Yes, and if you have imported a vehicle from overseas you will need insurance before you drive it in the UK.

Watch out: Not all car insurance companies offer cover for imported cars, and whether you can get a policy may depend on the type of car you are importing.

What types of imported car are there?

There are two main types of imported vehicles:

  • Grey imports: These are cars usually built outside the European Union (EU) and may not conform to European safety or emissions standards so will need to be modified before they can be driven in the UK. These include imports from Japan or the USA.

  • Parallel imports: These vehicles are usually imported from Europe and will often have an identical or similar UK equivalent model. For example Opel share identical models with Vauxhall.

Grey imports can be harder and more expensive to insure than parallel imports because they are often more powerful and it can cost more to repair them and source replacement parts.

How to save on import car insurance

The best way to get the cheapest deal is to shop around and compare quotes. Our table above includes insurance companies that could cover your imported car.

If you want to cut the cost even more you can try:

  • Paying for your insurance annually, because this usually works out cheaper than monthly instalments

  • Increasing the security of your car by parking in a garage or fitting a Thatcham approved alarm, because the safer your car is, the less insurers may charge you

  • Avoiding car insurance extras, like breakdown cover or a courtesy car, if you do not need them because they will bump up the price

Import car insurance FAQs


Is import car insurance more expensive?


Yes, it can be because cars imported from outside the UK are often more powerful, and can cost more to repair if you have an accident.


How do I import a car into the UK?


You will need to tell HMRC and get the vehicle approved and registered. The GOV.UK website outlines how to import your car into the UK.


Do I need to insure my car before it arrives?


No, but once it is registered you must insure and tax the vehicle before you drive it on the roads in the UK.


Is it cheaper to pay annually or monthly?


Paying annually in one go will usually work out cheaper because if you pay monthly you will be charged interest of up to 30%.


Can I drive other cars?


If you have a fully comprehensive policy you may be covered to drive other people's cars, but some polices do not allow this.