There are a number of reasons why people may consider buying a car from abroad, but often the two main motives are down to pricing and availability.
If you’re thinking of purchasing a vehicle from overseas, there are likely many questions which you have regarding the process. Whilst buying a car abroad may initially seem like a hassle, the steps involved are reasonably straightforward.
This article covers all the information you need to know when it comes to purchasing a car from another country to help make the process as smooth as possible.
What are the benefits of buying a car from abroad?
The number one benefit of purchasing a car from abroad is the potential to save considerable amounts of money. A Tesla Model 3, for example, starts at GBP 40,490 in the UK, GBP 49,151 in Sweden and GBP 32,160 in Iceland. These figures make a GBP 8,330 difference between the price of a Tesla Model 3 in the UK and Iceland.
There are many factors as to why goods vary so much in price from country to country. Some of the key reasons include:
- Tax and import duties
- Differences in perceived values
Another significant benefit of buying a vehicle overseas is the ability to purchase a car which isn’t currently available in the UK, allowing car enthusiasts to secure an exclusive model.
Additional costs when buying a car from abroad
Whilst cars can significantly vary in price between countries; there can be some additional steps and costs to consider when importing a vehicle from overseas.
Depending on the country from which you purchase the car, there is a chance that the vehicle may need to undergo some modifications to coincide with UK road safety laws. Some modifications can include:
- Converting the car to a right-hand drive
- Headlight amendments
- Converting speedometer to miles per hour (mph) from kilometres per hour (kph)
Vehicles imported to the UK from outside of Europe are required to undergo a safety standard test which can range between GBP 190 to GBP 285.
It’s also mandatory to inform HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) of your new vehicle at least 14 days before it arrives into the UK. You are then required to pay any VAT and duty if asked by HMRC, register and tax the vehicle with the DVLA, pay the appropriate vehicle tax and insure the car before driving on UK roads.
How to import a car to the UK
There are two options when importing a car into the UK from abroad. You can choose to import the car yourself or use a UK vehicle importer. It can be less hassle choosing a vehicle importer as they can deal with the manufacturers, paperwork, shipping and overcoming any potential language barriers with the suppliers.
If you choose to import the vehicle yourself, you could tow or drive the car home from the relevant country; however, you must ensure that you are covered by insurance and that your number plate is compliant if you are driving your car abroad.
Best payment method when buying a car from abroad
When buying a car in a different country, it’s important to secure the best exchange rate possible to avoid any unnecessary costs.
At Halo Financial, we can help you get the best possible currency exchange rates and, with our low-cost fees, we are much cheaper than a high street bank.
If you’d like to speak with one of our expert currency specialists about the best way to transfer funds overseas, please give us a call on 020 7350 5474.
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