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Importing vehicles into the UK

When you are importing vehicles into the UK, HMRC must be informed and you may be liable for import Duty and VAT

Once HMRC have been informed, and any taxes have been paid, the car must be registered and approved with the DVLA so that you can tax and insure the car.

What do I need for importing a car to the UK?

A car can be declared to HMRC on your behalf by your customs broker

In order for a declaration to be processed, your customs broker will need a commercial invoice (or an accurate valuation if there is no invoice available), and any transport documents that help to identify the shipment. For the declaration, your broker will need the Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) so it is important to find this out before the vehicle is shipped. 

When the border declaration to HMRC is complete, you must also inform them through the Notification of Vehicle Arrival (NOVA) service before you can register the car.

Importing vehicles into the UK requires that they are suitable for driving on UK roads. This involved registering for vehicle approval and may require an inspection if there is not sufficient certification to pass the vehicle. 

Once HMRC have cleared the car, the vehicle has been approved, and the DVLA have issued a V5C logbook, you can drive the vehicle in the UK.

Do I have to pay Duty and VAT when importing vehicles into the UK?

Duty and VAT are applicable when purchasing vehicles  from overseas. You may get relief, though, if your are importing vehicles into the UK under the following circumstances:

– As part of a Transfer of Residence UK (TOR1) declaration. 

– As a temporary import, with the car being re-exported within 6 months. 

– If the car was exported from the UK, and is now returning. 

If you are declaring that the vehicle is a temporary import or a returning export, you will need additional documentation to support your claim.

Temporary imports require the submission of a C110 form, to declare that a car of non-UK origin will be in the UK for a limited time.

A returning export will need details of the export shipment, including the commercial docs and export declaration number. 

When do I register an imported vehicle with the DVLA?

Before you can register an imported vehicle with the DVLA, you must have informed HMRC and paid any taxes owed, as well as obtained vehicle approval. 

The DVLA will need all documents to be sent to them, along with your own identity documents, as part of a V55/5 application. You must also tax the vehicle at this time and the DVLA may require inspection of the vehicle before approval. 

Once your application is approved, the DVLA will issue a V5C (vehicle log book) and the vehicle is then allowed for use in the UK. Your car should not be driven in the UK until this step is complete. 

If you need any assistance with importing vehicles into the UK, or with any other customs services, please contact one of our experts today.

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