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Help with importing

Jul 29, 2013
5,916
7,169
Salisbury
Funster No
27,215
MH
Hymer B678DL A class
Exp
since 2011
How they think date of invoicing, which might have been done two weeks before to ensure payment, is proof of collection or why they need info on collection is totally unclear to me
Is it not that they want proof of when it enters the UK? As you only have a certain time to declare and pay taxes.😊
 
Nov 18, 2019
8
13
Stratford upon Avon
Funster No
66,903
MH
Hymer Exsis 504
Exp
Since 2001
Hi, I recently imported a new MH from Germany. It's rather complicated, but I got the company "Ship My Car" in Milton Keynes, to arrange all the paperwork. In the end I don't think I could have done it as efficiently and quickly myself. I can highly recommend them. It took longer than normal due to the Corona virus, but so is life these days. You better hurry before Brexit, as I am sure Boris will add more duties.
 
Mar 14, 2019
264
203
Sutton Coldfield but East Yorkshire man at heart
Funster No
59,127
MH
Coachbuilt
Exp
Since 2018
I am looking at importing a second hand MH from Germany. I remember reading on some thread here that I can no longer find (!) that there are some companies that help with the process, first registration etc. I would be grateful for any advice on this, or a link to previous threads on the topic
Thanks
If buying from a dealer in Germany they will help you and the owner has to go with you to do the paper work as that is the way the system works. Therefore thefts of cars in Germany are very low unless they are transported overnight in a closed van to another country and event hen I think many countries will do the checking on the previous ownership. I suggest do an internet search on the subject as I have read a very extensive article somewhere not the subject, not sure if MMM did not do it.

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Aug 18, 2014
15,321
57,177
Spain
Funster No
32,898
MH
Transit PVC
Exp
6 years since restarting
IMHO Not worth the risk on third party plates insurance they are only intended to give you a chance to get registration and the correct insurance sorted.😊
If you have any type of vehicle, mh's inlcude, here over 10-12 years old the chances of getting anything other than t,p,f&t is highly unlikely .isn't offered/doesn't happen.
i drove mine for 120,000kms over 6 years all over europe on tpf&t.
Is it not that they want proof of when it enters the UK? As you only have a certain time to declare and pay taxes.😊
Only really applies to anything on export plates . If i wanted to re register mine in the Uk it could be any time up until the 6 month limit. + it is still, usable on the foreign plates & insurance until completed.
With German export plates I am sure when I went in to it that it is possible to extend the period of expiry on them,& therefore the insurance?
 
Sep 4, 2016
27
53
Spain
Funster No
44,950
MH
Morelo Lift 82 LB
Exp
3 years
Hi, I have imported a German MH two years ago from a dealer, I have just purchased a MH from a private seller from Germany when you pick up the HM you will need to go and purchase some export plates and they come with 3rd party insurance for 30 days so you can drive it back . The process it very simple you send the COC, a British MOT a from with Co2 on it and some money and then they give you a number plate for the age of the MH . No one will give you insurance if the MH is not in the Uk.
 
Sep 21, 2007
691
936
Essex
Funster No
316
MH
C Class
Exp
Since 2007
Hi, I recently imported a new MH from Germany. It's rather complicated, but I got the company "Ship My Car" in Milton Keynes, to arrange all the paperwork. In the end I don't think I could have done it as efficiently and quickly myself. I can highly recommend them. It took longer than normal due to the Corona virus, but so is life these days. You better hurry before Brexit, as I am sure Boris will add more duties.
Can I be cheeky and ask what ship my car charge?

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Sep 4, 2016
27
53
Spain
Funster No
44,950
MH
Morelo Lift 82 LB
Exp
3 years
We paid the vat in Germany it is only 19%. The UK only want to know the VAT has been paid.
 
