If you’re buying a used vehicle, a Car Import Check is helpful in determining whether the vehicle has been imported or is marked as an export. If you discover that the vehicle you want to buy is exported, it’s recommended that you avoid buying it, so it’s a check that’s well worth investing in.
Imported vehicles are relatively easy to perform a car check, but exported ones are tougher. You shouldn’t buy a vehicle if it’s been recorded as ‘exported’, and the DVLA advises that an exported vehicle should be reported to them before you do anything else.
Our Car Import Check provides you with the facts, so you can verify whether a car has ever been recorded as imported or exported. All that’s needed is the registration number of the vehicle and we’ll supply you with a thorough report, so you have all the facts.
While it’s not illegal to advertise an export vehicle in the UK, it still comes with its set of risks. There’s a good chance that an exported vehicle could be operating on cloned plates, so having up to date information is key. Our Car Import Check improves your knowledge prior to handing over any money, as well as saving you money in the long run since imported cars can be more expensive to insure.
With a Car Import Check, you’ll be able to check whether there’s been a plate change in the vehicle’s history, the valuation of the vehicle, its import status and how many people have owned the vehicle before you, among other details.
Imported vehicles cost more compared to a vehicle bought in the UK, so it’s recommended that you get a car import check before you buy. Not only might you end up paying more for the vehicle itself but finding spare parts can be more challenging. It can have a big impact on the value of the vehicle and speeds up its depreciation. If you know beforehand that the vehicle has been imported, you can make a more informed decision.
There are actually three categories of imported vehicle found in the UK:
A parallel import is a vehicle which has been built in the EU and imported to the UK. It’s compliant with EU standards so it’s an easier import to deal with and can even be insured in some cases. However, you should check beforehand whether the vehicle in question is in fact a parallel import and not another type, such as a grey import.
A grey import is a non-standard model that’s never been sold in the EU or UK. Often, they’re American or Japanese specialist vehicles that were once common but now are rarer. There are a lot of restrictions around insuring a grey import, and the costs are typically higher as these types of vehicles are often stolen so they carry more risk.
Finally, a personal import car is one which has been imported by an individual rather than an import agent, and as a buyer of that vehicle, you’ll be left dealing with the paperwork and any associated costs yourself. It’s common for classic cars to be in this category.
It’s complicated – while you can sometimes insure an important vehicle, you’ll need to find a specialist insurer and most companies will request additional information to prove that the vehicle is legal and can be driven on UK roads. In many cases, insurance rates will increase with imported cars. However, this fact is typically reflected in the price of the vehicle itself which will be cheaper than a non-imported vehicle.
Yes, there are certainly risks attached to imported vehicles. It’s a common misconception that once an imported vehicle has made its way to the UK, the hard part is over, and all the risk lies with the person or company that imported it. But that’s not the case. Insurers will charge more for driving an imported car on UK roads, and the parts and servicing of that vehicle are also higher than a standard car.
While you can find out if a vehicle has been imported or not, using our Car Import Check, you can’t check where it was imported from. This information can be sought from the DVLA.