One of the major decisions that you will have to make during a move to London is what to do with your vehicle. Basically, you have the three options of selling it before you leave, storing it temporarily if you expect to eventually return, or taking it with you to use while there. The option you decide on will depend on certain factors which we will look at here.
Selling Your Vehicle
This is probably the best option if you are moving to London from US on a long-term basis. There are a couple of very good reasons for this.
First of all, it is quite expensive to ship your vehicle overseas. Cars, trucks and motorcycles are large, heavy items that need to be shipped under certain conditions as well as meet specific regulation requirements such as paying customs duty and taxes. If you are considering the option of shipping your vehicle to London, more information can be found on that below.
Secondly, if you have your American vehicle shipped to England and are staying for longer than six months, you may be required to make various alterations in order to meet local driving requirements. These include possibly changing steering wheels to accommodate left-hand traffic, changing speedometers to those registering kilometers, and altering or adding emissions, headlights, side light covers, fog lights, tail pipes, etc.
Depending on what type of vehicle you wish to ship to England and why, you will probably be much better off selling it and either taking public transportation or buying another vehicle once in London that is street ready.
Storing Your Vehicle
Storing your vehicle is a viable option if you plan on returning from your stay in London in the very near future. That way you have your vehicle ready to go once you return.
There are a couple of options for storing your vehicle while away. You can either rent a secure storage facility or make arrangements to leave your vehicle with a relative or friend until your return.
You will also want to maintain current insurance while away. If you cancel your insurance and then reapply for it after numerous months, you will find that it will be much more expensive due to the period of missed coverage which most insurance companies consider suspicious.
Shipping Your Vehicle to London
If you are set on transporting your vehicle to England then you have various options at your disposal, some of which are dependent on where you live. For example, if you are relocating to London from either another part of the UK or from a state within the European Union, you can have your vehicle transported via truck or rail which is considerably cheaper than by ship.
However, if you are shipping your vehicle from the US or Canada, you will be required to send it by ship. There are several options available for this method.
Roll On Roll Off (RORO) – RORO is the least expensive overseas shipping method which entails the vehicle being driven onto the ship and secured by cables. However, this method also involves the most risk for damage to the vehicle due to its exposure.
Steel Containers – You can opt to send your vehicle in a steel container either by itself or with other furnishings that you are shipping to London. There are both 20ft and 40ft containers available which will depend on the size and number of vehicles being shipped as well as any other items accompanying them.
Other vehicle shipping requirements include:
Preparing the Vehicle – Before shipping your vehicle, you will be required to remove all items, ensure that the tank is only ¼ full, and disconnect the battery as well as insulate and securely store it within the vehicle.
Presenting Proper Documentation – When shipping your vehicle, you will be required to provide certain types of documentation. You will need to present the original title of the vehicle that shows you are the legal owner, a current report that identifies the condition of your vehicle, a completed validation form, and a completed letter of instruction by the shipper.
Shipping Insurance – You will need to ensure you have coverage on your vehicle since overseas shipping contains a degree of risk. To obtain insurance, you will be required to provide the estimated value of the vehicle (as well as any other items accompanying it) that will require researching the cost of replacement in the European market which can be quite different. Make sure you find out what percentage of the value is reimbursed should damage occur.
It may be very helpful to utilize the services of a professional relocation consultant to assist with your move to London. Not only will they assist you with shipping your vehicle to London, but they will also help you locate housing in London as well as provide you with other useful information and assistance that will make your London relocation a pleasant one.