United Kingdom used car market

Japan has been known for ages for producing high quality reliable vehicles and their reputation for delivering best vehicles has made their products popular across the world. The European region is a popular market for Japanese used vehicles and like other nations of this region, United Kingdom import many used vehicles from Japan. Popularity of Japan used cars is due to their impressive specifications, good condition and high quality. It is always a WIN-WIN situation for an importer when buying from Japan as one gets higher specification vehicles at competitive rates.


Importing used cars in UK is very popular because of the financial savings that the importer experiences. Almost all types of Japan used cars are being imported in UK. Importing a Japanese used car in UK is not a cumbersome process, it only requires following of certain importation rules and regulations. If the used car is coming from outside the EU, it must pass the Single Vehicle Approval (SVA) or Individual Vehicle Approval (IVA) Test for cars. It is a pre-registration inspection for cars in order to ensure that the vehicle meets safety standards when used on public roads.

The demand for used vehicles in the country is rising immensely as it is the most effective way to get a quality vehicle at a reasonable cost. In the year 2013, around 2,661 units of used vehicles were imported into the country that became 4,350 units in the year 2014. An increase of 1689 units shows that the used car market of the country is booming. Out of all Japanese brands, Toyota is a popular choice among the buyers followed by Nissan.

Import rules and regulations-
Japan has acquired the top most spot as the most consistent and reasonable vehicle manufacturing market. The Japanese used car market holds a very vast future in the region. The easy importation of vehicles in the UK is one of the reasons for their popularity. While importing a used vehicle in the country, the importer should strictly follow all rules and regulations in order to clear customs smoothly.

Left-Hand Drive vehicles:-
The country permits importation of only Left-Hand Drive Vehicles. Maximum permitted width and length of vehicles in Britain is 2.55m and 12m respectively.

MOT (Ministry Of Transport) Certification is compulsory test, to check vehicle’s road-worthiness. The test is carried out by a Government approved testing center and third year since vehicle first registration, every vehicle in UK must have a MOT test yearly.

Required Documents:-

  • Bill of Lading
  • Purchasing Invoice from the supplier to show the owner of the vehicle.
  • Deregistration Certificate.
  • Original Identification proof.
  • Trader’s Unique Reference Number (TURN) for Commercial Importers.

Import Tax Rate:-
Duty on used car is 10% and 22% for pick-up and commercial vehicle. However, 17.5% VAT is also applied on vehicles imported. Ownership tax is also applied on passenger cars and commercial vehicles based on CO2 emission and weight and axles respectively.

Shipping Information:-
Freight rate-

  • Port- Bristol
  • 0-14 m3 – US $ 104
    14-20 m3- US $ 119

  • Port- Liverpool
  • 0-14 m3 – US $ 122
    14-20 m3- US $ 137

  • Port- Southampton
  • 0-14 m3 – US $ 90
    14-20 m3- US $ 105

    Major ports- Bristol, Liverpool, Southampton, Newcastle and Tilbury

    Popular car models:-
    Toyota Crown, Nissan Serena, Suzuki Wagon-R, Toyota Vitz, Toyota Chaser, Nissan Tida, Toyota Townace van, Mercedes-Benz CLS-class, Toyota Aqua