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There are a lot of guesses here, and not many answers anywhere near the truth!

Goods imported to the UK from outside the EU are subject to Import VAT.
Import VAT rate is 20%, which is the same VAT rate that applies to similar goods that are sold in the UK.

Import VAT is applied to the total value of the goods. This should be the amount on the Customs Declaration, which includes the price paid for the goods, the cost of transport, postage and packing, insurance and any excise duty (for alcohol, cigarettes, etc.) that may be payable. Please note, excise duty and import VAT are two different things. Slot cars do not qualify for excise duty, but they do qualify for Import VAT.

You only have to pay Import VAT above a certain value (£18). This value is different if you're importing a gift (£40).
 
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