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Author Topic: Importing RV into the UK - worthwhile?  (Read 27633 times)

Tom

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Importing RV into the UK - worthwhile?
« on: May 27, 2007, 03:07:38 PM »
Received these questions via email. I'm reposting here because I really can't respond to queries via email, with the exception of forum admin issues. Please reply here and I'll let the individual know where to find the answers. Thanks.

Hi, first of all glad to finally find some decent info on rv imports from the us to the uk. We are thinking about importing an rv from across the pond and from the calculations on your forum it seems that on a £30,000 rv, we'll end up paying about £6000 in shipping and tax. Is it really worth doing? Would we really have to pay vat on the import duty? Can they really do that? Please restore my enthusiasm for this import! Many thanks.
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UK-RV

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Re: Importing RV into the UK - worthwhile?
« Reply #1 on: May 28, 2007, 03:47:27 AM »
Hi Tom

I'll give it a go, based on the slightly limited info available. I hope I can remember this stuff now :-

RV Cost = Whatever
Shipping = $3,000-$5,500 depending on overall cubic metres of RV (37ft will be $5,500)
Shipping Insurance = 1.1% of declared value (optional)
Shipping Agent Charges in UK = £150
Import Duty = 10% of RV Cost PLUS 10% of Insurance PLUS 10% of Shipping Cost
VAT = 17.5% of Total Import Duty figure
UK Registration = £50
UK Road Tax = £165 max (12 months)

* Someone suggested adding 29.2% to cost of RV to get VAT & Duty total figure (remember you are adding in the shipping and insurance too)

Is it worth doing?

The more expensive the RV the more you will save.

An RV costing $20,000 (£11,000) will sell for £25,000-£35,000 in the UK - it will have cost you approx £20,000 (£11k + £2k shipping + 29.2% taxes)

An RV costing $140,000 (£75,000) will sell for £150,000 in UK - it will have cost you approx £110,000 (75k + £2.5k shipping + 29.2% taxes)

Take our experience, you can buy a ONE YEAR OLD RV for £125,000 in the UK or you can go to the US and buy a NEW ONE for £75,000

If you stay outside the EU for 12 months and own the RV for minimum 6 months, you can import it free of VAT and Duty (saving £24,000). You will save a further £28,000 by not buying that year-old RV in the UK.

So, you can enjoy a years travel around the USA and use that total £52,000 saving to fund your holiday. That's £1,000 PER WEEK in spending money - a free holiday !!! (I shouldn't think you will manage to spend £1,000 per week so you will even come home with money in pocket).

When you import it into the UK after 1 year, you will have a UK-priced vehicle worth £125,000.

Hope that helps - I hope it makes sense ?
Paul

PS My figures for buying new in the UK are VERY conservative. I know dealers who import new RVs and make £40,000-£50,000 on each one. Can you believe they even have people ORDERING them - they don't even have the expense of them sitting on the forecourt for a few weeks first.



« Last Edit: May 28, 2007, 03:56:12 AM by UK-RV »

Mike (ex-f-221)

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Re: Importing RV into the UK - worthwhile?
« Reply #2 on: May 28, 2007, 05:08:04 AM »
Same can be said about an import from the USA to Germany.

Calculated a new Tiffin Phaeton - a purchase at Lazydays and a purchase in Germany.
I included (USA) the motorhome itself, the sales tax (took 5%), transport to the ship, costs of custom and shipping agent, shipping.
I included (DE) import duty, transport from the ship and some hours to convert it to "German trim".
If I would do so I would save unbelievable 90.000 US$.
Maybe there are some faults in my thoughts. so I assumed both motorhomes have the same configuration. But even if I made a mistake: the trend is just the same as Paul described.

Edited: First time I saw the differences in motorhome prices in the USA and in Germany was when I looked at a used Tiffin Allegro, 31 ft, first registration: July 2001: 119.000 Euro. That is about 160.000 US$.  ???
« Last Edit: May 28, 2007, 05:17:45 AM by Mike (ex-f-221) »
Mike Muellner
Bremerhaven, Germany

Tom

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Re: Importing RV into the UK - worthwhile?
« Reply #3 on: May 28, 2007, 08:11:40 AM »
Paul,

Thanks for that cost breakdown. I'll add it to the library as an example for future potential visitors/buyers. The savings are quite remarkable for anyone who is prepared to give it a try.

