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How to Import a Japanese Car into the United Kingdom

Japanese cars are known for their reliability, quality, and innovative features. If you’re interested in importing a Japanese car into the United Kingdom, it can be a straightforward process if you follow the necessary steps. Here’s a guide on how to import a Japanese car into the UK:

1. Research: Start by researching the regulations and requirements for importing a car into the UK. Familiarize yourself with the necessary paperwork, taxes, and fees associated with the process.

2. Choose a reputable exporter: Look for a reputable exporter who specializes in Japanese car exports to ensure a smooth and legitimate transaction. Check their reviews and track record to ensure reliability.

3. Vehicle selection: Decide on the make and model of the Japanese car you want to import. Consider factors such as fuel efficiency, maintenance costs, and availability of spare parts in the UK.

4. Vehicle inspection: Arrange for a professional inspection of the car to ensure its condition and compliance with UK standards. This step is crucial to avoid any surprises later on.

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5. Shipping and customs: Arrange for shipping the car from Japan to the UK. Hire a reliable shipping company that specializes in car transportation and handles customs clearance efficiently.

6. Customs duties and taxes: Be aware of the customs duties, VAT, and other taxes that apply to car imports. Make sure to calculate these costs beforehand to avoid any unexpected expenses.

7. Register the vehicle: Once the car arrives in the UK, you need to register it with the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA). Pay the necessary fees and provide all the required documents.


1. How long does it take to import a Japanese car into the UK?
The timeline varies depending on factors such as shipping methods, customs clearance, and paperwork. It usually takes around 4-8 weeks.

2. Can I import a right-hand drive car from Japan to the UK?
Yes, you can import a right-hand drive car from Japan to the UK. However, remember that the UK drives on the left side of the road.

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3. Are there any age restrictions for importing Japanese cars into the UK?
No, there are no age restrictions for importing Japanese cars into the UK.

4. Can I import a used Japanese car into the UK?
Yes, used Japanese cars can be imported into the UK. However, they must meet certain emission and safety standards.

5. Do I need to convert the car to UK specifications?
In most cases, Japanese cars do not require major modifications to meet UK specifications. However, it’s recommended to consult with a registered importer to ensure compliance.

6. What documents do I need to import a Japanese car into the UK?
You’ll need the vehicle’s original title, bill of lading, export certificate, and a copy of the purchase invoice, along with other necessary paperwork.

7. Can I import a hybrid or electric Japanese car into the UK?
Yes, you can import hybrid or electric Japanese cars into the UK. In fact, these vehicles are highly encouraged due to their environmental benefits.

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Importing a Japanese car into the UK can be a rewarding experience. By following the necessary steps and understanding the regulations, you can enjoy the reliability and quality of a Japanese vehicle on British roads.