Telling HMRC late can result in a fine of £5 per day!
You can register certain vehicle types without informing HMRC beforehand. This exception applies to vehicles with an engine below 49cc (7.2kw for electric vehicles).
Importing a Vehicle from the EU
You should use the Notification of Vehicle Arrivals service to inform HMRC that you brought a vehicle into the UK.
You will need a Government Gateway account to use the NOVA service. The Notification of Vehicle Arrivals system is for those who are:
- Not VAT-registered and importing a vehicle into the UK from within the European Union.
- A VAT-registered business not using the secure registration scheme.
Note: VAT registered businesses can use a spreadsheet if they use NOVA to register multiple vehicles. Contact the VAT helpline to get a VAT NOVA1 form if you prefer not to use the NOVA online service.
Importing a Vehicle Outside the EU
What if you want to import a vehicle from outside the European Union? In some cases, the process of informing HMRC occurs by filling in customs forms. This takes place when the vehicle enters the UK for non VAT registered companies.
The shipping company should have the forms you need or you can get them from customs officers at the UK border. The officers will want to inspect:
- Any foreign registration that you have for the vehicle.
- Any other relevant documentation that you have for it.
Claiming the Relief from VAT and Duty
Your shipping company, or customs officers at the UK border, need informing to claim relief from VAT and duty. Check to see if you qualify for the relief because:
- You are moving to the United Kingdom under a TOR (often called ‘transfer of residence‘).
- You are returning an exported vehicle back into the United Kingdom.
After Informing HMRC about an Imported Vehicle
HMRC will inform you of the next step of the process to import a vehicle into the United Kingdom. They will tell you:
- Whether paying VAT and vehicle excise duty will be necessary.
- When the NOVA form and application has been processed (completion needed for vehicle registration with the DVLA).
You may have informed HMRC by filling in the customs forms. If so, they will make a NOVA HMRC application on your behalf.