US School bus, bus conversion, UK Imports Services

Importing a School Bus from the USA

Since appearing on the TV Show George Clarkes Amazing Spaces, there has been a lot of people wanting to bring in a classic Yellow American School bus to convert into one thing or another. And why not? The internal size of a bus means that the imagination can run wild with endless possibilities, this together with the external look of a instantly recognisable classic. A vehicle which is pretty much a combination of a VW Camper and a ’66 Mustang. An icon with mammoth proportions.

As with most vehicles, there are lots of different types, makes and sizes and we have assisted with the shipping and/or Customs clearance of many of them.

Here are some approx. costs, based on some shipping quotes which we have done during 2017-18:

  • 20’ Long ex. Baltimore, Maryland to Southampton £ 1,675 - £2,250
  • 25’ Long ex. Baltimore, Maryland to Liverpool £ 2,100 – £2,500
  • 30’ Long ex. Jacksonville, Florida to Southampton £ 2,750 – £2,950
  • 35’ Long ex. Galveston, Texas to Southampton £ 3,000 – £3,500
  • 40’ Long ex. Baltimore, Maryland to Southampton £ 3,800 – £4,100
  • Please note:

    The above rates were correct at the time of quoting and are based on a Roll-On/Roll-Off service which includes the export documentation, handling and UK Customs clearance costs. The fluctuations in the shipping costs are due to changes in the shipping line rate (which goes up as well as down during different times of the year), plus the different ports that they are coming from in the USA and arriving at here in the UK. Also, as the shipping rates vary, these previous quotes are probably based on different carriers and subject to different rates of exchange with the US Dollar and Sterling. We can provide costs for collection within the USA, but these quotes were based on the seller delivering the bus (or the buyer taking a trip to the USA to collect it and then delivering it) to either the Port of Departure or our local agents warehouse. These rates are therefore to be used as a guideline and could be less or greater than the prices shown.

    To provide you with a quote for the shipping of this vehicle, please can you advise the following pieces of information: (We have includes the details of previous Bus to use as an example)

    Vehicle Details:

  • Year, Make and Model of the Vehicle
    e.g. 1999 International 3800 (Thomas High-Roof body) – 71 Seater
  • Dimensions of the vehicle (L x W x H in CMs)
    e.g. 38.0 foot long (11.5M), 8 foot wide (2.43M), 10.6 foot high (3.23M)
    NB.if the vehicle is a motorcycle, please include the dimensions of the crate, if applic.
  • Gross / Kerb Weight (Kgs)
    e.g. 19,000 lbs / 8,618 Kgs
  • Any modifications to consider when shipping
    e.g. Original
    (No: Body Kit/Skirts/Spoilers, Lowering, Wide tyres, Tow-Bar, Winch, bull-bars, Roof-Rack etc.)
  • Condition of the vehicle
    e.g. Runs, exterior and interior consistent with age/use
    (Other descriptions: non-runner, new/mint/showroom, condition consistent with age i.e. a few minor dents and scratches)
  • Value of the vehicle (for insurance purposes)
    e.g. USD ...
  • Shipping Details:

  • Which Port is the closest Port to the seller of the vehicle?
    e.g. Baltimore
  • Would you be looking for a Roll-on/Roll-off (Ferry-type service)?
    e.g. Roll-on/Roll-off
  • Where are you in the UK (so that if there is an option of UK Port, we can select the closest one to you)?
    e.g. Southampton
  • Please advise if this vehicle is being imported for Private or Commercial Use (incl. resale)?
    e.g. Private (Repair/Conversion - Not for resale)
  • We hope that you find this information useful, and as an extra bonus, here are a couple of links to some 3rd party websites to further inspire you:

    Further Reading:

  • George Clarkes amazing spaces
    Series 5, Episode 8 – Festival Campervan and Floating Beach Hut
    https://www.channel4.com/programmes/george-clarkes-amazing-spaces/on-demand/60244-008
  • Review – Website of a Previous Customer
    http://www.schoolbusconversion.net/buying-and-importing-a-us-school-bus.html
  • Please contact a member of the Imports team for information and advice on your particular vehicle and we will assist you, and provide you with costs, as best we can.


    Remember : Shipping and Customs clearance doesn't have to be expensive, but choosing the wrong agent could be! ™ ukimports

    For more information on importing cars, motorcycles, boats, pick-ups or any other motor vehicle, please feel free to contact a member of our Imports Team, on 0345 309 6360, or email us at: enquiries@ukimportservices.com.


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