Expert Advice for Importing Cars Safely and Efficiently

If you’re a car enthusiast, buying a foreign car for your collection can be exciting. After all, there are plenty of gorgeous vehicles that don’t come to the US. But importing cars safely is also a serious business. If you get it wrong, you could end up paying thousands upon thousands of dollars in fines and penalties.

Importing Cars Safely

Actually, you could even face prosecution by federal authorities. To help keep your hobby legal and safe (and to save your wallet), here’s what you need to know about importing cars safely and efficiently into the US.

Find out if the car is considered an antique

If you’re looking to import a car that’s more than 25 years old. It is important to find out if the vehicle is considered an antique. There are certain requirements that can qualify a car as an antique. Usually the car’s age, make and model will make that determination.

The exact regulations vary depending on which country you’re importing your vehicle into. However, most countries loosely define a car between 25 to 45 years old as an antique. Commonly, a car that is 20 years old and less than 45, are considered classics. A car 25 years old and or older, are considered vintage. If a car is 45 years old, then it is truly an antique. Although, in the United States, you can get antique license plates for a 25-year-old car.

If you meet these criteria and wish to bring your classic car into one of these countries: Australia; Canada; New Zealand; South Africa or UK – follow the below steps.

Double check that the car is eligible for import

Once you’ve found the perfect car, double check that it’s eligible for import. Also select a trusted courier company who will deliver car safely to you.

  • Is the car a grey market vehicle? Grey market cars are vehicles that have been imported into Canada from another country without meeting Canadian safety standards and/or with incorrect documentation. They may also be used vehicles that were purchased outside of Canada and then brought back into our country illegally. Usually by someone who did not pay taxes on them when they imported them into Canada.
  • Is this car a kit car or replica? Kit cars are made up of parts from multiple makes and models. Often including recycled components from other cars (such as engines or transmissions). Replicas are very similar but usually have body panels made from plastic instead of sheet metal. They’re produced specifically as replicas rather than being modified versions of existing automobiles like most kit cars are constructed. Both types fall under Transport Canada regulations regarding vehicle imports. You would need special authorization before importing either type into Canada

Check that you’re not importing a stolen or illegal vehicle

Before beginning the process of importing cars safely, make sure that it’s not stolen or illegally imported. Check the car’s VIN number against those on a database maintained by the National Insurance Crime Bureau (NICB). If the VIN doesn’t match up with any others in their database, then it’s probably not legitimate.

Checking with your state DMV is also another great method. The DMV will show any issues with registration, outstanding tickets or unpaid taxes. Also ensure that you have valid insurance on your vehicle before bringing it over from other countries.

Ensure that the car complies with EPA requirements, including crash safety and emissions standards

The next step is to ensure that you’re importing cars safely is to comply with EPA requirements. This will also include crash safety and emissions standards. You’ll need to check that it’s eligible for importation by checking the VIN number. This time against NHTSA’s database of stolen vehicles.

If everything checks out, then it’s time to get your paperwork in order! Make sure there are no liens on the vehicle before buying it. A Carfax report can show you these details. Fill out all necessary forms available through Customs and Border Protection (CBP). And pay any associated fees at an approved port of entry.

Make sure there are no liens on the vehicle before buying it

You should always be sure that the vehicle you’re buying is free of liens. Especially when importing car safely it into the United States. A lien is an unpaid debt, such as a bank loan or lease payments on the car. If there’s a lien against your vehicle and it isn’t paid off when it arrives in America. Customs will hold onto your new ride until they get paid off–which could take months!

The easiest way to check this is by checking either by the title or a letter from your seller. The seller letter should state that there are no outstanding debts associated with this vehicle.

Register the car so you can drive it legally in the United States

  • Register the car so you can drive it legally in the United States.
  • If you purchase a vehicle from another country, register it with your local DMV office. Fill out an application and providing some basic information about yourself and your vehicle. You’ll also need to get insurance for your vehicle before registering it. This can be done at most insurance companies’ offices or online through an agency like Progressive or Geico–or both!

The Import Process

The import process of importing car safely can be a long one, but it’s not impossible. There are many steps involved in the process, and each one varies depending on the type of vehicle you’re importing. You may need to get an inspection from your local DMV or other government agency before shipping your car over. You’ll also have to pay for shipping costs and customs fees when bringing something into the United States that wasn’t made here.

Importing Cars Safely and Efficiently

Importing cars safely and efficiently is an incredibly complex process. It can be both expensive and time-consuming. It requires patience, persistence and knowledge of the system.

You need to be prepared for all possibilities when importing your vehicle from another country. There are shipping delays, hidden fees, unexpected taxes on top of customs duties. You also may find difficulty finding parts or mechanics who know how to work on your vehicle’s model.

Importing a car requires careful planning. You don’t end up in financial trouble because of unforeseen costs or problems with paperwork along the way.

Getting a car across the border is not as hard as you think

Importing a car into the US is not as hard as you think. Although, there are many things to consider when importing a car into the United States. It isn’t nearly as difficult as many people assume. If you’re considering bringing over an imported vehicle from another country. Here are some tips that will help make your experience go smoothly.

  • Make sure your vehicle is certified by its manufacturer as meeting US safety standards before shipping or transporting it across borders.
  • Always check with customs authorities before importing any vehicle into America (or any other country).

There are many things to consider when importing a car into the US

Importing cars safely into the United States can be a daunting task. Even though it’s not as hard as you might think, it still is a task. In fact, with just a few simple steps you can import your car safely and efficiently. The first step is finding out if your vehicle is considered an antique or not. This will determine whether or not it’s eligible for importation into the US.

If you’re planning on importing an older model vehicle (older than 25 years). Then there are certain regulations that need to be followed in order for your car to qualify as an antique:

  • The vehicle must have been manufactured before January 1st 1967
  • All parts used in its construction must also have been manufactured prior to this date


While it may seem like a daunting task, importing cars into the US is actually quite easy. You must ensure that you have all of your paperwork in order before attempting this process. If you follow these tips and do some research on your own, then there shouldn’t be any problems at all!