Car Import Check

A car import check is a vital tool for anyone considering purchasing a vehicle from overseas. Not only can it provide important information about the car’s history and condition, but it can also reveal whether the vehicle has been imported or marked for export. If a car has been marked as exported by the DVLA, it is generally not recommended to purchase that vehicle, as it is considered unregistered in the UK and may have been removed from the database to prevent fraud.

While it is not illegal to advertise an export vehicle for sale in the UK, it can come with some risks. One of the main concerns with purchasing an exported vehicle in the UK is the possibility of it running on cloned plates, a common practice among fraudsters. To avoid potential legal and safety issues, it is important to conduct a vehicle history check before making a purchase.

car import check

Why is it essential to get a DVLA car import check?

Imported vehicles are more expensive than those bought in your home country. Before making a purchase, getting a car import to check to ensure you are well-informed is best.

One of the main challenges with imported vehicles is finding compatible spare parts, which can be costly and affect the vehicle’s value and depreciation. In fact, the cost of replacing the spares can sometimes be higher than the vehicle’s lifetime cost.

It’s also worth noting that imported vehicles are generally harder to sell, and their resale value could be much higher. Knowing if a car is imported can save you money and time in the long run.

Is there anything that’s not included in the UK’s free vehicle import check?

Our comprehensive Premium checks include all critical reviews for a vehicle’s history, such as :

  • Outstanding finance checks
  • Scrapped check
  • Police stolen
  • Write-off / Insurance check
  • High-risk Register check
  • Mileage anomaly check
  • …and much more!

We believe in providing our customers as much value as possible, so our Premium checks are fixed at just £9.99, including VAT, regardless of how many checks you order.

Upgrade to our Premium checks today and get complete peace of mind and access to all the information you need when buying a used vehicle.

What are the three types of imported cars?

There are three main types of imported cars:

Grey imports: These are non-standard vehicle models from Japan or America that have yet to be sold in the EU or UK market. Importing them can be difficult due to EU regulations, and insurance costs are usually higher due to increased theft risk.

Personal imports: These vehicles imported by individuals for personal use must meet UK specifications and regulations. They can be new or used cars

Parallel imports: These are vehicles imported from within the European Union and meet EU specifications and regulations. Due to currency fluctuations or different tax laws, they can be cheaper than UK models and often have a higher specification.

Can I buy an imported vehicle in the UK?

When considering purchasing an imported vehicle, evaluating the advantages and disadvantages before deciding is essential. A Car Import Check tool can help determine if the vehicle is imported. If you already have an imported vehicle, consider whether it is worth keeping.

Advantages of buying an import:

  • Cheaper price tag compared to UK vehicles.
  • Possibility of finding a rare model that’s not available in the UK.

Disadvantages of buying an import:

  • I need help finding repair parts.
  • Higher insurance costs.
  • Faster depreciation rate than UK vehicles.
  • Uncertainty about recorded mileage.
  • No warranty coverage.

Is imported car insurance more expensive?

Imported car insurance can be more expensive than regular car insurance. This is because imported cars may be less familiar to UK insurers, and replacement parts may be more difficult to find, making repairs more costly. 

Additionally, some imported cars may have higher theft rates, which can also increase insurance premiums. However, the exact insurance cost will depend on factors such as the make and model of the car, the driver’s age and driving history, and the level of coverage selected.

How to check if a car is imported?

Checking if a vehicle is imported is easy. You can enter the vehicle registration plate into our search box, and we’ll take care of the rest for free. However, checking if a vehicle has been exported can be more challenging.


1.How can I find out where a car was imported from?

Our free car import check tool can confirm if your car was imported, but it does not disclose the country of origin. For information on where the car was imported from, you can contact the DVLA.

2.How do you check if a car is a Japanese import?

One way to check if a car is a Japanese import is to look at the VIN (Vehicle Identification Number). The first three digits of a Japanese VIN start with “J”, and the 11th digit indicates the location where the vehicle was manufactured. Another way is to look for Japanese characters on the dashboard or other parts of the car or to check if the owner’s manual is in Japanese. Additionally, some online car history check services can provide information on a car’s import status and its country of origin.

3.How do you tell if a car is a UK import?

You can obtain the complete UK history of a vehicle with a UK number plate by using Road tax check. Our service includes car import and export checks for previously imported and Irish-plated UK cars and the UK history.

4.Do you have to pay VAT on imported cars?

Yes, you usually have to pay tax on imported cars, which includes VAT (Value Added Tax) and customs duty. The amount of tax depends on various factors, such as the value of the car, its age, and its country of origin. It is important to research and understand the tax implications before importing a car.

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