There are of course potential pitfalls and hurdles, as you found out, but you stuck it out and somehow managed to get through them all. As a result, your writings have found a place in the annals of RV history.
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Tom

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Re: Importing RV into the UK - worthwhile?
« Reply #4 on: May 28, 2007, 08:29:11 AM »
Thanks for the Germany perspective Mike.
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JohnSandyWhite

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Re: Importing RV into the UK - worthwhile?
« Reply #5 on: May 28, 2007, 12:15:08 PM »
Here we go:-

Importing an RV from the USA into the UK.
First you must choose a shipping company or you could use an agent instead.

Shipping Companies:-

http://www.tgal.us/

http://www.ablecargo.com/Automobile_Shippi...Coast_Rates.htm

http://www.ablecargo.com/Automobile_Shippi...Coast_Rates.htm

Shipping Agents:-

http://www.brunswickinternational.co.uk/ (have used and recommend these)

http://www.rst-international.co.uk/main.html (have used these prior to the above)

Wainwright Bros & Co
Bowling Green House 1 Orchard Place
Southampton Hampshire SO14 3PX
Tel: (02380 223671)

Insurance to cover the RV during the shipping will cost around 1.5% of the Value. Shipping costs will be between $110 and $150 per foot. The calculation is actually the Volume of the RV ie: Height x Length x Width = per Cubic foot or metre.

An agent acting on your behalf to deal with Customs and gain clearance costs between £40 (Brunswick) and as much as they can charge (others not named).
If you wish to do the clearance yourself?
You will need this form http://www.import-car.info/c104a.pdf

Customs Duty and VAT calculations are :-

10% Customs Duty on the RVís Value (or purchase price) + Shipping charges.

17.5% VAT on the RVís Value + Shipping charges + Duty.

Once you have had the RV cleared from Customs, a Collection/Delivery note will be sent to you to allow you to pick up your RV from the Docks. You will receive the C&E 386 form (Customs clearance) usually by post within 3 to 5 days.

Legally, you are allowed one trip in the RV to either your home address, or a company to carry out the conversions necessary for UK use on the road. Providing of course that the RV is insured in the UK. Insurance companies will quite happily insure an RV for up to 2 weeks for this purpose based on the VIN number.

Once the RV has been converted to UK road use, it must either have an SVA (Single Vehicle Approval) if less than 10 years old or a class IV (4) MOT if older than 10years old.
Having said that. A friend from Liverpool who imported a brand new RV went to the SVA and they said Motorhomes were exempt. Told him he better make sure.

To register the RV in the UK you will require the following:-
The Original Title Document
The Original Bill of Sale for the RV
The C&E 386
Form V55/4 (new) or V55/5 (used), from DVLA.
The MOT or SVA Certificate
Insurance Document
The correct fee for Licence for 6/12 months
The Registration fee of £38 (currently)
Documents proving and confirming your name and address:-
Documentation confirming your Name ∑ Current DVLA paper driving licence, ∑ UK/EU or foreign passport,∑ Marriage certificate,∑ Decree nisi/absolute, ∑ Birth certificate. Documentation confirming your Address∑ Utility Bill valid within the last 3 months - gas, electricity, water, landline telephone, ∑ Bank/Building Society statement valid within the last 3 months, ∑ Medical Card, ∑ Council tax bill for current year.

All the information necessary to import and register a Vehicle in the UK can be found here :- http://www.dvla.gov.uk/vehicles/exptimpt.htm


Customs - http://www.hmrc.gov.uk/

Duty & VAT - http://tinyurl.com/ebzlz

VCA (Vehicle Type Approval) - http://tinyurl.com/z4vxt

Enquiries to these two for shipping and carrying passengers:-

http://www.cargolines.biz/

http://www.freightercruises.com/

Can you save Import Duty & VAT? Yes. All the information can be found here:-

http://tinyurl.com/ojpyl

Paul (UK-RV) on the RVforum.net is hoping to be free of Import Duty & VAT when he returns to the UK. He has contacted and discussed the situation with HM Customs & Excise. His communications with them and the replies can be found here:-

http://tinyurl.com/ggjmh

Good luck with your Buying and Importing from the USA. 

Been there, done that. But I never stop learning

brenda

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Re: Importing RV into the UK - worthwhile?
« Reply #6 on: August 30, 2007, 04:09:56 AM »
Hey Mike

I am wondering whether to

a) buy in Germany (moving there soon) or

b) go to US and stay a year  as I am spending about 15K

Do you know whether the import  tax is higher in Germany? I could buy in US and go back to the UK for a while if it is less there.

