Import Car Insurance

Get a quote for insurance on Japanese imports, other “grey” imports and parallel import cars

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For many car buyers, looking to import a car from abroad, especially Japanese models, can be a good way to save money. The import process isn't as complex as it once was, which has also boosted the trend to buy cars overseas.

Is it more expensive to insure an imported car?

Premiums for imported car insurance can be higher than for cars bought in the UK. For a start, spare parts might be more expensive to source for imported cars, which will push up the costs for your insurer in the event of a claim.

Another factor is whether an imported car is constructed to a different standard to a European model; for example, an imported car could be left-hand drive or built to a higher performance specification, both of which could affect the vehicle's safety, leading to more frequent claims. 

Imported cars often have a rarity value that makes them attractive to thieves. This is another risk factor that could push up the cost of insurance.

Imported car categories

Grey imports

These are vehicles that are built outside the EU and do not conform to official European Union standards. Cars imported from Japan or America fall into this category. Grey imports are the most difficult to get insurance cover for, for the reasons stated above.

It's perfectly legal to import a vehicle from another country, through channels other than the manufacturer's official distribution network, but you must get the paperwork right.

Any insurer considering providing insurance on a grey import will ask for lots of details, so be armed with plenty of information when you approach them for a quote.

In addition, before your imported car is legal to drive on UK roads, the car must undergo a testing process called the Single Vehicle Approval Scheme.

Parallel Imports

After Brexit, the rules for importing parallel imports may be subject to change. Currently, parallel imports are cars manufactured inside the EU. Getting insurance for a parallel import is a simpler process, as vehicles within the EU often have to meet the same standards. Insurance is likely to be cheaper than for grey imports.

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