Taking a UK-registered Vehicle Overseas
You can take a DVLA registered vehicle out of the United Kingdom for 12 months or longer. But, it would become a ‘permanent export’ which means you must:
- Inform the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency before you leave. Fill in the ‘V5C/4 notification of permanent export’ section of the V5C registration certificate.
- Send the V5C/4 to DVLA, Swansea, SA99 1BD. Add a letter if you already moved to get any vehicle tax refund due sent to an overseas address.
- You should retain the rest of the V5C registration certificate (logbook). You may need this document to register the vehicle abroad.
Note: Moving to live overseas means you must update the address on your driving licence with DVLA export.
Personalised Registration Numbers
Exporting a vehicle from the UK means you may lose private number plates. Thus, you should either transfer or retain a personalised registration before it leaves. It means you would avoid losing the right to keep the vehicle registration number.
What If You Already Left the United Kingdom?
You need an ‘Application for a certificate of permanent export V561 (form V756 export certificate)‘ if you left already. It informs DVLA that you have ‘permanently’ exported a vehicle out of the United Kingdom.
Moving a Vehicle between Great Britain and Northern Ireland
The V561 certificate is not required to move a vehicle between Britain and Northern Ireland. Instead, fill in the ‘address change’ section on the V5CNI or the V5C registration certificate. Send the completed section to the DVLA.
Important: Another section explains the rules for cash declarations when taking large amounts of money into and out of the United Kingdom.
Taking a Vehicle Abroad for less than 12 Months
As a rule, taking a vehicle out of the United Kingdom for less than 12 months is a ‘temporary export’. But, you should still take the V5C registration certificate with you.
It is best to allow 6 weeks before traveling if the V5C needs updating to ensure you get it back in time.
Exporting a UK-registered vehicle overseas ‘temporarily’ does not exclude it from UK driving laws. Thus, you must make sure the vehicle:
- Has road tax in the United Kingdom (even while overseas).
- Has a current MOT test certificate.
- Has the minimum legal insurance cover.
Note: It must also meet any international or national driving abroad regulations for vehicle licensing and taxation.
Taking a Vehicle Outside the European Union
Taking a vehicle outside of the EU means it may be liable for import duty. The authorities in the overseas country will confirm whether they charge duty. If so, you can buy a CPD Carnet. It means you can avoid paying overseas duty and make the border crossing simpler.
Note: It usually take 4 weeks to get a CPD Carnet after the application. It costs around £210 (with a percentage deposit guarantee).
Bringing an Untaxed Vehicle Back to the UK
You cannot drive a vehicle back into the United Kingdom in an untaxed condition. You will have to transport it and make a SORN (Statutory Off Road Notification) without delay.
Taking a Hired Vehicle Overseas Temporarily
A VE103 vehicle on hire certificate shows proof that you can use it for driving abroad. It is not free, but you can get a VE103 from:
- British Vehicle Rental and Leasing Association (BVRLA)
- RAC Motoring Services
- Road Haulage Association (RHA)
Taking a New Vehicle out of the United Kingdom
You can buy a brand new vehicle to take out of the United Kingdom. The official terminology for this is the supply of a ‘New Means of Transport’. In this case, there would be no UK VAT or vehicle taxes to pay (e.g. registration fee).
Inside the European Union
Buying a new vehicle to take out of the UK to somewhere else in the EU means no VAT is due providing:
- You take the vehicle out of the United Kingdom within two (2) months.
- You do not drive it in the UK beforehand (unless it gets registered and taxed).
Note: The vehicle supplier will give you form VAT 411 to fill in. You must declare the vehicle in the other country when you arrive and pay the VAT.
Exporting a Vehicle Outside the EU
The ‘VAT Notice 707: Personal Export Scheme‘ helps people export a new or used vehicle outside of the EU. Thus, buying a new vehicle and exporting it under the scheme has no UK VAT liabilities. Even so, you would still need to pay the registration fee and vehicle taxes.
You may qualify for the Personal Export Scheme if:
- You are from outside of the European Union.
- You are an EU resident who leaves the EU for at least six (6) months.
Note: As a rule, you will have to be personally driving the vehicle to a non-EU country.
You will need to fill in the form titled VAT 410 provided to you by your supplier. You can then drive the vehicle in the United Kingdom for up to 6 months after the delivery date. This extends to 12 months for non-EU residents. Following that, you must then export the vehicle.
The date for vehicle export shows up on the VX302 for new cars or the VAT 410 form for used cars. Once it gets exported you should send the relevant document to the DVLA.
Note: Failing to export the vehicle before the deadline means you will have to pay the UK VAT.