Importing my G55 from the UAE - Process

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Stuckmojo
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Hi All, 

I want to start this topic with the objective of gathering the correct info about shipping my car back from Dubai and registering it in the UK.

I want to cover the following:

  1. The car - Technical
  2. Ownership
  3. Shipping
  4. Registration
  5. Tax stuff
  6. Insurance. 

Maybe this could be of help to other people thinking of doing the same

So, here we go, please feel free to comment/support.

 

  1. The car - Technical
    1. G55 AMG - Built and brought to Dubai in 2007 - registered in 2008 (VIN checker on carinfo says delivered on the 06/04/2007)
    2. LHD with 165,000 km 
    3. I'll have my registration certificate but I'll also have Mercedes to issue paperwork too. 
  2. Ownership
    1. I had the car for 18 months. If I understand the HMRC rules, this qualifies it for VAT and Duty exemption. I am confused about the part about the car need not be acquired via a VAT free scheme doesn't make sense (It was bought second hand too)
    2. I am moving back after 2 years in Dubai - it should qualify me for the above too. 
  3. Shipping
    1. This should be easy. find an agent, get export plates and voila'. shipping I can have arranged no problem. 
  4. Registration
    1. My understanding - the car is over 10 years old, all it needs is an MOT.
    2. Do I need RHD headlights? I found some on ebay, literally just the lamps I believe? 
    3. Fog light and reverse light to swap, should be a 10 min job
    4. speedo can read MPH in digital (I tested this)
    5. car is otherwise standard. (except the G63 bodykit it came with)
    6. Is the brush guard legal in UK? In all honesty I'm planning to delete it anyway. 
  5. Tax stuff
    1. As above, I believe it should qualify for exemption given I had it for more than 6 months, and I am coming back to live in the UK with it. Any thoughts? 
  6. Insurance. 
    1. spoke to a broker - it will be expensive but ok. I can live with that. 

Thanks for reading and for your comments

 

 

mgrays
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Re: Importing my G55 from the UAE - Process

Registration

10 year old car says no SVA etc  If younger you would need either SVA or type approval document from MB which they can do if you are lucky.

https://www.gov.uk/vehicle-approval/exemptions-from-vehicle-approval

You need at least tape over the headlights for MOT (as I found out with my LHD headlights).. best to replace headlights.

No need to swap foglights with reverse light .. there is no rule about which side they are on.. only that you need 100mm from fog light to brake light.

Digital speedo in mph should do.. I bought a secondhand speedo head from USA for my import into UK.

Brush guard is an insurance thing..  you need to declare it and some companies will walk away while others will add a fair tax on it.

 

Shipping

2 options;

Ro-Ro (roll on/roll off) ferry which means someone drives your car into ferry and joy rides it around the dock. It also means likely small scratches, bumps and anything inside the car is likely to be pilfered.. and the ferry crew are low paid and have little better to do! Did an MX-5/Miata car from Houston to Dubai and it was fine.

20ft shipping container – you lock it up seal it, you can be present when they open it to inspect it, and it is safe. Best way forward if it is pride and joy.

 

Tax

Need to pay VAT on an agreed value but as owner over 12 mths you can get out of that.  Getting a nice agreed value up front would be a good idea? (In Dubai we “talked it out” on the dockside to a nice number!)

 

Insurance.

It will always be a special so the “we_quote_insurance” websites will be useless. A-Plan, Greenlight, Sky are likely folk.

 

My experience; About 10 years ago I considered doing what you did but gave up as I did not want to keep the car so would have had to resell in Europe; previously I imported that car from USA to Dubai. About 20 years ago I imported a couple of Japanese imports from Ireland and then looked to do it direct from Japan. Google is a wonderful thing and I used to trawl the agencies site to find out the process.

Stuckmojo
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Re: Importing my G55 from the UAE - Process

Wow, thanks for the detailed note. 

Car is a keeper, so I am trying my best to bring it back. 

On the SVA thing, it was delivered in 2007, so I believe it only needs an MOT. Agreed on getting new head lamps. No biggie. 

The tax thing is a different story and I want to find out for sure. In theory I have no VAT to pay on it, but I'll do some research. 

for shipping, I believe I'll have a 20 ft container at my disposal for the relocation, so in go the G wagen and my KTM race bike. 

Thanks again. 

more comments are always welcome. 

 

 

jke11y
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Re: Importing my G55 from the UAE - Process

I am not sure if dubai - uk is one of their routes but I used www.shipmycar.co.uk to bring my 1966 Pagoda SL from USA to UK. 