Jun 7, 2020
45
70
London
Funster No
71,545
MH
N&B ClouLiner
Exp
Since 1980
VAT paid in one member state is valid in another,
If your importing between today and 31st Dec 2020. you could be in for a treat Germany has announced vat reduction from 19% to 16%.
If vehicle is brand new a Whole vehicle type approval cert. will be require by DVLA
if used, you will need Tier 1 and 2 of the German reg docs to prove age and EU registration to the DVLA.
and an MOT cert.
and as above dont forget the Nova notice,
 
Jul 29, 2013
5,916
7,169
Salisbury
Funster No
27,215
MH
Hymer B678DL A class
Exp
since 2011
With German export plates I am sure when I went in to it that it is possible to extend the period of expiry on them,& therefore the insurance
Yes you can I’m not sure for how long though?🤔

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OP
K
Aug 28, 2020
79
64
Ireland
Funster No
75,114
MH
Don't own one yet
Exp
none
It looks like this thread is going quiet now, so I would just like to adda word of thanks for all the useful information I picked up here!..
These covid19 travel restrictions, (which I am happy to observe), are really cramping the possibilities for the moment. Bah!:(
 

gwyntaxi

LIFE MEMBER
Jun 9, 2009
702
489
,Swansea
Funster No
7,041
MH
hymer starline 655
Exp
42yearscaravanning&motorhoming
There used to be a company called Bundesvan however I believe they have now closed😊
You might find this useful copied from an old thread.
Hi Beerdrinker

I copied this information from a post on here a few years ago as I was thinking of doing the same one day. Here is a copy of the post:-

