Classic Car Shipping ContainerWhen you think about buying a classic car from abroad, you may find yourself concentrating on the red tape around the importation and registration processes.  But it is also important for you to put some detailed research into the shipping process and the available options.

After all you wouldn”t just trust anybody to handle your most prized possession now would you?

The process of locating your classic car, negotiating the price and agreeing the purchase, may have been done with or without seeing the car in person.  Either way, prior to the shipping process, you need some photos.  So make sure that you get a good set of photos detailing the condition of the car prior to shipping – you can either take them yourself, or ask the previous owner to take them for you.

For the shipping process, you have two choices.  You can ship your car with what is known as the “roll-on, roll-off” process or by using a storage container.

With “roll-on, roll-off”, your car is basically treated like all other cars coming across on a car-ferry.  This option may be open to you if your car is a good-runner and you have a limited budget.

Shipping by storage container will cost approximately twice as much money.  However, if your classic car purchase in a non-runner then this will be the only option available to you.  Either way, you need to get insurance in place.  Even with containers there is an element of risk.  It”s not impossible for a storage container to be dropped!  Unthinkable maybe, but not impossible!  This is why you need have a good set of photos taken beforehand.

The best advice is to do your research and don”t rush your decisions.

When selection a shipping company, research the possibilities as thoroughly as you can.  If you have a friend or a contact who has already used a shipping contact, then speak to them in order to find a recommendation – whether this be a positive or a negative recommendation!

It”s a bit trickier if you haven”t got a contact who has already looked into importing a classic car into the UK, in this case you will have to base your research on what you can glean from the internet.  See if you can pick up any good recommendations from forums – again these recommendations could be either positive or negative.

Your choice of shipping agent, and the process they use, may depend on the country of your purchase.  Not all companies ship on a global basis.  Also, I know that this is an obvious thing to say, but make sure that you have fully understood the quoted price.  Don”t make the simple mistake of confusing a quote in dollars for the price in pounds!

Finding the classic car of your dreams is the difficult part, especially if you had to look overseas to find it.  Shipping it into the UK shouldn”t be too tricky, you just need to be careful with your choices and minimise the risks as best you can. Good luck !

Also, please take a look at my other blog articles on “How do I import a classic car into the UK” and “How do I register an imported classic car in the UK“”


Emma Jones


This article was written and published by Emma Jones.  Emma works for Trade Classics as an in-house journalist and copywriter and has many years” experience in the classic car sector.  Why not write a reply on this article below – she”d love to hear your thoughts on her thoughts!


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