They took care of every single question on your list for me; all I did was pay for the car, tell them where it was, then get a train to Milton Keynes and drive away in the Pagoda. I genuinely couldnt fault their service, they did the MOT, altered the lights, registered it, and it was totally painless. 

Arnie
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Re: Importing my G55 from the UAE - Process

You will need to file a NOVA form on the HMRC website within 6 weeks of import landing. You will need to have some type of invoice showing the price you had paid for the vehicle and that may be used to calculate any duty due. You will need to send the NOVA receipt to the DVLA with your application.

As mentioned. MOT is straight-forward. Existing Speedo, set to show MPH on the digital display will be fine. headlights are easy to change and not expensive unless you have Xenon or LED.

You can also obtain UK insurance on your VIN, which will allow you to drive the car for one month before transferring to UK plates and, importantly, allows you to collect the car from the Port, for one journey, straight home. Bit of a grey area this, though. If you are a UK national you are not allowed to drive a car with foreign plates in the UK, but one trip home and one trip for MOT should be OK. Otherwise, arrange for a trailer transport. You may also need to arrange a customs clearing import agent in the UK, as if this process is delayed, you may be then charged storage fees at the port..

You will then need to apply for a new UK registration document, by completing form V55-5, obtained by phoning the DVLA. To complete this form you will require details that are normally found on a Euro Certificate of Conformity (CoC) document for the vehicle, for example, grammes CO2/km, vehicle, type, variant etc (see PM). for European imports this information is normally also on the European registration certificate. Still, the info may be on your existing registration document, but in any case you will need to submit that ORIGINAL document to the DVLA with your application.

If the vehicle never had an identical UK or European  model, such that the Euro drive cycle emissions in g CO2 / km is not officially known, then it would be registered at the 'old' pre-CO2 scale rate of £295 per year. So it may be in your interest not to obtain or have a CoC if there is a chance to get the this lower tax rate. For example, many 10 year old Toyota Previas are imported with this benefit. otherwise, as a 2007 vehicle, with known CO2 figures, you'll be looking at £500 per year.

 

https://www.gov.uk/importing-vehicles-into-the-uk/registering-an-imported-vehicle

Stuckmojo
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Re: Importing my G55 from the UAE - Process

Thanks, great info there. 

I'm still confused about the VAT thing. Since I've had the car for longer than 6 months there should be no duty according to the gov.uk site? 

I bought the car in cash from an owner in Dubai, no receipt was given. How do I go about valuing it then? 

one step at a time, but I'll get there. 

Cheers 

Arnie
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Re: Importing my G55 from the UAE - Process

 

You may be OK on VAT, then, but in any case you still need to complete NOVA. The NOVA form will ask details of where and when you bought it, and price paid. A receipt is not absolutely necessary, but it would help in case an enquiry is made. However, presumably, if necessary, your registration documents can support the fact that you've owned the car for more than 6 months.


When you call the DVLA to ask for a V55-5 to be sent to you, you  can ask them any other questions. They are usually very helpful.

 

 

Stuckmojo
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Re: Importing my G55 from the UAE - Process

Thanks again Arnie, very helpful

Stuckmojo
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Re: Importing my G55 from the UAE - Process

Update:

After much suffering, I managed to obtain an export certificate (with blue plates) from the Dubai RTA.

The process is as follows:

-RTA to send you a certificate of ownership via PDF - 70 AED

-Go to RTA Kiosk and get the car tested for Export - no matter if current certificate is still valid - 140 AED

-Obtain car insurance for export - 120 AED for 2 weeks

-queue for hours and bring Emirates ID and original registration card - 110 AED 

-pay 1 aed for photocopy of all documents

-wait again and get export certificate with blue plates

Note - Blue plates are square and they won't fit in the plate holders. An imbecile there was about to put 4 screws into my bumper before I stopped him - his comment "it's just a small screw and it's a very solid bumper". Amazing. 

next week I'll take the car to the shipping company who will load it in a container I have booked. 

On the UK side I'm more or less sold on using shipmycar as they'll do all the work, NOVA file etc. 

I have an insurance quote - terrifyingly high - such is life. 

Next, I was looking at some MPH instrument binnacles. Not needed for MOTas the car switches to miles, including the total mileage - which is nice - and the MPG - which is scary (15MPG...)

I'll keep updating as things move on 

Arnie
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Re: Importing my G55 from the UAE - Process

Well-done so far, then!

Check whether MPG is calibrated for Imperial or US.

