The United Kingdom (UK) is a popular destination for shipping cars from the USA. If this is what you need to do, it’s important to be well informed. That’s what we are here for! In this guide, we will teach you about:
Shipping Car from USA to UK
When you select Ship Overseas, Inc. as your vehicle shipping provider, you will be well taken care of. After all, we have more than 40 years of experience in shipping vehicles of all kinds to the UK. You may feel confused or overwhelmed at first, but we will quickly put your mind at ease. That’s why we have developed all these answers to your questions, from Pricing and Documents to Departure and Arrival Ports.
We will need Year/Make/Model of your car, Pickup Zip Code or Departure Port, and Destination Country (in this case the UK) to give you the most accurate price, so please have that information handy.
Most of the time, people ask us to pick up their car from their home (at an extra fee) rather than worry about bringing their own car to the port. That’s because often times, the nearest port is located far away, causing you to take time off work, and pay out of pocket for gas, lodging, and meals. The most cost effective way to get your car to port is to pay us a couple hundred dollars to fetch your car from your residence and bring it there for you.
Departure Shipping Ports
There are seven shipping ports throughout the United States that we ship cars to the UK from. They include:
- Newark, NJ
- Baltimore, MD
- Newport News, VA
- Charleston, SC
- Brunswick, GA
- Galveston, TX
- Long Beach, CA
You can drive your own car and meet us at the port and save money. Or, we can pick up your car and bring it to one of the ports above.
Arrival At Shipping Terminal in UK
The arrival port in the UK that we service is the Port of Southampton. This is where you will have your designated person pick up your car on arrival. The Port of Southampton, the second largest container port in the UK, is located on the south coast of England. It also happens to be the busiest cruise ship terminal in the UK. We also ship to Felixstowe.
How Much Does It Cost to Ship a Car to UK
We know how important it is for you to budget for your car transportation. Here we will go over the costs involved in shipping your car to the UK.
Cost to ship a car to UK starts at $905 from Baltimore, MD to Southampton. When shipping a car to the UK, you’ll also have to also consider that:
- It will cost you less to ship a car from the East Coast USA than it will from the West Coast.
- It will cost less (at least on the surface) to bring your car to the port than for us to come get it from your residence. However, you must remember to arrange for your own transportation back to your home. Plus, you have to pay out of pocket for lodging, food, etc. as well as time off work. This is why, in the end, this option may cost you more.
- It will cost less to transport a compact car than it will to ship a large SUV.
Departure & Arrival Ports, Starting Costs, & How Long Shipping Takes
Here are the base costs to ship a car from the USA to the UK, broken down by RoRo and shared container:
- $1040 Newark, NJ to Southampton
- $905 Baltimore. MD to Southampton
- $1040 Newport News, VA to Southampton
- $1075 Charleston, SC to Southampton
- $1520 Long Beach, CA and Tacoma, WA to Southampton
- $1525 Long Beach to Felixstowe
- $1195 Newark, NJ to Felixstowe
In general, shipments have a transit time of 25-30 days from the East Coast and 40-50 days from the West Coast. Please note: The Estimated Time in Transit kicks in when your car arrives at the shipping terminal and does not include the transit time when the trucker picks up the car at your home.
Other considerations that factor into your final cost will include which departure port your car is leaving from, the year/make/model of the vehicle, and whether you drop off the car at the port yourself vs. having us do it.
We will assign you a broker, and their name can be found on the Doc Receipt.
Vehicle Import Tax & Duty & Destination Handling Charge
To ship a car from the USA to the UK, there is a 20% Import Tax and 9% VAT (Value Added Tax). Get in touch with us to learn your Clearing Agent’s information. Keep in mind, there is a destination handling charge of approximately $300 for RoRo and $500 for a shared container.
Ship Overseas doesn’t collect the import duty. You pay it at the time of vehicle pickup.
If you are in the USA, contact the British Embassy by phone if you want the latest information.
