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Imported car insurance

There are insurers in the market who specialise in imports, but you should be able to insure an imported car with a standard car insurance policy.

Some insurers may not choose to offer you a quote because of the higher risk of imports. This is because of them having more expensive parts and being generally higher performance cars. We can help you find cover and compare quotes, as a range of the insurers we work with will insure imported cars.

Here's what you need to know about finding car insurance for your import. If you're ready to compare quotes, select 'get a quote' to get started.

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Are imported cars more expensive to insure?

Yes, it’s usually more expensive to insure an imported car, for several reasons:

  • High-risk: If you import a car that’s not common in the UK, it might be more desirable to thieves. Therefore, it can be more expensive to insure as it's a higher risk.
  • Requires imported parts: If you’re in an accident, an imported car won’t necessarily be simple to repair. If it’s less common in the UK, parts might need to be sourced from abroad or specialist companies, which could be expensive. If your insurer thinks they might have to pay a higher bill for potential repairs, they're likely to charge you more.
  • Specific repair work needed: Cars imported from outside of Europe don't always conform to EU standards, meaning they need specialist repairs. Depending on the car, you might need specific expertise to do those repairs, which tends to be expensive.
  • High-specs: Imported cars often have higher specifications, meaning they can go faster. Insurers could deem them to be more at risk of being in an accident than ‘standard’ cars.
  • Fewer options: Not all insurers cover imported cars. This means you're likely to see fewer quotes available, therefore less competitive prices.

This is all reflected in your costs when your car insurance is calculated.

How much is car insurance for an import?

Import type Average price*
Japanese import
Euro import UK spec
Euro import non UK spec
US import

The table shows all import options we insure and the average quote given for each. There are many factors involved in how much you pay based on your personal and car’s circumstances. And with imports, it’s even more niche and bespoke.

The best way to get an exact cost is to compare quotes with us to see all of your options.

*Based on Confused.com median average quote data, January - March 2024

Can I get Japanese import car insurance?

Yes, Japanese imports are by far the most popular imported car we insure so you shouldn’t find it harder to insure a Japanese model than any other car.

However, while it’s straightforward to insure Japanese imports, it’s still likely to cost more than a more standard car insurance policy.

How do I get a car insurance quote for an imported car?

The process of getting insurance for imported cars is the same as insuring any other car - you may just get fewer offers from insurers. If you’re insuring your import for the first time, you should check the car has been properly registered with the DVLA before starting your quote. If it’s not properly registered, you won’t be able to get a policy.

When you get a quote, we'll ask you what type of import the car is. You'll see the following options:

  • Yes - Euro import - UK spec
  • Yes - Euro import - non UK spec
  • Yes - Japanese import
  • Yes - US import

The insurer you choose might also ask for proof of your Individual Vehicle Approval (IVA) and the car's vehicle identification number (VIN) before you buy and start the policy.

  • Fill in our quote form with details about you and your car
  • We’ll compare and show you only the insurers who'll cover your specific import. You can view monthly or annual prices and add any optional extras
  • Confirm your policy and buy online

If you don't plan to buy straight away, it's important to note that how long your quotes are valid for will depend on the insurer. Some might only be valid for the same day, while others are valid for longer. You can find the expiry date for each quote below the annual or total price, and your previous quotes under the ‘quotes’ section of your Confused.com account.

Once you’ve bought your car insurance policy don’t forget to come back and choose a freebie with Confused.com Rewards*

**Single annual policy. New and former Paramount+ subscribers only who sign up at ParamountPlus.com. Subscription required. Auto-renews unless cancelled. 18+. Just Eat website account required, geographical exclusions apply. One regular hot drink per month for a year, only available via the Confused.com app. T&Cs apply.

How do I reduce the cost of my insurance?

There are several things you can do to keep your imported car insurance costs down, for example:

  • Shopping around and comparing car insurance prices could save you up to £539{1}.
  • Paying annually. You’ll always be charged interest on a monthly agreement. If you can afford it, it’s best to pay annually to save up to 38%{2} compared to paying monthly.
  • Increasing your voluntary excess can sometimes bring the price down. Just make sure you can afford to pay more towards any repairs or claims you might make.
  • Increasing your car security. The lower your risk of making a theft claim on your policy, the lower your insurance costs might be.
  • Checking to see if there’s an owners’ club for your model or make of car. If there is, you might be able to get some help on which insurers are particularly favourable to owners in your situation.

You can find out more about these and other ways to save in our guide on tips to get cheaper car insurance.

{1}*Based on data provided by Consumer Intelligence Ltd, www.consumerintelligence.com (April '24). 51% of Confused.com car insurance customers could save £539.54
{2}Based on Confused.com data January - March 2024.

What our car insurance expert says

"Importing cars has grown more popular and common in recent years, therefore insurance options for these types of cars have also increased. You often pay higher insurance costs for imported cars compared to a UK registered car, but it depends on the type of import you’ve bought and want to insure.

We can help you compare quotes by showing you a range of insurers who will insure imported cars."

Louise Thomas, Motor Insurance Expert at Confused.com
Motor Insurance Expert Confused.com logo

Can I get temporary car insurance for an imported car?

While we can help find short term cover for a range of vehicles, we’re unlikely to be able to offer this for most imported cars.

There could be some insurers who offer this type of cover, but they're limited. Getting a temporary car insurance quote is the best way to find out. Depending on how long you need it, temporary cover can work out much more expensive on any car. So for an import that's more expensive anyway, it might not be financially viable and make more sense to buy a 12 month policy instead.

Always compare prices between the temporary cover you need, and 12 month policies to make sure you’re getting the best deal and not over paying for convenience.

Does an imported car need a vehicle identification number?

Yes, it does. A Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) is an ID number stamped onto the car’s chassis.

Some insurers offer VIN insurance (or chassis insurance), enabling you to get cover on a car that hasn’t yet arrived from overseas.

What are the different types of imported car I can insure?

There are 3 types of imported cars – a grey import, parallel import or personal import.

Grey import

A grey import is a car imported from outside the EU. These are most likely cars from the USA and Japan. You can buy Japanese cars in the UK, such as Hondas and Toyotas. But these cars are manufactured in Europe. Similarly, you can buy a Ford Mustang manufactured in the UK, so neither of these examples are classed as imports. But if you import a left-hand-drive Mustang from The USA, that’s a grey import. These native models might have a higher spec than their European equivalent. If you’re getting a grey import, you need to arrange and pay for an Individual Vehicle Approval.

Parallel import

Parallel imports are cars from EU countries, made to the same minimum standards that the UK has. This means they should be easier and possibly cheaper to get insured compared to grey imports. However they may still be slightly more expensive to insure compared to a standard insurance policy on a UK-registered, non-imported car.

Personal import

These are cars that you've personally imported into the country, without the assistance of an importer's service or dealer and can be either a grey or parallel import depending on the car and country it's coming from. Personal imports often need a bit more effort to arrange for example; registering the car yourself, paying for the shipping and gathering its history. Always do your due diligence and be careful of scams and hidden costs when considering this method.

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