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Old 12th March 2020, 18:42   #1
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Default Re: Exporting a car from India

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Finally...UK's first 3.2L Ford Endeavour (Everest) 4x4 SUV Titanium personal import!!

Brief update to say I’m on the homestretch. Driven so far to Southampton and Norwich for IVA Certification which was obtained last week. What a fantastic experience it’s been on motorways as well as the English countryside. Will post a detailed summary after DVLA registration has been concluded with GB number plates to include overcoming challenges of transporting the Endeavour from Bhubaneswar to Felixstowe.

Nod to Prateek Vidya, fellow BHPian for his enthusiasm who has lent a hand with requisite data values from Ford India/Australia.
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Last edited by GTO : 6th April 2020 at 17:22. Reason: Linking to main thread :)
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Old 6th April 2020, 02:05   #2
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UK registration for the Endeavour from DVLA received earlier this week with number plates from Ford on Friday 3rd April…at last! Had decided to import the SUV to England in May 2019. After getting a fair grasp of the procedure required for its export I flew from London to Bhubaneswar, Odisha to start the process. Thought mistakenly it could be completed within four weeks as I had prior appointments in L.A.

With public holidays and unforeseen delays in between, I had to fly out from India to the U.S. for a week, returning 3 weeks ahead of the Endeavour being transported out of Odisha on a flatbed for Port Customs Clearance. The following steps were taken to successfully export the car out of India. Note: my experience is limited to a Transfer of Residence basis and interaction with the RTO office in Bhubaneswar as well as HMRC in England.

• Engage a freight-forwarder with its established counterpart in the destination port of embarkation depending on which Shipping Agent you are comfortable working with. Nobody I spoke to could provide a definitive list of tasks needed to be completed before the vehicle could be loaded onto the ship. It took me four months to narrow it down to a UK firm who decided to act as the Destination Agent (DA) to its Indian counterpart.

• Having confirmed my flight ticket from London Heathrow I was advised RTO offices in Odisha were experiencing a four-week backlog as govt ruled no Agents/middlemen were permitted to engage their services and instead, clients are to deal with RTO officers directly. I won’t go into granular details on here however am happy to share these directly with anyone in the process of moving to the UK with a vehicle owned by them for at least six months prior to travel.

• You do not need to obtain a transfer of residence [ToR] if you are willing to pay import duty on the vehicle of 10% of its market value plus shipping and insurance costs in addition to 20% VAT of total cost (market value + shipping + insurance) upon arrival in the UK. The Indian car insurance renewal quotation letter is what was relied on for its value in my case. It is also useful in illustrating owner’s use and possession of the vehicle prior to exporting. With its exemption it just about made financial sense. Personal opinion: if you’re planning to return to India in the not too distant future you need to ask yourself “is it worth the hassle and expense”. Plus the price of vehicle would need to be substantive enough to make the approximate cost of INR 5 lacs to bring it over viable. Other motivator includes the availability of a similar model variant for purpose of parts, service and repairs which provide immeasurable peace of mind. My vehicle is the only full sized 7 seater 4x4 Endeavour in the UK…its uniqueness is a separate value proposition which works if the move is permanent. Prior to exporting the SUV, I had met with the local UK main dealer Service Centre management who welcomed my intentions and have been incredibly helpful in ensuring my needs were met during vehicle approvals which is expanded on further below.

• Make sure every single item of available document is shared with all parties. You will require most if not all items listed below for the DA, HMRC, Indian Shipping Agent, Destination freight-forwarder;

1. Vehicle Brochure (though not mandatory is helpful for reference material e.g. dimensions etc) with images of the car

2. RC – Registration Document and Smartcard

3. Airline Tickets – has to match person in whose name/s Transfer of Residence is to be applied.

4. PUC – Valid Pollution Certificate

5. Valid Insurance Certificate. If this has run out before application of RC cancellation you will need to renew despite having no need for it as soon as vehicle RC is cancelled which also applies to the PUC.

6. Sales Invoice

7. ID – passport, driving licence

8. Utility Bills (in our case Indian and British) – showing name address matching rest of docs. Mobile, Electricity, Landline

9. Residence (owned or rented) Property address proof (India/UK)

Once all parties were satisfied relevant documents were in order, I had the confidence to board the plane for India on 17th September 2019 albeit with a niggling feeling I would face inertia amidst the backlog gradually building up at the RTO.

