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How To Buy Imported Cars

Toprank International Vehicle Importers sells JDM imported and specialty vehicles from all over the world at our dealership in California. Toprank also provides the most informed and reliable importing service of Japanese JDM import cars, or other foreign automobiles over 25 years old, Show or Display, and race cars to the USA. In addition to importation, we can bring direct import vehicles into California Air Resources Board (CARB) requirements.

how to buy imported cars

Japanese cars for sale from the R32, R33, R34 Skyline to the Chaser JZX100, which are legal to import to the USA when 25 years old. We can buy and store vehicles in Japan, find them at JDM auctions, or at dealerships in Japan, the UK, Germany, Australia or other countries. Toprank Importers ensure you won't have to worry about side-stepped regulations, improper paperwork, or unnecessary risks -- we will only assist in the import of vehicles that have been deemed legal for road use in the USA, or exempt from requirements.

Cars over 25 years old that haven't been modified are typically exempt from EPA and DOT restrictions. If you're buying a classic car, it may not need to adhere to the current regulations. Find out if your imported car is exempt from emissions testing and restrictions.

Shipping companies typically have liability insurance. However, they often maintain low limits for the cars they transport. So, you could be on the hook for a significant amount if your car sustains any damage during its trek to the U.S. Having an auto insurance policy on your car could provide additional coverage should something go wrong during the import process. Learn more about if you need insurance to ship a car.

When you buy an old car from a car dealer, VAT may be or may be not separately mentioned on the invoice. This depends on how the dealer opts to calculate VAT on this car. For explanation on VAT payment on used cars, see here.

I normally live in the EU If you are already living in an EU country, and you wish to import a car you bought outside the EU, it is treated just like any other imported goods. You will have to pay customs duty and import VAT, unless any reliefs apply.

I assumed buying an imported vehicle would be a real hassle, but I was certainly wrong. Northeast auto imports made the process so smooth and the patience of answering my million questions was awesome as a buyer who was purchasing an import for the first time.

Another reason that imported cars have more value is that they are more expensive. Importing a car involves various fees and requirements that must be met, which can be expensive. As a result, you are less likely to import a cheap common car from overseas. Rather, you will most likely import a higher-end vehicle to justify the costs.

There are several reasons people want to import a car from the UK to the US. Many people think of British made cars when thinking about classic and antique vehicles. In order to get these rarities into America, collectors have to import them. The procedure for shipping a car to the US can seem confusing for someone who has never imported vehicles. By using a full service international shipping company, importing a car can become much easier to navigate.

From finding a rare English classic car to bringing your vehicle to the states, Schumacher Cargo Logistics has experience importing thousands of different cars from the UK and that number is growing every day. With over 40 years of shipping experience, you can be confident that your UK car import is in good hands.

Every year the US Dollar grows closer to the British Pound. Classic car collectors can buy and import European classic and antique cars at better prices than ever before. With a long history in the automotive world, the United Kingdom has amazing car brands such as Aston Martin, Bentley, Jaguar, Rolls-Royce, and many more. Each of these brands produced timeless cars that are exclusive to the UK. For collectors the best way to obtain any of these cars is importing them from the UK, but many of these cars do not pass the requirements to import into the US.

This is only true until the cars become 25 years old from their manufactured date. Then they are eligible to be imported as a classic car and no longer have to conform to the EPA requirements or the DOT Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards. By importing a classic car from the UK, you skip the need to modify the vehicle to enter the US. A stipulation to this exemption is particular states have their own requirements.

This is an intimidating topic for many customers because having your vehicle shipped and imported to the United States is not exactly the cheapest service available. The good news is that this guide is going to provide you with an estimated range of prices based on a few different factors and scenarios that might come up.

The prices can skyrocket if you plan on having your vehicle imported from Asia, Australia, or Europe. You should reach out to professionals and experts from within the industry to gain a clearer understanding of the pricing situation for your specific scenario.

If you need to have your vehicle shipped overseas and imported to the United States, then your vehicle will need to be transported across the ocean on a boat. International auto shipping services can generally get you the most affordable pricing in this category.

