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I'm thinking about bringing GAZ 69 from Poland. Finding it, buying is not a problem for me. I was born in Poland, have friends there willing to help. Logistics seems to be easy enough - just drive there with a trailer. That will take away all the issues with temporary number plates, insurance etc.

My question is about all the legistlation, customs, vat, etc. I will face here. I'm sort of scared of finding problems or just expences I don't expect.

If there is anyone who did it before and can give me some guides how to go through the process nice and smouth, I will very much aprecciate it.



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  • 3 weeks later...

I found this information for you. Some of it does appear to be out of date. I will check with a friend who has recently imported stuff recently.


You are due to pay duty on all goods imported into the UK unless you have been none resident for over 12 months AND have owned the goods for at least 6 months. For a motor vehicle you must also produce proof that the vehicle has been registered and insured in your name during this qualifying period. (David A. Jameson)


Practical Classics, Feb '99, selected bits..


Check no outstanding loans with the DMV (for USA cars)

On the road, registered cars are less hassle (for USA cars)

UK customs tax you (VAT I presume) on price paid if credible and you have evidence, otherwise on the full UK market value

US customs want to see ownership "pink slip" but only registered and taxed vehicles have them.

Commercial vehicles attract 22.5 percent import duty.

Cars from non-EC origins attract extra 10 percent on top of usual VAT (don't know if this applies to a classic which originated in EC, exported then re-imported or if it's only if manufactured outside EC)

Export from Cyprus not easy (Peter D Jones)

Basically you will usually be charged Duty on the purchase price of the car (or whatever customs decide it is worth if your sales receipt looks to be dodgy!) You will then be charged VAT on everything (Price of car+shipping costs+duty) ie the total 'landed cost.' You will also have to factor in the actual shipping charges, port fees etc. though there are many specialists who will quote an all in price (excluding duty/VAT as this is up to customs on the day) Beware there are a lot of places- especially US ones that quote very cheap shipping which will then turn out to exclude port fees etc. which can end up *very* expensive if you are unlucky to have something stuck in the port for more than a couple of days. (Bob)


Registering an imported car

Get it roadworthy and insured.

Book it in for an MOT.

Take for its MOT without number plates.

Get MOT certificate without a reg number (presumably with chassis and engine number).

Take or send the MOT to your local VRO, fill out a form and pay a reg fee.

Get age related number from the local VRO, who also fill in the reg on your MOT and free tax disc.

This procedure is as spelled out for me, by Shrewsbury VRO (because I applied for mine early and could not believe I had to drive without a number plate).


Check it at your local Vehicle Registration Office. You will get an age related number, but you will not be able to transfer it. (Colin Gibson)



You will need ( for UK reg )


V55/5 from DVLA Swansea, or your nearest DVLA office

C & E 386, from Customs and Excise (or garage that imported it)

MOT Get it MOT'd on the vin number ( if its more than 3 years old )

Log book (title) from country its been imported from. ( or a dating letter proving when the car was manufactured )

£25 registration payment plus 6 or 12 months road tax payment

Insurance cover. ( they will issue you a cover note on the vin number )

Depending which DVLA office you use they might want to inspect the car, you normally get a UK reg. number within a few days of he paperwork being processed. (Steve (cb)R)



Apply to your local licensing office not Swansea otherwise you get a remote Scottish reg number.


If you do not have the Customs and Excise 389 form you will have to pay 17.5% vat on the purchase price! (Dixie)



Do you still need c&e 386 if the car is from Europe?


If the car is already here you will need to contact the "Inland Customs and Excise" : Portcullis House, 21 Cowbridge Road East, Cardiff CF11 9SS. If the car is not, contact the Customs and Excise office at Dover.


Generally you should not pay duty or full VAT on a car over 35 years old (some move the age - not sure how discretionary that is) The rate from the USA is 5% VAT on your purchase price and no duty. I have only experience of two cars from the USA (none from Europe).


You may be asked for proof of its age, what it is and that is interesting or historic. A car club letter is acceptable at this point. You may be asked for confirmation of its import category, this is a BTI (Binding Tariff Information) and is not as bad as it sounds - ask Dover or Cardiff. (Colin Gibson)


I hope that helps.



Edited by Great War truck
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My understanding is that as Poland is part of the EU there is no import VAT ( as long as you paid VAt on its purchase in Poland) or import duty to pay.




You will have to have the polish registration doccuments and proof of ownership.


Your local VRO is at:


DVLA Local Office

Ground Floor,

3 Cambridge Terrace,




You will need to have the vehicle verified as to what it is and the date of manufacture (I think you would be eligible for zero rate road tax). When you join the MVT you can contact their vehicle verification officer who can send someone out to look at it and confirm it is what you say it is and its date of manufacture.


Hope that helps



Edited by Great War truck
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There are generally no problems with non armoured or armed vehicles. Just hook up collect and return, the French customs can have their bad days, never seen that, and the Germans will always stop you for something because they are Germans...


there are no extra expense, once in the UK get it mot'd then go off to the local dvla and get it registered...remember your form 414 but look at the DVLA web site for info. forgot to say you will of course have a 55 pound registration fee (i think) and off course if its older than 73 free tax or if not then a road fund licence to pay too...


If you buy a gaz 69 i have all the contacts for you for spare parts etc,...and I recommend you get the zuk engine not the original russian engine...or if you really intend to run it about get a diesel engine fitted, I know a man that can in poland and he is very good...

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