There are conditions and time limits for keeping a foreign vehicle in the United Kingdom. This section covers the rules for visiting the UK with a foreign-based car or motorbike.
TEMPORARY IMPORTS: In most cases, you can use a vehicle with foreign number plates 'temporarily' in the United Kingdom.
Thus, it would not need registering with the DVLA or taxing providing all these apply:
Becoming a resident of the UK or staying longer than 6 months means you must register and tax the vehicle. There are specific steps for importing a vehicle into the United Kingdom.
As a rule there will be no liabilities for VAT or excise duty if the vehicle you bring is from within the EU. You can contact the imports and exports helpline for further information.
They will answer questions about bringing a vehicle from the EU for less than 6 months, importing, exporting and customs reliefs.
HMRC Imports and Exports: General Enquiries
Telephone: 0300 200 3700
Textphone: 0300 200 3719
Open Monday to Friday: 8am to 6pm
Closed weekends and UK bank holidays.
No VAT or duty is due on a temporary vehicle import from outside the EU providing all these apply:
Note: You can apply for temporary importation of a private motor vehicle using C110 form. You claim relief using form C110 and taking the vehicle through the 'nothing to declare' channel when you arrive at the UK border.
In some cases, you can use a vehicle, even with foreign number plates, for longer than 6 months. To qualify all these must apply:
HM Revenue and Customs will supply you with a customs relief form when claiming the relief. You need this form to show the police if you get stopped while driving the vehicle in the UK.
Note: But, you must register and tax the vehicle in the UK if you stay after the customs relief expires. Thus, follow the usual steps for vehicle imports to the United Kingdom.
What if you get told by HMRC to register and tax your vehicle in the United Kingdom? In this case, you should contact the Customs, International Trade and Excise team.
Telephone: 0300 058 3736
Monday to Friday: 9am to 5pm
Find out about call charges.
If you get stopped by the police while driving they will need to see that you can use it 'legally' in the UK. Thus, without taxing and registering the vehicle in Britain, you will need to show documents that prove:
Certain situations mean you need to get temporary Q number plates from the DVLA. For example, visiting the United Kingdom for up to 6 months and either:
Note: You should contact the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency to get temporary Q number plates.
You need to claim relief from VAT and duty before you get temporary Q number plates if the vehicle is from outside the EU. The process depends on where you claim the relief:
CITEX Written Enquiry Team
Local compliance S0000
Temporary Vehicle Registration: Temporary Imports in the United Kingdom