We are lucky enough to export Figaros all of the world, and have great customers like Glenn Rader who has been kind enough to share his experience on the process of importing a Figaro to the USA. These are his ‘top tips’ on the whole process and we are really grateful for him sharing them with us to help inform any other people who may be considering importing a car.
“When I started looking for a Figaro, my goal was to get one in superb mechanical, structural, and cosmetic condition. I investigated all my options, internationally, for buying a Figaro. In the process, I discovered The Figaro Shop. They are experts in the car. The challenge – I am in Michigan in the US and they are in Didcot, England.
I was fortunate that I took the time to investigate having the car imported. As it turns out, it is reasonably straightforward and very cost effective; when you consider the quality of the car you get and the ongoing support relationship you will have with The Figaro Shop.
Here is a brief description of the process. The dollars reflect what I paid and will vary depending on your circumstances.
1. Transportation – The Figaro Shop to the US – The Figaro Shop made all the arrangements for transportation of the car from their door to the port in Baltimore Maryland. It goes by RoRo ocean shipping (The safest and most cost-effective shipping method). The trip took about 15 days and cost $1,200. There are a few other ports on the east coast of the US to choose from as a destination.
2. Clearing US Customs – After the car arrives at the port in the US, it needs to be cleared through US Customs. You should engage a customs broker for this purpose. I used Seabridge Lamprecht. They were easy to work with and took care of everything (1-2 days to clear US customs). The person who handled this for me at Seabridge Lamprecht was Heather Caporrino (410) 633-0550. The entire customs process was $1,750. Of this amount, $750 was for import duty; which varies with the purchase price of the car.
3. Transportation – to Your Location – You have a few options for getting the car from the US port to your location. You can go to the port and pick up the car yourself (drive it or trailer it) or hire an auto transport firm to pick it up and deliver it to you. I wanted to meet a deadline for a car show in the Detroit area (to show off the car), so I flew to Baltimore, rented a truck and trailer, and drove back to Michigan. It cost me about $1,300. In hindsight, I would have foregone the car show and had it picked up and delivered. A reliable company like United Routes would have done it for about $900 (Baltimore to the Detroit area) and delivered it in about two weeks.
4. Getting Access to the Shipyard – If you pick the car up yourself, you will need a port escort with the credentials to get you on the port property. I used Chesapeake Vehicle Escorting in Baltimore (443) 391-2186. The cost was $100, and they made it very easy for me to get the job done. If you use an auto transport company, make certain they have clearance for port entry.
5. Registering the Figaro in Your State – Registering the car was easy. Each state has its own requirements for an imported vehicle that you should research in advance. The Figaro Shop and Seabridge Lamprecht (the customs broker) provided everything I needed; based on the requirements of my state (Michigan). The cost of this is what you would normally pay to register a new car in your state. You might also be required to pay state sales tax.
Considering the quality of the Figaro that I now own it was worth every bit of the extra effort, time, and money to have it imported.”
Thanks so much for sharing this with us Glenn – we hope it helps to explain and streamline the process for others!