Classic Car Import and Export

Trust KTL UK to ship your classic vehicle to any destination around the globe.

Import your dream car to the UK

At KTL we love classic cars; we love them so much we have built a global network of trusted partners that not only co-ordinate shipment for us, but can source and find your perfect model.

This means we have the perfect network to help you import your dream classic car back to the UK, and remove any uncertainty and stress that can be involved with shipping vehicles.

We've written a few tips below on importing classic cars, which are meant as a rough guide to help you evaluate your best options.

Classic cars in container

Things you need to do

1. Notify HM Customs it has arrived

Tell HMRC within 14 days that the vehicle has arrived in the UK.

2. Pay the taxes

Pay VAT and Duty if HMRC tells you you need to - most vehicles over 25 years old are Duty Free and have reduced VAT of 5%

3. Get it road worthy

Get the vehicle  MOT to show your vehicle meets safety and environmental standards.

4. Get it legal

Register and tax the vehicle with DVLA - they’ll give you a registration number so you can get number plates made up.

These are simple steps, but without the right experience importing a classic car to the UK can be a daunting process. That's where KTL UK can step in and help. We have many years experience in importing vehicles to the UK, and have a friendly team who can help you realise your dream of shipping a classic car to the UK.

Interested in importing a classic car back to the UK from Europe?


Importing a Classic Car from the EU to the UK (pre Brexit)

At the moment, it's a much simpler process to import a car from mainland Europe, e.g. France, Spain, Germany or Italy. We'll keep you updated post Brexit if these rules change.

At the moment “Single Market Rules” apply and it’s not a strict “import” but a “movement” of goods. This means:

a) No import Duty is liable – as it”s a movement of goods around the EU. As we've insinuated - this could all change very soon!!
b) Also no VAT is liable – this is because VAT would have been paid in the country of origin on its original purchase.

The steps to follow are:

1. Buy the car in the EU country of origin:

  1. Make sure the car has a local MOT.
  2. Make sure you insure the car – especially if you plan on driving it back home. You will need to use the car's VIN number as you won”t have the new registration number until later in the process. Most classic insurance companies accept this identification and will issue a certificate.
  3. In some EU countries you need to apply for temporary plates – this is an additional cost and can set you back about 400EUR for signing the property document and 175EUR for the temporary plates. If the seller trusts you then you could use their plates to drive it home (if they don”t need them) and you could send them back in the post when you get to the UK.
  4. Collect the original copy of the temporary registration document.
  5. Collect the official declaration of sale with the sale price signed by you and the seller and a Notary.
  6. Obtain a Certificate of Ownership.

2. Drive or Transport the Vehicle back to the UK.

3. Notify HRMC and organise the car’s MOT.

4. Register the vehicle with the DVLA – see my other article on this process – Also, there are a couple of ancillary fees to add, namely a Customs Fee of about £50 and a DVLA registration fee of £55.

Interested in importing a classic car back to the UK from outside of the EU?


Importing a Classic Car from the EU to the UK (pre Brexit)

Logistically this is more complicated and also more expensive as it also involves customs clearance, NOVA Application and possible Import Duty and VAT. Classic cars coming in from outside of the EU could be subject to Customs Duty and VAT, however as mentioned previously, most vehicles over 25 years old are DUTY Free and have reduced VAT at 5%.
Vehicles are considered to be “new goods to the EU”. KTL have years of experience importing from outside the EU, so please do get in touch by requesting a quote - we'll save you a lot of headaches, and also a lot of money.

Newer vehicles can require vehicle compliance, and can be costly, so best to check they comply with regulations before you purchase them

1. Buy the classic car in the country of origin – make sure you obtain key documentation, e.g. sale agreement, registration documentation.

2. Ship the vehicle back to the UK with KTL.

3. KTL complete a customs entry and calculate the amount of Customs Duty and VAT liable (for Private Motor Vehicle) for import purposes.

4. Notify HRMC and organise the car's MOT.

5. Register the vehicle with the DVLA

By Ocean Freight

KTL offer full container and part container ocean freight services, worldwide for import and export to and from the UK


By Air

In addition to ocean freight services KTL can also arrange airfreight shipments both inbound and outbound .


Additional Services

Busy port for freight warehousing

Freight Warehousing

KTL experts design, implement, and operate flexible warehousing and distribution solutions tailored to your business needs. They analyse every point in your supply chain to determine the optimal solution.

Freight insurance cargo ship grounded

Freight Insurance

Insurance coverage for goods during shipment. Freight insurance can be purchased directly from KTL.

Cargo container being lifted

Customs Clearance

Customs clearance KTL offer full export customs clearance and can arrange import customs clearance at all UK ports and airports.

Lots of parked cars waiting to be shipped overseas

Vehicle Shipping

Moving a vehicle involves a great deal of coordination and planning, and can sometimes become more costly than expected. KTL have years of experience moving vehicles around the globe.


How it works

Simply fill out the information on our quote form and we will come back with a price.


Step one

You fill out the quote form.


Step two

We agree on a price for the freight to be shipped.


Step three

You sit back and relax and we will organise all of the shipment.

Classic Car Import / Export Quote

Your Details

Thank you for your information, we'll come back with a quote as soon as we can.
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"I saw an amazing car online and had to buy it...Using KTL was a great decision, as they took away all of the worry about getting the vehicle delivered to my door.

I'm over the moon with the car, and can't rate KTL highly enough."

Simon Davies

Hampshire, UK

KTL is an experienced, reliable Global Freight forwarder.

For an no obligation quote, please fill in our online quote form and we will get back with a price.