There are many reasons why one may desire an imported vehicle. Perhaps the most common is that a certain make and model may not be available within the United Kingdom. In this instance, importation is likely the only alternative. However, one may be returning from years working abroad or simply planning on selling an imported car through a dealership. These are a few of the common reasons why such actions could be taken. However, there are some technical issues that need to be addressed. So, a handful of basic guidelines should first be understood before the process begins.
Addressing VAT, Vehicle and Duty Taxes
It is first obligatory that the new owner notifies the HMRC within 14 days of the arrival of the vehicle. Thereafter, it will be made clear whether VAT and customs duty taxes apply. This can be accomplished by contacting the Notification of Vehicle Arrivals (NOVA) service (1). The levels of taxation will partially depend upon whether the vehicle is arriving from within the European Union or from outside this zone.
As with any car, the imported vehicle will need to be subsequently registered with the DVLA. However, note that one may still be able to drive if it can be proven that there is a prearranged registration appointment. In any other case, it is illegal to operate any motor vehicle that has not been registered.
The imported vehicle will also need to be equipped with a licence plate from the United Kingdom. This applies to all permanent residents. The only exception for this rule is if the car is only considered to be a temporary import.
This is another critical concern. A Certificate of Mutual Recognition displays that the vehicle is considered safe to drive on roads within the United Kingdom. If one is in doubt that the car is qualified, it is wise to contact the Vehicle Certification Agency (VCA) for more details. Lorries and larger vehicles need to be approved under a separate process known as an Individual Vehicle Approval (IVA).
These are only a few of the steps that need to be taken to import a car into the United Kingdom. Further questions can be clarified at www.gov.uk.