5 Great Cars You Can’t Buy In The UK, And How To Import Them

Let’s take a look at 5 of the best cars you can't buy in the UK and how you might be able to buy them!

They say you can’t have it all, but that’s cold comfort when you see something you really, really want only to find it’s out of your reach. As broad as the UK car market may be, not everything is available locally. Car manufacturers have to consider the cost of exporting and the state of the local automotive market when choosing which models to export and which to keep at home. The upshot of all this is that some cars simply can’t be bought commercially in the UK.

Let’s take a look at 5 of the best, and then we’ll give you some tips as to how you might be able to buy some of these from their home country and import them directly into the UK. Who knows, maybe you can have it all…

Chevrolet Corvette

Let’s start with a classic. The Chevrolet Corvette is the UK’s most imported car, with 1,409 registered at the time of writing. While previous years saw the Ford Mustang topping the American muscle car list, the Mustang is now commercially available in the UK. The Corvette remains, sadly, import-only. 

One look at the 2020 C8 model and you can see why it’s so popular. What more can be said about a car that’s been described as "the most successful concept car in history and the most popular sports car in history” ? The current C8 model, is powered by a 6.2 liter naturally aspirated V8 engine called the LT2, generating 495 horsepower. 

Although the C8 is currently only available on import, Chevrolet announced that in October 2021 they will be producing a right-hand drive Chevrolet C8 Corvette Stingray that will be available in the UK.

Renault Kwid

For something more affordable we have the Renault Kwid. This 5 door hatchback was initially designed by Renault for the Indian market, launching in that country in 2015. The design was given a facelift in 2019, updating the design of the front grille and wheels. Renault has also produced an electric model based on the Kwid, called the Renault City K-ZE, which was launched in China in 2019.

The appeal of these cars is their price point. They were developed specifically for the Indian, Brazilian and South African markets and so have been kept as cost-effective as possible. The Kwid retails in India for the equivalent of £2,945. Currently only available on import, it’s possible this car may eventually be released in the UK as a Dacia through Renault’s Dacia-Lada business unit.

Jeep Gladiator

Take a Jeep Wrangler, lengthen the chassis and bolt a pick-up bed on the back. The 5539mm long, 1875mm wide Jeep Gladiator is a 4x4 monster, both longer and wider than a current model Toyota Hilux. The Gladiator is made for off-road conditions, with large 33-inch tires as standard and 283mm ground clearance. The Rubicon model runs on a Rock-Trak 4x4 system with a super-low range setting and mechanically locking differentials. It also features a ‘smart sway-bar’ which is an anti-roll bar that can be decoupled automatically from the driver’s seat. The doors and roof can be removed and the windscreen can be unbolted and folded down onto the bonnet.

This off-road giant is a little less happy on tarmac, with some owners complaining of wandering steering during highway driving. The Jeep Gladiator is best suited for adventurous drivers who want to see what it can do in challenging off-road conditions. Although the Gladiator is still only available on import, Jeep does produce both left and right-hand-drive models for other markets, which potentially saves on conversion costs.

Toyota Century