Japan Used Car Import Duty / Regulation in United Kingdom

Year Restrictions

Less than 10 Years

Destination Port

Bristol, Liverpool, Southampton

Time of Shipment

RoRo (24-34 Days)

Vessel Schedule

RoRo (Monthly)

Shipping Line

Mediterranean Shipping Co (UK) Ltd.



Shipping Ports:

Shipping ports in UK are Bristol, Liverpool, Southampton, Newcastle and Tilbury.

Right Hand Drive Vehicles:

UK is Right Hand Drive country and can import any steering Left Hand Drive or Right Hand Drive.


Japanese used cars must pass the Single Vehicle Approval (SVA) or Individual Vehicle Approval (IVA) Test in order to ensure that the vehicle meets safety standards when used on public roads. To check vehicle’s road-worthiness, compulsory inspection MOT (Ministry Of Transport) is carried out by a Government approved testing center. Every year, vehicles go through MOT test after third year since the vehicle first registration.

Documents Required to clear custom:

Import Duties and Taxes:

  • 10% on used cars
  • 22% on pick-up and commercial vehicles
  • 17.5%
  • Ownership tax on passenger cars and commercial vehicles based on CO2 emission and weight and axles respectively.

Conditions when importer does not have to pay duty or VAT:

  • The importer has had his home outside the UK for at-least a year.
  • The vehicle must be possessed and used by the importer for at-least 6 months before it is imported.
  • Taxes or duty must be payed by the importer while buying the vehicle.
  • The vehicle must be use for personal work for at-least a year after it is imported.
  • Vehicle must be exported within last 3 years only.
  • Vehicle must not be tampered except necessary repairing.
  • The importer should be a non-EU resident.
  • The importer should not sell, lend the vehicle in EU.
  • Use it for personal use only and re-export it after 6 months.

For registering a used car in UK:

  • Vehicles below 3 years old should pass SVA/ESVA Test only.
  • Vehicles between 3 years and 10 years should pass SVA/ESVA Test along with MOT Test.
  • Vehicles with age more than 10 years should pass MOT Test only.
  • Documents to confirm name such as birth certificate, driving license, passport.
  • Documents to confirm address such as Utility bill, Council tax bill.
  • Motor insurance from a British company.
  • Cost of vehicle tax.
    Vehicle registration fee.
  • Deregistration Certificate.
  • MOT certificate.
  • Proof of customs clearance.
  • SVA/IVA as vehicle imported from outside the EU.
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