This guide previously explored the estimated costs, fees, and pricing of having your vehicle imported. The truth is that there are several factors that could play a role in the general costs of overseas shipping.

If you are buying a new vehicle from a foreign continent and having it imported to North America, then other factors like the vehicle model, brand, age, weight, and size will all play a factor in the final pricing.

After reading through all of the information in this guide, you might be asking yourself if it is even worth it to have your vehicle imported to the United States from a foreign country. There is no exact answer to this question because it really depends on how important it is for you to have that specific vehicle shipped.

There are several pros and cons to factor into your decision before you ultimately decide whether or not you want to have your vehicle imported. You should evaluate these pros and cons to try and see if importing your vehicle is the best choice for your situation.

There are many positive and negative factors to consider when balancing the idea of having your vehicle imported to America. You should spend a little time thinking about each of these factors before finalizing your decision

There are several ways you can ship a car. The options include enclosed trailer, open carrier transport, flatbed truck, door-to-door shipping services, and to or from a terminal as well. The most popular of the options is a 7 to 10 car open carrier. These large trucks can accommodate almost any size vehicle including cars, SUVs, trucks, jeeps, and vans.

If a motor vehicle was manufactured to comply with all applicable FMVSS, and bears a label certifying such compliance that was permanently affixed by its original manufacturer, there is no need for NHTSA approval before the vehicle is imported. However, the manufacturer would have to submit to the agency information identifying it and the products that it manufactures that are subject to our standards no later than 30 days after manufacturing begins. In addition, the manufacturer would have to submit to us information necessary to decipher the VIN that it must assign to each motor vehicle it manufactures for sale in the U.S. If the vehicle manufacturer is not located in the U.S. the manufacturer must also designate a U.S. resident as its agent for service of process.

If the vehicle is less than 25 years old and was not originally manufactured to comply with all applicable FMVSS, and/or was not so certified by its original manufacturer, it cannot be lawfully imported into the U.S. on a permanent basis unless NHTSA determines it eligible for importation. The agency makes those determinations on its own initiative or the basis of a petition from a registered importer. These are business entities that are specifically approved by NHTSA to import nonconforming vehicles and to perform the necessary modifications on those vehicles so that they conform to all applicable FMVSS. The petitions must specify that the vehicle is substantially similar to a vehicle that was certified by its original manufacturer as conforming to all applicable FMVSS and is capable of being readily altered to conform to those standards, or, if there is no substantially similar U.S.-certified vehicle, that the vehicle has safety features that comply with, or are capable of being altered to comply with, the FMVSS based on destructive test information or other evidence the agency deems adequate. Import eligibility decisions are made on a make, model, and model year basis.

An additional requirement for the lawful importation of a nonconforming vehicle is that it be imported by a registered importer (RI) or by an individual who has contracted with an RI to bring the vehicle into conformity with all applicable FMVSS. A bond in an amount equivalent to 150 percent of the declared value of the vehicle must be given at the time of importation to ensure that the necessary modifications are completed within 120 days of entry. A list of RI's can be found on our web site at You might want to contact one or more of the listed RIs to obtain their opinion on the feasibility of conforming the vehicle that you seek to import to the FMVSS, and the costs involved in petitioning the agency to determine that vehicle to be eligible for importation, as well as the costs for conforming the vehicle to the FMVSS.

NHTSA makes import eligibility decisions on a make, model, and model year basis. A list of vehicles that NHTSA has determined to be eligible for importation can be found on our web site at If the vehicle you are seeking to import is of a make, model, and model year that is on that list, it can be imported by an RI, or by a person who has a contract with an RI to modify the vehicle so that it conforms to all applicable FMVSS and bumper standards after importation. At the time that NHTSA determines a vehicle of a particular make, model, and model year to be eligible for importation, the agency assigns the vehicle a unique vehicle eligibility number. That number is to be entered on the appropriate block of the HS-7 Declaration form that is to be given to Customs at the time of importation. The number alerts Customs to the fact that the vehicle can be lawfully imported (by an RI or by a person who has a contract with an RI to modify the vehicle), even though the vehicle was not originally manufactured to comply with all applicable FMVSS. 041b061a72


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