The original US spec rear light looks like this:
If you see UK registered cars with these units in, it means whoever did the conversion has used what was the reverse light as an indicator. Not all VOSA test centres will approve this set up now, so unless you can find out that yours will (ie has done recently), dont bother with this set up.
Using the US spec rear lights means you have no provision there for reverse and fog lights, so they must either be fitted in the bumper or below it. There can be further wiring complications with this method covered elsewhere.
Another type you may see are made by a company called “Surrey Mustang”. They convert the US lights to house an indicator in what was a reflector:
These look great and emulate the original US lights better than other options. They are not cheap though, and they will want your old US lights in exchange too. If you can afford them, contact Surrey Mustang through our links page. This set up still involves tagging a foglight below your bumper.
A popular tail light - one you will see often - is referred to as the “Euro” unit. These are made in Taiwan and look like this:
The inner unit is the fog lamp, the outer is side/tail the centre is the indicator and the reverse is below it. All the lights you need are in this one unit, they are “E Marked” so will pass the test at VOSA. They have a little box on the wiring that takes care of the US tail/brake/turn feeds and you need only add new brake, indicator and fog light feeds.
For the DIY light converter, these are easiest by far to work with. Several places sell them at various prices, but I always get mine from eBay for around £120-£130 including delivery.
For sure, they dont look as cool as the others, but they are cheaper and easier to fit and wire up.
There are a few other LED ones around (that look awful) and converted lights that other companies offer, but these are the main ones. If you know of any others, add the information using the comments box below.