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Importing A New Zealand Mini Into The Uk To Sell

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#1 W1NG3D


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Posted 08 January 2019 - 11:54 PM

Hi guys,


I've owned a 1965 mini since December 2013 over in New Zealand, but it now just sits in dry storage at my parents place and I've since moved back to England where I now live permanently.

As such I'm seriously considering shipping the mini over from Auckland to Southampton (conveniently enough close to where I'm now living in Fareham), and selling it on to pay off my current car and then maybe put the remainder towards another later classic mini in the future. In an ideal world I'd be bringing it over here to keep for myself, but sadly this isn't financially or practically viable and it's also just a waste to sit around at my parents' place not getting used.


So firstly I was wondering if anybody has had experience with bringing a 40+ year old car (particularly a slightly modified mini) into the UK and what the process entails in terms of registering it with the DVLA, clearing customs etc?


For some reason I'm not allowed to make a new post in the Valuations section otherwise I would probably post this here as well, as one of my other questions to the community is to get opinions on its value to sell in the UK. I've taken lots of photos in this Imgur album which can be viewed here: https://imgur.com/a/B5uyTkI


I've tried to show as many close ups as possible of the small problem areas on the body but apart from these it's very solid throughout, having had a relatively easy life in New Zealand with no salt on the roads.


It's been built to the following spec:

- Originally a Morris 850cc mini, but has been done up as a Cooper S recreation/tribute as faithfully as I've been able. Previous owner fitted Morris S badging, grille etc and did all the paint, and since I bought it I've added parts to bring it closer to S spec

- Almond green with old english white roof

- Custom made old english white roof rack with suction cup and gutter bracket mounting system

- Boot board with Cooper style brackets welded in place to retain it properly

- Single 5.5gallon fuel tank

- Early 12G 1275cc engine with close-ratio 4 synchro remote gearbox, 11 stud 12G940 head which has had some port work done. Not sure on exact cam spec but appears to be a fairly mild road cam profile. Engine was freshly rebuilt when I purchased it and has seen very little driving since. Apparently this engine also has a toughened crank similar to S spec although I don't have any paperwork to confirm this.

- Genuine original LP883 Cooper S 4.5x10" steel wheels - not reproductions

- Cooper S 7.5" disk brake conversion from MiniSport with spaced drums on the rear brakes

- Single silencer RC40 1.75" exhaust system with free flow manifold

- Early 3-clock binnacle with early Cooper/Deluxe style temperature and pressure gauges. Standard 140kph speedometer put in by previous owner to convert for modern NZ roads so sadly the original Mk1 speedo is no longer present

- Re-upholstered Australian GT spec high-back seats in cream leather and black piping

- Modern bluetooth head unit discreetly fitted under the front shelf, with an amplifier under the passenger seat and two 6x9" speakers mounted in a custom MDF panel under the rear seats. All very easily removable to bring the car back to a more original state

- Wiper motor has been upgraded to a later two speed type for reliability using a bolt-on bracket conversion, so it is easily reversible to a period correct single speed motor setup


As is visible in the pictures there are some imperfections where the paint could do with some re-doing and attention, particularly on the upper door frames where some Cooper chrome trims were previously "bodged" and glued on. I've taken them off but unfortunately the glue has left lots of residue and taken some of the paint off, although I'll be trying to clean this up anyway.


I'd really love to hear any feedback on potential value and also the import process, as I'm trying to work out whether it's worthwhile to import the car into the UK for sale, otherwise I will either just sell it in New Zealand or consider keeping it at my parents' for years to come while I save up to bring it over to the UK to keep for myself. :)


#2 nicklouse


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Posted 09 January 2019 - 12:02 AM

bring it over, get it MOTed on the chassis number. get it insured on the  chassis number. that that info with your current docs to the DVLA/VOSA with 55 quid fee (please check) and the required tax payment (may not be needed) a few weeks later you will have a new reg number and papers.

#3 Adam Johnson

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Posted 09 January 2019 - 12:16 AM

As Nick says, but first pay the import duty at the docks; then MOT etc. I am in the process of doing this with a South African mini. DVLA took about 2 weeks to process the paperwork once I sent it through. I needed the registration documents for South Africa, an mot, proof import duty was paid, £55 fee and in my case 6 months of tax (I will be exempt in april).

Sorry, I can’t help on the values but I am based in Southampton if you need a hand with the forms or anything.

#4 W1NG3D


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Posted 09 January 2019 - 01:25 AM

Cheers guys :) Doesn't sound too complicated - I was previously told by somebody that I may not need an MOT given the age of the car, but is this different with importing versus an already UK-registered car? 

#5 Moke Spider

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Posted 09 January 2019 - 06:42 AM

Why not just sell it in NZ ?


Could save some headaches and the moneys for importing it.

#6 W1NG3D


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Posted 09 January 2019 - 06:52 AM

It would definitely be a lot easier and hassle free to sell it in New Zealand, but a preliminary look at the prices of earlier minis sold in NZ vs the UK seems to suggest that it would fetch a lot more for sale in England and might be worth the shipping costs & faff. Still weighing it up though - I'll need to get a better idea of the value of this particular car first before pulling the trigger an sending it over.

#7 Adam Johnson

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Posted 09 January 2019 - 08:01 AM

I think you will need the mot to import it. Whilst it will be exempt, the form you fill in to register it in the uk asks for one. My car is MOT exempt but it was still necessary for the registration. Given the relative hassle of getting over here, I would have thought an MOT would help with the sale in terms of giving buyers a (degree) of additional confidence.

The economics of importing look ok though, or at least did from SA. The guys that sold my mini to me run a business importing classic British and European cars back to the uk from SA. I saw some of the other cars they had, a couple of old Lancia’s, MGB’s etc, all of which looked pretty much rust free. I am not sure New Zealand cars will be any better for having less rot, but when my family lived out there it was notable how much lower the classic car values where for British cars.

#8 beardylondon


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Posted 09 January 2019 - 11:37 PM

Nice looking mini, however as it is a recreation, and not particularly rare, and unoriginal (I'm not knocking that, my own car is a recreation) I doubt it would demand that much of a premium in the UK.


In my humble opinion, and from the point of view of a UK purchaser, those mustard colour Aus spec seats might put off some purchasers, as they are not something we see a lot of in the UK, and they might not be everyones taste.  To replace them with a set of original second hand UK S Spec seats would be impossible, leaving the option of brand new Newton reproduction seats that would obviously cost a fortune.  A cheaper interior is an option of course.


Food for thought!

Edited by beardylondon, 09 January 2019 - 11:39 PM.

#9 Juano052


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Posted 21 January 2019 - 07:30 PM

Would you consider to sell the roof rack and ship it to the USA?

#10 cjdillonnz


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Posted 22 February 2019 - 04:12 AM

I’ve seen this at a show. Very nice.

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