Frequently Asked Questions about Shipping and Importing Vehicles from the UK

With a growing number of enthusiasts and buyers seeking unique models, it has become increasingly popular to import vehicles from the UK. To successfully navigate the process, it is necessary to have a clear understanding of the details involved. We will cover 20 frequently asked questions in this guide to provide detailed information about shipping and importing cars from the UK to other countries.

1. How can I ship my vehicle from the UK to another country?

First and foremost, you need to choose a reputable car shipping company with expertise in importing cars from the UK. After that, you need to provide the necessary documentation, such as a vehicle’s logbook, bill of sale, and other pertinent documents. The next step is to arrange for the vehicle to be transported to the port of departure, where it will be loaded onto a shipping vessel. Upon arrival in your destination country, you will need to clear customs and pay any applicable duties or taxes before collecting your vehicle.

2. What documents are required to ship a vehicle from the UK?

When shipping a vehicle from the UK, you will typically need the following documents:

  • Vehicle registration documents: These prove that you are the legal owner of the vehicle.
  • Proof of ownership: This can be a bill of sale or logbook document that demonstrates your ownership of the vehicle.
  • Valid identification: You will have to provide your passport or driver’s license.
  • Customs declaration forms: These forms provide information about the vehicle and its value.
  • Import license (if required by the destination country)

To ensure you have all the necessary documentation, check with the vehicle shipping company and the destination country’s customs authorities.

3. How long does it take to ship a vehicle from the UK?

The shipping time for vehicles from the UK to other countries can vary depending on several factors, including the destination, shipping method (such as containerized or roll-on roll-off), and any unforeseen circumstances. Depending on the circumstances, it can take from a few weeks to several months for your vehicle to arrive. Customs clearance, weather conditions, or transportation logistics could cause delays.

4. Can I ship personal belongings along with my vehicle?

Depending on the destination country, you can ship personal belongings inside your vehicle. However, the regulations about personal belongings can vary. To understand any restrictions or requirements for shipping personal items alongside your vehicle, you should consult with the vehicle shipping company and customs authorities. While some countries may allow a limited amount of personal belongings, others may require them to be shipped separately.

5. What insurance coverage is provided for my vehicle during shipping?

A reputable vehicle shipping company usually covers your vehicle during transport with insurance. It is important to inquire about the insurance options available before shipping because the extent of coverage may vary. To understand the coverage limits and any exclusions, it is advisable to carefully review the insurance terms and conditions. The insurance policy should cover any damages or losses that occur during transportation.

6. Are there any import taxes or duties when importing a vehicle from the UK?

When importing a vehicle from the UK to another country, taxes and duties usually apply. These charges are based on the vehicle’s value, age, cc, and emissions. The regulations and customs policies of the destination country determine them. To understand the applicable taxes and duties, it is advisable to consult with the customs authorities of the destination country or hire a customs agent. Failure to comply with customs regulations can result in delays and fines.

7. Can I track the progress of my vehicle during shipment?

Yes! You can track the progress of your vehicle during shipping with the help of many vehicle shipping companies. You can follow up on this by calling the shipping company directly or by using internet tracking websites. The tracking service updates the location and status of the vessel and your car in real time, allowing you to plan and feel more at ease.

8. Should I clean my vehicle before shipping?

It is highly recommended that your car be completely cleaned on the inside as well as the outside before shipping. There are various reasons to clean the car before shipping. First of all, it assists in complying with the destination country’s customs laws, since many countries have strict requirements for the hygiene of imported cars. Cleaning the car also makes it possible to examine its condition more closely before shipping. For insurance purposes, it can also be beneficial to take comprehensive photos or pictures of the vehicle’s pre-shipping conditions in case there is any damage during transit.

9. What should I do if my vehicle is damaged during shipping?

If your vehicle sustains any damage during shipping, document the damage and notify the vehicle shipping company immediately. Most reputable car shipping companies have procedures in place to handle such scenarios. Take clear pictures or videos of the damage and provide detailed information to the shipping company. They will assist you through the insurance claim process and help resolve the issue. Ensure that you maintain open communication and provide all necessary documentation to support your claim.

10. Can I ship a non-running vehicle?

Yes, it is possible to ship a non-running vehicle from the UK to another country; however, additional arrangements may have to be made for loading and unloading the vehicle onto the shipping vessel. It is crucial to inform the shipping company you chose if your vehicle is not running so they can make the necessary accommodations.

