Importing rare and classic cars to US can be tricky


For real auto addicts there might emerge a compulsive appeal of importing some kind of unique car make or a model that’s never ever been available in the USA. Another source of this kind of wish may be the fact that you’ve already lived somewhere in Asia or Europe for a while and, thus, have enjoyed driving an exclusive vehicle you’d like to keep on using here.
Who can possibly resist a temptation of showing off in front of your friends or colleagues behind the wheel of a world-known classics.

Importing a dream-car yourself may seem to be a way out. But as it often happens, the arrival of your vehicle aboard of a transatlantic is just a top of an iceberg. The part of it which remains underwater has lots of unexpected difficulties.

Still, let’s start with good news. Importing a car of 25 years or even older isn’t likely to cause you a big trouble. Having consulted with an experienced attorney who has already faced this kind of challenge or a car importer, you’ll see that transportation of an old vehicle to the USA is way simpler than that of a new one. And yet, if you don’t want to get accused of a clandestine importation, you better enlist support of an expert in this field.

25+ Cars

As stated by the US law, all cars aged 25 and more are allowed to be registered as “classic cars” and therefore do not have to fulfill any type of safety and crash requirements. So if you’re going to import a 25+ car from abroad, you may well use this rule for your benefit. Any car that falls under this criteria needn’t to be modified as long as it’s considered roadworthy. However attorneys insist on checking with state motor vehicle agencies first to avoid problems with unloading cars at the dock. The main reason for that is differences in the rules of every particular state.

Specific Use Import

Future intended use of a vehicle doesn’t guarantee you a seamless import and customs clearing. Rare and old as it is, it still must be adjusted to all safety and crash standards set by Environmental Protection Agency and Department of transportation. Any vehicle imported from European or other countries should be ready to get modified according to America’s safety standards. All in all, there’s a bunch of tasks you need to complete before breaking in with the import process. As some of the lawyers assert, the majority of problems is caused by vehicle owners themselves who sometimes don’t realize the importance of meeting the requirements.

Generalized costs

Depending on the part of the country, you might consider importing cars from Europe or Asia to the East and West coast pro tanto. Charges demanded by shippers mainly vary from $3, 000 to $6, 000. Apart from that you’ll have to pay an entry fee and United States duty tax.

Do not forget about the modification cost, which will also depend on the vehicle itself and the amount of work that needs to be done.

Despite all the difficulties faced while bringing trustworthy foreigners on the US roads, those who managed to go through the hoop say the long wait and huge piles of papers are all worth the effort.

[Editor’s note: This post was written by Eugenia from Local Mart. The author’s views are entirely his or her own and may not reflect the views of Ship Overseas ]

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