Can I import my LHD car from the US by stripping it down to parts?

Would it be a feasible option for my Caterham? Has anyone had any experience doing this or have contacts?

BHPian mashy1987 recently shared this with other enthusiasts.

Hi,

I own a Caterham in the US and recently had to move to India due to visa restrictions. It’s a left-hand-drive car and I was told we can’t import those here.

Wanted to check on the feasibility of stripping down the car to parts and then shipping it to India. Has anyone had any experience doing this or have contacts? I know a mechanic there who can help with this but need someone to help with shipping.

Here’s what GTO had to say about the matter:

The good news for you is that there are a lot more imports in India than was the case 10 years back. And almost all of them now are clean imports with sorted paperwork, mostly brought in by the car manufacturers themselves. Sell your Caterham and buy a pre-owned one here.

Here are some coupes & convertibles that might catch your eye.

Here’s what BHPian ajmat had to say about the matter:

If you must bring it, take it off the road and convert it and then import it however, you will have a lot of navigation to do in estimating duties etc. and RTO compliance.

As for stripping down into parts – you pay big duty for used parts and customs get very suspicious and can block. I know a person who converted a Lancer to Evo spec by importing all the components but it took a lot to get there.

There were cases of Hondas being dismantled, brought in and sold. This became a customs case and all loopholes were closed.

Even if you got the parts in – how would you register the car without a Bill of Landing, Compliance certification etc.?

Here’s what BHPian Turbanator had to say about the matter:

Almost impossible unless it’s vintage or imported by the consulate due to left-hand drive. As Ajmat has mentioned, even if you manage to get everything, getting car registration without import documents is not going to happen.

If you want to keep the car to use on private property or just for display, it might be possible, though handling customs will be bothersome.

Another option will be to get on carnet but after a certain time, it has to be shipped back.

Here’s what BHPian anjan_c2007 had to say about the matter:

There are import guidelines that need to be followed if you go by the rulebook. There are professional agents who help in importing cars and obtaining customs clearance and they are mostly based in Delhi, Mumbai and Chennai.

There are two options:

  • The car should not be more than three years old, should be a right-hand drive only, subject to fulfilment of other conditions and payment of the stipulated 116% import duty on its cost price.
  • Pre 1950 cars are allowed to be freely imported wef April 2013 irrespective of their engine capacity or whether these are right or left-hand drives. The invoice from its country of origin has to be obtained on which an import duty of 116% is to be paid.

You can view further details on this link.

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