3100 Massachusetts Ave NW
Washington, DC 20008
We are authorized shippers for the US military to the UK. We work frequently with members of the military and government to transport their cars to their new base. The military typically covers the cost of your shipment, unless you want to ship a second car (such as your spouse’s) too. In that case, you have to pay for that shipment.
POV Transfer Requirements for Military
The vehicle MUST:
- Have written consent for transport from the third party if it’s a lease.
- Be owned or leased by a member of the military or a dependent.
- Be legal on public highways and self-propelled.
- Have four wheels or more (mopeds and motorcycles are the exceptions).
For more information, read about military car shipping.
Travelers (Temporary Imports)
A temporary import applies to anyone traveling to the EU being able to bring their car for up to six months, with a deposit for the temporary import due on arrival of the car. Note, this fee will be refunded when you leave.
For EU citizens who have lived outside the EU for 6 months and are coming back, they can bring their car back with no need to pay import fees.
New/Used Car Purchase
There are no limits on the age of vehicles and salvage titles are accepted. You will pay 20% Import Tax; 9% VAT (Value Added Tax) on cars owned for less than 1 year and if the final destination is an EU member country.
Classic Car Purchase
Duty for importing classic cars is 7%. It is 20% for all other cars.
If you can’t arrange for pickup upon the vehicle’s arrival at the Port of Southampton, you will be charged a storage fee. To get those latest fees, just contact us.
Optional Marine Insurance
This insurance is optional but we recommend you get it, as accidents such as damage or loss, happen on the open sea that are beyond our control. This is especially so during hurricane season (June 1 through November 30). That said, these occasions are very rare. If you know you can’t afford out of pocket cash for repairs or losses, opt for this full coverage Marine Insurance against Loss or Damage. This covers you from the time your car is loaded onto the ship until it arrives in port. The cost is 1.75% of the value you want to insure the car for. Visit here to learn more about Marine Insurance here.
Shipping Car to UK Military, Government Contractors
Members of the US Military and Government employees (or contractors) are the only people allowed to ship a car overseas while carrying a lien on the car. But you must obtain prior authorization from the lender, as this is required to pass US Customs. The car could be considered stolen if you skip this step.
US Military and Dependants
At the Port of Southampton, you will be charged a destination offloading fee of $300 for sedans and SUVs. (Prices can change, so ask us for the latest.) To obtain a release of your vehicle, visit the Officer at your Base in charge of Transport. This person will also provide you with documents to complete for your Military Tags, which will allow you to drive to your base. Once there, you will have to show proper ID.
If you wish for us to arrange the forwarding of your vehicle right to the base, just contact us and request delivery service for an extra fee.
Government contractors follow the same procedures as US military active-duty personnel.
Documents Required to Ship Car to UK
When shipping a car to the UK, you’ll need the Original Title and Valid Identification.
If you are in the military, government or state service, and have a lien on the vehicle, you must earn permission from the Lien Holder to export the vehicle. This will take the form of an Original Letter from the Lienholder. Also required will be the following:
- A copy of the Title Record History obtainable from the Department of Motor Vehicles in the State where the vehicle is registered.
- Military orders or a letter from the Government or State authority.
- Three certified copies of the Certificate of Title
Please show the original Certificate of Title of Ownership of the vehicle with no Lien on the Title.
You will need to present the following:
- Power of Attorney Form for international residents.
- Copy of Passport
Vehicle Registration in UK
Obtain an International Driver’s License from the AAA Automobile Association in your area. Your American Driver’s License will suffice in Europe. As tourists or temporary residents, you are able to drive with your American license plates in a foreign country, at least until your registration expires for that year.
Documents required include:
- Original Certificate of Title of Ownership of the vehicle with NO Lien on the Title.
- In the event the vehicle is used or pre-owned, the existing Certificate of Title can be endorsed to the new owner by the seller. No Sales Tax is payable to the Seller. Proof of export will be given to the Seller on request.
- When it’s a new vehicle being shipped, an Original Certificate of Origin must be obtained from the Dealership that sold you the vehicle. We need this to get Custom Clearance.