  1. We imported a Frankia I 740, new from Germany, for the second time in 7 years.
  2. This time the rules and regulations had changed, and the process is a bit more complicated, but don’t let it put you off. Just follow a step by step approach and be patient. The steps you need to take may vary if you are importing from a different country or if it is second-hand.
  3. The steps we took were:
  4. 1. Find a dealer convenient to the UK, Munich is a long way, Aachen is about 4 hours from the channel ports.
  5. 2. Negotiate a Euro price net of VAT. (The Caravan Salon at Düsseldorf is best for good discounts).
  6. 3. Insure the vehicle on a VIN – Vehicle ID Number (Safeguard, Saga and Comfort will do this in theory, but see below) from arrival at the UK channel port.
  7. 4. Book a ferry advising that you will let them know the registration number on arrival.
  8. When the motorhome is ready for collection at the dealer:
  9. 5. Fly or take a train/coach to the dealer.
  10. 6. Register the motorhome for export, obtain insurance and obtain an export plate. Export plates ("Ausfuhrkennzeichen") are for vehicles being exported. The month/year on the right side indicates their maximum validity in Germany. Insurance is a separate matter - you can simply sign up for a short term insurance with the company of your choice, or have the dealer arrange it for you as most do. You do need the insurance cover and certificate before you can get the plates. As the insurance is 3rd party only we obtained 15 day insurance cover, enough to get us home.
  11. 7. Pay for the motorhome without VAT. The dealer may require you to deposit the VAT amount in their bank or in our case provide them with a Euro cheque, which they will return when you provide proof that you have paid the VAT to HM Customs and Excise in the UK (see below). Our bank would provide a Euro cheque but the amount would have been taken from our sterling bank account and credited back when the cheque is cancelled. It proved cheaper to open a Euro account, with a cheque book, depositing a nominal amount and close it again when the transaction was finished. This account also came in handy for buying Euros when the rate was good and using them to pay for the van by bank transfer.
  12. 8. Drive the motorhome or arrange for the motorhome to be transported back to the UK.
  13. When the vehicle is home:
  14. 9. Modify the speedometer to show MPH. Our Mercedes had the ability to show a digital output in MPH but the Fiat did not so we obtained a replacement dial from Lockwood (www.lockwoodinternational.co.uk) and had it fitted by a local MOT garage.
  15. 10. Modify or replace the headlights to dip to the left. Ours are Hella low beam lights that can be adjusted by releasing 3 bolts, twisting the assembly and screwing bolts back, one in a different hole. Temporary solutions such as beam benders are not acceptable.
  16. 11. Modify the rear light clusters so that rear fog light is on the right. If not possible add an extra fog light in the centre or on the right and run a wire from the fog light on left. We had the dealer switch the position of the reversing and fog lights, rewiring appropriately.
  17. 12. A local MOT station needs to check that the work has been done and write a statement or an invoice (on headed paper giving their full contact details including their MOT test station number and VAT number and registered address or Companies House number and registered address. It needs to quote the 17 digit vehicle chassis (VIN) number, be dated and make clear the garage has worked on, or inspected the vehicle for conformity.
  18. 13. It is necessary to obtain a ‘proof of ‘Mutual Recognition’ certificate from the VCA/Department of Transport (http://www.direct.gov.uk/pdfs/apply-commission-notice-motorhomes.pdf) this will require you to complete a self certification form and send it with the Original European Certificate of Conformity (with 52 numbered items confirming that the vehicle is a motorhome), the above garage evidence that the vehicle meets the United Kingdom national requirements (UK specification headlights, dual marked speedometer, suitable rear fog-light(s)) and £100 payment.
  19. 14. While waiting for the VCA to send you a certificate you can deal with the VAT payment. You must send a Notification of Vehicle Arrivals (NOVA) form to HMCE within 14 days of the import or you may be fined.
  20. You can do this online or ask the VAT helpline for a VAT NOVA1 form. You’ll need a Government Gateway account to use the online service. Vehicles can only be registered with the DVLA after you have confirmation that HMCE has processed the NOVA form. All notifications on progress are found online by checking the Nova progress periodically. The VAT receipt, sent by post, takes some time to arrive although an acknowledgement of payment received will be posted online immediately.
  21. 15. Send a copy of the confirmation to the dealer to return cheque or funds.
  22. 16. Now you can process the registration:
  23. 17. You will need to send the following by special delivery to DVLA Swansea SA99 1BE.
  24. • completed form V55/5(registering a used vehicle for the 1st time, not V55/4 (new vehicle)as the vehicle was 1st registered in Germany)
  25. • proof of ‘Mutual Recognition’
  26. • foreign registration documents or any papers relating to the vehicle
  27. • evidence showing the date the vehicle was collected (normally the invoice from the supplier)
  28. • the appropriate HM Revenue and Customs forms, showing you’ve paid VAT and/or duty (if applicable)
  29. • a copy of driving license (photocard and paper)
  30. • a current British motor insurance certificate
  31. • the cost of the vehicle tax
  32. • the new registration fee of £55.00.
  33. • an addressed special delivery envelope
  34. All being well you should receive a Vehicle Registration Certificate (V5C), commonly known as a logbook, the vehicle tax disc and your identity documents by post without too much delay.
  35. 18. Get your plates made up and away you go. Easy wasn’t it.
  36. Now for the problems:
  37. Some Insurance companies that insure on a VIN will not provide cover for driving the vehicle from the port; they will only cover whilst the vehicle is at your home. Only Safeguard would provide cover for us, others may on cheaper motorhomes.
  38. All insurers want a Thatcham approved alarm system, German dealer fitted systems are usually not approved. All insurers want the alarm fitted within 14 days but no insurer was initially prepared to cover us to drive to have an alarm fitted (safeguard eventually did agree to cover this after Vanbitz intervened with a telephone call to their contact) We had to drive on the German plates to Vanbitz as registration takes longer than 14 days.
  39. All insurers require a registration number within 30 days even though the VCA quote 5 days and the DVLA quote 4-6 weeks. Safeguard allowed us an extension but it proved unnecessary as the registration finally occurred 32 days after the German registration and 26 days into the UK insurance. The process may have been quicker, but thinking we were registering a new vehicle, we first used form V55/4. This was returned to us with a form V55/5 which we completed and resent. Our registration when it arrived, logged the vehicle as new with no previous owners!
  40. We found out that the German 3rd party insurance was good for the entire EU (including the UK) and allowed us to drive from Germany to home and to the local MOT station and back.
  41. Further details on request, Frankia or other German manufacturers.
howardandsue, Mar 11, 2014


Like
Very informative and well written.
 
Feb 18, 2019
137
54
Funster No
58,620
MH
Looking for one
Exp
0
In my case, importing from Poland, the dealer can provide 30 days 3rd party cover. As is available in Germany and sounds like it's normal in Poland. The vehicle is taken to a UK MoT on its current plates.

