Help Importing a 280GE into the States from the UK


New member
I've been looking for a W460 for some time now and it seems like the ones on eBay go for more than I can afford. I just found one in the UK for about $11K USD. I got a shipping quote to ship to Tacoma, WA for about $2000. Has anyone ever imported a G wagen from the UK that would be wiling to help shed some light on this for me. A few questions

1. Other than the paperwork, is there anything else that needs to be done on my end?
2. I can't figure out if the duty is 2.5% or 25%, anyone know for sure?
3. Would it be much cheaper to ship to the east coast and drive to Seattle or just have it shipped to Seattle/Tacoma?
4. How long does the process take?
5. Any advice/input?

Thank you!


Haven't done it, but I've done a lot of reading on the matter... Since its a W460, its probably old enough- you didn't say. From looking into shipping, Its about $500 less to Baltimore- you're hard pressed to get a vehicle across the country for that. Pretty sure the duty will be 2.5%. I think it takes about a week or two. Rotterdam to Baltimore is much quicker- well inside a week.
Why from the UK? seems like the selection would be better on the mainland....,151,153,154,155,156,157,158,160,159,161,68,218,219&makeModelVariant1.searchInFreetext=false&makeModelVariant2.searchInFreetext=false&makeModelVariant3.searchInFreetext=false&maxFirstRegistrationDate=1990-12-31&maxPrice=11000&export=ALSO_EXPORT&readyToDrive=ONLY_READY_TO_DRIVE&lang=en


Expedition Leader
It's been a while since I imported a truck, but it was 3-4 weeks Bremen to Tacoma. I agree that the money saved in shipping to Baltimore would be more than eaten up by the expenses of a cross country drive.

The duty is 2.5% for "autos" and 25% for "trucks." I assume no one would disagree that you are importing an "auto," but it might be worth verifying that.

The only other advice, passed on to me from the importer, is to use a dedicated car-carrying vessel, a Ro-Ro, as they're called (roll on/roll off). Pay the small premium to go an the car-carrier as opposed to being cargo on a general freighter. A decade ago, I used Wallenius (now Wallenius/Wilhelmsen Logistics) and it was clear they'd done it a million times, very efficient and orderly. There's some information on car shipping here: Can't say who would be the best choice now.

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It is worth the fee to pay Dividing Creek Imports to do all your logistics for you. He gets it picked up in the UK, arranges the shipping, gets all your paper work in order soup to nuts. If you screw something up it can get very expensive so it is worth the upfront cost of hiring Doug. If it is not 25 plus years, forget it though.

He imported an 83 land rover for me.
I just used in Vancouver recently to import an engine into the states. Duty on the engine was 2.5%. I ordered the engine back in July and it took 3 months to get here and clear customs. They were very good with paperwork which helped with the whole process. I know they also deal in vehicles so it may be worth contacting them.


Thanks Evilfij.
Depending on the voyage- ie how many stops the ship will make figure 18-20 days I have been screwed several times on W.Coast ocean freight-ie arrival notice and quote differ greatly. Tacoma is an ok port but make sure the truck is spotless as they have been known to quarantine and require "decontamination" which can set you back several thousand dollars.
2W is my primary shipping line for ro/ro shipments. Make damn sure whomever you decide to use to handle your entry is involved prior to the truck being delivered to the docks in the UK. The fine for not doing things as required prior to loading on the ship is $5k and Customs has been enforcing it and charging the penalty.
I have imported 5 g's in the past 45 days and Customs is just as keen on them as they are defenders so make damn certain the truck is all original as built per the build spec sheet. Customs clearance can take some time if the Officer decides to involve DOT and sends them pictures etc... That can make the entry process take weeks.


Expedition Leader
Tacoma is an ok port but make sure the truck is spotless as they have been known to quarantine and require "decontamination" which can set you back several thousand dollars.
Yeah, what he said; I had a close call with my Mog importation into Tacoma. As if there weren't enough governmental agencies involved, the U.S. Department of Agriculture, to prevent importing dangerous pests with your vehicle, wants a "thoroughly cleaned" undercarriage, which means you best have it steam cleaned before it goes on the boat.


New member
Oh It probably costed you a fortune to transport the car over th ocean. You should really love your car to the moon and back!


New member
This thread is freaking old but the questions which the author asked are still relevant in present days. I want to ship my Dodge Challenger from Ireland, but have no idea where to start. I contacted some of the shipping companies and they all send me a list of documents which I should prepare. I even have no idea where to get them. If someone who already have done this before will describe me into detail I will really appreciate it. The most important I’m looking for a reliable and simply the best car transport company which you know. Thanks in advance.
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Regular guy
I have imported 2 G from Germany using TGAL roll on roll off. Not sure if they service Ireland, but it was a painless process. Cost from Bremerhavn to Long Beach under $1500.