The UK Rules
VAT and Duty

Paying VAT and Vehicle Excise Duty

Vehicle imports into the United Kingdom may be subject to VAT and excise duty. This section explains when you need to pay VAT or duty and how to make a payment to HM Revenue and Customs.

VAT & DUTY: Once you inform HMRC of an imported vehicle they will tell you whether any VAT or excise duty is due.

As a rule, UK VAT and duty get charged on the total cost of the vehicle. But, the levies may also apply to:

HM Revenue and Customs will calculate the amount of VAT and duty you need to pay.

They use specific rates according to the type of vehicle and which country it got imported from. There are set methods of payment when importing a vehicle into the UK from a country inside the European Union.

Vehicle Imports from the EU

Note: You must pay any taxes owing before you can register an imported vehicle in the UK. An exception to this rule applies to VAT-registered businesses.

The rules change if you import a second-hand vehicle. In this case, Value Added Tax would not be liable providing all these apply:

Direct Payment to HM Revenue and Customs

You can use online or telephone banking to make a payment to HMRC by Faster Payments, Bacs, or by CHAPS.

Sort Code: 08 32 00
Account Number: 12000903
Account Name: HMRC Indirect Miscellaneous

You should use the 13-character NOVA notification reference number when you pay HMRC. You will find the number written on:

Note: Do not enter any spaces between each of the 13 characters in the reference number.

Reclaiming VAT on Imported Vehicles

As a rule, you can reclaim the VAT part that got paid in another EU country. You will need to send the Certificate of VAT received from HMRC to the person who sold the vehicle to you.

Vehicle Imports from Outside the EU

Note: Any VAT and duty owing must get paid before customs will release the vehicle and before you can register it.

Paying VAT and Excise Duty on Imported Vehicles into the United Kingdom