Stuckmojo
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Re: Importing my G55 from the UAE - Process

Imperial. US gallon MPG would be 10/11. 

Faster than pouring it down a drain. Drinks almost as much as me. It's so endearing. 

prwales
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Re: Importing my G55 from the UAE - Process

you must be glad to be homewinkyou could fit lpg quite a few have, its a lot easier on modern electronic engines

Stuckmojo
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Re: Importing my G55 from the UAE - Process

Flying tomorrow. Car was taken today, will ship in a couple of days. 

I'm having the supplying dealer here send a stamped letter stating the original delivery date (May 2007) as to assure that the car is acknowledged as over 10 years old so only MOT needed. 

I'll keep you lot updated. Fingers crossed. 

 

LPG sounds intriguing, but would I lose half of my boot space? Where would the tank go? 

 

cheers 

Stuckmojo
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Re: Importing my G55 from the UAE - Process

Update, car is on the water. HMRC accepted my TOR document which means no duty. 

Now, the hard bit would be to get the car registered with an MOT only. 

The Dubai dealer, in a twist of incompetence, gave me a letter stating that the vehicle was sold "during 2007" which means absolutely diddly squat in the context of proving it's over 10 years old. 

VIN checker and themselves tell me the car was delivered on the 04/04/2007, and registered on the road on the 19/05/2007. But no letter. 

Anyone know where I can get this from Mercedes? (I gave up hope on the Middle East resources there).

(I actually think this won't be needed, but one never knows)

 

Thanks

Arnie
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Re: Importing my G55 from the UAE - Process

MB Brooklands have a CoC department but they can also give you certificate for the  date of manufacture for the vehicle. Possibly also the first  registration date, if originally bought from an MB dealer.

Not sure why you need to show that it's older than 10 years? 

You need an MOT anyway. If you are lucky, the  car will be registered as a pre-2000 tax class, commonly also used for imports where the vehicle was not an EU-sold version, so that you pay £295 a year. If you are unlucky, it may be registered as a 2007 vehicle with a £500 annual tax. Many MBs imported from Japan get the lower tax band, even though they are probably identical to EU-sold versions.

 

Stuckmojo
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Re: Importing my G55 from the UAE - Process

Thanks Arnie, 

in fact Mercedes UK does have a homologation department which can produce the certificate for 36GBP.

I need it because - as I understand - a vehicle older than 10 years does not need an SVA to go on the road 

https://www.gov.uk/vehicle-approval/exemptions-from-vehicle-approval

Looking at the quote from Shipmycar it seems that road tax will be 250GBP per year or so. 

I'd rather play it safe.

 

prwales
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Re: Importing my G55 from the UAE - Process

if you delete the unnecessary and unnecessarily convoluted rear exhaust boxes you have plenty of space for two lpg tanks

Stuckmojo
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Re: Importing my G55 from the UAE - Process

prwales wrote:

if you delete the unnecessary and unnecessarily convoluted rear exhaust boxes you have plenty of space for two lpg tanks

Interesting,  the 55 has side pipes, no back boxes.  I'll have a look.  Truth is,  I  don't know how many miles I'll do per year. 5k maximum I think

Arnie
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Re: Importing my G55 from the UAE - Process

LPG will accelerate engine wear.

Morpheus
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Re: Importing my G55 from the UAE - Process

Hello and Welcome,

Just following the thread.

 

In addition to the lpg saga. Is lpg allowed on the Shuttle when crossing over to Europe? 

Stuckmojo
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Re: Importing my G55 from the UAE - Process

AFAIK, not allowed on the chunnel, but ok on the ferry.

Arnie, that's true on engine wear. Considering mileage, even a back of the fag calculation will suggest It'd take years for me to recoup the cost of the LPG installation. Worth thinking about if mileage would be bound to increase significantly

Stuckmojo
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Re: Importing my G55 from the UAE - Process

Another update, kudos to Mercedes UK for producing an original letter (with stamp, embossing, hand signature) stating build date of the car for DVLA purposes. 

I guess this means the car will only need an MOT and I'll be good to go. 

Now for the very long wait (I'd say September I'll be on the road)

 

 

Stuckmojo
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Re: Importing my G55 from the UAE - Process

Other update. Not being sure about the brush guard, I have ordered the blanking plates and I will have the garage remove the thing and stick it on ebay/sell it. 

Interestingly, Mercedes or any after market want $1000 or so for those two bits of metal. Crazy. Chinese shop on ebay 174GBP shipped. still a lot for what they are but hey.

