Going grey? A guide to grey imports
Grey imports refer to cars and car parts which have been imported to the UK from outside of the EU.
They can often be more convenient and cheaper to purchase, but, should you go grey? It's not the easiest decision to make.
What to know before choosing a grey import car
If you do opt for a grey import, it’s best to buy from a reputable dealer. Try to only consider cars that have already been modified for UK roads and ones that have already been approved through the Single Vehicle Approval scheme (SVA).
Many specialist importers will be able to carry out the SVA test: any grey import car that’s brought into the UK as a personal import has to go through this.
Your dealer will also be able to make all the necessary import arrangements; liaising with the exporters in the car's country of origin, deal with the relevant HMRC VAT and car import duty along with the import and DVLA paperwork.
The Government's Vehicle and Operator Standards Agency (VOSA) operates the SVA scheme. Their website includes everything you need to know about compliance for grey import vehicles.
It's worth keeping in mind that…
- Reputable dealers will be members of the British Independent Motor Trade Association (BIMTA) and should be able to offer servicing, repair and spare parts that comply with BIMTA's guidelines.
- BIMTA also offers a Certificate of Authenticity service which shows whether the car has ever been registered as stolen, any mileage checks and if the car has any outstanding finance.
Direct Gov offers free, impartial advice on everything you need to know about bringing a grey import car into the UK.