• Danny Lee

What UK Customers Need To Know About Paying UK VAT Before Ordering The Fanatec GT DD Pro

Here we go, then - the Playstation compatible Fanatec CSL DD Pro is coming and we’ve been waiting for it for a long time, but if you’ve never bought from Fanatec before, or it’s been a long time since you last did, things have changed about how parcels from the EU reach us following Brexit (Dec 2021) and you need to know how it works before you buy or you might get caught out by the way VAT is now paid separately.

Before Brexit, you would pay Fanatec the cost of the item including VAT, and you would get your parcel after a few days after dispatch, you didn’t have to do anything extra beyond that, it was as easy as buying something from a UK seller.

Before Brexit:

Step 1 - Pay full cost at Fanatec

Step 2 - Receive parcel

Nowadays, the price you pay at the final stage of checkout at Fanatec excludes VAT, and you have to pay that VAT later to the courier, usually UPS, which they will ask you to pay when the parcel arrives in the UK, known as import charges, import tax, whatever. You also have to pay a processing fee to UPS for handling this which is around 12 quid.

After Brexit:

Step 1 - Pay cost excluding VAT at Fanatec

Step 2 - Pay 20% VAT to the courier upon parcel reaching the UK

Step 3 - Receive parcel

This isn’t as bad or as complex as it sounds on our end, the price you pay in the total is around the same as it would have been before depending on exchange rates, and it doesn’t delay the parcel by much if you’re on the ball, but the point I’m making is that this process has caught out a lot of people already; make sure you’re not one of them.

Where people have previously messed up is looking at the price they pay at the checkout with Fanatec and taking that as the final cost, forgetting that they need to pay the 20% UK VAT when it reaches us, or it languishes in transit whilst UPS waits for the import to be paid, delaying it by days.

Many stories can be found of folks paying 350 euros at the till (for example), then being asked for 70 euros more while the parcel is mid-transit, not being aware that this is how it works (as it's been so simple for so long for most of the things we buy, the hassle of imports and customs when crossing customs borders is largely unknown to many)

So if you’re ordering from Fanatec as a UK customer, here's how it'll go.

When you’re at the checkout and you've set your shipping destination as the United Kingdom, whatever you pay at the end is effectively the Excluding VAT price, which is why it's cheaper than the listed price on the store front. Calculate 20% of that checkout total, and that is what UK VAT costs - that is what you’ll be paying additionally to UPS later when it arrives at our borders, plus the 12 quid handling fee.

When you order, make sure your email address is one you can monitor regularly, and watch out for an email from Fanatec saying your order is shipped - if you pre-ordered something and it wasn’t in stock at the time then you won’t get this email until it actually gets sent. This should be followed by an email from UPS telling you that your parcel is on the way, and this email includes a button to track your parcel.

Now that it's in transit, keep a close eye on the UPS tracking page, and when it reaches the UK and is checked in at the imports border you can pay the VAT charges via the page where you track the parcel via a button requesting charges to be paid. If you aren’t watching the tracking closely then UPS eventually sends you an automated email telling you to pay these charges, be careful of scams, though - don’t click links asking you for money, go to UPS’s website directly and enter your tracking number from the original email instead.

Once you’ve paid this, that should be it - you won’t have to do anything else between now and the arrival of your kit other than wait for the delivery.

There’s going to be a lot of folks ordering from Fanatec for the first time and therefore ordering across UK customs for the first time, it’s a recipe for confusion given how easy things used to be and that’s why I’ve made this video, to try and help anyone out there avoid the headache and heartache of this process that could happen if you’re not familiar with it. I’ve had 1 or 2 parcels from Fanatec since Brexit and I’m happy enough that the system works and whilst it’s nowhere near as quick as it used to be, it’s still pretty good, but if you know nothing about this process then it can seem confusing.

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