Next, I want to swap the speedo from Km/H to MPH. I know that's not needed for MOT but I'd like to do it anyways. 

Where can I find the part? http://www.lockwoodinternational.co.uk/dials/mph/mercedes/g-class/g55-amg-kmh-to-mph-conversion-dial-for-imported-vehicle-part-no-c1123.html

Is it a reasonable DIY job or do I need a specialist? some xxxxhead in Dubai smashed the plastic screen for my speedo, impossible to find a replacement. Any thoughts? 

 

Thanks 

Arnie
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Re: Importing my G55 from the UAE - Process

If it's an original bull-bar, then it will be stainless-steel, including the small grilles for the headlamps. Many aftermarket ones are chromed steel. You can probably get £250 for it.

For the speedometer you will probably need to change the complete binnacle. The mileage information resides both on a chip in the binnacle and also the ECU. both have to match or you will get an error.

If you can find a used one, there are people who will do 'mileage correction'

The 463 binnacles looks like a C-Class (2001- 2008) or A-class (2009 onwards) types, but have some subtle differences, which will practically will mean you'll need to order one from a dealer. (Layout slightly different and not least including H/L display for transfer case)

One other option may be to change-over the speedometer scale inside your existing binnacle:

http://www.lockwoodinternational.co.uk/dials/mph/mercedes/g-class.html​

You can also get used C-Clsss binnacles for around £20 and may be able to pinch the speedo dial from that, even though the  pointer is slightly different, in that it is concealed at the bottom

Stuckmojo
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Re: Importing my G55 from the UAE - Process

Arnie wrote:

If it's an original bull-bar, then it will be stainless-steel, including the small grilles for the headlamps. Many aftermarket ones are chromed steel. You can probably get £250 for it.

For the speedometer you will probably need to change the complete binnacle. The mileage information resides both on a chip in the binnacle and also the ECU. both have to match or you will get an error.

If you can find a used one, there are people who will do 'mileage correction'

The 463 binnacles looks like a C-Class (2001- 2008) or A-class (2009 onwards) types, but have some subtle differences, which will practically will mean you'll need to order one from a dealer. (Layout slightly different and not least including H/L display for transfer case)

One other option may be to change-over the speedometer scale inside your existing binnacle:

http://www.lockwoodinternational.co.uk/dials/mph/mercedes/g-class.html​

You can also get used C-Clsss binnacles for around £20 and may be able to pinch the speedo dial from that, even though the  pointer is slightly different, in that it is concealed at the bottom

Hi Arnie, 

I've seen the lockwood scale background, and that's what I'd be going for. I dread thinking that i have to change the full binnacle just for a nick in the clear plastic screen. If I have to, it will stay like that. I don't want to play around with mileage correction etc, especially as it already reads the mileage in miles (as well as the digital speed).

I'll ask mercedes if a part exist for the screen only. Thanks 

prwales
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Re: Importing my G55 from the UAE - Process

quote from Morpheus

Hello and Welcome,

Just following the thread.

 

In addition to the lpg saga. Is lpg allowed on the Shuttle when crossing over to Europe? 

 

 

no you need to go on a ferry

prwales
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Re: Importing my G55 from the UAE - Process

Arnie wrote:

LPG will accelerate engine wear.

why would it do that?

Arnie
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Re: Importing my G55 from the UAE - Process

LPG has a higher octane rating than most gasoline. The ignition flame front therefore burns hotter and slower with LPG and causes accelerated valve and valve-seat wear, even with modern hardened valves. Eventually you will get pitting. The combustion temperature with LPG is about 3% higher than with gasoline, but it does not give the same volumetric efficiency as gasoline, so this potential extra power is lost and overall performance is typically about 4% less than gasoline.. Additionally LPG does not contain any lubricity improvers nor detergents, which may lead to extra wear in the fuel injection system.

 

prwales
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Re: Importing my G55 from the UAE - Process

being dual fuel should mitigate against most of said issues [as does the 50% cost savings]

Arnie
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Re: Importing my G55 from the UAE - Process

Maybe.

If you can save, say the equivalent of 50p per litre, and wit the cost of an LPG installation being around £2,500
, then you need to use 5,000 litres to break even. Using a 15 MPG consumption, that would equate to over 16,500 miles.

prwales
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Re: Importing my G55 from the UAE - Process

https://www.pistonheads.com/gassing/topic.asp?t=965350

http://www.ukmotorists.com/lpg.asp

I know a few g owners have converted their w463 300e's to run on LPG so perhaps they'll add their 6d worth, these include IanA2 who has run his for a long period of time