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Importing from USA - General Advice

Rich Marks

Regular user
Hi
Looking for a while now at importing a 1961 C1.

I've done the research on tax/shipping/registration etc .. but I'm concerned about the actual buying process, so appreciate advice :

Mainly that I'm buying remotely, so don't want to handover a lot of cash without knowing I'm getting the car, plus not sure how happy a private seller would be dealing with this.
I'm less concerned about buying from a reputable (?) dealer, but I see some great examples from private sellers.

I had thought about getting broker who has someone "on the ground" who can help, and be trusted with my $$$(£££) to make the deal/liaise with seller/shipping company.

I think a dealer is less of an issue .. so its someone who can make the local arrangements with a private seller

Any advice .. or does anyone know a good broker who can help here ?

Thanks
Rich
 

Rich Marks

Regular user
I had considered .. but its also the time for that .. plus looking then arranging shipping etc.
I think a broker is the way to go if its a private seller. Dealers will be used to shipping around USA etc anyway so more ok with that.
I spotted a firm in France that do all this and actually advertise cars in the USA (Skilter- Le Harve Skillter.com site Officiel | Automobiles en direct des USA ) but not sure its sensible to import into France then the UK !
Does anyone know of a UK equivalent ?

Cheers Rich
 

Roscobbc

CCCUK Member
Rich I'm sure you'll find people within the CCCUK who have had the experience of doing exactly what you suggest - (both positive and negative) and will potentially have contacts over in the 'States. I'm sure some of these members will be happy to pass over this information to help a genuine enthusiast. Please don't take this the wrong way but we do see people come on this forum, 'talk the talk', 'walk the walk' so to speak about Corvettes and are never seen again. So join the CCCUK, make contact with your local region and members - and be patient. What part of the UK are you located?
 

antijam

Well-known user
My C3 was bought over here but the original UK owner imported it using 'Ship my car'. The car was a private sale in the States and Ship my car transported the car to the shipping port, loaded and shipped it in a consolidated container, insured it during transit, paid US Customs and loading fees, paid unloading fees and customs clearance in the UK, transported the car in the UK, modified the car for UK homologation, obtained an MoT and carried out DVLA registration. This cost the importer £4200 in 2018.

What they did not do was inspect the car before purchase and the new owner relied on photos and assurances from the seller. I think he got a few unwelcome surprises on the car's condition when he finally received the car.

Incidentally I'll never understand how the car got an MoT, since when I bought the car the handbrake was totally inoperative.
 

Rich Marks

Regular user
Appreciate your replies .. CCCUK a good suggestion. I'm located near Chester.
I've looked at Ship my Car .. just nervous about transferring a large quantity of money to a private seller. I'd be ok with a dealer
Thanks
 

Alben78

Busy user
At the very least, and with current restrictions in place until at least the end of the year, I would search a specific region say Miami or California using Craig’s List and then take a holiday in what you think may be the best area and actually see the cars. Between now and then do your research, look at members cars over here and get the logistics sorted out. Then when you find”the one” you will know what you are looking for and have everything in place. In terms of finance using an Escrow service will protect you and to some extent the buyer, just make sure the car is insured from the moment you hand over the money to the Escrow holder.
 

CaptainK

CCCUK Member
There are a few Facebook groups about American cars (American Cars UK I think) that have companies on them that inspect cars for you in the states and deal with the shipping and import process etc. Alas, I found them AFTER I'd imported my C3.

I had my C3 imported from the state using "Ship My Car" as well. I bought it from what I believe was a reputable dealer, the photos looked good and at the time I didn't know about inspections, so I just took the plunge and bought it from said dealer. Alas, the car wasn't exactly up to spec, was damaged in transit that neither party owned up to so I couldn't claim on their insurances. Car had to have work done to pass MOT and continued to be a PITA for a while afterwards. I love the car, its great fun, but it had more issues than I suspected. "Ship My Car" did a good job getting it over here and getting it on the road. So no grumbles there.

My advice now is to get the car inspected independently. When transporting the car, I also advise to get your shipping company to do a full video walkaround of the car with the dealer / owner prior to loading it on their truck / trailer. This covers you as to whether the dealer damaged it on the day or the transporter damaged it - I had that issue as the photos I had of the car prior to it being loaded were unfortunately at the wrong angles and not that many photos to show whether the car was damaged in a specific spot prior to loading. But after loading, at the dealers location, it clearly shows that the car was damaged. So insist on many photos and a walkaround video.
 
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