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Can I import a car from Japan?

What are the potential problems with importing a car from Japan?

Asked on 3 April 2023 by Alan Porter

Answered by David Ross
Importing a car from Japan to the UK is perfectly possible, but it does require patience and plenty of homework.

Assuming you've found a car you like, you need to purchase it and arrange for it to be shipped to the UK. Once it arrives you have 14 days to inform HMRC, and pay VAT and import duty on top of the purchase price. Once this is done you have to get the car through an Individual Vehicle Approval test (IVA) if it is less than 10 years old, and you may need to have some work carried out to ensure the vehicle meets the relevant regulations. Assuming it passes that you then have to get it registered.

Alternatively there are import companies that specialise in dealing with Japanese imports. You many find that you'll pay a bit more this way, but you will also save yourself some time and hassle.
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