Importing vehicles into the UK

How to import a vehicle

You must complete certain steps as soon as you bring a vehicle into the UK permanently.

You can pay an importer or shipping company to do them for you.

  1. Tell HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) within 14 days that the vehicle has arrived in the UK.
  2. Pay VAT and duty if HMRC tells you to.
  3. Get vehicle approval to show your vehicle meets safety and environmental standards.
  4. Register and tax the vehicle with DVLA – they’ll give you a registration number so you can get number plates made up.

You must also insure your vehicle before you drive it on UK roads.

You can be prosecuted if you use your vehicle on a public road before you complete these steps, unless you’re driving it to a pre-booked MOT or vehicle approval test.

Commercial importers of new vehicles that use a secure registration schemedo not have to follow these steps.

If you visit the UK with a vehicle

Follow the rules for temporary imports instead if both of the following apply:

  • you do not usually live in the UK
  • you’re bringing a vehicle to the UK for less than 6 months

If you bring your vehicle in or out of Northern Ireland

You can move your vehicle freely between Great Britain and Northern Ireland if it’s registered in either country. Tell DVLA about the change of address.

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