Shipping an Electric Vehicle to the UK

EV charging

The Electric vehicle has become a mainstay in markets worldwide, with industry heavy-hitters like Audi, Porsche and Mercedes entering the fray.

However, the electric vehicle landscape is still relatively new and can contain some unexplored territory. Among other things, it might be unclear what you need to do when shipping an electric vehicle. Furthermore, when shipping to the UK, you’ll likely face some unfamiliar regulations.

But transporting your electric vehicle to the UK doesn’t have to be stressful or complex. In fact, it can be quite straightforward if you know what to prioritise as you make your arrangements.

If you’re planning on shipping your electric vehicle to the UK, this article will help you cover all the bases, from paperwork to the preferred transportation method.

Shipping an Electric Vehicle to the UK – Crucial Considerations

The very first thing you should do is check if your electric vehicle is compliant with the current regulations. In particular, you’ll need to ensure compliance with the UK Road Vehicle Regulations and Lighting Regulations.

If you don’t plan a permanent stay in the UK, the mentioned compliance check will be enough. However, if you’re moving the vehicle there to stay, you’ll need to pass the Individual Vehicle Approval (IVA). You can apply for IVA via the form offered on the official UK government website.

The necessary documentation that you’ll need to prepare will include the Bill of Landing, the vehicle’s registration, an insurance certificate, your passport, and the C104A import document. Furthermore, if you’re planning on becoming a UK resident, you’ll need to fill out the ToR01 document.

With all of the essential paperwork in place, you’ll be able to ship your vehicle to the UK. Once you get there, you’ll need to pay certain taxes.

Electric Vehicle Taxes and Shipping

Fortunately, electric vehicles aren’t subject to taxes determined by CO2 emission. But if you own a newer vehicle whose value surpasses £40,000, it will be necessary to pay a yearly fee of £355. Finally, Value Added Tax (VAT) might apply, unless you’re moving to the UK permanently or if you don’t plan on staying there for over six months.

The UK Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) has made the entire process somewhat easier by providing the full set of forms and vehicle import information on their website. This set is known as the Vehicle Import Pack.

It’s worth mentioning that your electric vehicle might be relatively new. If it was manufactured less than six months ago, you’ll need an additional document – the C384 Declaration Form.

How to Transport Your Electric Vehicle to the UK

Apart from documentation, the means of transport will be another vital consideration when shipping your electric vehicle to the UK. There are, of course, various ways to transport the vehicle, but some will be more suitable than others.

For instance, you could use a LoLo – Lift On Lift Off – transport, but it will be necessary only if your electric vehicle is oversized. This method employs massive transport ships equipped with a crane.

New internal-combustion-powered vehicles must pay £275 in annual road tax, whereas those registered between 1 March 2003 and 31 December 2006 must pay £140. The same £140 fee also applies to petrol, diesel or hybrid vans registered between 1 January 2009 and 31 December 2010.

In the case of a regular vehicle like an electric car, you might opt for container, crate, or flat rack shippin

Container, Crate and Flat Rack Electric Vehicle Shipping

Container shipping, as the name says, uses containers that can receive most cars, vans, SUVs, and trucks. You’ll need to confirm that the container is a good fit for your vehicle, but that probably won’t be an issue. Shipping containers can be individual and consolidated, i.e., hold multiple vehicles.

Crate shipping is a more customised variant of the container method. The crates used are

customised to fit the dimensions of the vehicle perfectly. This type of shipping is preferable if you have a particularly delicate vehicle that you want to protect from any potential damage. After all, overseas transit bears the risk of salt exposure in addition to dents and scratches caused by travelling over rough waters.

On the other hand, flat rack shipping involves open containers. This shipping method is intended for vehicles that are too massive to fit inside the regular container, but not as big as to warrant LoLo transport.

Roll On Roll Off Transport

Lastly, RoRo transport is the most prevalent way of shipping vehicles to the UK. RoRo stands for Roll On, Roll Off and represents a straightforward way of loading your vehicle onto the transport ship. Since the UK has become quite eager to boost the number of electric vehicles on its streets, this readiness has reflected on RoRo transport as well.

Many RoRo ships have been equipped with EV charging stations to accommodate passengers coming into the country with electric vehicles. This could represent a great advantage during transport, since you won’t have to worry about your battery depleting along the way.

However, there’s also a downside to RoRo shipping. Not all UK ports are able to accommodate the specific ships conducting this type of transport. This could mean that you’ll need to have the vehicle delivered to an alternative port. Depending on how far away that port is from your destination, you could face additional ground transport expenses.

Further Advantages of Shipping an Electric Vehicle

Whichever transportation method you choose, you’ll need to prepare your vehicle for shipping. This will be a bit easier with electric vehicles since you won’t need to worry about emptying your fuel tank to a quarter, as is common practice with conventionally fuelled vehicles.

It would also be advisable to empty the vehicle cabin of any personal items. Securing loose objects in the cabin can be difficult, and you wouldn’t want anything flying around and causing potential damage. If you wish to transport some of your belongings in the vehicle, the safest way to do so would be in the trunk.

Getting Your Electric Vehicle to the UK

Transporting an electric vehicle to the UK won’t present a challenge if you approach the process with some care and due diligence. While there aren’t many guides for this process online, the UK government and agencies have provided plenty of resources to help you work out the details.

Even better, international shipping services have a plethora of information on international shipping, including to and from the UK. Visit the website, and you can view additional info like the average shipping prices and even get a free quote for transporting your vehicle.

New and used electric cars and vans 

For those of you who are ready to buy a pure electric vehicle, you’ve come to the right place! We’re constantly adding new and used electric cars and vans to our stock list. At the moment, we have some fantastic brand new Vauxhall Vivaro-e vans. Plus, the all time favourite Tesla Model S!

You can find us in Strood, Kent but we do offer virtual viewings and offer UK delivery. For more information, don’t hesitate to contact us on 01634 914 063.

* All information correct as of 31/08/2022.