Having arrived at Bhubaneswar within the same week I received a call from my local Indian Ford dealership asking if I wished to book the Endeavour in for a service on Saturday. I thought why not…after all it had been a year even though low mileage (total 18k km)…so I drove the Endy to the Ford garage on Saturday and parked it on their forecourt. To everybody’s surprise, their driver was unable to start it as at that precise moment (post diagnostic) the electronic junction box had burnt out and had to be replaced! Ten days later at a cost in excess of INR 50k I was able to collect it. Thank goodness I had taken out the extended warranty…that too at the behest of a persistent staff member at Ford who contacted me via WhatsApp with one day for the existing warranty to expire. I had transferred INR 35k to Ford while I was in England so had nothing to pay in this instance beyond the 9k for the service.

The same day I drove straight to a PUC centre (these too were scarce since the local govt had suspended (rightly so) non-approved test centres. I was battling against time. Note: there are two time sensitive issues, one is twelve months from the time you left India, this being the time matching airline tickets you would have submitted during your application to HMRC for ToR duty/tax exemption. The other relates to your airline ticket out of India. Neither the airline ticket itself nor the boarding pass proves that you actually boarded the aircraft. Verification needs to be obtained from the airline itself. They will issue a Departure Certificate which validates you were on that plane. Your shipping agent can obtain this for you which they then submit to Customs along with the original RC cancellation certificate stamped and signed by the officer concerned on RTO letterhead.

Application for RC cancellation was made with a self-declaration of why I was taking the vehicle out of the country along with copy of valid Insurance Cert, PUC, surrender of Original RC document and smartcard and self attested copies of driving licence and passport after they see the original IDs. They genuinely couldn’t understand why anyone would want to take a car from India to the West. Having established it was an item of personal belonging the problem we faced was an administrative technicality. This caused a further week delay which was a hopeless situation. According to the rule book RTO relies on, it asks that I furnish them with proof that the vehicle has already been shipped outside of India before they could cancel the registration. I pointed out this would be impossible since Customs officials had made it abundantly clear they would not permit boarding of the container in which the vehicle was to be shipped onto the vessel without the RC first being cancelled. I directed their attention to a preceding ruling which mandates the original RTO to cancel said RC. I was told the latter superseded its previous ruling. It was a matter of interpretation as well as the RTO being accountable for cancelling registration on just grounds. They are accustomed to vehicle Transfers. Cancellations usually applied in the case of accidental write-offs. Discretion also lies with the senior RTO officer as I still needed to convince the dept I was genuinely exporting the Endeavour. So as requested, I asked the shipping agent to forward all documentation to the RTO officer including screenshots of payment transactions made to the shipping agent on account and correspondence with destination freight-forwarder. I had ample documentary evidence of my intentions. Eventually it was agreed and with merely a couple days ahead of the Endeavour’s insurance expiring, the RC was cancelled with certificate confirming the same which I couriered immediately to the shipping agent.

By this time everything was ready for the vehicle to be shipped however the UK agent advised avoidance of the container’s arrival in England between 18th of December 2019 to the 1st of January 2020 due to Xmas holidays. Demurrage charges could be as high as USD 150 per day. So I flew to Los Angels on the 25th of Oct to keep my prior appointments and returned to India on November 3rd. As I was now unable to drive the Endeavour, I was very fortunate to have been provided with a brand new Mercedes GLE for as long as I remained in India by a friend who was bemused at my efforts to bring the Endy to England…while he himself relied on his other ride, an old Fortuner. Respect for having faith in me...quite a humbling experience.

November 18th…staff from the shipping agent reached Bhubaneswar with the transporter. Having taken pictures with a vehicle condition report they loaded the Endy onto the flatbed and left.

By 27th November the vehicle was still in a container at Kolkata docks waiting to be lifted onto the ship. I decided to fly back to England the same day as I was satisfied knowing the Endeavour had been cleared by Customs and there was nothing left for me to do. Just as well, having arrived back home I learnt the 20ft container carrying the Endy boarded the ship on the 30th of November.