Also could you tell me if there is a supportive community of fulltimers in Germany? Thaks.

Mike (ex-f-221)

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Re: Importing RV into the UK - worthwhile?
« Reply #7 on: September 01, 2007, 08:36:58 AM »
Brenda,

sorry for the delay in answering....
a) Don't buy a US-made motorhome in Germany. It will be overpriced.
Some months ago I produced an Excel-spreadsheet which shows the cost of buying a new motorhome in the USA compared to the cost of buying the same motorhome in Germany. For this calculation I took 10% import tax (US->D, found it in the internet) based on the price (plus sales tax) of the vehicle. Example: New Tiffin Phaeton, 35ft. Purchase in the US, shipping to Germany and conversion to get it registrated in Germany, taxes...: 280,000 US$. Purchase of the same Coach in Germany: 420,000 US$.  :o
If you want to I will expand that spreadsheet with a calculation between USA and GB and send it to you.

b) That is what I would do.

Have to look around if there is a supportive community of fulltimers in Germany. Fulltiming is not very popular in Germany.
Mike Muellner
Bremerhaven, Germany

brenda

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Re: Importing RV into the UK - worthwhile?
« Reply #8 on: September 01, 2007, 10:08:17 AM »
Wow Mike that is a big difference  :o

I am now thinking of a Hymer in the UK, taking it to Spain for the winter, coming back to UK in spring, selling it, going to US for a year then importing  an American one to Germany where I will spend summers.

How expensive are MH to tax and insure in Germany and can you do this if you are just staying with a friend and therefore do not have proof of residency (apart from registering)?
« Last Edit: September 01, 2007, 10:11:02 AM by brenda »

Mike (ex-f-221)

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Re: Importing RV into the UK - worthwhile?
« Reply #9 on: September 01, 2007, 10:46:41 AM »
Brenda,

I am now thinking of a Hymer in the UK, taking it to Spain for the winter, coming back to UK in spring, selling it, going to US for a year then importing  an American one to Germany where I will spend summers.
Seems to be a good idea.

MH tax in Germany depends on maximal allowed weight (GVWR) and the output of toxic elements while driving. See photo attached. S4 is the cleanest motor, "others" means dirty motors (russian tanks or so  :D)


Edit: [...] can you do this if you are just staying with a friend and therefore do not have proof of residency (apart from registering)?
I'm not sure...
« Last Edit: September 01, 2007, 12:43:04 PM by Mike (ex-f-221) »
Mike Muellner
Bremerhaven, Germany

brenda

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Re: Importing RV into the UK - worthwhile?
« Reply #10 on: September 01, 2007, 12:56:25 PM »
Thanks Mike


arie5119

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Re: Importing RV into the UK - worthwhile?
« Reply #11 on: September 27, 2013, 07:21:03 PM »
Hi everyone, I started looking for information on importing motorhomes from the USA as we have a caravan breakers and importing campers/motor homes seems like a natural extension/add on business for us.

It would fit in quite nicely with the quite periods for a www.caravan-breakers.com so making it even more attractive, I just want to thank everyone Mike in particular for chipping in with such useful details for anyone wanting to go down this road for private or business reasons.

Has anyone an idea of what is involved for converting the rv to comply with UK legislation and if at all possible a ball park figure for the costs, though I must say after reading this thread I am sure that it would be profitable to import and sell, which in todays market will be a welcome add on to the bottom line of our business.

Thanks again to all Arie.
« Last Edit: September 27, 2013, 07:53:25 PM by arie5119 »

Popeye46

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Re: Importing RV into the UK - worthwhile?
« Reply #12 on: November 21, 2013, 07:05:05 PM »
Hi, To answer your question as i think this thread might be dead now, i would take a look at Signature RV http://www.signaturemotorhomes.com/240v_conversion in the UK about conversion costs and such.

Melnol

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Re: Importing RV into the UK - worthwhile?
« Reply #13 on: July 27, 2014, 02:35:55 AM »
This info is really useful. What would be even more useful is if anyone can provide the same topics with present-day fees applicable . We are just about to take the plunge in importing a new 5th wheel into UK so would really appreciate any up-to-date info available. We currently live in Australia but are coming to live in UK later this year.
Thanks in advance. Mel

 

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