Importing my G55 from the UAE - Process
I want to start this topic with the objective of gathering the correct info about shipping my car back from Dubai and registering it in the UK.
I want to cover the following:
- The car - Technical
- Tax stuff
Maybe this could be of help to other people thinking of doing the same
So, here we go, please feel free to comment/support.
- The car - Technical
- G55 AMG - Built and brought to Dubai in 2007 - registered in 2008 (VIN checker on carinfo says delivered on the 06/04/2007)
- LHD with 165,000 km
- I'll have my registration certificate but I'll also have Mercedes to issue paperwork too.
- I had the car for 18 months. If I understand the HMRC rules, this qualifies it for VAT and Duty exemption. I am confused about the part about the car need not be acquired via a VAT free scheme doesn't make sense (It was bought second hand too)
- I am moving back after 2 years in Dubai - it should qualify me for the above too.
- This should be easy. find an agent, get export plates and voila'. shipping I can have arranged no problem.
- My understanding - the car is over 10 years old, all it needs is an MOT.
- Do I need RHD headlights? I found some on ebay, literally just the lamps I believe?
- Fog light and reverse light to swap, should be a 10 min job
- speedo can read MPH in digital (I tested this)
- car is otherwise standard. (except the G63 bodykit it came with)
- Is the brush guard legal in UK? In all honesty I'm planning to delete it anyway.
- Tax stuff
- As above, I believe it should qualify for exemption given I had it for more than 6 months, and I am coming back to live in the UK with it. Any thoughts?
- spoke to a broker - it will be expensive but ok. I can live with that.
Thanks for reading and for your comments
10 year old car says no SVA etc If younger you would need either SVA or type approval document from MB which they can do if you are lucky.
You need at least tape over the headlights for MOT (as I found out with my LHD headlights).. best to replace headlights.
No need to swap foglights with reverse light .. there is no rule about which side they are on.. only that you need 100mm from fog light to brake light.
Digital speedo in mph should do.. I bought a secondhand speedo head from USA for my import into UK.
Brush guard is an insurance thing.. you need to declare it and some companies will walk away while others will add a fair tax on it.
Ro-Ro (roll on/roll off) ferry which means someone drives your car into ferry and joy rides it around the dock. It also means likely small scratches, bumps and anything inside the car is likely to be pilfered.. and the ferry crew are low paid and have little better to do! Did an MX-5/Miata car from Houston to Dubai and it was fine.
20ft shipping container – you lock it up seal it, you can be present when they open it to inspect it, and it is safe. Best way forward if it is pride and joy.
Need to pay VAT on an agreed value but as owner over 12 mths you can get out of that. Getting a nice agreed value up front would be a good idea? (In Dubai we “talked it out” on the dockside to a nice number!)
It will always be a special so the “we_quote_insurance” websites will be useless. A-Plan, Greenlight, Sky are likely folk.
My experience; About 10 years ago I considered doing what you did but gave up as I did not want to keep the car so would have had to resell in Europe; previously I imported that car from USA to Dubai. About 20 years ago I imported a couple of Japanese imports from Ireland and then looked to do it direct from Japan. Google is a wonderful thing and I used to trawl the agencies site to find out the process.
I am not sure if dubai - uk is one of their routes but I used www.shipmycar.co.uk to bring my 1966 Pagoda SL from USA to UK.
They took care of every single question on your list for me; all I did was pay for the car, tell them where it was, then get a train to Milton Keynes and drive away in the Pagoda. I genuinely couldnt fault their service, they did the MOT, altered the lights, registered it, and it was totally painless.
You will need to file a NOVA form on the HMRC website within 6 weeks of import landing. You will need to have some type of invoice showing the price you had paid for the vehicle and that may be used to calculate any duty due. You will need to send the NOVA receipt to the DVLA with your application.
As mentioned. MOT is straight-forward. Existing Speedo, set to show MPH on the digital display will be fine. headlights are easy to change and not expensive unless you have Xenon or LED.
You can also obtain UK insurance on your VIN, which will allow you to drive the car for one month before transferring to UK plates and, importantly, allows you to collect the car from the Port, for one journey, straight home. Bit of a grey area this, though. If you are a UK national you are not allowed to drive a car with foreign plates in the UK, but one trip home and one trip for MOT should be OK. Otherwise, arrange for a trailer transport. You may also need to arrange a customs clearing import agent in the UK, as if this process is delayed, you may be then charged storage fees at the port..
You will then need to apply for a new UK registration document, by completing form V55-5, obtained by phoning the DVLA. To complete this form you will require details that are normally found on a Euro Certificate of Conformity (CoC) document for the vehicle, for example, grammes CO2/km, vehicle, type, variant etc (see PM). for European imports this information is normally also on the European registration certificate. Still, the info may be on your existing registration document, but in any case you will need to submit that ORIGINAL document to the DVLA with your application.
If the vehicle never had an identical UK or European model, such that the Euro drive cycle emissions in g CO2 / km is not officially known, then it would be registered at the 'old' pre-CO2 scale rate of £295 per year. So it may be in your interest not to obtain or have a CoC if there is a chance to get the this lower tax rate. For example, many 10 year old Toyota Previas are imported with this benefit. otherwise, as a 2007 vehicle, with known CO2 figures, you'll be looking at £500 per year.
You may be OK on VAT, then, but in any case you still need to complete NOVA. The NOVA form will ask details of where and when you bought it, and price paid. A receipt is not absolutely necessary, but it would help in case an enquiry is made. However, presumably, if necessary, your registration documents can support the fact that you've owned the car for more than 6 months.
When you call the DVLA to ask for a V55-5 to be sent to you, you can ask them any other questions. They are usually very helpful.