11. Can I choose the method of shipping for my vehicle?

Yes, you can choose the car shipping method for your vehicle based on your preferences and needs. The two primary methods are:

  • Roll-on, roll-off (RoRo): This entails driving the car onto a customized ship or carrier, where it is safely parked for the shipment. It is an affordable solution for standard vehicles, but it might not be appropriate for high-value or non-running vehicles.
  • Container shipping: With the container shipping method, your car is placed safely inside a shipping container. It is appropriate for expensive or vintage vehicles since it offers increased security and protection while in transportation. When compared to RoRo shipping, it can be more expensive, though.
  • Air Freight: Car shipping via air freight is the quickest option, but it is also the most costly. For high-value or urgently needed vehicles at another location, it’s an excellent alternative. Air freight is thought to be the safest way of transportation and can help shorten transit times.

Choose the best method to ship your vehicle by discussing the available options with the vehicle shipping company.

12. What should I do to prepare my vehicle for shipping?

To prepare your vehicle for shipping from the UK, you should:

  • Clean your vehicle inside and out
  • Remove all personal belongings
  • Secure loose parts or accessories
  • Check tyre pressure and fluid levels
  • Disable or deactivate any alarm systems
  • Make note of any existing damages and take photographs for documentation.
  • Ensure that the vehicle has a minimal amount of fuel (typically less than a quarter of the tank).

Consult with the vehicle shipping company for specific instructions on how to prepare your vehicle for shipping.

13. Can I ship a motorcycle or other types of vehicles from the UK?

Yes, car shipping companies can handle the transfer of various vehicles, including boats, motorcycles, and even large machinery. The shipping company should be contacted with your unique needs, as the requirements and process for shipping may vary depending on the type of vehicle. They will guide you through the appropriate paperwork, shipping procedures, and preparations for your specific vehicle.

14. Can I use my insurance to cover the vehicle during shipping?

While you can use your insurance to cover the car while it’s being shipped, it’s a good idea to consult the terms and conditions of your insurance. Certain insurance policies might not cover foreign travel or might only cover some of the expense of a car while it’s in transit. To make sure your car is properly safeguarded during shipping and to understand your options for insurance, it is advisable to speak with both the car shipping company and your insurance provider.

15. Are there any restrictions on the age or type of vehicles that can be shipped?

Importing cars may be restricted in certain countries due to factors like age, carbon emissions, or local regulation compliance. These limitations differ from nation to nation. Before shipping a car from the UK, it is crucial to review the import laws of the destination country. The vehicle shipping company or the customs authorities in the destination country can provide guidelines or regulations to be followed.

16. Can I ship a leased or financed vehicle from the UK?

Shipping a leased or financed vehicle from the UK may require additional considerations and permissions. If you are the lessee or borrower, you should consult with the leasing or financing company to understand their policies and requirements for international shipping. They may need to provide authorization or specific documentation for the vehicle to be transported overseas. It is crucial to inform the vehicle shipping company about the leased or financed status of the vehicle to ensure compliance with all relevant agreements.

17. How can I choose a reliable vehicle shipping company?

Choosing a reliable car shipping company is essential for a smooth and secure shipping experience. Consider these factors when choosing a shipping company:

  • Experience and reputation: Look for companies with a proven track record and positive customer reviews.
  • Licensing and certifications: Ensure that the company holds the necessary licenses and certifications in the shipping industry.
  • Insurance coverage: Verify that the company provides comprehensive insurance coverage for your vehicle during transit.
  • Transparent pricing: Request detailed quotes and compare prices from different companies, but be cautious of unusually low prices that may indicate subpar service.
  • Customer service: Evaluate the responsiveness and professionalism of the company’s customer service representatives.

18. How much does it cost to ship a vehicle from the UK?

The cost of shipping a car from the UK may vary depending on several factors, such as the destination country, size and weight of the vehicle, shipping method (container shipping vs. roll-on/roll-off), airfreight, insurance coverage, and any additional services needed. On average, shipping a vehicle from the UK to another country can range anywhere from a few hundred to several thousand pounds.

19. Do I need to pay import duties and taxes when importing a vehicle from the UK?

Yes, when importing a vehicle from the UK to another country, such as Kenya, you will be required to pay import duties and taxes based on the value of the vehicle. These expenses can vary significantly and should be factored into your overall budget for importing a car.

20. Can I ship multiple vehicles in one shipment from the UK?

Yes, it is possible to ship more than one car from the UK in a single shipment; however, more coordination with your preferred shipping company could be necessary to make sure all the cars are securely loaded and ready for transit. Your shipping company should be consulted to establish the ideal method for shipping multiple vehicles.

21. What are some common mistakes to avoid when importing a vehicle from the UK?

Some common mistakes to avoid when importing a vehicle from the UK include:

  • Failing to research the destination country’s import regulations
  • Not obtaining proper documentation or permits
  • Underestimating total costs, including duties and taxes
  • Choosing an unreliable or inexperienced shipping company


By answering these commonly asked questions, those who are considering importing cars from the UK get important information about the procedure. For a successful and stress-free import experience, it is essential to remain informed about regulations, seek professional guidance, and perform thorough research.

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