Adrian Flux is able to insure from purchase in Poland, but requires Thatcham Cat 1 alarm, immobiliser and Cat 5 or 7 tracker fitted within 30 days, which aren't available for my van.

Safeguard are able to insure fully comprehensive from arrival in the UK. No windscreen limit and AA breakdown cover without size limits. No alarm stipulations, no limits on use. £644

NFU Shrewsbury ditto from UK registration at just under £600, similar to Safeguard but without breakdown cover.
NFU Chichester £825 similar to Shrewsbury
CVC (Devitt -> Axa) were around £1,600 on a Vin plate in the UK and want a Thatcham alarm/immobiliser

Lifesure wouldn't go over 4.5L engine (NGS)
Comfort wouldn't go over 3L with Aviva or 5L and £60k with Liverpool Victoria.
 
Jul 29, 2013
5,916
7,169
Salisbury
Funster No
27,215
MH
Hymer B678DL A class
Exp
since 2011
In my case, importing from Poland, the dealer can provide 30 days 3rd party cover. As is available in Germany and sounds like it's normal in Poland. The vehicle is taken to a UK MoT on its current plates
Have you tried LV= ? they are very competitive 😊
 
Feb 18, 2019
137
54
Funster No
58,620
MH
Looking for one
Exp
0
I called LV Direct (Liverpool Victoria, also via Comfort) but they wouldn't quote as neither Niesmann Bischoff nor the L2000 Man chassis are on their system.

I think they have some more recent Man chassis, for recent years. You can see this from their online quote tool.

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Jan 22, 2020
33
55
East Mids
Funster No
68,254
MH
Not owning yet
Exp
2018
VAT paid in one member state is valid in another,
If your importing between today and 31st Dec 2020. you could be in for a treat Germany has announced vat reduction from 19% to 16%.
If vehicle is brand new a Whole vehicle type approval cert. will be require by DVLA
if used, you will need Tier 1 and 2 of the German reg docs to prove age and EU registration to the DVLA.
and an MOT cert.
and as above dont forget the Nova notice,
I don't see how the reduction on German VAT makes any difference. Even if it was was 1% and buying new you still have to pay UK current rate of VAT, if you're buying used then VAT doesn't apply anyway.
What have I missed
 

Emmit

LIFE MEMBER
Aug 14, 2009
4,716
6,910
Cornwall
Funster No
7,967
MH
Low Profile
Exp
Jan.2014
To drive any vehicle where there is No Insurance to cover damage the vehicle you are driving, (ie Third Party) requires a totally different mindset from that with which one normally drives.
It requires total concentration and the acceptance of spatial awareness not normally present.

As a result, speeds will be slower, spaces in front of you will be bigger and time on the road will be less.

If you are prepared to practice driving in such a manner prior to your journey you shouldn't have problems.
 
Apr 17, 2016
1,202
8,258
Chichester
Funster No
42,523
MH
Morelo Palace 85L
Exp
Just starting.
I don't see how the reduction on German VAT makes any difference. Even if it was was 1% and buying new you still have to pay UK current rate of VAT, if you're buying used then VAT doesn't apply anyway.
What have I missed
You are correct.

I am just waiting on my reg number from the DVLA so I can get my VAT back from the German dealer.

Paid the UK VAT and got the receipt so have paid twice, not a good way of doing it there are some dealers apparently who will not charge VAT and just ask for proof of UK tax paid unfortunately my dealer was not one of them🙁

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Lenny HB

LIFE MEMBER
Oct 18, 2007
26,184
41,893
On the coast in West Sussex
Funster No
658
MH
Hymer B678 Dynamic Line
Exp
Since 2008 & many years tugging
We paid the vat in Germany it is only 19%. The UK only want to know the VAT has been paid.
Not correct with vehicles the vat has to be paid in the country of registration, you can't register a vehicle in the UK without a NOVA reference which you only get once UK vat is paid.
 
