Permanent Import of a Used Car

What to do to import and register a used car in the United Kingdom...

As with brand new vehicles, used cars, motorcycles and light goods vehicles that have previously been registered in another European Union country must have a certificate issued by the VCA under the Mutual Recognition Scheme. This is to show that the vehicle is suitable to be driven on UK roads.

Used cars which are to be imported into the UK must be less than ten years old.

If the used car is coming from outside the EU, is must pass the same examinations as with new cars;

If the vehicle is over three years old, it must also pass an MOT test, a compulsory test for all cars and motorbikes, and be registered in the UK. The test is carried out by a Government approved testing centre, and is due three years after the vehicle's first registration. The certificate is valid for one year. The car will need another test, each year.

To register a used vehicle with the DVLA, the owner must go to a post office branch or to the DVLA website to get a V55/5 form and once completed, send to the DVLA with the following documents:

  • Driving licence or original document confirming name
  • Utility bill or other original document to confirm address
  • Motor insurance from a British company
  • Cost of vehicle tax
  • Vehicle registration fee
  • Foreign registration documents
  • VCA certificate if from the EU or IVA/SVA if from outside the EU