Home » United Kingdom » United Kingdom – Buying or Importing a Car

United Kingdom – Buying or Importing a Car

If you’re a foreign national planning to buy or import a vehicle in the United Kingdom (UK), it’s essential to understand the legal procedures involved. In this article, we’ll cover the steps involved in buying or importing a car in the UK, along with the necessary paperwork and contact details of relevant government departments.

Buying a New or Used Car in the UK

Buying a new or used car in the UK is a straightforward process. The first step is to find a reputable dealership or private seller. You can browse local classifieds websites, visit authorized car dealerships, or use online marketplaces like Autotrader.

Required Documents for Buying a Car in the UK

Foreign nationals need to provide the following documents to buy a car in the UK:

  • Passport or national ID card
  • Valid UK driver’s license or international driver’s permit
  • Proof of address (e.g., utility bill, bank statement)

Registering the Vehicle

Once you’ve purchased the car, you need to register it with the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA). The registration process involves providing the following documents:


Get Our Best Articles Every Month!

Get our free moving abroad email course AND our top stories in your inbox every month


Unsubscribe any time. We respect your privacy - read our privacy policy.


  • Vehicle Registration Certificate (V5C)
  • MOT certificate (if the car is over three years old)
  • Valid car insurance
  • Valid UK driver’s license or international driver’s permit
  • Proof of address (e.g., utility bill, bank statement)
  • Road tax payment

After submitting the necessary documents, the DVLA will issue you with UK registration plates and a vehicle registration certificate.

Importing a Vehicle in the UK

If you’re planning to import a vehicle to the UK, there are specific procedures and requirements to follow.

Required Documents for Importing a Vehicle

Foreign nationals need to provide the following documents to import a car to the UK:

  • Proof of ownership (e.g., foreign registration document, bill of sale)
  • Customs declaration form
  • Certificate of Conformity (COC) or Individual Vehicle Approval (IVA)
  • Valid car insurance
  • Valid UK driver’s license or international driver’s permit
  • Proof of address (e.g., utility bill, bank statement)
  • Road tax payment

Step-by-Step Guide to Importing a Vehicle

  1. Obtain a Certificate of Conformity (COC) or Individual Vehicle Approval (IVA) from the manufacturer.

  2. Complete a Customs Declaration Form with HM Revenue & Customs.

  3. Pay any applicable taxes and customs fees at the HM Revenue & Customs office.

  4. Obtain car insurance from a UK provider.

  5. Register the Vehicle with the DVLA. Provide all the necessary documents, including the Proof of ownership, Customs declaration form, COC or IVA, Proof of Insurance, Valid UK driver’s license or international driver’s permit, Proof of address, and proof of payment of taxes and customs fees.

  6. The DVLA will issue UK registration plates and a Vehicle Registration Certificate.

Contact Details of Relevant Government Departments

If you need assistance with the import process, you can contact the following UK government departments:

Selling a Car in the UK

If you’re planning to sell a car in the UK, there are specific procedures and paperwork to follow.

Required Documents for Selling a Car in the UK

When selling a car in the UK, you need to provide the following documents:

  • Vehicle Registration Certificate (V5C)
  • Sales Contract
  • MOT certificate (if the car is over three years old)
  • Proof of Insurance
  • Transfer Document

Step-by-Step Guide to Selling a Car

  1. Obtain the Vehicle Registration Certificate (V5C) from the DVLA.

  2. Create a sales contract that outlines the terms and conditions of the sale.

  3. Provide the buyer with the MOT certificate (if the car is over three years old).

  4. Provide proof of insurance to the buyer.

  5. Complete a Transfer Document with the buyer, and send a copy to the DVLA.

  6. Provide the buyer with the V5C document.

  7. Cancel your car insurance policy and road tax.

Contact Details of Relevant Government Departments

If you need assistance with the selling process, you can contact the following UK government departments:

Buying or importing a vehicle in the UK involves following specific procedures and providing the necessary paperwork. As a foreign national, it’s essential to have a valid driver’s license, proof of insurance, and proof of address. Contacting the relevant government departments can help with any queries or issues during the process. Selling a car in the UK also involves specific paperwork, and completing the necessary steps can ensure a smooth transaction.


Latest Videos

Expat Focus Financial Update February 2024 #expat #expatlife

Expat Focus 28 February 2024 1:53 pm

This error message is only visible to WordPress admins

Important: No API Key Entered.

Many features are not available without adding an API Key. Please go to the YouTube Feed settings page to add an API key after following these instructions.