Apr 17, 2016
1,202
8,258
Chichester
Funster No
42,523
MH
Morelo Palace 85L
Exp
Just starting.
To drive any vehicle where there is No Insurance to cover damage the vehicle you are driving, (ie Third Party) requires a totally different mindset from that with which one normally drives.
It requires total concentration and the acceptance of spatial awareness not normally present.

As a result, speeds will be slower, spaces in front of you will be bigger and time on the road will be less.

If you are prepared to practice driving in such a manner prior to your journey you shouldn't have problems.
Drove back 700 miles with my new van from Germany on third party insurance, certainly makes you alert when driving😁
 
Aug 18, 2018
5
6
Funster No
55,702
I imported a new van from Germany (Munich) in June 2020.
Ordered Oct 2019, build finished on time, despite COVID, first week of May.
I decided, since I could not go to Munich for the handover and drive the van back without quite a bit of COVID related faff, never mind the usual insurance concerns, that I would ask the dealer to ship it to me. The dealer sourced a car transport company that shipped directly from Munich to the Left Hand Drive Place in Basingstoke who handled all the technical work - fixing the lights and the speedo and the paperwork for me, including VSA , DVLA.

I did the HMRC VAT work.

The LHD Place's business is basically sourcing left-hand-drive cars for buyers in the UK and therefore they are very familiar with all the paperwork handling and have good connections to the agencies involved.

The carriage from Munich with full insurance cover for was £1,763. The dealer got quotes from several companies and recommended BLG Logistics ( a big vehicle transport outfit in Germany).


That's not cheap, however if both I and my wife had flown to Munich, spent two nights in a B&B for the handover day, and then had three nights on local campsites doing a shakedown, plus two stops on the way back, plus the tunnel, plus fuel I would have spent a chunk of that. In the event I bit that bullet.

The technical work and all the paperwork from Left Hand Drive Place was another £1,800. In hindsight and in normal times, whatever they are, maybe I would have organised the tech work and undertaken the paperwork myself. However the insurance complexities in the UK mean moving the van around to get the tech work done would have been tricky and in the end I am very glad I used the LHD Place, not least because they have their own direct channels into VSA and DVLA as a regular commercial user of their services.

Consequently in the midst of COVID they managed to turn around all the technical and paperwork in short order. The van arrived on the 25th June 2020 at the LHD Place, and it was delivered to my house, un-plated, by the LHD Centre on 7th July with the technical work completed.
I handled the additional VAT payment - the Belfast HMRC office were extremely helpful and very efficient (phone contact is recommended). I think it's fair to say the best customer service I have experienced anywhere, anytime, from any business!

I was advised by LHD Place that the paperwork in total would take twelve weeks given the impact of COVID on working practices at DVLA and the considerable backlog which had built up since March.

In the event I received the V5 and associated paperwork from the LHD Place on the 24th July. Much much quicker than anticipated and a result I would think, of their intensive working relationship with DVLA.

All in all it was not cheap, but money well spent in my view. Your mileage will vary, especially when purchasing a second hand motorhome where the economics are different and the logic of investing quite so much in the import process may or may not stack up.

Hope that helps.

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Aug 15, 2020
13
32
Whitby North Yorkshire
Funster No
74,495
MH
2016 Carado T135
Exp
40 years
You don't need to register your vehicle in order to get the VAT refunded from the country of purchase. The VAT receipt from HMRC is sufficient. Last vehicle I imported (2016) to 24 hours to pay the UK VAT on line and a further 6 weeks to register with DVLA, because they wouldn't accept the Italian and German CoC s because they were not in English. I had to get a further document to prove the three UK requirements (even though they were on both CoCs, but not in English. Read my article in MMM December 2018. It covers all aspects of importing and driving before UK registration.

Alternatively find me on facebook: Ken Hall Whitby (same mugshot) and we can have a chat about it.