I felt like a kid…waiting for my self-gifted present to arrive on British shores. The wait was gruelling. I kept abreast of the maritime map which charts movement of sea-going vessels by the minute, while they’re within reach of a signal. Millimeter by millimeter. In the interim I must have (re)watched numerous Endeavour reviews on YouTube including what dashcam to get and how to update Ford’s sync 2 to include UK maps for satellite navigation. The day finally arrived…15th of January 2020. The ship had moored at Felixstow. Three days later I received confirmation it had cleared customs awaiting transportation to my chosen address. I had nominated my local Ford main dealer’s Service Centre which focused on Rangers with its own MOT testing bay for larger vehicles. This was the best decision I had made. Having kept the staff regularly updated on the Endeavour’s ETA, when it was delivered on the 20th of January and signed for by Ford, it was extremely dusty inside and out, even missing passenger’s side floor mat which the Ford dealership were kind enough to replace complimentary with a Wildtrack black luxury carpet version they had in stock. Once it was jump-started, I drove it across the road to have it refuelled since it was showing “0km to Empty” a pre-requisite before loading it onto the container and disconnecting the terminals from the battery.

Once back in the workshop it went straight on the ramp for its MOT which it passed. I had earlier in the day arranged fully comprehensive insurance based on the chassis number since I had yet to begin the process of obtaining GB number plates once the registration process was complete. Although the MOT certificate displays mileage in kilometres, at its anniversary the next certificate will show miles as measurements can be changed in the settings menu which I realised later. It was handed over to me after it had been thoroughly washed and vacuumed. This was the first time I took it on the longer North Circular ring road in East London to charge the battery en-route to its final destination….for now.

The next day I contacted DVSA to book the Endeavour for its Individual Vehicle Approval. This certificate is necessary in order to obtain UK registration from DVLA. Had I known precise date of arrival I could have pre-booked this as I found out there was a 2-4 weeks waiting time. In hindsight I could have rescheduled the booking without charge with minimum three days notice.

26th February 2020. IVA testing at DVSA in Southampton. I booked a hotel nearby to arrive the evening before so I didn’t miss the noon appointment. Before the booking I had confirmed with DVSA technical dept that it was acceptable not to change the kilometre dial as long as it had a digital speedometer showing mph. The 3.2 Titanium also has rear fog lights so these were items I didn’t need to upgrade. The application process for the IVA was a bit more in depth including piston firing sequence, horse power @ x RPMs, laden/kerb weight etc and the test itself in comparison to the MOT was more rigorous. It failed!

I was disappointed but not disheartened. The DVSA listed a couple of items which needed to be addressed;

1. Passenger side wheel arch flap. There is a rubber lining which divides the wheel arches from the engine area which had come loose where two clips had been dislodged when jet-sprayed by local car cleaning service as the car had to be presented in a clean condition for the IVA inspection.

2. Chassis plate. Although the vehicle chassis number was located in three different locations, there was nothing on the vehicle that indicated the vehicle’s laden / front/rear/combined axle weights. So I had to look for a plate manufacturer that would do this for me. Having paid gbp 199.00 for the IVA, the re-test would cost gbp 40.00 as a full examination would not be required if re-presented within six months. The next day I took it to my local Ford who secured the rubber flap under the wheel arches and referred me to a Company which manufactures VIN tags. This was the easy part. Obtaining empirical values was going to be a challenge of obtuse proportions. After being sent pillar to post by Ford Customer Services in India, eventually a senior customer relations handled my query when I asked for the matter to be escalated. Problem is…Ford India did not have this information!

A team BHPian had reached out to me enquiring on progress and whether I had managed to ship the Endeavour over, having read my post on TBHP. Whilst my own dealer in Bhubaneswar was unable to assist, Mr Vidya had contacted his dealer who got in touch with the engineering team at Ford Australia who came through with the precise information. This is crucial since absence of the chassis plate in the first place necessitated verifiable this case email thread including Ford letterhead containing data values stamped on new VIN tags detailing laden / front/rear/combined axle weights, manufacturer, engine size etc. I placed the order with the VIN tag company for aluminium plate (to be affixed by Ford in the engine bay area) for next day express delivery and for good measure ordered UV protected vinyl labels from local printer for the door sill where the information would be more visible.

