Buying a set of tires OnLiine from UK for import to US

I would like to buy a set of tires in the UK. The website will ship to the USA via PayPal purchase. Much better price than in the US.

Same tires are sold here so I assume they are DOT approved, I will confirm the DOT stamp on the tires.

Any issues getting them through Customs?
Is there a duty involved?

Hoping for info from an experienced buyer.


I’ve bought tires from the UK before. It’s been a few years, but had zero problems going through customs and getting them here.

Best place to buy from are Longstone Tyres. They are very price competitive, specialise in classic cars and are experienced sending tyres all over the world. Speak to Dougal. He is the one on the right of the home screen!

Last time I was there two Bugatti T35’s drove in for new rubber before heading off to a race. No trailers, no support team just two experienced racers having the time of their life.


In the USA classic tire market some tires are sold that are not DOT approved. Since I use my cars on the highway in ordinary driving circumstances, DOT rating is important factor for me. If DOT rating is important to you, I recommend not assuming that DOT rating is present.

Thanks. Yes, sounds like a go then.
I am talking with Longstone and as I said, I will confirm they are DOT approved.


The European equal to the DOIT code is the “E” code. Are tires used in the U. S. required to have a DOT code? If not, would tires with an E code be sufficient? I’m guessing the Europeans have tire standards that are probably about as stringent as those in the U. S.

“If not, would tires with an E code be sufficient?”

Don’t know but wouldn’t want to have them stuck in customs cause of it.

The tires are sold in the US too so I think they are DOT but ckg tomorrow

I honestly don’t think Customs would care whether the tires are DOT approved or not…after all, who’s to say you’re planning to use them on a street car? People ship Dunlop CR65’s over here all the time, and I seriously doubt they’re DOT approved.

I think the bigger concern would be if you got into a wreck, and you injured someone, and it was discovered you had non-DOT tires on your car. Talk about a field day for a prosecuting attorney….

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Hmm, true as to the use. Maybe they don’t.
Interesting as to the wreck.
But if they are all bases covered.

Do you know if Longstone assures delivery of tires that are reasonably fresh? When the tires arrive, I’d hate to discover that they are 3 years old! (Europeans “date”-stamp tires, I assume.) I ask because exactly that happened to me once, forcing me to wrestle for compensation for having bought a set of half-life tires at full price.

They gave me a sodewall date of 2521, 1year old. Not preferred but not too bad

I do not know about tires. I do know what happens if you buy a complete stainless steel exhaust system for a Stag, packaged in several cardboard cartons, and you checked them through as baggage and they are lettered in large letters as “Stainless steel silencers” and you are trying to make customs in Chicago.It was not pretty. Mike Moore


And AC air filters for a TR apparently look a lot like a claymore mine on an x-ray machine.

Longstone are the biggest supplier of Classic Car tyres in the UK. Their reputation is second to none and their tyres are always fresh from the factories. They work closely with Pirelli and Michelin to support development and supply. They are very English eccentric (and riotusly funny) but going to visit them is always a delight. Last time I took my E-Type there for new tyres Dougal gave me a 1930’s chain gang Fraser-Nash race car as a loaner. Scared the living daylights out of me - keep pumping to maintain fuel pressure as you drive, singeing my clothes on the exhaust, a turning circle of 50 foot - and I had to drive for miles to find somewhere to do a U turn without stalling it. They all thought this was very funny of course but at least I can say I have driven one. How Dougal races the beast is beyond me!

I have no experience importing tires from the UK, and I am sure that Longstone Tyres are as good as everyone here says. But have you considered ordering your tires from Coker Tires. For example, Coker sales the Michelin XWX for about $8 more than Longstone. When you consider the cost of shipping 4 or 5 tires from the UK the price from Coker is much better. Not to mention that if you have any issues, Coker is here in the US.
Just my 2 cents worth.

However I am not looking at the XWX. Too expensive. Coker sells the 205 70 15 for 404, +tx, +shipping I believe. Longstone sells the Pirelli CN12 set of 4 for 215 UK pounds=$262 ea, cheaper shipping and no tax.

I think you need to look again. I just checked and CN12s are 229 each without VAT. And to that, you still have to add shipping. Have you checked on shipping cost for four tires from the UK?

No VAT for theUS. Website says $60.
I looking at the price of 1 tire when ordering 4 which offers a discount.

OK, 4 tires cost 859 pounds. Are you saying that they quoted $60 for shipping?

Yeah I know, but that was the calc of the website.
I think it’s just a flat rate they use for international shipments.
Instead of a “Free Freight” that you often see. Which of course just means the freight is built into the price.

Sorry, 60 pounds so $74