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Informing HM Revenue and Customs

HMRC allow fourteen (14) days to inform them about a 'permanently' imported vehicle to the UK. Thus, informing HMRC is necessary to be able to register the vehicle.

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:

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:

You may have informed HMRC by filling in the customs forms. If so, they will make a NOVA HMRC application on your behalf.

Informing HMRC about Imported Vehicles into the United Kingdom