Within a week of having visited DVSA in Southampton, I booked the re-test for 5th of March, this time in Norwich as I wanted the two hour drive to be along a different scenic route. I booked the hotel this time to stay the evening as I’d visited Norwich before and apart from places of architectural beauty, some good eateries deserved a revisit. The appointment with Norwich DVSA was for noon and although I arrived an hour early, was seen straight away. They looked at the written conditions from previous IVA report, inspected the metallic chassis plate which the team at Ford had professionally tapped onto the engine bay as well as the labelling on the door sill, checked underneath the wheel arch and left as he asked me to wait in Reception while he prepared the Certificate…YES!!

I enjoyed dining that evening with my wife, cautiously rejoicing with mild sense of achievement as I accomplished tasks inch by inch…before I had left the hotel for dinner, I completed the DVLA application form, included all the documents including original IVA certificate and NOVA (notice of vehicle’s arrival) and posted it Special Next day delivery.

A week later I received a rejection notice in the post! Since I didn’t have the original Indian Vehicle Registration Certificate, DVLA wanted me to obtain hard copy confirmation on letterhead from Ford India confirming Date of Manufacture. I contacted the senior Relationship manager at Ford India who after discussing the requirement with Mr Vidya whom I nominated as my local contact, agreed to oblige. Regrettably the hard copy was not forthcoming although the letter confirming date of manufacture was scan/emailed to me before Lockdown. These are unprecedented times we find ourselves in. I wrote to DVLA explaining it was physically impossible to obtain hard copy couriered within time during the pandemic. DVLA management reviewed my file and agreed to make an exception on this occasion due to extenuating circumstances and were prepared to accept my imported vehicle registration application on the basis of documents that were available to me. Just when I thought everything was going smoothly…I was informed that the MOT certificate I had submitted was missing last few digits of the chassis number. This was Monday 23rd of March 2020. I rushed straight to my local Ford Service Centre who without hesitation booked the Endeavour for an immediate re-test on a priority basis…complimentary. As soon as I had the new certificate in my hand I posted it special next day delivery. That evening Boris Johnson announced the Lockdown. Fortunately the mail was delivered in time…

As I wrote this article today [5/4/20] I was mindful of its limited appeal, as a narrative it took me back 3 years when I had first stumbled on this forum and read thoughts shared by others…some more daring in their quest to traverse rough terrain and weather conditions across continents. I feel like a newbie again.

Mission accomplished with arrival of Endeavour’s new registration document. The number plates from Ford were fitted to the SUV on Friday 3rd of April. I have so many places I wish to explore. Once nationwide restrictions currently in place are lifted…my adventure begins.
Attached Thumbnails
I exported my Ford Endeavour from India to the UK!-img20191118wa0053.jpg  

I exported my Ford Endeavour from India to the UK!-img20191118wa0043.jpeg  

I exported my Ford Endeavour from India to the UK!-img20191108wa0007.jpg  

I exported my Ford Endeavour from India to the UK!-iva-norwich-ext.jpeg  

I exported my Ford Endeavour from India to the UK!-iva-norwich-int.jpeg  

I exported my Ford Endeavour from India to the UK!-rto-rule-book.jpg  

I exported my Ford Endeavour from India to the UK!-vin-tag.jpeg  

I exported my Ford Endeavour from India to the UK!-vinyl-label.jpeg  

I exported my Ford Endeavour from India to the UK!-gb-number-plates-1.jpeg  

I exported my Ford Endeavour from India to the UK!-mileage-012345.6.jpeg  

I exported my Ford Endeavour from India to the UK!-gb-number-plates-2.jpeg  

I exported my Ford Endeavour from India to the UK!-gb-number-plates-3.jpeg  

Arbind Ray is offline   (140) Thanks
Old 6th April 2020, 17:24   #3
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Default Re: I exported my Ford Endeavour from India to the UK!

Many thanks for sharing, Arbind! I have copied your very unique posts to a new thread! Original thread link is here (Exporting a car from India).

Don't think there is any bigger fan of the Endeavour 3.2 than you .
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Old 6th April 2020, 17:26   #4
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Default Re: I exported my Ford Endeavour from India to the UK!

Lovely thread @Arabind and @GTO. I had been waiting for this one. Hope to meet the Endeavour from India in London once this lockdown is over and life is back to normal.

Last edited by BlackPearl : 6th April 2020 at 20:48. Reason: Used short form by mistake.
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Old 6th April 2020, 17:53   #5
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Amazing Arbind... We all love our cars, but yours is at a different level! Wish you many many miles and happy experiences with the Endy. Drive safe buddy...
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Old 6th April 2020, 18:17   #6
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Default Re: I exported my Ford Endeavour from India to the UK!