Vehicle Registration For Military & Government Contractors
Once at your military base, this will be taken care of. Simply connect with your Officer in Charge so you will be able to get military tags for your base.
Vehicle Registration For EU Citizens
Now that your car has passed UK Customs, it is assumed it has met all safety and Customs standards. Now, bring your car to the local DMV along with:
- Bill of Sale
- UK Customs Clearance information
- Original license plates
- Proof of residency
Note: Ship Overseas Inc. offers no further guidance as of this point.
RoRo (Roll On Roll Off)
RoRo shipping is available from these ports to the UK: Newark, NJ; Baltimore, MD; Newport News, VA; Charleston, SC; Brunswick, GA; Galveston, TX; and Long Beach, CA.
With RoRo shipping, your car must have the ability to make it up and down the ramp with no assistance. This type of ship resembles a big parking garage and will hold anything with tires that can Roll On and Off the ship. Perfect for cars and motorcycles, as well as motorhomes, boats, campers, trailers, buses, and construction vehicles, most people use RoRo when shipping one vehicle.
Your vehicle is strapped down in its designated spot once loaded on the vessel.
This is a highly efficient and cost-effective method that runs on a reliable departure and arrival schedule. Think: airline flight schedule.
RoRo shipping ensures your car is fully protected from external elements. It’s also the preferred shipping method for new car manufacturers looking to safely ship their products. All vehicles are secured to the deck with no exposure to the ocean air or water.
Container shipping is available from Long Beach, CA and Newark, NJ to the UK. Just like it sounds, your car will share a container with other vehicles. While not as quick or reliable in terms of departure and arrival dates because the containers don’t ship until they are full, you are allowed to ship additional items in the trunk or the backseat. Many people use this method to ship vehicles that are not operational, such as broken down classic cars.
Payment Methods / Options
You don’t have to pay until your vehicle arrives at the departure shipping port.
Wire Transfer or Cashier’s Check
The most common payment method for customers not located in the USA, we will send you our bank information at the time you place your order.
Credit Card & Zelle
You don’t have to pay service fees when using Zelle, but you will be charged a 3% service fee if you use a credit card.
Canceling Your Order
When you face the need to cancel your order, email us right away. We are happy to refund your payment with the same method you originally chose, minus a $300 cancellation fee.
- If you bought the car new, your name should be listed as the registered owner on the front of the Title.
- Please provide a Title of Ownership with no Liens on the Title. Your vehicle should contain no more than ¼ tank of gas (safety and weight reasons).
- If you own the car less than 1 year and the final destination is an EU member country, you pay 20% Import Tax; 9% VAT (Value Added Tax).
- If in transit through an EU country, leave a deposit of 30% of the value of the car — an amount that is refunded after the car is registered at the final destination country.
- If the vehicle has been sold, both the Seller and Buyer must sign the back of the Title.The destination handling charge is approximately $300 for RoRo and $500 for container shipping.
Preparing Your Car for Shipment to UK
Take these steps to prepare your car for shipment to the UK.
- Leave as little fuel in the tank as possible. A full tank of gas makes your car heavier, which adds risk to the shipment. Plus, because your vehicle is being transported, not driven, there’s really no need to fill up prior to loading.
- Take off custom accessories so they don’t break off in transit.
- Disable the alarm for the truck drivers’ convenience.
- Look for leaks in the undercarriage. The car shipping company has the right to refuse service if leaks are present. Make sure the leak is fixed before shipping.
- Lock the car – Once it’s loaded, your car won’t be opened until the time of delivery.
- Check tire pressure; under-inflated or over-inflated tires are risky while in transport, just as they are on the road.
Who Can Pick Up The Vehicle in UK
You can choose anyone you want to pick up the car at the port in the UK. Provide us their name and contact info a few days prior to the sailing date so we can list them as the Receiver or Consignee. Upon pickup, they must provide proof of identification with a picture ID in order to take possession. They will also need the Title of Ownership and a letter of permission. You will be charged a fee by the shipping line if you notify us of changes after your cargo has been loaded on the vessel.