhat nervously.....
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Old Jan 25th 2011, 2:23 am
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Default Re: Shipping Car

I think the US manufacturers did a good job of writing the laws so no foreign cars could be imported into their market.
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Old Jan 25th 2011, 1:17 pm
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Default Re: Shipping Car

We brought my husband's (older than 25 years) mini with us. It was pretty easy, we just shipped it in our container, filled out a customs declaration form for it and it was delivered separately from the container a week later, as customs had to check it and it had to be delivered on a tow truck. There were a few hundred dollars in customs charges but we never got a breakdown so not sure whether they related to the car or the storage charges whilst we tried to sort out the bike saga below. All pretty simple.

My husband also brought his (not 25 year old) bike. Next time he might listen when I tell him not to do something, it was a nightmare. He thought it would be OK because the bike is essentially the same in the UK and US. It wasn't. Even though the specs are the same, the bike had to conform to the RECOMMENDED specifications (even if the same bike in the US doesn't).If anyone does do this I would suggest you contact the manufacturer well in advance (months!) to get the necessary certificates from them regarding emissions, specifications etc and find out exactly what it is you need from them, because the customer helplines are not really familiar with the importing process. You need to be absolutely clear about what set of specifications the vehicle needs to conform to, and make sure it does.

In the end we had to tick the box saying that we were only importing it temporarily for a year, to get it through customs and get the rest of our container released and stop racking up charges. We were about to tell them to destroy it (at our cost!) when we finally got it sorted. He is hoping he can pull it apart, put all the parts on a new frame and have the original frame destroyed (still need to check if this is allowed, we have until August to sort it). I don't believe that he's allowed to ride it under the temporary import restriction. Customs agents did say that if he had imported it as parts originally it would have been OK - but we weren't allowed to do that since we had already brought the bike in whole.
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Old Jan 25th 2011, 3:10 pm
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Default Re: Shipping Car

Originally Posted by NatashaB View Post
We brought my husband's (older than 25 years) mini with us. It was pretty easy, we just shipped it in our container, filled out a customs declaration form for it and it was delivered separately from the container a week later, as customs had to check it and it had to be delivered on a tow truck. There were a few hundred dollars in customs charges but we never got a breakdown so not sure whether they related to the car or the storage charges whilst we tried to sort out the bike saga below. All pretty simple.

My husband also brought his (not 25 year old) bike. Next time he might listen when I tell him not to do something, it was a nightmare. He thought it would be OK because the bike is essentially the same in the UK and US. It wasn't. Even though the specs are the same, the bike had to conform to the RECOMMENDED specifications (even if the same bike in the US doesn't).If anyone does do this I would suggest you contact the manufacturer well in advance (months!) to get the necessary certificates from them regarding emissions, specifications etc and find out exactly what it is you need from them, because the customer helplines are not really familiar with the importing process. You need to be absolutely clear about what set of specifications the vehicle needs to conform to, and make sure it does.

In the end we had to tick the box saying that we were only importing it temporarily for a year, to get it through customs and get the rest of our container released and stop racking up charges. We were about to tell them to destroy it (at our cost!) when we finally got it sorted. He is hoping he can pull it apart, put all the parts on a new frame and have the original frame destroyed (still need to check if this is allowed, we have until August to sort it). I don't believe that he's allowed to ride it under the temporary import restriction. Customs agents did say that if he had imported it as parts originally it would have been OK - but we weren't allowed to do that since we had already brought the bike in whole.
Just been through this last week. I had thought about bringing my car so contacted the US office and asked if I could get a certificate of conformance. As it is a new car and the same spec around the world, they sent me a certificate of conformance based on the VIN which is what you need to be able to import. It has to be identical to a US spec vehicle in terms of safety tests and emissions. Which at a year old it was compliant. The pack also contains a sticker for attaching the car to state that it has been tested to US standards.

I have since decided to leave it behind to use when I come back on trips.

The real pain was the bikes. I have a number of them and the only one that I could get a certificate for still needed a couple of mods doing to it that came along with the certificate of compliance. One of them is actually a Harley and is certified to California emissions standards and I could still not get a certificate of compliance for it! However if I take it apart and ship it as parts in the container and rebuild it I can register and use it as one off!! So most likely I will ship it in bits and rebuild as a project later. I already have the part of the frame that carries the VIN from a US bike so will probably build it into that as a project.
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Old Jan 25th 2011, 3:16 pm
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Default Re: Shipping Car

Yes, probably best just to bring the parts over. That's what we should have done. I just thought I would explain the process we had to go through to try and put people off! Trouble is even if you think you have everything you need, if customs aren't happy then you are stuck either paying their ever growing charges or having the bike destroyed. Easier just not to bother if it isn't a 25+ years old model.
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