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Import car insurance

Find cheap cover for your imported car


Are imported cars more expensive to insure?

Car insurance policies for imported cars tend to be higher in price than policies for conventional UK-bought cars, usually because:

  • It can be harder and more expensive to source spare parts, making these vehicles more costly to repair 

  • Imported cars are often built to a higher specification than conventional cars. Because they can be driven faster, the likelihood of accidents is higher

  • An imported vehicle might not be constructed to the same standards as a European model. The car could be a left-hand drive, for example. Any difference in the way the vehicle is constructed can have an impact on price.


Why compare imported car insurance quotes with MoneySuperMarket?

Our mission is to make finding cheap car insurance easier – the process for imported cars is the same as for conventional cars, but you may be asked a few more detailed questions before getting a quote. When you take out cover with MoneySuperMarket you can benefit from:

  • MoneySuperMarket discounts

    Everyone deserves to save money – in fact, almost a quarter of people comparing car insurance quotes with us received a MoneySuperMarket price cut in their results*

  • Renewal reminders

    Our car monitor gives you reminders on your road tax and MOT, as well as showing your MOT history and car valuation – helping you stay up to date, so you never miss a renewal

  • Support from our team

    Our live chat tool is there so our experts can guide you through the car insurance question set, offering tailored support during business hours to help you get the right policy for the right price

*24.43% of customers completing a quote through MoneySuperMarket received a price cut quote in their top 10 results. Based on MoneySuperMarket quotes between May 2021 and May 2022

How can I get cheaper insurance for my imported car?

  • Choose your car wisely: Some cars, regardless of whether they’re imported or bought in the UK, will be more expensive to insure. This could be because they’re more powerful, more expensive or harder to find spare parts for

  • Avoid modifications: Modifying your car can give it a unique and customised feel, but it’s also likely to bring your premiums up – particularly if the modifications improve your car’s performance or attractiveness to thieves 

  • Safety, security and storage: Improving your car’s safety and security features, however, are modifications that can actually reduce your premium – and keeping the vehicle stored in a locked garage overnight will also help reduce the risk of theft or vandalism claims

  • Excess: If you can volunteer a higher excess fee your insurer should reward you with cheaper cover, as it tells them you won’t bother making small or frivolous claims. Just be sure it’s an amount you can afford to pay when you do need to claim 

  • No-claims: If you can for a year or longer without making a claim on your car insurance policy, you’ll start to accumulate a no-claims discount or bonus – and the longer you build it up, the bigger the discount will be

  • Pay annually: Paying annually for your car insurance will mean a bigger initial payment – but it will often work out cheaper overall, compared to spreading the cost over 12 months

Sara Newell

Our expert says


Imported cars can be appealing, with many Japanese and American models more powerful and attractive than the cars you can find in the UK. However, you’ll likely need to pay a little more to insure these cars, as their greater performance capabilities will make them a higher claim risk on the road. This is why comparing quotes is so important – it lets you compare policies from a range of providers who will cover your imported car, so you can find the cover that suits you best.

- Sara Newell, Motor and Van Insurance Lead

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You will need a vehicle identification number (VIN) to get insurance for your imported car, and this insurance will need to be in place before you can register the car in the UK.

You can find the VIN stamped on to the car’s chassis.

Imported Japanese cars are likely to be more expensive to insure, as they’re classified as ‘grey imports’ – cars that don’t conform to UK specifications. As they’ll usually be more powerful and dangerous to drive, or built from parts that aren’t widely available in the UK, they’ll present a bigger risk to the insurer.

Similar to Japanese cars, American car imports will fall into the ‘grey’ category, meaning they aren’t build to UK specifications and will likely be more costlier to cover.

You will have to declare if your car is imported when you take out cover. In fact, you should always be totally honest and open about your circumstances with your insurance provider, so they can provide the right level of cover you need and you can be sure you’re fully protected.

The amount of VAT you’ll pay on your imported car will depend on how much the vehicle cost, as well as the delivery fee and any accessories you’ve bought (which you’ll also have to pay VAT on). The duty you’ll need to pay will depend on the type of car and where you bought it from.

When you import a car into the UK, you’ll need to make sure you do the following:

  • Inform HMRC within 14 days of the car arriving in the UK

  • Pay any VAT or duty you need to on the car

  • Get your vehicle approved to ensure it meets UK environmental and safety standards

  • Register the car with the DVLA to get your registration number, which allows you to get a UK number plate

You will also need to let the British Independent Motor Trade Association (BIMTA) – who represent the independent vehicle trade industry. They’ll run various checks on the car, including its background and mileage.

You work hard to earn your money, and we don’t think you should waste a penny of it paying over the odds on your household bills. That’s why at MoneySuperMarket, we’re on a mission to save Britain money.

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