How Brexit is Affecting Vehicle Transport Between the UK and EU

Members Corner

Source: RPM, 2021-01-25

With the Brexit deal finalised, there are several new challenges that auto manufacturers and their suppliers must face in the months ahead. The new rules and regulations have already begun to affect transport in and out of the UK and EU. Every year, almost 3m vehicles worth €54bn ($43.2bn) are traded between the EU and the UK, while cross-Channel trade in automotive parts accounts for almost €14bn ($17.3bn), according to figures compiled by the European Automobile Manufacturers Association. Here are the three biggest challenges the auto industry will face moving forward.

The UK is no longer part of the customs union and is now a single market. Free movement between the UK and EU has stopped, resulting in more paperwork, legal documents, and checks. The longer transportation process can cause shippers to lose money and carriers to lose patience. 

The longer wait times and more frequent checks have not helped shippers or carriers. In an article published by the BBC, John Simkins, General Manager of Transmec UK Ltd, says, “In the first week of January, we couldn’t find a single European sub-contractor prepared to come to the UK, they are paid by the kilometer, so if they are stuck in a queue, they lose money.”

In an article published by Automotive News Europe, “Automakers might struggle to qualify some UK-assembled models for tariff-free export to the EU as they evaluate whether they source enough of their components locally. Costs associated with having to switch suppliers and the burdens of customs declarations, certifications and audits could still leave car companies convinced that they are better off investing elsewhere.”

RPM, a leading tech-enabled auto transportation provider, is uniquely positioned to handle the major concerns outlined above for our customers. RPM’s robust network of 100% vetted and monitored carriers allows us to fill capacity quickly for our customers, getting their wholesale inventory to market while minimising the negative impact to their bottom line. Our unique ability to flex up or down allows us to handle the concerns outlined above for our UK/EU shippers who may be struggling with Brexit rules and regulations. RPM operates in a fully digitised environment, offering full visibility & transparency to enhance the customer experience. The RPM Drive App gives customers and vehicle carriers throughout Europe and the UK the opportunity to manage their freight efficiently. With the app’s simple user interface and overall user experience, drivers can quickly scan VINs, capture signatures, and use their mobile device camera to report damages accurately. All of this reduces the amount of paperwork required.

If you’re a shipper who is struggling with delays, driver shortages, or costs, RPM has the infrastructure and experience to ensure that you have the digital tools and resources needed to reduce wait time during inspections, minimise paper document dependency, mitigate operational risks, and maximise operational efficiencies. If you would like to learn more about how RPM can work with you to move your vehicles efficiently, please visit


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