Amazing write-up Arbind.

Its a first time for me to read an article of exporting India cars to any other country. I thought the passion of Indians were only to import from foreign land.

If you don't mind, could you share how much did it cost you in total to have the car on England shores?

There must already be some eye-balls rolling (post the lockdown) wondering about this unknown 7-seater SUV.

Cheers and looking forward to some UK diaries with the Endy!!
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Old 6th April 2020, 18:26   #7
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Default Re: I exported my Ford Endeavour from India to the UK!

Now that's a new bar to classify someone as an "Enthusiast". Transporting a car from India, a former crown colony to her Majesty's isles must have taken more patience than most other endeavours in life (pun intended!). Both are very process oriented and while fast, the UK still has quite inefficient processes compared to some of its neighbours in general based on my experience of both sides of the channel.

Well done & wish you enjoyable times with the Endeavour 3.2 in the beautiful countrysides. Thats one lucky Endeavour 3.2. To have a loving companion and to be able to explore distant corners of the world far from birthplace. Great that you have good Ford care-takers already identified to take care of your car.


Last edited by BlackPearl : 6th April 2020 at 21:27. Reason: Minor typo. Thanks.
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Old 6th April 2020, 19:16   #8
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What a wonderful thread. Congrats to the endy and its adorable owner. Enjoy the life in UK - NRI Ford Endeavour

Its a wonderful feeling to read about the passion and love for cars. And how people will go to whatever human extent to get their dreams achieved. Drive safe and have loads of fun in the UK. I am sure the car will be equally happy as you.

Last edited by sunishsamuel : 6th April 2020 at 19:17.
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Old 6th April 2020, 19:36   #9
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Default Re: I exported my Ford Endeavour from India to the UK!

Wow. It was such a pleasure reading a completely different thread on the forum. Hope you get to enjoy the car to the fullest now.

You have mentioned the various costs involved. Can I request you to also provide a final figure including all the costs that were involved. Just wanted to get an idea.

Looking forward to read more about your car's journey in the UK.
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Old 6th April 2020, 19:53   #10
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True fan of the Endy, it seems. I hope she gives you many more memories in the UK to treasure.

I was wondering, is there a change in diesel quality in the UK? Will it affect the car?
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Old 6th April 2020, 20:12   #11
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Default Re: I exported my Ford Endeavour from India to the UK!

Wow, this is absolutely phenomenal and a great read!
Thank you for sharing your account and wish you many happy miles on UK roads!
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Old 7th April 2020, 11:36   #12
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Incredible! Its so evident how much you love your cars.
It is a great read and gives us so much of insight on this topic. Thank you for sharing Arbind.
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Old 7th April 2020, 12:37   #13
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Bravo! Long live men who value their machine. I have no words to describe what a joy it was to read your post and about your sheer resilience in overcoming every obstacle that came in between. I am happy for you.

One thing if I may ask, why is there no 7 seater endeavour or any other full fledged 3 litre 7 seater suv in uk as you mentioned?
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Old 7th April 2020, 14:20   #14
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Your perseverance has paid off. You must get a sticker "Imported from India".

I have one question though. India and UK have different emission norms. I understand that there may be Euro 4 cars already on the UK roads. I reckon your car must be BS4 and UK must have Euro 6 now. In India, you can no longer register BS4 vehicles , I'm assuming it must be similar in UK. Was there something in the regulations that permitted you to register an imported BS4 vehicle.
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Old 7th April 2020, 15:28   #15
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Wow, quite the adventure in how you made this all work! I am actually quite surprised registering the car in the UK went so smoothly. Bringing cars into the EU can be a nightmare these days. Especially if they don’t have an EU type approval. I guess that is why you needed an individual vehicle approval?

Believe it or not. My Jaguar, build in the UK, bought by me second hand in the USA and eventually did take back to my home country in the Netherlands did not have an EU type approval! The USA version, or at least mine, did not have a formal EU approval. Even though the difference are less than minor and with the exception of the indicators, it is neary all cosmetic!

In the Netherlands it would have costed in the region of Euro 2500 - 3500 to get an individual vehicle approval. In the end I did not need it as the car was brought back as part of my house hold goods. Different rules apply and it all becomes much more relaxed. Also, no import or any other duties payable.

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