Registering an Imported Vehicle
Posted by Graham Sykes,Stewart Shram on 10 February 2011 05:13 PM
Registering an imported vehicle
When a vehicle is imported for use in Great Britain (GB), it must be registered and taxed with the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA). This must be done as soon as possible as the vehicle can’t be used or kept on public roads.
A 'brand new' vehicle can be driven to GB and registered as 'new' provided the vehicle:
Advice to importers is to transport rather than drive vehicles from the port to the first destination.
New vehicles must have a certificate of conformity as proof of type approval from the supplier or vehicle manufacturer.
Left-hand-drive vehicles from within the European Community will need a certificate, issued by the Vehicle Certification Agency (VCA), under the Mutual Recognition scheme. This shows that changes have been made to the vehicle, making it suitable for use on British roads.
Vehicles that haven’t been subject to European type approval will be subject to one of the following tests, they are:
You can drive your vehicle to and from the pre-arranged appointment before the vehicle is registered.
Import information pack
You can order an ‘import pack’ from the DVLA form ordering service. This provides all the necessary information and forms needed to register an imported vehicle.
Previously used vehicle
As part of the registration process DVLA must be sure that an imported used vehicle, that’s less than ten years old meets the required standards.
Cars, motorcycles and light goods vehicles, first registered in another European Member State, must have a certificate issued by VCA under the Mutual Recognition scheme. Larger goods vehicles will need full UK type approval before they can be registered.
Cars, motorcycles and light goods vehicles first registered in a country outside of the European Union must pass the IVA, SVA or MSVA, as appropriate.
Vehicles moving between GB and Northern Ireland (NI)
Vehicles registered in NI that move to GB are no longer classed as being imported to GB. Also, vehicles registered in GB moving to NI are no longer classed as being imported to NI.
These vehicles can keep their GB or NI plates and tax disc, or they can request the registration plate to where they are going, GB or NI.
The vehicle registration certificate Northern Ireland (V5CNI) should be used to aid registration in GB and applications should be made at a DVLA local office. The vehicle registration certificate (V5C) should be used to help registration in NI. Applications should be made at The Driver and Vehicle Agency (DVA), Coleraine.
Before you can register and tax your vehicle you'll need to get a British insurance certificate using the Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) from your vehicle.
We are able to assist with insuring your imported vehicle.
Vehicle tax will be payable in line with the vehicle’s first registration date in the UK. If the vehicle has been previously registered abroad, the date it's first registered in the UK will determine the amount of vehicle tax that’s payable. DVLA will also allocate a vehicle registration number appropriate to the vehicle’s first registration abroad.
Registering and taxing the vehicle
You can apply for registration at your nearest DVLA local office. The application takes about a week. There is no ‘over the counter’ service.
You will need to take the following documents to the DVLA local office (photocopies or faxed copies are not acceptable):
Registering and taxing the vehicle won’t take place unless you have the necessary documentation. In some cases the DVLA local office may wish to see the vehicle to check its identity.
Construction and Use requirements
Vehicles kept or used on the public highway in the UK must at all times comply with The Road Vehicles (Construction and Use) Regulations 1986 (as amended).
Copies of regulations aren’t available from the Department of Transport or DVLA. They can be obtained from any library or ordered from The Stationery Office Ltd (TSO).