Permanent Import of a New Car

How to go about importing and registering a new car in the United Kingdom...

A new vehicle can be driven to the UK and registered as new, provided that it:

  • Is registered in the UK within 14 days  of collection, or one month after collection during peak periods (for example, prior to 1st March and 1st September)
  • Has any VAT due paid or accounted for
  • Only has reasonable mileage, which means that the vehicle has only been driven from the pick up point, to the driver's home address via the most direct route
  • Has not been permanently registered before
  • Has not been sold by a retailer before

If the vehicle is a left-hand drive from within the European Union it will need a certificate, issued by the designated Vehicle Type Approval authority, the VCA (Vehicle Certification Agency). The Certificate shows that changes have been made to the vehicle, which makes it suitable for use in the UK.

New vehicles that are imported from outside the European Union must undergo one of the following tests before the owner can register it:

These tests can be carried out by an examiner from the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) (formerly the Vehicle and Operator Services Agency - VOSA) at approved sites across the UK. If the vehicle passes the tests, it will be issued with the appropriate certificate.

Any VAT and duty tax on cars imported from outside the EU is paid to customs. The Notification of Vehicle Arrival service (NOVA) can be used to inform Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs (HMRC) that the vehicle has been brought into the UK. This must be done within 14 days. The information submitted is used to calculate the VAT due. Late notification will result in a penalty of £5 per day. VAT payments on second-hand vehicle imports are usually not required if the VAT was paid in another EU country.

The owner then needs to register the vehicle with the DVLA. For this they will need to complete a V62 form, which can be found at the post office or the DVLA website. The following documents are required:

  • Driving licence or original document confirming name
  • Utility bill or other original document to confirm address
  • A certificate of insurance cover with a British insurance company
  • Cost of vehicle tax
  • Vehicle registration fee
  • A declaration of newness, if applicable, which is a V267 form, downloadable from the DVLA website or available from a local DVLA branch
  • Foreign registration documents
  • Evidence showing vehicle collection date

The completed application form and documents should be sent to the DVLA office in Swansea, or to any local DVLA branch. The procedure takes approximately one week to complete, and cannot be carried out immediately. Vehicle tax must be paid on the day the vehicle is registered with the DVLA.

The DVLA's postal address is:

  • DVLA
    SA99 1DD