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Old 20.04.2020, 11:24
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Exporting our Car to the UK

Hi
Has anyone out there recently exported their family car back to the UK? Since CH is not registered as EU, it appears the importation in the UK is more complex? Getting type approval is unclear as this is only available for EU vehicles. Iím sure my Swiss Subaru is the same as the German and French versions.
I would be grateful for any thoughts on the best way to do this?
Please - no smart Alec comments about why bother as its LHD etc, but if you genuinely think the importation process is not worth it, then fine.
Many thanks in advance
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Old 20.04.2020, 12:07
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Re: Exporting our Car to the UK

Key question - are you moving your residence from CH to GB at the same time?
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Old 20.04.2020, 13:32
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Re: Exporting our Car to the UK

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Hi
Since CH is not registered as EU
Maybe you should use standard nomenclature. CH is not a member of the EU (and UK is neither )

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Getting type approval is unclear as this is only available for EU vehicles.
The car has very likely already a type approval. Nothing to get here. And I am pretty sure it not an national type approval but a type approval based on EU/EG regulations. National approval are very, very seldom for vehicles built after 2000.

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I would be grateful for any thoughts on the best way to do this?
Ask Subaru Schweiz for a CoC (Certificate of Conformity). Give as reason that you intend to relocate abroad. Also ask them how much it will cost.
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Old 20.04.2020, 15:07
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Re: Exporting our Car to the UK

From what I've always understood, if you're relocating back to the UK, and you have owned the car for at least 6 months, you can import it as part of your personal effects, pay no duties or VAT and register it on UK plates without problem.

If the car is more than 3 years old (6 month ownership rule still applies) you will have to take it for an MOT test. In order to pass I believe you have to change the headlamps to a left dip and if the speedometer is in KPH only, you have to chnage it to MPH, but I'm not 100% sure on that - it's just what I heard.

As to it being worth it, I really don't know and can't answer. If it's a classic car, or a high end model such as an Aston, Bentley etc. then I guess I'd keep it. If not, I'd probably try and sell it (difficult now I know) and buy another one in the UK.
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Old 20.04.2020, 15:42
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Re: Exporting our Car to the UK

Agree with Lugano Pirate. It should be doable. I did it the other way round bringing car from UK to Switzerland.

Think you will definitely need to change headlights which can be expensive. Make sure you get a quote for this, a certificate of conformity might be needed, not sure and good idea to get anyway.

I would probably make the decision once you got an idea of costs of changing headlights, getting C of Conformity, fuel cost taking car to UK. Might not be worth it? A lot depends on the age of the car, if its brand new and doesn't need MOT in the 3 years could be worth it. If old and likely to need more work I would definitely not go for it. Also worth bearing in mind car might not be very sellable in UK as is LHD if you're planning to sell after a year or two.
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Old 20.04.2020, 18:50
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Re: Exporting our Car to the UK

Headlight change is NOT a definite, some cars have a setting that means they can be changed. Some older cars can be changed under the bonnet via a clip and some, like my Audi, have a setting in the cars MMI that allows changing headlights to RHD roads. Also, I had a 2014 UK Audi A3 that had flat beam headlights, no problem when I wanted to export to CH, got it checked over and they were ok over here. Check these options before you splash out on new lights, you might not need them. KM to MPH shouldnt be a problem if you have a digital display that can show MPH.

You can do this cheaply if you want, headlights if you need to change them can be sourced via Ebay, CoC is normally around 150chf i think, maybe less.
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Old 20.04.2020, 20:21
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Re: Exporting our Car to the UK

Something else to think about, drive the car to UK and I cannot remember how long you are allowed to keep on foreign plates 3 or 6 months, providing you have relevant insurance, paid road taxes for country it is from and have current MFK. You could drive it back and sell it within time frame.


I would have thought the selling price for a car would be higher in Switzerland than UK, however COVID-19 has everything up in the air.


If you import to UK you will definitely need a Certificate of Conformity, the price for that will vary, could be a little as 20chf or as high as 200chf.


Headlights will need to be changed or adjusted to get an MOT do you know if they are adjustable or have to be replaced, do you know a motor mechanic who can advise you.


The stop light at the rear of the car might need to have position changed. I recall we did that on a car long time ago.


Speedometer for UK will need to be in MPH, if your is only in Kilometres, look on eBay or the like for replacement. Would be handy to have it in both, especially for resale later. Alternately hang on to the old speedometer so that when you go to sell, include it as an extra.


I will warn you car insurance is much HIGHER in UK for LHD


Car insurance in UK will vary depending on your location. Much is dependent on your postcode. I was shocked once, moving about a mile, 1.6Km, as my postcode changed and insurance greatly increased.


You can either arrange for professional company to ship your car, expensive, or drive it yourself if you have the necessary Swiss documentation, insurance, road tax and MFK.


You can get an MOT, on it whilst still on Swiss plates, they will log it on the chassis number. Tell them to do that, many garages will not know, a bit unusually. If it fails MOT, you cannot drive it on UK roads.


If you get an MOT and start the process to get it on UK Plates, for that period of time, the car must be off road. If you do not have a garage, drive way or private parking, look for friend who has, or hire one


You will need to get UK Insurance and again, as you will not yet have UK Plates, the insurance will give it on the Chassis number.


You apply to DVLA and send all documents off and pay for the Road Tax at same time. (do not put anything in the post without taking copies) If you succeed, they will send you back an updated MOT with the Vehicle registration number, as well as the V55 (vehicle ownership document). They send you letter so you can go and buy your number plates, £20 to £50, Halfords or the like will do it, you can either fit yourself or pay them extra to do it.. You should update your car insurance company.


Suggest you read up on the DVLA website for the forms you need. They no longer have offices you can walk into unfortunately.


You will need to return your Swiss car number plates and the ownership document to your area Vehicle office in Switzerland. Possible they will refund you any remaining road tax. It was odd how the year end happened and posting, we got a minor bill for a few days, that we promptly paid.


Resale UK, you will get used to find notes on your windscreen, asking if you want to sell. There is an African market always interested in buying LHD, but usually they are looking for a deal. Also there is the European market for buying.


Finally the ship /ferry to UK. Either from Calais to Dover or Dunkirk to Dover. Although Dunkirk is longer, we liked to have the break on the ship/ferry. Check in advance the prices, they do vary depending on time of day or night and if you buy when you turn up, much more expensive. Might be worth spending a night in France, where Motels are more reasonable priced. Helps after the stress of packing up and leaving Switzerland.


Good luck
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