The UK Rules
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Inside EU

Import Vehicles from the EU

If you want to import a vehicle into the UK from within the EU you usually need to pay VAT and vehicle tax.

IMPORTING VEHICLES FROM INSIDE EUROPE ADVICE: You tax you pay is calculated from the date your vehicle is registered with DVLA as a rule.

Reporting the Vehicle Arrival

You need to report your vehicle's arrival to HMRC and you should use the Notification of Vehicle Arrivals (NOVA) service to inform HM Revenue and Customs that you have imported a vehicle into the United Kingdom.

You will need a Government Gateway account to use NOVA and they will then work out the VAT amount which you must pay.

Remember that cannot use NOVA before you import your vehicle and you are permitted to send your report on a spreadsheet if you need to use NOVA for large quantities of vehicles.

Note: You will receive a £5 late notification penalty per day if you do not notify HMRC within 14 days of the vehicle arriving in the UK.

NOVA Exceptions

You cannot register your vehicle with DVLA until HMRC has processed your NOVA application but you are not required to report the arrival of the vehicle using NOVA if any of the following apply;

Paying the VAT

HMRC will calculate and inform you how much VAT is due and how you can make the payment. VAT is due on the vehicle, accessories bought with it, and any delivery or incidental charges as a rule.

VAT-registered Business

If you operate a VAT-registered business you can account for (and pay where required) the amount due on your next VAT Return.

Not a VAT-registered Business

If you do not operate a VAT-registered business you will need to make a VAT payment directly to HMRC (address below). Your NOVA notification reference number will be required as a payment reference which can be found on the email which HMRC sent you if you used the NOVA online service or on the payment notice that HMRC sent you.

HMRC Indirect Miscellaneous
Sort code: 08-32-00
Account number: 12000903

Second-hand Vehicles

As a rule you are not required to pay VAT for importing a second-hand vehicle especially if the VAT was paid in another EU country.

Nevertheless, VAT is due if your vehicle is classed as a 'new means of transport' (less than 6 months old and has done less than 6,000km). HMRC will confirm whether this is the case.

Reclaiming VAT Paid in the EU

Send the Certificate of VAT which you receive from HMRC to the person you bought the vehicle from if you want to reclaim the VAT which you paid in another EU country.

Import a Vehicle from Europe; UK Rules Updated 2017