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Oct 15

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Registering My Soarer and Getting The Cars Registration With The DVLA in the UK

This paperwork part was the hardest bit to be honest, but it didn’t take long, and it’s totally doable yourself, not worth paying the import company extra to do in my opinion unless you’re short of time or really unsure what to do after reading the guides provided.

The next tough part is the waiting periods after sending mail off, since DVLA turn around is incredibly slow. That said, despite the 28 day turnaround, I was receiving communications within 2 weeks, so not so bad.

The DVLA has an import pack that you can either download or request to be sent to you on the DVLA website. This also includes instructions on how to fill the form out. It’s well worth downloading or requesting a couple of copies in case you get it wrong first time around.

Toyota Soarer Finally with me

The guide it comes with is pretty clear, you just need to read it properly and make sure you understand the steps clearly, there’s a lot of citations, ands/if’s to account for every type of vehicle out there.

A large portion of it you don’t have to fill out on cars over 15 years old, you’ll have to fill out a lot more if you import a newer car as there’s more emissions and safety standards/equipment to deal with.

Toyota Soarer 1jz GTE rear

First and foremost you need to get an MOT for the car.. you can do this by trailering the car to a garage or insuring the car on the VIN number and driving it to the garage- This is an unusual request unless the company you’re insuring with deals with imports and modifed cars (you should aim for one of these companies with these types of cars to be honest). If you insure and drive, Make sure you have a copy of your insurance certificate with you. I carried my import docs etc too. Fortunately I didn’t get pulled! But all of this stuff covers you.

Generally you also have 30 day’s to provide a registration number or the policy will be automatically cancelled. With the DVLA 28 day turnaround, this is a bit unrealistic really, but as long as you keep them informed, it should be ok. I had to do this, more on that below..

R154 1JZ GTE Toyota Soarer

In order to get a MOT, the car will have to meet all the standards expected as per a normal MOT on a UK bought car. If you get a very clean car this shouldn’t be a problem. The major change you’ll have to do is get a fog light fitted. If you’ve got a car with slick tires or any other mechanical issues that compromise the road worthiness of the car, this will need to be sorted before going for the MOT.

With regards to insuring and driving with no registration, you’re legally aloud to drive the car to a garage in this situation as long as you have an appointment. So make sure you’re genuinely in the books at the garage and have a contact number handy just in case. This is the only set of circumstances that you can drive the car under. Once you’ve got the MOT and got home, you’re not allowed to drive the car again until the certificate of registration comes through.

Once you’ve got your MOT, you send this off with your registration documents, the Export Certificate (from Japan, I took a copy of this as the DVLA will keep it on file at their offices) and a full payment for 6 or 12 months road tax, then sit back and wait for your registration to come through!.. This should be it unless there’s complications.. I had complications unfortunately.

Toyota Soarer Leather Interior

My problems arose as a result of the MOT not matching up with the details I put on the registration document. Since the car had to be MOT’d on it’s VIN number. This was picked up at the MOT station as a Lexus SC330 (which doesn’t exist!) I was trying to register a Toyota Soarer. I should’ve known better, but I thought as long as the VIN matches on the documents it shouldn’t be a problem.

Safe to say, my first application got rejected. Upon talking to the DVLA further about it, they just wanted a document to confirm the car is what I want to register it as. This document could’ve been a hand written letter from me explaining the discrepancy or an offical headed letter from a manufacturer or garage.

The gentleman I spoke to was very helpful and said due to the large volume of paperwork going through the DVLA, they ok most things unless there is a glaring discrepancy. He basically told me they don’t know or care what the car is as long as everything adds up, or there’s an explanation for the discrepancies.

Toyota Soarer Rear End

So I did both. I contacted Toyota through their website, and provided the VIN number, This allowed them to verify it was a genuine Toyota Soarer. I got a written letter with a Toyota logo on the top through from them to say its a genuine Toyota Soarer with the VIN number in the writing of the letter. I also wrote a letter explaining that these cars were sold as Lexus‘ in America, hence the possible confusion with information inputed during the MOT. I also explained a lot of people register them as a Lexus here.. because it’s a more prestigious badge than Toyota.

With all of this now enclosed, I sent it off. This was a setback which meant my insurance could expire before the registration got sent back. I called my insurance company and explained the situation, they were very helpful and were ok with this due to the fact I gave them a heads up.

..Just under 2 weeks later, I got the registration back and had a license plate number for the car! This was hands down, the best bit of mail I’ve received through the post in my life!

1JZ GTE Twin Turbo

I was straight down to get the plates made up, called my insurance company and let them know what the reg was then I managed to get out for a little drive! So awesome after it sitting in my garage for a good month begging to be driven!

Check out the Gallery for pics of the first drive along with some pictures I took in my ownership of the car.

So to conclude my experience of importing a car for the first time, I would do it again for the right car or something quite obscure. That said, With the advent of Facebook groups and the never ending expansion of enthusiast forums, I dare say, someone has the car you want stowed away and for sale at the right price out there.

This is actually exactly what I did for my next car.. more to follow on this shortly!

Toyota Soarer Origin Streamline Bodykit

  1. The Quest to get my First Japanese Turbo Charged Car..
  2. Why Import a Toyota Soarer from Japan Over Buying Domestically
  3. The Importation Process of my 1JZ Toyota Soarer
  4. My Factory Manual Toyota Soarer 1JZ GTE finally arriving in the UK!
  5. Registering My Soarer and Getting The Cars Registration With The DVLA in the UK
  6. Toyota Soarer 1JZGTE Review
  7. Toyota Soarer 1JZ GTE R154 Gallery

Permanent link to this article: http://carsandcoolstuff.com/2017/10/registering-my-soarer-and-getting-the-cars-registration-with-the-dvla-in-the-uk/

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