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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Is it a good idea to ship my Prius to UK? I have the GPS option and I am wondering if it is straighforward to swap the DVD with a UK one. Has anyone tried shipping one over and swapping out the DVD? If so, how much did Toyota UK charge and was it a seamless transition? Any other issues with driving a USA Prius in the UK (other the steering wheel being on the wrong/right side of course).

I would appreciate any responses on this as I am trying figure out if it is a good idea to ship it over when I move to the UK. From UK web sites it seems that the Prius in the UK is significantly more expensive to purchase than it is here in California. Apart from the money, I have of course formed a bond with my friend the Prius and I want her with me...
:)
Thanks!

-M
Silver prius, BC package (what was package 9 or was it 6?)
 

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You'd have to drive backwards and on the wrong side of the road, so her steering wheel would be in the UK place. Might get uncomfortable, but, as you say, you HAVE bonded...
 

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The steering being on the wrong side is one big issue. One other issue will be that your front seat passengers will be getting out of the vehicle into oncoming traffic.

New Zealand is also right hand drive, like the UK, and the few left hand drive vehicles on the road always look like an accident waiting to happen !

You could look at importing a used Prius from Japan (also right hand drive) to cut costs down, although I've no idea how the tarrifs are.
 

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WAIT a MINUTE !! I've always driven on the left side of the road, because that is the side the steering wheel is on. YOU MEAN ?!? :shock: ...Oh NO !!! :cry: I am in such big trouble. :cry:
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Hey you guys... talk about getting the wrong end of a thread and running with it... :)
I said *other* than the steering wheel left/right/wrong side issue. Actually, I have shipped another car several years ago when I moved to Cambridge, UK, a Corolla and yes the driving wheel thing was an issue. It was a little disconcerting riding along with the bicyclists as it were and paying at automatic parking lots was odd -often involving getting out to pick up the ticket from the machine. But wait a minute, am I going off topic now too!? :)

But seriously, I am interested in Prius-specific and GPS-specific issues that might occur due to shipping to the country across the pond -as distinct from the generic steering wheel type issues. Things that come to mind are, will swapping out the DVD with the UK work properly? I am hoping/assuming that the software that drives it is not specifically tailored to the US market. Although, who knows it could be a specific market orientated thing -and those limeys are a strange bunch after all? (I think its ok for me to say 'limey' because I originally hail from that country). Another that comes to mind is the emissions/catalytic convertor thing. I seem to recall seeing somewhere that the emissions standards are lower in the UK and this allows the UK Prius to get better mpg. Or is my memory serving me false (as it often does)? Also, I seem to recall someone pointing out that there is no thermos in the UK model? These things might affect the future repairs...Any other potential Prius-specific issues?

-M

Silver Prius, BC package (and yes it really does have mats to protect its mats)
 

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headlights

You might want to investigate the headlight situation.

I remember at least when I was taking a UK car into the chunnel to France, I had to apply stickers to blocked out part of the left headlight so as not to blind the French drivers who drive on the right side of the road. I don't actually know if the Brits have similar requirements of the French cars, but you might want to just look into it, especially if you have the high intensity lamps.

Louie
 

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Somebody did write in to this forum a long time ago about the whole issue of changing the DVD for different countries - they were angry that Toyota were charging them so much for it, and were requesting a 'backup' copy from someone on the board.

'Fraid I can't find the thread any more as the search system has problems. Perhaps you should just make friends with a UK Prius owner, and buy them a drink or two (and a DVD-R)? :wink:
 

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you also might want to ask some more local people:
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Prius-UK/

Considering that the North American Prius has so many differences from the UK Prius, I'd be worried about parts and also trained dealer techs. UK Prius has a different suspension and different wheels/tyres. NA Prius has added emission control equipment (like the bladder fuel tank and the engine coolant thermos).

There may be some modifications that may need to be done to bring the vehicle into EU code. An auto transporter/importer company should be able to tell you some of the specifics, such as headlight modifications.
 

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Right hand drive in left hand drive country no sweat !
I have imported and drove a Celica ( Japanese Version ) Due to $500
cost and my uncle was then an Exec with shipping company so only
$ very little spending.Back in early 90s for about a year. _DOT_ want it out of the country due to "Right hand Drive" but EPA said,
cleaner emission than the
then CA smog standard ! I had no problem driving
except toll booths paying and too many stares
from motorist in Ca Freeways. I ended up selling to a Canadian fellow
and I believe he still has it in canada ..But the U.S. Prius in the UKs ?
 

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If you are making a temporary import, then its no problem that the tail lights, indicators and numberplates dont comply to the UK regulations. You will need to blank out bits of your lights to avoid blinding others.

A bigger problem may be tax liability. In principle, for a stay under 6 months there is no tax to pay, but customs may require a bond which would be repaid when you export the car. But, have an accident that causes a write off, and you will have to pay import duty, vat and any other taxes.

Also consider the (compulsory) insurance. For an import its a lot higher than an EU sourced car.

If you are going to be in the UK for more than 6 months I would suggest you buy or lease a new car here in the EU. You can often get UK spec cars from Denmark or Holland a lot cheaper than from a UK dealer. There are also car supermarkets which import cars from cheaper markets and sell below UK prices. Contact one in advance and they could probably get you exactly what you want (rather than having to take what they have).
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
The best reply I info I found on shipping my Prius to the UK states that the headlights need changing to conform to UK standards but little else should be a problem. Putting aside the non-Prius specific issues (such as driving wheel on other side etc), then the remaining issue for me is whether or not the DVD is really switchable? Switching disks sounds fine in theory, but how will the prius respond to a voice command of say, "gas"? My guess is it will show petrol stations, although I am not clear this will really work at all. Does anyone have experience with the swapping DVD issue?
Another issue that comes to mind is the MPG, which will wrong as the US gallon is smaller than the UK imperial gallon. However, this MPG issue is of course no more than a minor inconvenience.

Thanks for all replies on the prius-specific US to UK shipping problem and on the particularly perplexing DVD issue!
 

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musashi, how long will you be in the UK? Maybe it would be better to sell your US Prius (good resale value) and buy a UK Prius when you get there.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Thanks for your reply firepa63. At the present exchange rate the UK prius is approximately 30% more expensive than the USA prius. With minor modifcations my prius will be ready to drive in the UK. There will be issues, such as reading Fahrenheit rather than Celcius and US gallons rather than imperial UK gallons but these are indeed no more than minor inconveniences compared with the significant cost savings. Other issues will arise too of course, but these are largely generic to any USA car shipped to the UK and are non-prius specific. To get back to my original question though...has anyone tried switching the American DVD to the UK one?

-M
 

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I've seen reports of a US Prius that was shipped to Germany. Last I read (I've been away from most groups for a while), the Germany DVD had the Germany roads, the rest of Europe, but for some reason wouldn't do guidance in Germany (but would guide in any other country), and they were still trying to figure that one out...
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Thanks for your reply mrv! You have jogged my memory. I seem to remember someone (on this list or some other) having a problem with his or her GPS once shipped to Europe. That would be a real pain, as I have come to rely on the GPS for almost all directional things these days. Perhaps I will have to leave my baby behind after all and purchase another in the UK (and swallow the 30% price differential too). Oh well....
 

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i wonder if one of those settings that were found in the second level diagnostic setting would allow change of country of operation? That might change the units. But if we are wrong, or wrong setting taken, it could mess up the display.
 
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