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Why compare import car insurance?

Comparing import car insurance quotes means you can find a policy that gives you the protection you need at a price that suits your budget.

Comparing quotes from a range of different insurers also gives you a clearer idea of what’s available, helping you make a more informed choice about your car cover.

How does import car insurance work?

When it comes to insuring your imported car in the UK, the process is much the same as insuring any other car. However, you will need to provide a lot more information to your insurer about the car. Before you get around to insuring your imported car, you must ensure your car has been approved for use on UK roads. Here are the steps you will need to take to ensure your car is correctly registered. You can find out more information about registering your imported car over at


Tell HMRC that your car is in the UK, this must be done within 14 days of it arriving.


Pay any VAT and customs duties that is due on your imported car.


Get a vehicle approval, this shows that the car meets the UK environmental and safety standards.


Ensure your car is registered with the DVLA. This is when the DVLA will give you a registration number and you can get UK number plates for your car.

Types of car imports

As mentioned above, there are two types of car imports:

Insure a Parallel Import

A parallel import are cars that are imported into the UK from within the EU. The cars are made specifically for the EU market, and this means that they meet the same safety and environmental standards as cars that are made for the UK market. In some cases, the car will be sold by a non-UK European car dealer. Most parallel imports will be from brands such as Peugeot, Volkswagen, and Ford. They shouldn’t cost much more to insure than a similar model from the UK. However, sometimes you will find that parallel imports might be a left-hand drive. This may directly impact the cost of insurance as some insurers charge more to cover a left-hand drive car due to the difference in repair price.

Insure a Grey Import

The second type of car import is a grey import. These cars are imported from outside of the EU, meaning that they do not conform to the EU safety and environmental standards that UK cars and parallel import cars conform to. Most grey imports will be high-spec Japanese and American cars, including cars such as the Nissan Figaro, and Eunos Roadster. Due to their high spec, they will cost more to insure than a parallel import car and you will have to get specialist insurance cover. Grey imports will typically have a different electronics system alongside increased power, weight, and suspension, which can lead to an increase in your car insurance premiums. Grey imports will typically have a different electronics system alongside increased power, weight, and suspension, which can lead to an increase in your car insurance premiums. However, before you can drive your new grey import car on the road, you will have to have it tested under the Individual Vehicle Approval Scheme.

How to save money on your import car insurance?

Insuring an imported car is likely to mean higher than average insurance costs. You can save money on your import car insurance with these simple tips:

  • Pay for your policy upfront – you can avoid interest fees and pay for your insurance policy upfront.
  • Increase your voluntary excess – this can help lower your overall premium. However, the excess still needs to be affordable because you’ll need to pay it for a claim to proceed.
  • Increase the security of your car – by simply keeping your car in a locked garage or fitting safety devices, you can help keep the costs of your insurance down.
  • Limit your mileage – the fewer miles you do over the year, the cheaper your policy is likely to be. This is because there’s less chance of being involved in an accident.
  • Advanced driving qualification – improving your driving skills can help cut your insurance premiums.
  • Check if your car is a classic – if your import is also a classic car, let your insurer know. Classic car cover can be cheaper so it’s worth investigating because it could lead to lower premiums.
  • Compare import car insurance quotes – this really is one of the quickest and easiest ways to find affordable cover. Simply comparing quotes can help you find the protection you need at a price that suits your budget. You can start your search by filling in our online form or speak to a friendly member of the team on 0330 022 8814.

Call us on 0330 022 5970 for a quote over the phone

Can I get cheap Japanese import car insurance?

Specialist insurers may have more experience in insuring certain types of imports, which could result in lower premiums. But whether you can get cheap car insurance for your Japanese import will depend on several factors and not just the car itself.

Although insurers will consider the car itself and the availability of parts and labour, they’ll also need to think about your own circumstances, including:

  • Your age – younger drivers pay significantly more for car cover than older drivers because they’re statistically more likely to be involved in an accident.
  • Where you live – postcodes with higher-than-average crime rates can increase premiums.
  • Your driving record – convicted drivers can expect to pay more for insurance.
  • Your claims history – a recent claim can mean higher premiums.

Using all this information, insurance company’s will calculate a premium that reflects the risk and potential cost of a claim being made. You can compare cheap Japanese import car insurance with mustard to find the best deal for your insurance.

Import car insurance advice and FAQs

Does an imported car affect car insurance?

Importing a car can affect your car insurance for several reasons. One of the main issues is that imported cars tend to be higher spec. Not only does this mean there’s potentially more to go wrong in terms of gadgets and tech; cars with powerful engines are more likely to be involved in accidents. Both increase the chances of an expensive claim being made, which affects the cost of your premium.

Grey imports don’t conform to safety standards recognised in the UK either, which can make them harder to insure.

Is it more expensive to insure an imported car?

In most cases, yes, import car insurance is more expensive because parts and labour can be tricky to get hold of and potentially costly. Plus, grey imports aren’t made to UK regulations, insurers don’t always have safety data to draw from. From an insurance perspective, this can be a worry and makes imported cars inherently riskier to insure.

With all of this in mind, you can expect to pay more to insure your imported car.

Are imported cars worth less?

Financially, imported cars can be cheaper to buy compared to UK-made vehicles. In some cases, they could shave significant amounts off the UK equivalent but that doesn’t mean they’re a steal in the long run.

Don’t forget, that you’ll need to add all the import costs as well as Vehicle Excise Duty (road tax) on top of any cost involved in registering it. That’s before you even consider finding insurance.

Plus, in terms of resale, it might be harder to find a buyer unless they’re also keen on imported cars. Potentially that means selling the car for less than you’d like. Car Insurance Reviews

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