Ken
 
Jan 24, 2014
175
128
Cornwall
Funster No
29,823
MH
DETHLEFFS T7057 EB
Exp
1990
I’ve done it three times. Twice from Germany a used 6 month old Hymer privately in 2002 and a Rapido new picked up in 2008. Both were fairly easy done on German plates and once on UK soil insurance kicked in (Comfort I think both times) THEN!! Did it again in 2017 this time a new Dethleffs from France. By this time finding insurance on a VIN plate was awful. So much time spent no one would do it. Finally found Caravan Guard would on VIN plate with the 14 days to get registered! Trouble with that is being able to provide date it started from and some office boy cancelled it before as he didn’t read it properly and took it from date I’d phoned not date it started. In this 14 days you also have to get it out to UK Spec, Speedo, fog light etc (booking that in again in time scale was problematic in Cornwall). Also getting ALARM (Vanbitz Growler) meant 3 dates changed but Eddy was fantastic and got us in on our way from tunnel on way home!!
So not simple, paperwork was ok but each time it changed and that was 3 years ago

so best of luck if it all goes well it’s great.
Manufacturers aren’t great with their delivery dates if buying new unless it’s already built
 
Jul 29, 2013
5,916
7,169
Salisbury
Funster No
27,215
MH
Hymer B678DL A class
Exp
since 2011
If buying from a dealer in Germany they will help you and the owner has to go with you to do the paper work as that is the way the system works. Therefore thefts of cars in Germany are very low unless they are transported overnight in a closed van to another country and event hen I think many countries will do the checking on the previous ownership. I suggest do an internet search on the subject as I have read a very extensive article somewhere not the subject, not sure if MMM did not do it.
I didn’t have to go with dealer they had plates and paperwork ready for me on arrival at their premises.😊

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Lenny HB

LIFE MEMBER
Oct 18, 2007
26,184
41,893
On the coast in West Sussex
Funster No
658
MH
Hymer B678 Dynamic Line
Exp
Since 2008 & many years tugging
I've imported 3 vans from Belgium, last one 2017, dealer drives it to the port. I too found it was getting harder to get insurance on a VIN number.
 
Sep 4, 2016
27
53
Spain
Funster No
44,950
MH
Morelo Lift 82 LB
Exp
3 years
I’ve done it twice as well both from Germany and VAT paid in Germany, so take full advantage of the 16%.
 
Jan 15, 2018
8
3
Cork, Ireland
Funster No
51,997
MH
Hymer 690
Exp
since 2010
I bought my motorhome in Germany and dealer arranged export plate and insurance etc.in about an hour in the town. We were ready to depart for Ireland immediately. We had to go to two seperate places but all close together. Real easy, I'm searching at the moment in Germany but supplies are scarce due to the pandemic. All the other stuff was easy when I got home, into customs as we have a rip off tax in Ireland to register a foreign vehicle even if it's from EU, they control the reg. numbers and there was no point in speedometer changes as we're km now anyway.

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Apr 17, 2016
1,202
8,258
Chichester
Funster No
42,523
MH
Morelo Palace 85L
Exp
Just starting.
I’ve done it twice as well both from Germany and VAT paid in Germany, so take full advantage of the 16%.
You only pay the German VAT on importing a secondhand van, the 16% is only for new German product and available only to German residents until next march I believe then it goes back to 19%.
If you import new you still have to pay UK 20% VAT on new vehicles.
 
Last edited:
Oct 12, 2009
4,884
8,624
SW London, Poland and all Europe
Funster No
8,876
MH
A Class N+B Arto 69GL
Exp
Since 2009
You only pay the German VAT on importing a secondhand van, the 16% is only for new German product and available only to German residents until next march I believe then it goes back to 19%.
If you import new you still have to pay UK 20% VAT on new vehicles.
I was shocked to find that in Poland one pays VAT on secondhand vehicles, but did not know it applied to Germany as well - are you sure CC?

Geoff
 

Lenny HB

LIFE MEMBER
Oct 18, 2007
26,184
41,893
On the coast in West Sussex
Funster No
658
MH
Hymer B678 Dynamic Line
Exp
Since 2008 & many years tugging
I’ve done it twice as well both from Germany and VAT paid in Germany, so take full advantage of the 16%.
I don't see how you can do that, under EU rules VAT has to be paid in the country of registration. Not possible to register a vehicle in the UK without a NOVA reference & to get that you have to pay UK VAT.

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